Eating disorders are an attempt to cope with extreme circumstances. For the sufferer, the eating disorder feels like the only way in which their pain can be held at bay. This is often a problem for others to understand as it seems to an onlooker that the eating disorder is the cause, not a symptom of suffering.
This is never the case. The eating disordered person is in extreme emotional pain. She sees no way out of the situation she is in because her problem is an extremely complex one, with no apparent solution.
What I am about to say is controversial. For those who feel angry please remember that I cannot make you angry. Nobody can. If you feel angry it is because something is triggered in you. It is never my intention to attach blame. We can all only act in accordance with our own consciousness at the time. Blame and guilt are false concepts. We can only act according to what we know.
Parents of eating disordered children are operating at a level of consciousness that is not highly developed. They have not achieved an understanding of their own capacity to love themselves and are therefore incapable of teaching this to their children.
The parent of a child with an ED lives by the expectations of others. They have not yet developed the confidence to live life according to their own beliefs because they have not developed trust in these.
Being a parent is the greatest challenge that anybody can face. It is a continual journey of learning and growing. Many parents feel that in order to be a good parent they must maintain a ‘fixed persona.’ One that is immovable and constant. They haven’t yet realized that the nature of life is change, and that in resisting that change they become stagnant. The parent of a child with an ED feels unable to move forward. They cannot therefore teach their children to grow and develop naturally.
So how does this impact on the child? Children need to feel loved, respected and important. They are integral components of the family, individuals in their own right, but how many children actually feel this? There are many, many misconceptions about how to bring up children. Too many to list here, but the crux of the matter is that parents who do not know how to respect themselves cannot teach their children how to respect themselves.
This can often lead to the child developing depression and from there to develop a myriad of problems that stem from the desire to escape. This can take the form of drug abuse, self harm, or an eating disorder.
Whatever the symptoms, however serious, it is always the root of the matter that needs to be dealt with. Focusing on the symptoms only increases fear, and the feeling of being out of control.