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    Feeling so deeply hurt right now. I’ve been in recovery from my ED for years now and have an amazing 2 YO who’s a picky eater. My mother doesn’t trust me to feed me him appropriately and sees any form of me trying to get him to eat a balanced diet as me pushing my own old behaviors onto him and “controlling his food”. She is constantly sneaking him nosh, which makes it even more difficult for me to get him to eat at mealtimes. She freaks out if I try and get him to eat something he doesn’t want and he gets at all upset.
    I found out today that he is slightly anemic and needs to take iron supplements, and it feels like I’ve failed. I at least thought this would help my mother see that it’s important for him to diversify the foods he eats, but instead it feels like she blames it on me controlling his food.

    it feels like all the years of work I’ve done to get myself in a healthy place, to accept the responsibility of keeping myself healthy when having a child is belittled. It is so difficult to know that my mother does not trust me to care for my own child when I am constantly putting 110% to keep him happy and healthy.
    And the worst thing with all of this feeling so overwhelming, it makes me want to slip into bad behaviors in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

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    This sounds so painful:(

    Hi Small Victories.

    This sounds so painful and hurtful to feel belittled and not trusted by your mother.

    Also, sounds so exhausting to have climbed so high on the ladder and giving it your all to your child only to feel blamed and criticized.

    Congratulations on being in recovery from an eating disorder for years! You must be a very strong and courageous woman.

    I’m so sorry to hear the your child is anemic and trust that he is in good hands to keep him healthy.

    Kudos to you for reaching out for support in how to have a respectful and peaceful relationship with your mother regarding your son.

    I hear how overwhelming this all must be that it’s making you want to slip back into bad behaviors and old patterns.

    I have a client who’s husband didn’t trust her with the credit card. It felt really belittling and accusing when he told her off for spending money. The next time he yelled at her about spending money, she chose to be vulnerable by saying “OUCH”. When he responded “Ouch, what’s ouch”, she was able to give him a positive affirmation of “I know you love me and trust me with money”. This allowed her feelings to be heard in a very respectful way without criticizing and also reminded her how much her husband really does love her and want to trust her. That was the last time he said anything negative about her spending!

    How would it fit for you to be vulnerable with your mother by saying “OUCH” the next time she says something that sounds hurtful or mistrusting?

    If she asks you about it, how would it be for you to use a positive affirmation to your mother like “I know how much you love and care about me and my child. I also know that you trust me to be responsible with him”.

    I hope this helps you.

    I commend you for being such a loving and responsible mother and also for wanting to be respectful and keep the peace between you and your mother.




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    Malka Katzenstein

    Hi small.victories,

    Having someone doubt your ability to take care of your own child is hard! It sounds like you’ve worked hard on your own recovery and you should be proud of that. It can be tempting to go back to old behavior when things start to feel out of control, but you have the tools to keep yourself healthy!

    It seems like the difficulties you’re having with your mother is a question of boundaries. It’s your job to take care of your son and keep him healthy and she should respect that. It might help to sit down and have a conversation with her during a quiet time and tell her that you are okay and you feel confident that you can feed your child in a healthy way. You can acknowledge that she could feel worried because of your history and reassure her that you know what you’re doing and that it would mean a lot to you to feel like she trusts you. It’s not your fault that he’s anemic- things like that happen and you’re on top of it.

    In the future, when your mom tries to undermine your authority regarding feeding your son, you can try saying, respectfully but firmly, “thanks, I’ve got it,” and don’t continue the conversation. Of course, that probably won’t get her to stop interfering right away, but if you keep that boundary, hopefully, in time she’ll respect you and your boundary.

    Hey small.victories!

    I heard a quote the other day that may help your perspective as you deal with this challenge.

    Someone trying to hurt you by bringing up your past is like trying to rob your old house. You don’t live there anymore. 

    I am not suggesting that your mom is trying to hurt you… nor am I insinuating that this shouldn’t sting.

    However, I would encourage you to look at the self she is reminding you of like an old home of yours. If necessary, get some support to help you emotionally disconnect from that place once again and continue to be proud of yourself for creating this healthier life for yourself.

    Also, remember that it is OK if our “old selves” show up, they are just a reminder of how far we’ve come.

    You got this and I am rooting for you!

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