Sunday, 6 November 2011


I feel like we are bullying Waif  :-(

After a few months of all getting on well, and having a lovely time, we are having tears again at mealtimes.  My poor lovely Waif who is always so gentle with me.

My gut instinct is that meal times are NOT a good moment to discuss anorexic issues - how upset we are that Waif has lost weight, how she will be going back to the Maudsley at this rate and how we need to weigh her.   I feel that if someone is upset, then the last thing they want to do is eat.  Gosh,  even"I" didn't  feel hungry after listening to that.  I reckon firm encouragement is the way to go.  H, on the other hand, says that he does not see Waif at any other time and do I expect him to go and find her some other time to talk to her about it (um, yes, actually).

H refused to let Waif take her pudding to eat in front of the TV, even though she was upset and nobody was enjoying the meal.  Poor Waif looked distraught.  I told her that she should sit at the table as Daddy wanted her to.  I then suggested that she just eat half at the table and then take it away elsewhere.  Sigh, this does raise issues of conflict - I want to support H on disciplinary and child issues but it is tough when I fundamentally disagree with something that he suddenly comes out with as a diktat.   But I recognise that he too is trying to help and I do not have the monopoly on being right.

Still, the main thing is that Waif had a good lunch in the end.

I have not even addressed the issue of disallowing Waif from cycling to school from tomorrow.  She is not going to like me at all.  I know that she is okay if I drive her to and from school every day, but is adamant she won't be part of a lift share with 2 "smelly" (actually very pleasant and not smelly that I have noticed) boys down the street.  I think I will compromise on this one and drive her myself even though a lift share would save me several hours a week.  I will have to explain a little to the other mothers as they will think I am very rude driving in without their boys when I am going that way anyway and they both find it difficult to do the school run as they work......  Mind you, the boys are 15 and 17 and there is actually a bus that even Waif is quite happy to catch.  I don't want her on the bus though as it requires an extra half hour and I am worried that she might actually be walking to school in that extra time (Near Neighbour said that was what her daughter had been doing under the guise of leaving early to do extra school work).

I wish Waif had not lost weight again.....  our lives are all so much happier when she is eating well.  Hers especially.


  1. I'm sorry that your daughter is struggling and I wish you and your family all the best.
    I was looking for an email address as I wanted to send you a private message, but I can't seem to find one?


  2. You're not bullying Waif; you're bullying her eating disorder. I know you've been pointed to Laura Collins' forum before (, but if you haven't visited it recently, it may be worthwhile to read through some of the posts.

    I lost over a decade of my life to anorexia and wish Around the Dinner Table had existed when I was ill. My parents did everything they could for me (much like you with Waif), but their fear of upsetting me allowed the eating disorder to dominate our lives. How I wish they had taken all choices away from me. I would have kicked and screamed ...but I wouldn't have spent so many years living a marginalized life.

  3. You are not bullying Waif. You are not bullying Waif. You are not bullying Waif.

    You are making her the victim. And that is the most disgusting part of it.


  4. i just linked to your blog from a fellow blogger's roll, and i must admit that my heart stopped beating for a moment because i know that i've found a blog that will be something i will read every single day. i am a recovered bulimic by 1 year, 4 months, and 4 days after having suffered for 11 years. i was 17 at the start and almost 30 now. my parents suffered so much, and i will be sending them a link to your site, because even now, it's hard for them to accept about what i did to myself. i write a lot about them, from the peripheral perspective, so you might find it interesting. my anorexia turned into my bulimia, so your daughter might also find my site interesting. it's very controversial and explicit at times (photographs, words, etcetera, so this is your warning!). here's a letter that i wrote to my parents in 2002. i am gracious to my parents who gave me the this letter, after my blog started getting attention. this is just one of many examples of our interactions. oh, here's another one: it's called, "caution, this one might touch your heart." anyway, thank you for this blog, for being so committed to helping your daughter, and for advocating against eating disorders. x

    nicole at

  5. You aren't bullying Waif. You are fighting the eating disorder. Trust me when I tell you that even if she'd never ever admit it, Waif is in there right now and she wants you to fight for her. She is trapped in this hell and the ed won't let her out, it won't let her tell you how much she needs you to help pull her out. She NEEDS you. Your constant support at mealtimes, around exercise, everything. Keep fighting for her, she can make it through this!

  6. Thank you SOOO much to all of you. You are the reason I write this is wonderful to have some guidance and input from others who understand the dilemmas. My heart goes out to all of you who have struggled with ED or with a loved one with an ED. I met someone last week whose daughter had anorexia very badly (hospitalised) and whose two younger children have BOTH had cancer too. Gosh, some people are hard up against it but still fight on.