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Mom, Please Help: a True Anorexia - Bulimia Story. Part 1

Nov 30, 2007
Well, I guess it was 11 years ago I started to notice something was not right with Amy. She had just turned 13 when I caught her always looking at herself in the mirror. She would ask me if I thought she put on weight. I told her of course not, she always looked just right for her age.

You know, I never even thought anything was wrong I took it as just being a teenage thing and really thought no more about it. I remember myself in those teenage years worrying about my looks and going on diets and silly stuff like that, it was what a lot of my friends did too.

I didn't even pickup on the fact that Amy would just play with her food at the dinner table and just shift it around her plate, eating very little. Of course I would say to her about not eating her food, but she would say she had a lot to eat at school, or at a friends place or some other excuse and I would fall for it.

Now in hindsight I feel really guilty as a mom for not being more aware of things at that time and I go through the "if only I had noticed back then I maybe could have done something" but I didn't and the 10 years of living hell was about to begin.

Amy had always been a beautiful intelligent girl, always thinking of other people, always nice and kind. When she was 8 she would always do things for her grandmother (who had come to live with us) she always asked if she needed help cleaning or if she could do anything for her. She always volunteered to take Gran's dinner to her and bring back the dirty dishes; nothing was too much for her.

Amy was 12 when her grandmother passed away. We thought she would be really upset but she seemed to handle it probably better that any one, even her younger brother Ben seemed more upset. We put it down to the fact that Gran had been sick for over 6 months and we had explained to her that we thought Gran would not live that much longer.

Even at the funeral Amy did not cry but seemed to be in full control, but again I was too upset at losing my Mom, that I did not really pay attention.

My God! What an idiot I was back then how could I miss all the little signals that Amy was sending me? Why didn't I see the warning signs, how could I have been so stupid? They were all there to be seen but I didn't notice a thing.

I think what really sent Amy on the trip that nearly cost her life was what to her, became a major disappointment when she was 13. Amy just loved to dance and she was good at it and she had a real passion for dancing.

She always said the she wanted to be a dancer when she grew up and if any dancing came on TV she would not miss it. Even if there was a family outing or a birthday party, if dancing was on TV she would refuse to go, until the show had ended.

I have to tell you at this point that Amy was not a typical little 13 years old. She was quite developed for her age with breasts and more of a mature shapes to her body, more like a 16 year old that a 13 year old.

Most of her friends were still waiting to develop breasts and were still the thin little girls with no shape. I didn't know it then but Amy was teased about her body by some of the girls at school, who would call her fat and tell her she had a big bottom. Of course this was not true, Amy was just more developed but to her she was starting to think she was really fat.

It was the 18 November 1996 that I believe was the catalyst for the 10 years of hell we were about to face. Amy had been practicing for months to get into the school dance troop. It was the auditions for the Christmas extravaganza and Amy wanted so badly to get the lead dance role.

Two days before the auditions she got ill and by the time her dance trials came she was not in good health. She failed to get the lead role; in fact she danced so badly she did not even make the team. When she was leaving the stage I heard one of the girls who was successful say, I told you are too fat.

This episode in Amy's life was a major turning point (or trigger) that started her 10 years of suffering with anorexia-bulimia. This was the start of my horror anorexia-bulimia ordeal.
About the Author
Dr Irina Webster MD is the Director of Women Health Issues Program which covers different areas of Women Health. She is a recognised athority in the eating disorders area. She is an author of many books and a public speaker.
learn more about eating disorders at http://www.mom-please-help.com
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