ED behaviour becoming violent

I hope you can help. My beautiful teenage daughter came forward just before Easter telling me she "had a problem". It transpires that she'd been bulimic for 8 months and then, scaring herself during one purging session (bleeding from the throat) she decided to stop. Unfortunately she swapped purging for serious restricting . Deciding that she "didn't want to live this way" she tried to start eating again herself... but couldn't and was so brave coming forward to me. Since Easter she's been in hospital (2 weeks) and various 2 day re-admission linked to bloods anomalies. My question relates to violence as her ed behaviour around eating and some (trigger) foods has become violent. Her mood can switch from calm to violent as quickly as a flick of a switch. I've facilitated quick access to CAMhs and we've had on-going support. It's always and only me who is the target of the violence and though i understand this is all linked to her ed thinking i'm struggling to cope with it emotionally - being punched in the face, spat at and being the target of knife throwing is begin to take it's toll and i fear that our relationship will never recover. Any input/thoughts/ tips would be really appreciated...

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8 Replies

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  • HI, I'm in anorexia recovery. Are you working with eating disorder specialists? They will have help and support for you (carer) as well - you need it. For now, it's important to separate your daughter from her eating disorder. It's her eating disorder that is reacting violently. It's also impossible to think rationally when you are so malnourished. She is not her disorder and it's so essential that both of you remember that! I still feel very guilty for how I acted and I know my own mother is still hurting from the way I behaved.

  • Thank you eunhwa. Yes we are (getting support). I got very early on the seperating my daughter from "it" (her ed) & that has helped...But it hasn't stopped some instances being really scary (knives thrown at me and i mean sharp kitchen knives not cutlery knives). But we've removed those for now. I can't even begin to imagine what she (& you) is going through and i just wish there was more i could do to understand and make it easier for her. The professionals have said that i'm the focus of hate for her ed because i'm "it's" biggest threat, ie because i'm Mum.....

  • Londonbornmum, As a mother of an anorexic daughter, I can understand completely what you are going through as your daughter struggles with her issue. It is something I had never witnessed until my own daughter started displaying an ED 8 years ago. It's heartbreaking to watch as well as handle the abuse from the disease taking over her mind. The difference is that my daughter refuses any help. Because she is over 21,, she can't be forced. It takes it's toll on everyone tip toeing around dinner time (her only meal of the day), Lab tests repeated every month to keep check of her electrolytes, IV infusion done ev 3 weeks putting back the potassium she is so critically low on and on and on. I only wish I knew what to say to help you but I'm at a loss.

    You are not alone. I'm sure you will get responses from the Forum. I wish you and your daughter well. Take care of yourself.. x

  • Thank you Agora1, I agree with your feeling of being at a loss of knowing what to do. My daughter had made that huge step of wanting to change...but seems to have lost that focus (or, rather, the ed has got it's grip back on her). It's still early days for us - 4 months) although she's been living with her ed for a year. The good thing is she IS and has continued to eat since coming forward despite the outbursts . I just we could do something to make it easier for you....and that's my frustration

  • Londonbornmum, I'm okay. We tend to develop a hard outer shell when life is difficult. I appreciate your understanding, let's hope both daughters find their way back. Good Luck to both of you. x

  • I'm so sorry you are going through this. It's not you she hates or is angry with. She is hating herself and it will come out as aggression towards you. I treated my mum so badly. But now we have the best relationship we ever had , it has taken a long time and it's not perfect when I get stressed about food it will be mum a get angry with. You need to remember your daughter is two people your beautiful daughter and the ugly Eating disorder. She will be hating herself please try to remember that it's not you she hates but herself. I really hope that you can get the help you need as well as your daughter. Take care of yourself xx

  • Thank you KF91. I'm sorry and admire the strength you've had in going through the battle you have with your own ed, and that you've taken the time to respond. I'm doing my best to keep something of a bond with her.... giving her foot massages, and very light tummy massages when she's constipated and we do still have some positive moments. But these seem to becoming fewer and fewer as her ed takes a grip. I constantly reassure her that I love her and that am there for her...but her ed has ostracised and removed me from the equation. We're working on changing that (with professional support) as the violent behaviour starts as soon as i step into the kitchen . I love my daughter and have so much compassion and love for her and the battle that she's fighting. But I don't like being punched and spat at in the face, & kicked & punched elsewhere. I'm trying to take consolitation that this anger (towards me) means that she isn't self harming

  • Hi I have a daughter with ED . Diagnosed April 2015. She spent 8 months as in patient & that was hard but was a relief in the end that I knew she would be getting help & would get back to healthy weight. Yes it has been incredibly hard and she has been so angry with me & her dad in the past for letting her go to hospital . Now she is at home , she has completed her 1st year at college. Her dad is her full time carer & we support her in all her eating but she does eat 3 meals & 3 snacks now. She is still recovering & we support & love her to help her . She has finally got a counsellor at CAMHS that she will engage with. It is a very long road back but it is worth it & i always hold on to hope that she will get better & lead the full life she deserves without this horrible voice telling her she is fat and unworthy.We received help from the hospital about how to support her at mealtimes etc. Our family life had to become so much calmer and no arguing with each other- not always easy with her teenage sister really not getting it about the ED.I would reccommend a book - Skills based learing for caring for a Loved one with an ED by Janet treasure , Grainne Smith & Anna CRane where you learn to be more like the dolphin & less like the rhino ! It does make sense . You will get on better terms with your daughter. I truly love spending time with mine & just wish i could magic the ED voice away but I can's so I have to do the next best thing & support her in her quest to beat it herself . With love xxx

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