So my girlfriend of almost 2 years has been bulemic since she was 12 years old. She is now almost 21 and the doctors have said if she does not stop she will not make it to 25. So here it goes. She lives with me now. We eat and when we lay down to go to bed or sometimes almost immediately after she goes to the bathroom to purge. I need advice on how to help her. Her family has said if she doesn't get better within a month they are sending her away. I tell her she is beautiful and perfect everyday but she calls me crazy. My family and friends tell her how pretty she is and compliment her almost daily and yet she calls them crazy too. This is my last hope on how to help her get better. She absolutely will not Tonto a therepist again. She is convinced they don't help. As common with bulimia she looks at pictures of other girls on Facebook and never stops talking about how pretty they are or how she wants tonlook like them. And I tell her she is prettier everytime. She has tried a million diets. She has puffy cheeks, spits up or throws up blood, her teeth are brittle and breaak. She is average weight. Please help me help her. She means the world to me.
I am in recovery from anorexia and bulimia. Eating disorders distort the way we see ourselves and they aren't based on logic. We literally can not see what others see. And when people say that we are thin and pretty etc.. -that only makes us feel worse because we can't see it.
We can't see it and that makes us angry! The anger turns into self-hate (self-harm= bulimia) because you can see it, her family can see it, other people can see it -but she can't.
Also, please stop telling her that she is perfect.
Because when she goes to treatment she is more than likely going to feel like she has gained weight. You told her she was perfect looking before she went into treatment (before she gained weight). In her mind, she will be farther from perfect when she gains the weight. Will she still be perfect then too.
My advise is to stop compliments that are based on physical beauty. Banish the word perfect from your vocabulary.
In treatment, we learn that we don't have to be perfect. Our recovery isn't going to be perfect either.
I think it's really great that you are supporting her. Please do not stall getting her into treatment. Full recovery at home is very rare. Her recovery will not be just about stopping her behaviors--that's just the beginning.
Bulimia is her identity. It's her safety blanket--her coping mechanism. Separating her from her ED thoughts and behaviors is going to be an agonizing process. Full recovery can take anywhere from 5-10 years and some people never fully recover.
While she is away, it will also be a good idea for you to seek counseling. Recovery isn't a straight path. There are going to be lots of setbacks and things will get even more emotional.
Also, read as many books as you can on eating disorder recovery so that you can improve your communication and join support forums that are geared for family and partners of people with eds.