“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jun 18, 2014
DEAR AMY: I am a 20-year-old recovering bulimic. In trying to find a way to eat normally, I gained quite a bit of weight. I'm not obese by any means; nor am I skinny.

My parents know that I have had an eating disorder, but this does not stop them (and other members of my family) from commenting on my weight every chance they get.

They constantly ask what I'm going to do to get back to the weight I was before (unhealthy and purging all my food), and they scoff at whatever I choose to eat.

I have asked them over and over to leave my weight alone. They aren't listening, and seem to be pretending that my eating disorder never happened. My mother has even claimed that she didn't see me purging so she doesn't know if I made it all up or not.

I don't want to have to cut ties with them after I graduate college, but they don't hear me when I tell them how hurtful their comments are and they ignore me when I ask them nicely to leave the subject alone. I don't know what other options I have because I'm afraid if I'm around their influence I will relapse.

Please help me, Amy.-- Worried

DEAR WORRIED: Your family members are undermining your recovery. I agree that you are at risk for relapse if they bully you.

I shared your query with Portia Lowndes, referred by the National Eating Disorders Association. Lowndes is also a mom whose daughter is in recovery from anorexia. She and I agree that you seem in charge of your life and recovery. Good for you! She responds: "Your parents should respect your statements. They need to do some research about what you are going through." The association offers to match family members with a "navigator" who can help them respond to a loved one's situation.

Your folks are very much in need of education and counseling to understand this disease.

The most important person in this process is you. You are showing an admirable command of your own health. If your family members can't support this, then yes -- you should distance yourself from them until your recovery is secure.

DEAR AMY: Our granddaughter is annoyed that her "Papa" (grandfather) sends her too many texts (he sends about 10 a week). This has smoke puffing out of my ears because: He bought her a new car for graduation from high school. He pays the car insurance. He sends her a monthly stipend.

I appreciate how busy she is (graduating, holding a part-time job, playing sports, etc). But to actually complain to her father that, "Papa sends me too many texts"? Outrageous.

To be honest, he can be a pest. Still, I remember being a teenager with old grandparents who sometimes did annoying things, but I certainly never verbalized it.

Am I being too emotional about this?-- Unsettled Grannie

DEAR GRANNIE: My first question is if it is a good idea for this high school girl to have a new car and insurance payments -- as well as a monthly "stipend" -- provided by "Papa." (My second question is if I can sign up to be your granddaughter).

You obviously assume that his indulgence should purchase a little indulgence from the teenager. Ideally the girl would be kind and understanding toward him simply because, as you say, he is her grandfather.

Because she has complained to her father -- who has passed her teenage complaint up the generational food chain to you and your husband -- Dad should tell his daughter to be kind and tolerant toward someone who is very kind to her.

And someone should double check your husband's texting to make sure he is being reasonable.

DEAR AMY: I'm responding to the tough letter from "Stressed Out," whose husband sometimes physically punished their son and was also engaged in a never-ending home renovation. She should use her inheritance to get out and create a stable and loving environment and life for her son. Her husband is an abuser and that will not change. Period.-- Horrified

DEAR HORRIFIED: This letter generated many concerned responses. Thank you.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#2 Jun 18, 2014
2- wish I had grandparents like that. Tell the spoiled little brat to quit her dam whining. And what are you trying to imply with that last line, Amy?

3- women will stay in bad relationships for the meal ticket

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#3 Jun 18, 2014
LW1 - At the risk of sounding like a broken record - Every time your relatives start talking about your weight, you leave the room, house, area. Repeat until they realize that you won't tolerate their behavior. If they are too dense to change their behavior, you have to stay away from them for your own good.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Jun 18, 2014
1 Team Shari

2 Papa needs to turn off the cash spigot.

3 Really? Everyone here thought that she was overreacting to a perfectly normal male.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Jun 18, 2014
1.I find Amy's response aggravating. Girl writes in with problem and Amy tells her that someone else needs educating. Okay have the Bulimia Foundation send the pamphlets in teh plain brown wrapper, but you can't force parents, sibs, Grandma and all teh rest of teh family to read or head it.

LW can't change their behavior. LW can change hers.

But, please consider whether LW is over sensitive to any mention of weight. Besides avoiding them, or leaving the room, LW might work on tuning them out.

2. Last time I checked, it was possible to ignore a text since it comes with its own built in caller ID. Is Papa sending her political stuff? Bad jokes? Hey whassup's? Is he looking for a conversation? Immediate response? Makes a difference as I see it.

