Tips for Carers by Carers: Part II

28 Aug, 2018

The following contribution has been written by: Rebecca

Sharing the burden of care

There was a time when the impact of Anorexia Nervosa really challenged our "survival" as a family, as parents, as a couple and even as individuals.

Our seven-year battle began when our only daughter was 16. As the disease took hold we were less and less able to function as a family.

There came a point where my husband and I were arguing with the little energy we had left about what we should and should not do for, with and about our daughter.

We were both exhausted and weak, physically and more importantly mentally, crying ourselves to sleep in fear and frustration for her health.

One day my husband said, “Okay it’s your turn, you deal with her. I will support you, I just need some space.”

This was a key. Unconditionally and without criticism he no longer dealt with her, he referred her to me and I dealt with the situation and did whatever I thought was right at the time.

Suddenly there were significantly less arguments. My husband and I were no longer struggling to work out what to do. We were a team, supporting each other, and importantly, she could no longer pit us against each other.

After a couple of months, I passed back the front-line to my husband and unconditionally I supported him in whatever he felt was the right way to handle the situation (even when I totally disagreed). The support had to be total for the “front-line" person.

To this day, I do not know if this improved our daughters situation, but it certainly improved our relationship, the level of support we could give her and most likely saved our marriage.

It also gave us both the opportunity, when not being front-line, to focus on our other children and their lives.

The disease takes away so much from the life of a family. I hope, sharing this little “tactic" brings help to others in this dilemma.

As encouragement, I would like to add that we do not live with this disease anymore and we are still a great family with healthy relationships.

If you are a parent and carer and would like to contribute to this blog series, please get in touch via our Contact Us page.

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Tips for Carers by Carers: Part I

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