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Anorexia Kills


Dear Annie: I know that anorexia is not uncommon in teenage girls, but I never thought I would see the signs in my best friend. "Emmy" always complains about the way she looks and is constantly focused on her weight. She makes sure everyone else eats, but I rarely see her put a bite in her mouth. She denies that she has a problem, but all her clothes are baggy, and you can see her bones sticking out.

Everyone, even people who just met her, ask me if she is anorexic. Emmy is six inches taller than I am and weighs less — and my doctor says I am underweight. Last month alone, she dropped 20 pounds.

How can I help her? I want to talk to her mom, but I don't know how to bring it up. — Not that Skinny

Dear Not: Emmy is lucky to have you as a friend. Too many teenagers with eating disorders are left alone until the problem becomes life threatening. It's also possible that something else is going on with Emmy, but the sooner this is addressed, the sooner she can be helped.

First talk to Emmy and urge her to discuss this with her parents. If nothing changes, you can speak to her mom, saying, "I'm worried about Emmy. She doesn't seem to be eating normally, and she's lost a lot of weight." You also can alert your own parents, and when school resumes, talk to the school nurse or counselor and urge Emmy to do so, as well. And please contact the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders ( for more information.

Dear Annie: My boyfriend of five years recently had a heart attack and died immediately. I am so distraught. He was my life and my best friend. He lived in a different town, and I didn't want to uproot my children, so we never moved in together. This was a source of a great many arguments.

The problem is, I cheated on him with a friend of ours.

He never knew. I cheated because I was lonely and felt that he really didn't want me. But I loved him with all of my heart. The affair always made me feel guilty, but since he died, the guilt has become overwhelming.

I know I messed up. I never wanted to hurt him. I keep thinking that he now knows everything, and I can't take it. Do you think that in the afterlife you find out things like this? — Lost My Love

Dear Lost: If you believe in an afterlife where loved ones watch over us, then you surely believe it is a place of forgiveness. Please consider grief counseling. It will help you come to terms with your loss and get past your guilt so you can move forward. Your doctor or local hospice organization can refer you.

Dear Annie: This is for "Illinois Neighbor," who complained that a nosy neighbor keeps reporting her husband to the police because he parks his trailer so that one tire often rests on the dirt. This violates a city ordinance. She said they can't afford to enlarge the driveway.

I'm not sure how much a truckload of gravel costs in Illinois, but in my area, I bought a small load (half a yard) for $15. They should put a two-foot-wide strip of gravel beside the driveway, so the vehicle wheels rest on it. That gravel would then be considered part of the driveway. It's not a job that requires an impossibly strong man, either. I'm a female in my 70s, and I did it. — Old NW Rocker

Dear Rocker: Our thanks to all the readers who recommended adding gravel or rocks to the area adjacent to the driveway so that the wheel doesn't rest on the dirt. If this solves the legal problem, it should also solve the neighbor problem.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



84 Comments | Post Comment
LW2 - The only "afterlife" we can be sure of is living on in the hearts and memories of the people who loved us. Please try to forgive yourself, have a very good cry, say whatever you need to to let it out, then let go of your sense of remorse, and move on.

It sounds like you've forgiven your boyfriend for arguing with you and acting like he may not have really wanted you. I don't really think there is an afterlife in which people look at past events like Youtube episodes, scouring them in the hopes of spotting moments of infidelity. Who'd want to waste their afterlife doing something unfun and unproductive like that?
Comment: #1
Posted by: sarah morrow
Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:19 PM
I hit "sent" too soon. I meant to add, since you've forgiven him for his failings, please try to believe that if he really is still out there in the ether somewhere, he's forgiven you in return. That's part of what love means, right?
Comment: #2
Posted by: sarah morrow
Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:21 PM
LW2, I typed an additional comment, but it did not appear, so I'll add it here: since you've forgiven your boyfriend for his shortcomings, please assume that if he really is some kind of Youtube -filled afterlife where he can view the past, he's done the same and forgiven you.
Comment: #3
Posted by: sarah morrow
Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:49 PM

LW3 refers to the first letter on 27 April 2012.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:04 PM
LW1 -
"I want to talk to her mom, but I don't know how to bring it up."
Print this or clip it out of the newspaper, and show it to her mom. Plus...what the Annies said.