10 texts a week when they are part of a conversation string is one thing. 10 posts a week is like calling twice a day with weekends off.

Separate and apart from texts, if Grandma (not Papa) thinks payment of money and gifts are purchase of communication, teh dynamic is all wrong . From both sides

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#6 Jun 18, 2014
PEllen wrote:
LW can't change their behavior. LW can change hers.
But, please consider whether LW is over sensitive to any mention of weight. Besides avoiding them, or leaving the room, LW might work on tuning them out.
Her family is concerned she's putting on too much weight. She's going from anorexic to fatass and gets self conscious when they bring it up

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Jun 18, 2014
PEllen wrote:
1.I find Amy's response aggravating. Girl writes in with problem and Amy tells her that someone else needs educating. Okay have the Bulimia Foundation send the pamphlets in teh plain brown wrapper, but you can't force parents, sibs, Grandma and all teh rest of teh family to read or head it.
LW can't change their behavior. LW can change hers.
But, please consider whether LW is over sensitive to any mention of weight. Besides avoiding them, or leaving the room, LW might work on tuning them out.
2. Last time I checked, it was possible to ignore a text since it comes with its own built in caller ID. Is Papa sending her political stuff? Bad jokes? Hey whassup's? Is he looking for a conversation? Immediate response? Makes a difference as I see it.
10 texts a week when they are part of a conversation string is one thing. 10 posts a week is like calling twice a day with weekends off.
Separate and apart from texts, if Grandma (not Papa) thinks payment of money and gifts are purchase of communication, teh dynamic is all wrong . From both sides
When you think about just how little one can say in a text, it seems less intrusive than...seing the same person on the elevator in the morning on the way in to work and again when its time to leave and having a brief exchange of pleasantries.

"That elevator dude is so annoying! Always saying hello and asking me how my day was going!"

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Jun 18, 2014
L1: I agree. Whenever they bring up something in regards to your weight, shut them out.

L2: Why did someone tell the grandparents? What was their end deal? She might have offhandedly said to her parents, "Grandpa's texts me way too much" but wasn't looking for anyone to do something about it. On the other hand, she might have complained wanting her parents to do something. Now that everyone knows about this, time to address it. They shouldn't take the car and money away b/c she said this, since that will cement the idea grandpa was paying for an audience. Maybe they all need to sit down to a meal (if they're in the same geographical area) and have a real conversation instead of electronic.

L3: Don't remember. Don't care.
Kuuipo

Elizabethtown, KY

#9 Jun 18, 2014
LW1: Ask your family members, "Can we talk about something else?" every single time they mention your weight. If they persist, do as Shari suggests and leave the room, gathering, whatever and do not return. Your weight and your health are your business. And may your recovery continue to go well.

LW2: Team edog. I love my grandparents but they did not have the means to spend that kind of money on me. LW's granddaughter needs a reality check.

LW3: This was the woman with the special-needs child whose hot-headed husband would scream at their son. He also tore up the kitchen to remodel it himself, bit by bit. She felt that she couldn't tolerate his abuse any longer and she felt that if she left, they would not be able to sell the house. I thought she should get out now and insist on anger management counseling for her husband if she were to consider returning.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#10 Jun 18, 2014
1: Did you see your doctor for your eating disorder? Did he notice physical signs of the disorder such as erosion of your teeth or something else? Would he be willing to talk to your parents and confirm that you had the disorder and give them advice regarding how they can help you and how their current behavior is undermining your recovery? I don't know whether this is possible but it may help. People have heard all kinds of lies and excuses from others about what they're allergic to and what they can or can't eat and have become deaf to those who are telling the truth. Your doctor might be the only one to convince your family and give them advice they'd be willing to take. Simply telling your family which website to go to get information about your problem isn't going to help if they are not convinced you really have/had a problem. I suspect that is the root of your problem. They need proof before they will believe or bother to read any information on a website for a problem they think is fake.

2: Looks like another member of the Entitled generation has graduated high school. Shame on her dad for telling you and your husband that Papa is texting too often. Papa has taken the steps to learn how to communicate in the fashion his granddaughter is most likely to used to. Grandparents are often faulted for not "getting with" the newer technology. Is her father your son? So act like his parents and tell him where to get off. Granddaughter can ignore Papa's texts if they come at bad times; that's the nice thing about texting. There's often no immediate demand to readGr or answer them. I do hope that Granddaughter has appropriately thanked Papa for his generous gifts. If not, he should tell her he can no longer pay her insurance and she will have to pay it herself or garage the car for awhile until she can. And other gifts should not be forthcoming. If she asks why, tell her she doesn't seem to appreciate or want them since she cannot take the time to write a thank you note.

