My daughter has an eating disorder. And it’s my fault.

/, The confessional/My daughter has an eating disorder. And it’s my fault.

CityMom D sent this incredibly vulnerable and heartfelt post about battling her daughter’s eating disorder. And we knew so many other moms could relate to the pressure and pain she’s feeling. Raising kiddos is hard work. Being a mom is even harder. We’re here to listen D…


Have you ever been in a situation with your kids – that logically you know there is nothing you could’ve done to truly stop it from happening – but inside your gut there is a gnawing feeling that you somehow let them down?

My pre-teen daughter has an eating disorder, and I feel like it is my fault.

My fault for not watching her eating habits more closely, my fault for not pushing vegetables harder at meal times, my fault for not talking to her about eating disorders, all my fault. The thought that she now has to go through a lifelong struggle with food like so many of the grown women I know, breaks my heart. Even as I look back on how we got here, I’m still in shock on how it all seems like it happened overnight.

daughter eating disorder - theCityMoms

Two years ago, we were going to doctors appointments to talk about how my beautiful smart caring daughter was underweight. She had been prescribed a medicine for her ADHD that simply made her not want to eat until it wore off. So sadly, we found ourselves giving her very large meals in the evening time, because she was finally hungry. After many conversations with her doctor, we decided to take her off that medication because we knew that eating one large meal a day was leading her down a bad path. Once the medicine was weaned, she started getting her appetite back, and all seemed okay.


MORE FROM THE CONFESSIONAL: You were someone before you were a mom.


Fast forward to winter 2018 and we find ourselves in a new doctors office.

We were at the Charis Center for Eating Disorders – a Riley Children’s Health affiliate – where individuals who require intervention about their eating {among other things} get the help they need. We met with 4 different doctors, 1 medical, 2 physiatrists, and 1 dietician. Myself, my daughter, her biological mom, and her biological grandma, sat in all of these rooms listening and answering questions about how my previously underweight daughter had doubled her weight in a years time. Listening to their questions and the treatment plan helped me feel slightly in control of it all – I like plans, but the overwhelming feeling was complete failure.

Now, we are 4 months into treatment of a lifelong illness. I am having to help my daughter tackle demons that if I am being honest, I haven’t tackled for myself yet when it comes to food and eating habits. We take her to see all 4 doctors at least once a month, and we adjust a little bit every time. I know this is now our new normal, and I know this is the path that will hopefully help my daughter regain some of that “sparkle” she lost over the last year. In the 6 years I have been in her life, she has always had that “sparkle” about her. Now I feel as if my actions, or worse inaction, had caused it to dull and fade away.

I wish I could end this with a heartwarming moment of how I got over my feeling of failure – but I’m not there yet.

I typically don’t share a lot of personal struggles until I’ve had more than ample time to truly process all the demons in my head, but this time I felt like it was important to share while I’m still in the middle. My daughter is sick, so we are getting her the medical care she needs. Our family tries hard every day to meet the nutrition plan given to us for her. Some days I struggle more than others, and the burden feels too big to carry forward. At the end of the day though, I will not allow my feelings of failure to stop me from being a good mom. So, I too will adjust a little bit every time. Every day I will try and be better, for her and for me.

MORE INFO: If you or anyone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, the National Eating Disorders Association is a great resource and offers a special hotline for help at {800} 931-2237. The Riley Children’s Health Charis Center is another wonderful local resource. Discover their website here or call  {317} 295. 0608. 

2019-03-11T21:21:25+00:00March 11th, 2019|
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