Effie 's Story

Child growing up with parent having anorexia and bulimia


My mum was first diagnosed with anorexia nervosa when she was 15 years old. She started restricting her food as she was getting picked on at school for being over weight. A few months later she realised an easier way was to binge and then purge. The year was 1971. She had this disorder throughout her entire life till she past away at age 56, 9 years ago. As a child growing up with a parent who had anorexia and bulimia it was very confusing and hard. I had to become the parent at a young age to look after my mum and my younger sister. When I first realised my mum had a disorder I was around 6 years old. I didn’t realise what was going on, but I knew my mum was sad. She was hurting herself because she didn’t like her weight. From a child, I was seeing my mum coming in and out of hospital to try to get better. But nothing ever worked. She was ok for some time, then a remark would set her off again.
As an adult now, I still have so many memories of my mum binge eating, purging, and exercising because of her weight. For a carer, we take the full force of this disorder. We spin our heads around trying to help our loved one, trying to find ways to assist them anyway we can. As a mum myself now, I understand the pressures of having young kids, but to also have a disorder must have been extra hard on my mum. I believe in the last few years there is much more help for this disorder than when my mum first started back in the 1970s. This disorder can take hold very quickly. For me looking back on my mums life, I feel that I have an opportunity to tell my mums story to people. To help carers and tell them that they are doing their best. As a child growing up with this throughout my 30 years of life, I understand the heartache carers go through and how people with disorders feel like they are alone, like no one understands them.

I would like to help carers and people with disorders if I can, to share my mums story and mine as a carer so people don’t feel alone. We can all help each other to overcome this disorder.