LW2 -
From what I understand of what I've read about the afterlife, what you see and perceive is very different and so the perspective and priorities change dramatically. I wouldn't worry about his judgement if I were you. Chances are that he never had the opportunity to read your heart anyway, as he may have crossed over to the other side right away.

The suggestion about grief therapy is a good one, your excess guilt sure looks like misplaced grief to me. It'll not make you innocent, of course not, but it will allow you to see things in proper proportion.

LW3 -
"If this solves the legal problem, it should also solve the neighbor problem."
Frankly, if the neighbour is so much looking out for something to nitpick about that half a wheel on the grass gets him going, no, it won't solve the neighbour problem one bit. He'll just find something else to b!tch about.

Comment: #5
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:17 PM
LW1 – Anorexia is a very serious disease, and I hope Emmy has the opportunity to receive the help she needs, if indeed that is what she has. I say this because I was diagnosed with anorexia when I was in my early twenties. I fought tooth and nail that that was not the case – I WANTED to eat, but my stomach was not in agreement. When I gave birth to my second child I panicked with the worry that I would lose too much weight – the nurses looked at me like I was crazy. Sure enough, in three months I was down to a size zero. I say this because, finally, I have been diagnosed with Crones Disease. Weight loss, stomach pains, loss of appetite are all part of it. (Sucks with MS; but, what are you gonna do?) I say this because you can presume your girlfriend is suffering from one disease, but unless you talk to her to be sure that she is intentionally starving herself, she just may be suffering from a condition that she does not understand, and is embarrassed to tell her doctors what actually are her symptoms. Take this from a person who knows, anorexia is most certainly the most common diagnosis, but not always the correct one.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Jenna
Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:33 PM
LW1 sounds bogus. A 20 pound weight loss in a month is not possible for an already thin and small person. Extremely overweight people can barely lose this much when they start a heavy-duty diet and they are mostly losing fluids in the beginning and just some fat. An already thin teenage girl (i.e. not much fat to lose) would be losing muscle tissue as well. An underweight teenage girl (depending on age and height would probably weigh 90-100 pounds. If she arrived at that weight by losing 20 pounds she would have lost about 15% of her original weight. The transformation would be terrifying and it's impossible that parents/teachers would miss it.
Comment: #7
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:35 AM
Also, even if she somehow lost 20 pounds, there is no way she was already very thin to begin with. 20 pounds on someone with a small frame is a huge difference. If an underweight girl would gain 20 pounds she would fall well within the normal weight category and would probably not be considered thin. In terms of BMI, we would be talking about a change from about 18 to 22.
Comment: #8
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:09 AM
LW1 could be exaggerating the 20 lb. weight loss in a month or may not realize a weight loss that high on an already thin person would be almost impossible. Whatever the actual weight loss is, her friend obviously has a problem. It could be anorexia or a medical problem. Whichever it is, I agree with the Annies on their recommendations and also with Lise about showing her letter to Emmy's parents if she has trouble discussing it with them. Her friend needs help and I commend the LW for being such a good friend.

