THIS should never happen:
"My dd only told one trusted friend about her AN while she was ill, her oldest friend who lives down the street, a very empathetic girl, the perfect choice. At first it was great, because I could call this friend and ask her to come up and hang out--she was lovely distraction while d was suicidal. I also told the parents so I could answer any questions/misconceptions they had about the situation. When my d hissed how much she hated me, the friend wrote me a sweet supportive note about what a great mom I've been.
As d's rages kicked in, she would flee to friend's house and weep to the parents about my 'abuse'. After sooo much time went by, especially after d was w/r and looking 'fine', they began to believe everything she said. That I was abusing her. They were ready to take her in and call CPS on me. When I tried to explain, they said it was a 'he said/she said' situation and they had to protect the child. They didn't see any evidence of mental illness. D was eating normally. They wondered about me--I seemed delusional. I can't even tell you how degrading and demoralizing and downright scary this conversation was. For one thing,getting CPS involved would have been a nightmare. But more, it just really really hurt. This couple has known me for 20+ years; I was their d's Girl Scout leader; we've spent many many pleasant hours together. They trusted me with their own d. I thought they knew me. I thought they were my friends.
D is still friends. I haven't spoken to the parents since and don't even walk down their street. I really don't expect people to understand this illness so I have been very forgiving of the dumb things people say, unsupportive attitudes, avoidance, etc. This is the only case where I have actively ended a friendship."
This is our fault, people. All of us. For allowing families to have to face this illness alone. For there being no authoritative source out there to explain that eating disorders cause anosognosia and that parents who face that down are HEROES and need and deserve support, not suspicion. That friends can play a positive role if they don't become allies of ED, unknowingly.
When parents do the RIGHT thing they still face being seen as wrong and that isn't fair and isn't necessary and it is cruel. I've heard too many stories of families who were referred to social services - even had children temporarily removed from the home for doing the right thing. Parents shouldn't have to be going against conventional wisdom: we need to change conventional wisdom.
Today, the eating disorder field, in general, will not back us up. Most mental health services, legalities, custom, schools, and our friends are not likely to understand or help us, either.
This has to change. This should not happen and believe me, I hear it in different forms all the time.