Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Waif grows daily more independent.  It is heartening seeing her turn into a "proper teenager":

 - "Well Mum, don't take this badly but I can't quite see the point of doing anything as a family" when asked about holidays.

-  off to London last week with a few friends and they took out Boris Bikes and cycled round Trafalgar Square, The Mall, Regents Street and Covent garden.

Waif's Royal Wedding feet

Waif and Older sister looking like twins these days

Older sister and Waif in Easter hols

Easter Sunday at the pub with friends

It's funny how risk is such a relative concept.  Three years ago I would have been horrified at the thought of Waif smoking (or cycling round central London).  Whilst I still am in many ways, both seem less horrifying than not eating or smoking drugs.......   .  Hmmm.....   I have to let her live her own life and I am standing back as much as I can but with  the odd word of advice in the wings.  She says it is good that I don't ban her from stuff because she would still do it, but just not tell me!!  At heart she is a sensible girl and I think that it is this voice of reason that saved her from the worst devastations of self starvation no matter what her heart was (misleadingly) telling her.

We went to Eastbourne for a few days at Easter, enjoying the incredibly unseasonal warm weather, staying at a luxury hotel and sitting by the outdoor pool.  Waif joined us on the evening of day 2 of 4, having stayed in town with her friends the night before.  She happily then got 3 trains to make her own way down.

I am pretty proud of her chutzpah, actually.

Waif is still Waif though in many ways:  she had her own video blog with 300 followers (!!! it was fashion advice) but then suddenly deleted it all.  She has allowed her boyfriend to carry on seeing her despite the fact that she found rude texts about herself on his phone (her self esteem is not where it should be still).  She  hangs around "the dips" - a secluded are of the heath - with various friends from school, for no discernible reason other than to smoke and drink without adult intervention.  I trust her when she says that she just talks even if the others are smoking and worse.

Food?  Still tricky.  There is still a lot of prevarication and reasons why she can't eat various parts of our meals - the wrong type of bread, she doesn't eat most meat, she doesn't like cream......   but on the whole she eats a passable amount.  She is still borderline anorexic weight (85% of weight for height and age) but looks healthy enough and does plenty of exercise - she is religiously going to the gym on Wednesdays as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award and is aiming to run a 10k in 40 minutes which is quite a lot faster than I could manage and I regard myself as quite fast!  But I do not think this is obsessive exercise as she also religiously attends art after school on Mondays (for her skill) and Oxfam after work on Tuesdays (for her service).  her boyfriend gets to see her on Thursdays.  There is nothing unplanned about Waif's life.

Meanwhile, Older Daughter has had a letter from The Maudsley asking her to participate in some research into the effect of anorexia on siblings.  She is considering whether to take part - what with university entrance, AS levels and learning to drive, she is pretty busy.  I hope she finds the time though.

I am attending a Beat meeting on Saturday to learn to be a volunteer of some sort.  I am not sure what kind exactly and will find out.  What I would like to do is to go into schools to speak to staff and management about running the school so as not to encourage anorexia (having mealtimes protected from such things as trips and detentions so that eating is never difficult, having food available EVEN IF a child forgets her money/ pass etc), spotting it and how to help (eg offering a supervised meal service etc).  As I have just been turned down for my MSc, and have now finished the marathon,  I might have time to start something up on my own later this year, although the tricky part will be persuading schools that I have any kind of locus standi so that they will give me the time of day.  I also need to do a lot of prior research into which schools deal best with eating disorders and how they do this, although from a "user" perspective, some of it seems like common sense.

Last observation....where does the time go???