LW3 - The gravel is a good idea for solving the legal issue, but the neighbor will just find something else to complain about.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Kitty
Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:35 AM
The fact that LW1 clearly exaggerates about her friend's weight loss makes me think that either the letter is completely bogus, or that the LW is simply jealous of her friend. This is very common in girls of that age because they start comparing each others bodies. They may have been similar in built until recently, but then, the other girl has a growth spurt, gets taller and loses some weight. The LW starts obsessing about her friend's weight and insists her friend is underweight because she compares herself to her friend and feels overweight in comparison.
Comment: #10
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:45 AM
lates news
Comment: #11
Posted by: sunil rathore
Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:56 AM
You would be surprised how much weight teenage girls can lose in a short amount of time. I lost 18lbs in three weeks when I was a senior in high school. My friends and I had a diet contest. And I was 112 when I started out and am five two. My parents were never around, and the I used to wear heavy tights under my jeans so it was less noticeable to adults. I did not win the contest, however, and stopped because my boyfriend at the time thought I looked bad. As an adult I am around 115, but when I have put a little weight on in the past, I was never able to drop it as fast as I did as a teenager.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Kitty O'Shea
Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:06 AM
If she is six inches taller than you and weighs less, and you are underweight, her mother and father already know, dear.
Comment: #13
Posted by: happymom
Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:12 AM
LW1: How can you help her? By expressing concern and support, and providing information about the serious dangers of anorexia. You can also talk to appropriate adults if the problem continues.

LW2: I don't believe the afterlife works like that, but it seems you do. I suggest you get counseling to get over your feelings of guilt. It's unlikely someone who truly loved you wouldn't be able to forgive you. Also, if he loved you, he wouldn't want the rest of your life to be miserable.

LW3: The gravel would solve the immediate legal problem. I believe the neighbor would just find something else to complain about. It is still worth trying, though, especially to prevent further fines.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:29 AM
LW1--"I want to talk to her mom, but I don't know how to bring it up." You call your friend's mother and you pointedly say something along the lines of "I'm very worried about 'Emmy'. In case you haven't noticed, she hasn't been eating normally and she's lost a lot of weight." Be prepared for Emmy to take great offense at your perceived interference. Also be prepared for the remote possibility that Emmy's mother is one of these nut jobs who is actually encouraging her daughter to emulate the Kardashians. Whatever happens, make sure that your friend knows you're there for her and that you love and support her no matter what. Then leave the ball in her court.

LW2--Stop feeling guilty; we all make mistakes. The fact is that you loved your boyfriend and you're remourseful for your mistake. I agree with the Annies in that counseling is in order so that you can work through your grief and deal with the loss of your boyfriend and any residual guilt you have regarding your relationship. Good luck!

LW3--The fact that tossing a couple strips of gravel adjacent to the driveway brings the LW in compliance with the ordinance simply underscores the stupidity of the ordinance in the first place. These Sheeple who allow these sorts of uber controlling nanny laws to be passed, or blindly follow such laws to the letter should have their heads examined.
Comment: #15
Posted by: Chris
Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:10 AM
LW1 - I agree that you should show your letter to your friend's mother and tell her you wrote it and are very concerned. If your friend finds out, she will likely get angry at you and possible not talk to you anymore, but if you don't say something she could wind up very sick. In high school, a friend's boyfriend was hitting her and I ended up telling her mother. That friend was livid and didn't speak to me for years. Her parents forbad her to see him and put in her counseling, too. She reached out to me in college and thanked me, saying she wouldn't be where she was if she had stayed with him.

Kitty is right. The younger you are, the easier it is to lose weight. I remember losing 10 pounds in 1 week when I was in college (stupid on my part...I'm not bragging). I couldn't do that now if I tried.

Happymom - I've seen some pretty naive parents. Look at the ones whose teenage daughters are pregnant, give birth, toss the baby and get caught. Many times the parents are shocked, saying they never knew their daughter was pregnant.

LW2 - Please attend grief counseling. You need it. As for him knowing in the afterlife and how he feels about it...well, this is what I have read and believe. I've been to psychics and have read books from famous psychics such as James Van Praagh and they all say that in Heaven, there are no bad feelings and no angry or sadness. They say it's impossible to have bad feelings in Heaven. The deceased also have know everything and have no unanswered questions so likely, yes, he knows. But he's not angry with you. He can't be's impossible. This is what I believe and is my faith and you can take it or leave it.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Michelle
Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:13 AM

Yes, it is possible to lose that much weight in one month. Yes, she is losing muscle, which is one reason anorexia (if that is, what it is) is so dangerous. The other reason is that her electrolyte balance is out of whack and she could be damaging her heart (also muscle). Crohn's, as Jenna mentioned is a alternate possibllity as is celiac disease.