I will however, join Amy in that you should probably look to see what kind of texts your husband is sending your granddaughter. Are they appropriate or do they show signs of "too close" a relationship? Are they sexually suggestive? Do they show signs of dementia that might be confusing her? There is a slight possibility that it isn't the number of texts that really bothers her but their content. Look in your husband's cell phone to see whether he still has them in its memory. Or your granddaughter's parents could ask her if they can look at his texts in her phone if she hasn't deleted them. That way you can know for sure what is going on and whether there really is a problem. As a grandparent, I don't see 10 texts a week as too many unless they are too intrusive or make the child (even an adult child) feel uncomfortable in an unacceptable way.

Another question that may be irrelevant but may also explain your husband's behavior. Is this granddaughter his only grandchild? I can see that a grandparent or even a parent might get overprotective of an "only" grandchild/child. That might be especially true if it's unlikely that there will be no more. That's not to say that in families with multiple grandchildren, each one is worth less than if he was an "only" but rather that the grandparent's/parent's attention is divided and is too busy to sit and worry about "what ifs" and so forth. At least that's my theory on what I've observed.

3: I absolutely agree with this letter writer.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Jun 18, 2014
Pippa wrote:
1: Did you see your doctor for your eating disorder? Did he notice physical signs of the disorder such as erosion of your teeth or something else? Would he be willing to talk to your parents and confirm that you had the disorder and give them advice regarding how they can help you and how their current behavior is undermining your recovery? I don't know whether this is possible but it may help. People have heard all kinds of lies and excuses from others about what they're allergic to and what they can or can't eat and have become deaf to those who are telling the truth. Your doctor might be the only one to convince your family and give them advice they'd be willing to take. Simply telling your family which website to go to get information about your problem isn't going to help if they are not convinced you really have/had a problem. I suspect that is the root of your problem. They need proof before they will believe or bother to read any information on a website for a problem they think is fake.
2: Looks like another member of the Entitled generation has graduated high school. Shame on her dad for telling you and your husband that Papa is texting too often. Papa has taken the steps to learn how to communicate in the fashion his granddaughter is most likely to used to. Grandparents are often faulted for not "getting with" the newer technology. Is her father your son? So act like his parents and tell him where to get off. Granddaughter can ignore Papa's texts if they come at bad times; that's the nice thing about texting. There's often no immediate demand to readGr or answer them. I do hope that Granddaughter has appropriately thanked Papa for his generous gifts. If not, he should tell her he can no longer pay her insurance and she will have to pay it herself or garage the car for awhile until she can. And other gifts should not be forthcoming. If she asks why, tell her she doesn't seem to appreciate or want them since she cannot take the time to write a thank you note.
I will however, join Amy in that you should probably look to see what kind of texts your husband is sending your granddaughter. Are they appropriate or do they show signs of "too close" a relationship? Are they sexually suggestive? Do they show signs of dementia that might be confusing her? There is a slight possibility that it isn't the number of texts that really bothers her but their content. Look in your husband's cell phone to see whether he still has them in its memory. Or your granddaughter's parents could ask her if they can look at his texts in her phone if she hasn't deleted them. That way you can know for sure what is going on and whether there really is a problem. As a grandparent, I don't see 10 texts a week as too many unless they are too intrusive or make the child (even an adult child) feel uncomfortable in an unacceptable way.
Another question that may be irrelevant but may also explain your husband's behavior. Is this granddaughter his only grandchild? I can see that a grandparent or even a parent might get overprotective of an "only" grandchild/child. That might be especially true if it's unlikely that there will be no more. That's not to say that in families with multiple grandchildren, each one is worth less than if he was an "only" but rather that the grandparent's/parent's attention is divided and is too busy to sit and worry about "what ifs" and so forth. At least that's my theory on what I've observed.
3: I absolutely agree with this letter writer.
lw1: This seems like overkill getting the doctor involved. Regardless of whether or not she was bulimic, she does not want to discuss her weight or eating. They should not need a doctor's note to drop it. I agree with whoever saod to get up and leave every time. Asking nicely has not made a difference, so remove yourself from the situation
Kuuipo

Elizabethtown, KY

#12 Jun 18, 2014
LW2: PS, anyone who buys me a car, pays for my car insurance and sends me cold cash every month can text me 20 times per day and I will be happy to hear from him/her.

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