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    I am trying to be more understanding w a close relative that has an eating disorder… it’s really tough and I get upset at her for abusing her body and causing herself and everyone around her so much pain… how can I be supportive when I’m so angry inside??

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    Wow
    I can relate to the relative with the eating disorder.
    I struggle eating more than a bite a meal twice a day.
    So I think the best thing is to try and find food that is easier for the relative to eat and process

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    Typically, we get angry at someone when we think they have intentionally done something to hurt us. Can you do a reframe? Do you get angry at your grandmother when you have to speak loudly to her because she is hearing impaired? Or at your grandfather because he walks really slowly and it takes so long for him to get anywhere? To be honest, these situations test our patience, however, tapping into our compassionate selves makes it possible for us to provide these relatively small accommodations. An eating disorder is a serious illness that affects the patient and also has a ripple effect on the family. These ripples feel more like a powerful, destabalizing wake than a ripple. All your feelings are valid and need to be expressed. But knowing who you should be expressing your feelings to is the first thing that needs to be identified. After that decision is made and executed, you’ll find a way to cope. You deserve as much compassion as the person you’ve described. See if you can find it for both of you.

    -Michelle Halle, LCSW

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    Hi…I can hear why you are frustrated and upset at her .. you want her just to get better and not hurt herself. But people are complex humans with lots of emotions. A person who is sick c”v you wouldn’t be upset at them. You would feel bad for them. Same here you should feel bad for them…they can’t completely help that this happened to them… and they also need the right tools and right people to help them.

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    Try to focus on when she is eating and trying to get better. Trust me, it’s hard for them too. Maybe try talking to this relative and ask them to try to explain to you a little bit of what’s going on in their brain. I think I will be easier for you if you know why they are doing it….

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    First of all, sending love.
    It’s a really difficult situation to be in, witnessing someone you love and care about hurting themselves, and at the same time not being able to control them.

    You want to be supportive. This is beautiful and shows you care – so notice that.

    You’re feeling angry, and it’s so valid.
    What’s if before showing this person support, you can show yourself support?

    How can you hold space for yourself and show yourself compassion and understanding?

    After this- Perhaps it would be helpful and take a step back and realize that you really can’t change this person. They’re not trying to hurt you or the ppl around them, and cause pain to the people around them. They are in pain and that pain is real.

    Try and see if you can give it over to G-d. Ask G-d to help this person.
    Remember G-d doesn’t have grandchildren.

    If this person is open to it and you haven’t yet, you can have a conversation with her and share that you care and direct her to resources of professional help. If you’ve done that then your work is done and you can just be there for yourself. And when you can- be there for her.

    It’s completely to take a step back if you need to.
    Sending so much love ❤️

     

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    Hi, you wrote the answer your self, I’ll explain.
    You write ‘I AM TRYING TO BE MORE UNDERSTANDIN’ then you ask ‘HOW CAN I BE SUPPORTIVE WHEN I’M SO ANGRY ?
    Because your trying to be more understanding of something that you never experienced yet,that’s the reason you’re so angry and the reason you can’t be supportive
    So to summarize,
    Stop judging,
    Start understanding unconditionally,
    Stop being angry,
    Start supporting.
    STOP AND GO!

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    Maybe try to do some research on what causes these behaviors so you can understand the pain she is in and/or what she is going through. It’ll also help you understand her journey and support her better. There should also be support groups or information on how to support someone in this situation which can help you channel your loving emotions in a healing way for her and for you…

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    Thanks for asking this important question. Seeing someone who is close to us struggle can be very difficult. I would encourage you to explore those feelings of anger , could there perhaps be feelings of sadness and pain at the core ?
    Eating disorders are complex and it can be difficult to understand why somebody would opt to engage in ED behaviors. An eating disorder is an illness. No body chooses to be sick. Recovery from an eating disorder is possible.
    Getting yourself support and perhaps reading material on eating disorders can help ❤️

    *Attached is a link to Magen Avrohom is a organization that helps families when a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder.

    https://www.magenavrohom.com

     

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    Maybe start by understanding yourself. Often times when you are in understanding it’s more natural to understand others. There’s place for both you and her to be understood. What you are witnessing is hard. You want what you know is best for her and you are limited bec the choices are hers. She seems so capable and yet you watch her do things against what works for her. Its frustrating! You care so much and feel tied… What do you need for yourself in this trying situation to sooth yourself? To get the feel that things will be alright? Maybe if there is one things you can do for her that she can accept you will feel better? Maybe daily tehilim? Maybe asking Hashem to guide you so you can be helpful in journey? Maybe a nutritious treat she likes and would eat daily?
    Wishing hatzlucha and self appreciation!

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    I’m with you it’s very tough I’m reasonating with feeling frustrated angry!!!!

    What helps me with the anger (which is really because I’m caring so much but feeling helpless in fixing there eating disorder)is focusing on the close ones amazing good qualities ,valuing there essence, pure neshuma and have compassion for them they are suffering!!!!

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    That is SO hard. One thing I can say, is that she is doing it because she is hurting SO much inside. Although she doesn’t convey it- she wishes she was not causing everyone pain. She wishes she was the source of joy and peace. She so much wishes that she wasn’t giving you pain that she may even want to not exist anymore because she knows she is causing you so much pain, and feels she cannot help it. So although you cannot see it now, (because the ED, shame, guilt, anger and her own overwhelm hide it) underneath it is causing her lots more pain knowing that her pain is causing you pain.
    It’s a hard journey. And one step you can take, is to let her know that you are there, that you care, and that you know that she is in pain and doesn’t mean to do this on purpose.
    This way you can at least cut the cycle there, so she doesn’t feel worse from causing you to feel worse.
    I hope you understand, and I’m proud of you for reaching out.
    This is so not easy.
    One step at a time.
    You all can get there♥️

    I addressed one area but I want to add one more thing:
    If your feeling angry, you HAVE to go take care of YOURSELF. Otherwise it won’t work. Put yourself first and take care of yourself, so that you can be more understanding, patient and available.
    Also, in terms of understanding your relative – you may never understand them. And it may be better if you accept that you do not understand them. And work on supporting them anyway. Because what matters- is them feeling that you care and you support them.
    Good for you for trying to be there and be supportive! Take good care of urself first!♥️

     

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    I’m having a similar anger issue for a different disorder. My question would be how to deal with the anger and be understanding without making excuses for their behavior.

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    Anger is usually a cover up for something else. It’s easier for us to be angry then to face the real pain and/or fear this would be causing. Probably the only way to get rid of the anger is to process the underlying pain❤️❤️

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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    I don’t know how to answer, but I can relate to what you are saying and I’m so sorry you have to experience that. I too experienced a family member with an ED, and now I’m seeing symptoms in another sibling. I too felt extreme anger. I was angry at the pain they were putting me through. I know that sounds selfish, but everything I knew was affected by the ED. I knew logically it wasn’t on purpose and she isn’t to blame, but because I struggled so much during the time, I was angry at her for causing it. And I felt I had nowhere to turn to because everybody is there to support the person struggling with the ED, but not the family members. I recently opened up to my therapist about the situation and shared that I felt angry at this person, and I felt selfish. She told me that it’s normal to feel this way. So I’m going to pass that message on to you. Everything you are feeling towards the situation is normal and expected.

    -Anonymous WhatsApper

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