I'm a nurse and I found it difficult to read your statements.
Comment: #17
Posted by: capiscan
Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:29 AM
LW2: While everyone is busy throwing the "you need counseling" line at you, I think they are missing the fact that you are having a spiritual problem and really need spiritual guidance.

Even when I was not "religious" (meaning I didn't go to church or read the Bible: I still felt I was a Christian) during times of crisis like this, I was able to receive excellent counseling from pastors and even priests. Never once did one of these men of faith try to push a religion down my throat, they comforted me. When you have a spiritual crisis, it's time to seek spiritual guidance.
Comment: #18
Posted by: nanchan
Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:30 AM

Yes, it is possible to lose 20 pounds in one month. Yes, she is losing muscle. This is very dangerous, as the heart is a muscle. Her electrolytes are all out of whack and she could have a heart attack at any time.

I'm a nurse and I found it very difficult to read your statements. You don't know what you don't know but you think you know which makes you dangerous.

@Happymom: One of patient's parents brought her to the doctor because the girl's teacher insisted. They thought she looked terrific! She was on my floor for three weeks.
Comment: #19
Posted by: capiscan
Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:53 AM
@ Kitty. That's the most extreme example of rapid weight loss I've ever heard! I'm glad you decided to stop when you did.
I know one other example close to yours, a teenage family friend who lost a little less than you did, but in over one month, not three weeks. He was over 250 pounds, so the weight loss was a much smaller percentage of his body weight. He did extreme dieting, exercise and took diet pills as well to lose as much. Because he was overweight his parents didn't notice the weight loss and only realized what happened after he fainted from exhaustion at the gym!
Comment: #20
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:59 AM
I don't mean to sound sexist, but why do the Annies encourage LW1 to talk to Emma, to Emma's mom, to the LW's parents, to a school nurse, to a school counselor and even to ANAD, but never encourage her to talk to Emma's Dad? (And they do assume a Dad is there, because they tell the LW to urge Emma to talk to her parents.) Again, not to sound sexist, but I would have started with the Dad, since he is male and is more likely to see the problem clearly and less likely to have an eating disorder of his own. The three girl friends I knew who had eating disorders as teens all had moms with weight problems of their own (either obese or super skinny themselves, one even smoked to maintain her weight and later died of lung cancer) and all the moms really got caught up in the "excitement" of getting their daughters to be as skinny as possible. It was like a competition, and they told the dads to shut up if they said anything or tried to offer the daughters more food at the dinner table. At the time I thought this was strange, but I didn't know about eating disorders as I was just a kid.

Talking to the Dad, or at least including him in the conversation with the Mom, could give him the validation he needs to get his child some help, and may prevent the mom from telling the LW what one mother said to me when I finally said I thought her daughter was skinny enough, and that was to mind my own $%#% business.
Comment: #21
Posted by: AlienNation
Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:03 AM
Re: SummerGal #10
Yes, jealousy is a common thing among teenagers but, in that case, she would be creating trouble in person - spreading rumours, flirting with her boyfriend, whatever it is a miffed teenage girl does to another one. What would be the purpose of writing anonymously to an advice columnist?

As others have pointed out, it's quite possible to drop a lot of weight quickly when you're that young. Another possible scenario is that, at her age and in her limited life experience, she is not capable of evaluating correctly the amount of weight her friend lost, just that it's startlingly visible, and so the figure "20 pounds" is used as a figure of speech.

The gist of the matter is that her friend is in serious trouble and, if she was just being jealous, writing in to an advice columnist is not whst she would choose to do because it brings her nothing.

