From the Forum: Advice from One Father to Another.....


For your Husband:

As a Dad, I can tell you that this disease is simply the hardest thing I've ever come up against.    ED takes every technique I've ever used as a Dad and turns it against me.   These girls are smart, and ED uses that intelligence to turn our strength into a weakness.   ED cannot be reasoned with, cajoled, intimidated, consequenced, flattered, bribed, or anything "elsed" out of our daughters.    ED is a horrible, brain-based illness that forces us into learning new and often very uncomfortable and seemingly unnatural methods of parenting that we have never even considered before.   

I've been home and at school with my daughter for more than 2 years of this journey so far.    I've seen behaviors that I would have never believed possible come from this beautiful young woman in my life.   I've suffered fear,  anxiety and feelings of helplessness like never before in my life as I've seen this disease ravage my little girl.   (I've said it many times:  If a person were doing to my daughter what this disease is doing to my daughter, I'd be in prison right now...because there is no way I could not defend her.)    I didn't want it to be true.  Not my girl.  But it is, and I have to change to help her get through this fight.    

So I read.  I started with  "Brave Girl Eating" - and realized that this disease is frighteningly similar across countries and cultures.   I've hung out on this forum and shared my frustrations, and read the frustrations of so many others.    Sometimes it is depressing, but when I've needed a lift, it has been good to not be alone.     I've started counseling with my wife - because this thing places incredible strains on all my relationships, and I need that "sounding board" once every few weeks to help maintain my sanity.   

And, finally, I'm coming to accept that this is a marathon, not a sprint.   We're 2 years into this battle and coming off a massive relapse, but, so far, coming away from that horror in a better place than we were before.   Things DO get better in most cases, but not quickly and not easily.   There are setbacks, relapses, heartbreak all over again, and it takes a huge toll.   But there is also recovery, and respite, and the occasional small victory (which I celebrate VERY quietly) that make the effort worthwhile.    

So step 1?   Start by accepting that you can't "fix" this.   Step 2?  Learn all you can about this disease, the experiences of others, what works, what doesn't, and so on.    Step 3?    Get in the trenches.    I'd rather face live ammunition than my angry daughter on most days, but that is the battle I've been handed.   Step 4?   Learn new ways to respond.    Learn to be a concrete wall in a typhoon.   Lean to NOT react.   


Once you get to that point - you're ahead of me...so please write and give me advice.   



- From ATDT parent support forum.  
Link to full thread here.

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