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July 07, 2017

To My Child’s Eating Disorder [A Letter]

eating disorder treatment for teenage boysHello Ed*,
 
I’ve been wanting to write to you for a long time. In fact, I’ve been wanting to say a few things to you for years. Here is what I’ve been wanting to say:

1. You are no longer welcome in our lives.

You have stolen almost five years from my son’s life. You have stolen almost five years from all of our lives. And we will not let you take any more time from us. You are not worth our time. Ed, we now have roadblocks and guardrails in our lives and all around our home. If we see any signs of eating disorders around here, we will squash you like the invader that you are. You will one day be a distant memory for all of us. I am looking forward to the day when you are completely gone and we will enjoy our lives again.

2. You are not a friend.

You act like a close friend. You may even speak lovingly at times. You may act approving at times. But, ultimately, if my son keeps listening to you — he will die. Listen to me: friends don’t hurt each other. Friends do not tell each other to starve themselves. Friends do not encourage total and complete isolation; that is a very lonely world and it’s very unhealthy. You, Ed, are not a friend.

3. You are fake.

Yes, Ed, you act like you know everything. You act like you speak the truth. But you don’t. You are a liar. You offer a perfection that doesn’t exist. And you offer it in the most damaging ways. We don’t trust you.

4. You are on notice.

We will do everything we can to protect our son and our family from you. We have an army of parents, family members, friends, dietitians and therapists who are working with us to keep you out and take you down. We will support our son in eating disorder recovery and keep you out of our lives.

5. You are not worth it.

Ed, I’ve been taught not to hate but I despise all that you stand for. You steal lives from millions of amazing people each and every day. You destroy everything and we are not going to tolerate this anymore. I pray every day that you are destroyed and will never reach human existence again.

6. My son will recover from you.

You fed on his brain but I believe that my son will use this powerful army and new-found strength to push you aside. I believe that he will recover fully. One day, my son will not think about eating disorders, calories or exercise or purging. He will enjoy life and appreciate his family, values and freedom.
 
Ed, I want to conclude this letter by telling you that you will not be missed. Please don’t write back. Do not contact us. We will not be available.
 
Sincerely,
Shirley B.
 
*Ed is an acronym for “Eating Disorder.”

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