Comment: #22
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:13 AM
Re: AlienNation
You got a point.

Comment: #23
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:16 AM
@ capiscan. I questioned the truthfulness of LW1's statements because the whole scenario seemed bogus to me. A 20 pound a month weight loss in an already slim girl is very extreme. And I did say exactly what you are saying: If she has lost so much weight in such a short time she would lose muscle and her appearance would alter dramatically. How can her parents have failed to notice this? Also, the LW says that people who meet her friend for the first time, tell her (the LW) that her friend looks anorexic. I'm guessing she's talking about other teenagers, so how is it that adults who see this girl everyday (parents or teachers) haven't noticed anything?
Comment: #24
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:19 AM
I'm glad that someone else brought up an alternate for anorexia. I had the same problem when I had a parasitic infection. It took 17 doctor visits and a big fit before doctors would run any tests. They just told me to eat more. P.S. I'm not saying that she's not anorexic, obviously, the girl needs some kind of help.
Comment: #25
Posted by: jennifer
Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:28 AM
@ Lise #22: The LW claims she knows how much her friend weighs (I'm not surprised bc teenage girls frequently talk about their weight). I focused on that bc it was extreme, but also bc it was the only concrete thing in her letter. The other things ( the buggy clothes, how often she sees her friend eat, etc.) are mostly subjective. After all, you can't tell how much anyone else is eating unless you're with them all day every day.
For all she says, her friend may only be 2-3 pounds thinner than she is. As to what she has to gain by writing to a columnist, I think it's simple: TV and magazines tell her that thin is beautiful. She sees her friend as thinner than she is and she is jealous, so she wants someone to tell her that her friend has a problem and that she is anorexic. Unless the parents don't even see their daughter though, wouldn't they have been the ones to notice the problem rather than her friend?
Comment: #26
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:35 AM
LW1: Amorexia is an incredibly complex disease, and one that often is a symptom of other mental disorders.

Case in point: my daughter's former best friend had been the victim of sexual abuse as a young child. the parents had her in therapy briefly, but mostly relied on meds to keep the girl calm (!). She was extremely high energy and very personable, which had it's good and it's bad sides. By the time she was 13, she was significantly overweight (the result of the mother feeding her all the time and no excersize.... which made the energy problem worse). She decided to diet her way. Unfortunately, that meant starving herself. She lost a tremendous amount of weight and was very jittery which meant the mom put her back on meds (!) with no therapy. It was about that time when my daughter told me that this girl was also cutting herself. All of these issues made my daughter uncomfortable to the point where she cut way back on her time with the girl (although she answered phone calls and was nice to her).

This girl was murdered in a domestic violence incident (ex boyfriend) a few months ago. I often wonder what would have happened if the mom had handled things differently: if she had insisted on more structure in the girl's life, if she had continued the therapy, if she had taken the cutting and anorexia seriously (her response to the starving "Oh, well, I'll just have to have healthier food around the house").

Did I bring this stuff up to the mom? YES. For years we were very close, but the mom just shrugged off any concern. Finally, I cut ties with the mother because the drama was emotionally draining me.

My point to the LW: you can certainly bring this up to the mother of your friend, but don't be surprised if 1) Mom doesn't WANT to believe you even though the evidence is right in front of her face 2) your friend and her mom shut you out of their lives 3) nothing is done or said about it again. Some people don't WANT to deal with the elephant in the room and when you point it out to them, you become the bad guy. Also, often there are other reasons for anorexia: in my daughter's friend's case, it was the sexual abuse, in other people's cases it varies. The anorexia becomes a very physical manifestation (did I just write that without even having coffee yet?) of the underlying problem.
Comment: #27
Posted by: nanchan
Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:47 AM
LW1: Not sure what to make of what's going on in Emmy's life. Probably a lot that we don't know about. In any event, it does sound like a serious problem, and I agree that one of the first steps is to bring it up Emmy. Sounds like you're a great friend who truly cares. I may also suggest speaking to her mother and father (both), assuming that she comes from a good home. Yes, it is possible the parents will be in denial, but it is worth a shot. From there, it may be out of your hands, so all I guess you can do is pray and hope that she comes around.

