Ways to perform a parentectomy

How to alienate, disempower, triangulate, separate, and estrange parents from their ill children:


"Mom, why don't you wait out here."

"We're going to advise a six-week residential treatment stay."

"Your daughter says you don't give her any control in her life."

"Dad, I understand you are on a diet?"

"We think it is best for parents to give the patient space."

"Let's leave that to the professionals."

"Is mom over-feeding you?"

"It can take years of therapy to reveal abuse."

"We have a Family Week - let's save your thoughts for that time."

"Let's not talk about fault here. We're talking about contributing to the illness."

"Parents don't mean to damage their children. But..."

"She just can't seem to 'use her tools' at home, and we think a change of living arrangements is often helpful in breaking these patterns."

"Often, moms and dads aren't aware of..."

"Young people try to protect their well-meaning parents from the realities of their life."

"Can you tell me more about why your husband is so angry?"

"Are you getting treatment for your own issues?"

"Eating disorders do not occur in a vacuum."

"Isn't that a bit over-involved?"

"What scares you about having other adults speaking with your child alone?"

Comments

  1. Wow. My family and I have heard several of these comments, including:

    "We have a Family Week - let's save your thoughts for that time."

    to which my mom responded, "No, we'll hear what she has to say now, we're not in any rush." She then looked the doctor(s) square in the eyes. "Yes, go ahead and put down that I'm an overbearing mother. I want to hear what my daughter has to say."

    and

    "She just can't seem to 'use her tools' at home, and we think a change of living arrangements is often helpful in breaking these patterns."

    oh, how that last one hurts to think about to this day...It made my parents feel like they were doing something wrong, and it made me feel even more horrible because of the pain I was slowly realizing I was causing my family...

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  2. One of my favorites: "Don't worry, eventually we'll find the underlying family dysfunction."

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  3. "Young people try to protect their well-meaning parents from the realities of their life."

    I highly relate to that quote as a recovering anorexic/bulimic. Thank you so much for writing these blogs, they are very helpful.

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  4. I can definitely see how a lot of these would be alienating, absolutely.

    However, when I was 17 and literally dying of my eating disorder, I took the initiative to get myself into therapy when it was clear that my parents would not. I had had previous bad experiences with therapists before, so I decided that I would give it one more shot, and if it didn't work, I would let myself die. Because I was a minor, my dad came with me to my first appointment. He took a couple of minutes to express his concern while I sat there feeling silenced, and then the therapist said, "Thank you. Would you mind waiting in the waiting room so I can talk to S- alone?" At that moment, I felt respected as an equal, not treated as a child. It made me willing to engage with that therapist. That one line helped save my life - literally.

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  5. I am trying to get my daughter to see a therapist on her own, along with family therapy, but she refuses. In any case, I am very glad you found the life-saving therapist that you need.

    It is a shame that your parents did not give you what you needed. The parent-can-do-no-wrong vibe of this website puts me off a bit because I know I am not the mother I would like to be. That said, I love my kid to bits and want to do everything I can to help her recover. So we'll see what happens. Good luck to all of us!

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  6. If I wouldn't have gone to inpatient treatment (as far away from my parents as possible), I'd be dead by now. And I would never, EVER have spoken up with my parents anywhere close to me.

    This entry could not be any more wrong. It's not about finding faults in your parents - it's about recognising family dysfunction and dealing with it properly.

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