Date: 2017-08-04 01:29 am (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (0)
From: [personal profile] recessional
This is one of those things where I'd have to go hunting for citations and I'm too tired, but: while obviously any individual case is individual, I would personally side-eye hard a family with an anorexic daughter insisting that it Happened Out Of Thin Air and has Nothing To Do With Them.

I would side-eye it even more if the family-based approach worked.

I mean, there's a lot to what you say, for sure. And there's also a lot to be said for cases where parenting would have been Good Enough . . . with a different child, one who was less vulnerable or in a less risky position because of other things, or whatever. It doesn't mean that The Parents Were Hideous Miserable Abusive People.

But to be honest like. I'm not going to get into huge specifics, but: the family my family is closest to that struggled hardcore with one daughter's anorexia? Would absolutely at their best frame it like "sudden demon that ate her" (at their worst they might decide to blame the behavioural problems of another child in the family for "causing the family stress").

And would absolutely say they had good relationships before and that it's the anorexia that made them dysfunctional and fall under that "good enough" parenting, etc?

And yet. It's a family where as part of her own attempt to work through her rehab the daughter does a really quite amazing landscaping project on the front lawn, and I go over to look at it, and she's showing it off, and on their way into the house one of the parents points at a tiny weed amongst the gravel and says "you really need to get on keeping that free of weeds."

And I WATCHED her go from shy pride showing it off to me to crumpled down defensive "I know I was going to weed after supper."

And that's a NORMAL interaction for this family. Like no: they weren't the kind of Toxic Horrible that you'd make a good movie out of for Lifetime but this is still what this girl was surrounded by - hypercritical, perfectionist, totally lacking in validation or celebration by her family - not "never good enough" in the sense of being endlessly berated, but definitely never good enough in the sense that the driving underly of the family was "well you could do better" . . . etc etc and you could see every bit of it reflected in how her anorexia worked.

So.
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