That prompted me to read about the next phase of treatment in my reference books which state that the goals of the next phase are:
- for us to maintain management of the eating disorder symptions until Emily shows evidence that she is able to eat well and maintain weight independently
- to return food and weight control to her
- to explore the relationship between the anorexia and normal adolescent development issues i.e. self esteem, body image, relationships, independence
As for the last goal of this phase, exploring the relationship between Ed and adolescent issues, I am very afraid of what that will entail. I am exhausted from phase one and don't know how to muster the energy to learn the new skills and behaviours that the Team is promoting for her healthy emotional development. The kinds of issues we have to deal with loom large in my tired mind. She needs to become less attached emotionally to us because right now she can't even sit in a movie theatre with someone between she and I. She needs to develop peer relationships that are more appealing to her than her relationship with us and she hasn't spent any time with friends in over a week. She needs to become accepting of her body image but she won't even go swimming yet because she doesn't want to be seen in a bathing suit. She also needs to get ready for dating and be comfortable with her sexuality and at this point in time that seems at least five years away to me. And our reward for her achieving all this adolescent development is that we get to deal with the kind of typical adolescent behaviour which we all know drives adults crazy.
Apparently one of the purposes 'Ed' is serving is to be a big wake up call to the fact that how you parent a child is vastly different from how you parent a teenager. My new term for this stage of my life is 'full frontal parenting', and if that has military undertones it is meant to because I feel like everything about my parenting style is underseige and that I am having to regroup and remuster every 10 minutes.
But old habits die hard and I gave into one yesterday and cooked a dutch apple pie to for us to eat and celebrate Emily's successful weight restoration. She gave me a quick flash of Ed's disapproval over the idea of celebrating but she tucked in and ate most of her normal sized piece of pie leaving behind a piece of crust that frankly I left behind too because it wasn't homemade.
And now it is time to figure out what to cook for supper, make my party appetizer, get my costume ready and finish putting up the Halloween decorations. And if anyone else asks me what I do all day I am going to lose it.