I know that some explanations have been offered for why some girls develop eating disorders, including a coping mechanism for sexual abuse. While this is surely possible, I also sense part of it has to do with society itself and the never-ending promotion to develop "the perfect girl." Perfect figure, perfect looks, perfect everything ... to the point where it's perfect – ly unrealistic. Not everyone in life is meant to be a "10" (like Bobby Bare once sang, "There ain't no 10!") ... so we need to develop new attitudes with how we look and perceive women.

I don't know what's going on in Emmy's life (i.e., are there issues at home, is she trying to be a supermodel, etc.), but I know that since you're a good friend, you can get this out of her and help her realize that she is destroying her health. Unlike some posters on here – who have had unfortunate experiences of a friend's parents being in denial – not all parents are bad, ignorant of their daughter's problems, etc. I think there are just as many, if not more, who do care and would want to help their daughter in a situation like this.

Please, talk to Emmy and urge her to talk to her parents, and talk to her parents too, but then step in only when needed.
Comment: #28
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:18 AM
LW2: I'm sure he forgives you and ... assuming you'll meet up one day in Heaven, will be there to catch up on old times. It'll be like nothing ever happened. In the meantime, what the Annies said about therapy.

LW3: Lise – Ya think the neighbor of the original LW will find something to gripe about? Ya betcha!!!!! The neighbor was a jerk – and he probably has loud parties with immoral behavior constantly going on without giving a second thought to HIS neighbors, come to think of it. Point being – that asshole needs to look at himself in the mirror before bitching about a tire being barely off his neighbor's driveway.
Comment: #29
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:24 AM
Re: nanchan
First of all, my condolences to you and your family on the loss of this young woman.
As someone who is recovering from compulsive overeating and is now hooked on healthy living, I definitely understand the complexities of anorexia, since compulsive overeating is a VERY similar way of coping with major issues; it just manifests itself in the exact opposite way as anorexia: instead of starving oneself to maintain some semblance of control, the compulsion is to eat in order to get yourself to a state of being "comfortably numb" instead of dealing with the true problem(s).
Granted, for me, the underlying issues were not sexual abuse, but other dysfunctional family dynamics that were more of my perception than anything. Nobody's perfect, and heaven knows my parents did the best they could as rookies in the parenting game. However, I didn't know how to express how their actions were making me feel without feeling like I was being discounted, simply because I was a kid and they were the adults. I was in and out of therapy for years, but it ultimately was me who had to heal myself and come to terms with what was eating at me (no pun intended).
Anyhow, I am celebrating 5.5 months of binge-free eating, 59 pounds slimmer and feeling a lot better about myself and my situation. I consider myself lucky, despite the fact that it took me YEARS to get to this place in my life. It may have taken a long time to get here, but I'm HERE.
OK, after that diatribe, what's my advice for LW1? How well do you know your friend's mother? Does she seem like the kind of person that would take this kind of information seriously? If so, talk to her and express your concerns. If not, definitely talk to your friend and the school nurse (if there is one school didn't have one when I was a kid) or counselor. So many women have died as a result of anorexia; I would hate to see your friend be one of them.
Comment: #30
Posted by: Janie
Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:36 AM
LW1 -- Lots of good advice here, especially from Bobaloo and nanchan. Just one other thing I want to add -- remember that, at some point, you have to put yourself first. It's fantastic that you want to help your friend, and hopefully, you'll be able to do so. But just as nanchan and her daughter discovered, some people cannot be saved. Do what you reasonably can to help, and then understand that no matter what happens, you did what you could.
Comment: #31
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:41 AM
If this is a spiritual question wouldn't the LW have the correct "book" and 'religious leaders' available to determine the answer to her question? So I am guessing that it came from a secular point of view - otherwise why ask the Annies a question obviously related to ones faith, of which we don't know. Hope that make sense. Back to the question. No one knows, so you will just have to wait and see what the 'after life' is all about. Certainly an unmarried dead person holds no claim on fidelity before or after the fact. I too think this is grief speaking. Go to an online grief forum and pour your heart out. Someone there is bound to have the answer to your question. Pick the one that makes you feel the best, consider the rest bad advice givers and move along. You are not going to find anyone with the definative answer, only the one that makes you feel better.
Comment: #32
Posted by: Penny
Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:49 AM
Re: SummerGal
I think you fail to realise that her parents may be part of the problem. She may have picked up her dysfunctionality from her mother, in which case she'll be just as crazy and the two of them will merely reinforce each other. Read AlienNation's post #21 and nanchan's post #27.

You also don't seem to understand how the typical female teenager behaves. If she's jealous, she won't write to a middle-aged (= old and decrepit) advice columnist to get vindication, she'll just be a b!tch to the one she's jealous of.

Of COURSE a "20 pound a month weight loss in an already slim girl is very extreme". That's why it's called an eating disorder. And keep in mind she may also have bulimia (anorexia and bulimia are very often present together), in which case 20 pounds in a month is not only feasible, but she could lose even more than that next month. And yes, it IS extreme - to the point of being life-threatening. Karen Carpenter died of that.

YOU GO GIRL! (Rah, rah rah, cheerleader routine with the pompons)

Comment: #33
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:06 AM
Re: Mike H

I doubt that LW2's ex-boyfriend wanted to make her life miserable, nor did that thought even come close to crossing his mind. I think she's miserable because she had another boyfriend he didn't know about, her original boyfriend died and is worried about what might happen when they meet up on The Other Side. (Assuming both get into Heaven and they have a chance meeting.)

My sense is they had a bad argument the last time they saw each other, both of them left angry ... and before one or the other could make the call to make sure they were OK with each other, he died.

I guess to me, the worst thing that could happen is to be on "bad terms" with someone, or in the very least be angry with someone (usually over a matter that is in the end trivial) ... and then the other person dies before you can smooth things over. That's where the grief counselor comes in, and I think that might help the LW out, as the Annie's said.

I hope this makes sense, Mike H and everyone else.
Comment: #34
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:36 AM
@ Lise Brouillette: You couldn't be more wrong. I'm actually very close to girls of this age and understand their mindset quite well. I'm close to my younger cousins and friends' siblings who are teenagers and they frequently complain about the jealousy of other girls. The 'ooooh my friend is very thin she must be anorexic' line is very common and they will tell it to anyone who will listen. Public forums, magazines, etc. are ideal bc they attract a larger audience. The girl doesn't want to discredit her friend, she simply wants others to tell her that her friend is too thin so that she will feel better with herself.
Also, i sincerely doubt that a teenage girl can diagnose her friend's condition. If the weight loss story is true, her friend has a serious problem, but only a doctor can determine what that is. It is very rare that a mother will ignore or encourage a situation like this and the LW herself who knows the family talks about informing Emmy's mom, so I'm guessing that's not the problem here. If she wants to talk to the mom (or her Dad), she can simply say 'Emmy has lost a lot of weight suddenly and I'm worried about her. Shouldn't she see a doctor about this?'
Comment: #35
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:41 AM
SummerGal- No matter how you spin it, you make no sense and have obviously never been anorexic nor had a close family member or friend who has had it.

I believe the LW but unfortunately, if her friend does have anorexia, it is very hard to treat.
Comment: #36
Posted by: VegHeadBiatch
Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:00 AM
@Bobaloo, I can't see anything in the letter that suggests that they had any bad argument immediately before the sudden death. She just indicated that they had regularly argued about not living together, not that such an argument happened right before the death.

I honestly don't see any reason not to take LW at her word, that it's the guilt over the affair that's the root of her unease and not any unresolved argument.

Still, though, in either case counseling is a fine idea.

@nanchan, well, "counselor" is a pretty broad term, and does't preclude a counselor who is also clergy. I mean, "pastoral counselors" are still counselors.

But I'm not entirely sure it really is a spiritual issue, here, even though she couched it in spiritual terms. Survivor's guilt, guilt over a past misdeed that one never got the chance to come clean about, those are all things that happen regardless of someone's spirituality.

I think if she works through the feelings of guilt about the affair, and how she never got to resolve that problem with her boyfriend (in this life, anyway), then that will likely resolve the qualms about her boyfriend watching disapprovingly from above.

But its certainly not a bad idea for her to go to a clergy counselor, either, if that's what she's most comfortable with.

Comment: #37
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:02 AM
Re: Janie

Indeed congratulations for your success! I was just thinking about you this morning and am very glad you gave us an update on your success.

In my daughter's friend's case, sexual abuse was the flame (in my opinion, and I knew this girl very well) that ignited a wick that was already in her DNA/psyche. We (my daughter and I) watched helplessly while the whole thing just blew up and turned into other issues. The cutting was the first clue, it later turned into promiscuity and drug abuse.

Through this all, I was and am extremely proud of my DAUGHTER. Lisa brings up a great point because we (both my daughter and I) had to distance ourselves from the train wreck we saw coming. Most kids fall victim to peer pressure, my daughter was strong enough to distance herself from what she instinctually knew was a bad situation. to her credit, the girl respected my daughter enough not to pressure her. When I found out about the murder, I was not surprised. Sad, hurt, pissed off...... yes. But not surprised. Girls like my daughter's friend are typically targeted by users of either sex and abused.

I think what frustrates me about the posts here today is the lack of looking at the underlying issues for any eating disorder. In your case, Janie, you recognize the family issues that led to your binge eating, you faced those down and moved into an area of health! You should be commended for that!!!!! I wish more people would "get it" that eating disorders are usually tied to psychological issues and can, as in the tragic case of my daughter's friend, can result in much more serious consequences, including death by damaging your health or as in our case, the loss of self esteem which leads to making bad choices.
Comment: #38
Posted by: nanchan
Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:17 AM
Re: Mike H

Sigh. Maybe the reason she didn't say, "We had a fight and not long after that he died" was because she didn't think it was important. That's just speculation.

This was my quote:

"I think she's miserable because she had another boyfriend he didn't know about, her original boyfriend died and is worried about what might happen when they meet up on The Other Side. (Assuming both get into Heaven and they have a chance meeting.)

"My sense is they had a bad argument the last time they saw each other, both of them left angry ... and before one or the other could make the call to make sure they were OK with each other, he died."

Meaning your quote:

"(T)hat it's the guilt over the affair that's the root of her unease ... ."

... is addressed in my first paragraph. (Both her guilt over the affair and what he might have been thinking just before he suddenly became ill/might be thinking now.)

Likely, there is a lot of unease, too, about unresolved arguments (which I address even though she doesn't). If indeed that is the case – and I think there is – then grief counseling can help her through that, too. (Glad we at least agree on that! :) )
Comment: #39
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:39 AM
Re: Bobaloo
"My sense is they had a bad argument the last time they saw each other, both of them left angry ... and before one or the other could make the call to make sure they were OK with each other, he died."
"I hope this makes sense, Mike H and everyone else."
As a matter of fact, no it doesn't, there you go making up stories again!

I'm sorry, but for someone who thinks she understand the teenage mindset so well, you are reaching very wrong conclusions. You look at the normal interaction of whatever teenage girls you know, who don't have anything dramatic in their lives, and you assume it is the same for all of them. It's not. What the LW describes does NOT sound like "(peevish voice) