Dear ED: A Mother’s Letter


Dear ED,

I’ve been meaning to write to you for awhile.  There’s a lot I have to say. I remember the day my daughter told me you came to visit her.  It was nine years ago and I was on the phone with her walking to my car after work.  I’ll never forget that call. It changed her life and mine, and her Dad’s and her brother and grandparents.  I mistakenly thought at the time that you would visit for just a short while.  I had no idea what you’re capable of.

You took over.  You took her mind, her personality; you made her sick and sad.  You took her self-esteem and the worst thing of all was that you made her forget who she was.  You made her Dad and I cry all the time, feel sick, lose sleep, worry constantly, feel sadness we didn’t know existed and you made her brother long for his big sister that had been his friend.

I decided nine years ago that I wanted to know all about you so I read, and I read, and read some more.  And the more I read the more I learned about you the more I hated you.  I don’t know you in the same way she does but I know a lot and I despise you.

Here’s what else I know.  I know that she is stronger than you.  She left you for two years and she’s getting ready to leave you again.  She had a few years of being without you and so she saw what that was like.  She did it before so I know she is capable of doing it again.

I know a lot of other things you don’t know.  I know what even she has forgotten.  I know that girl in a way that you can’t because I’m her mother.  I knew her when she was a little girl who you never met.

So here’s what I know that you don’t.  She is smart and very capable, articulate and a great writer.  She is loyal and a good friend and will someday make a husband one lucky guy.  She has a great laugh and a wonderful sense of humor.  I know that she has more empathy than anyone I know.  And maybe that’s from knowing you ED.  She really understands what it’s like for someone to struggle.  She has a true gift for working with children with autism.  She is cherished by her father and adored by her brother.  She is still the dearest sweetest brown-eyed girl in the world to her grandmother.  What she means to me is difficult to even put into words.  She is my special daughter and my dear friend.

So you see ED, she’s too important to all of us to let you have her.  She’s going to fight and in the end she’s going to win again. And this time you’re going to melt into a little mason jar with a strong lid on it and then you’re going up in the cold attic where I hope you’re shivering all the time the way you mad her.  You will be put into a steel box with a lock on it and you’re going to live up there freezing forever because we are all done with you. We won’t forget you.  You’re too unforgettable but we don’t want you in our lives anymore.


Her Mom

5 Responses to Dear ED: A Mother’s Letter
  1. Becky Henry
    February 27, 2013 | 12:17 pm

    Thank you Kendra for sharing this very powerful letter from a mom. She had me in tears by the 2nd paragraph.

    She nailed it on how terribly bad it hurts when ED comes to steal our children… And she nailed how angry we are with ED for coming into our lives. And the profound sadness it turns out is just beneath the surface no matter how much healing has happened and time has passed.

    And yes, we know our children can sometimes be stronger than this monster. I’m still waiting to find out if ED has permanently stolen my daughter or if she’ll be back one day and ED will be gone. Guess I need a mason jar on a shelf with the lid at the ready for if she ever comes back…then I can close it.

    Thank you for sharing this important part of eating disorders’ impact.
    Becky Henry
    Hope Network, LLC

    • ViR
      February 28, 2013 | 8:05 pm

      Thank you Becky for reading and sharing how much it touched you! I absolutely felt the same emotions reading it, but from the perspective of the person struggling – how hard it must have been for those around me. It is hard to see “outside” of our own experience, and this letter just opened my perspective yet again to the struggles of an ED.

  2. Melonie C
    February 27, 2013 | 1:23 pm

    This story may have saved me. Thank you

    • ViR
      February 28, 2013 | 8:06 pm

      Wow! Melonie that is a powerful statement!!! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Mid-Week Balance: 27 February 2013
    February 27, 2013 | 2:32 pm

    […] with the disorder.  They affect the families and friends of the patient who is struggling.  This poignant post from a mother does a great job of illustrating that […]

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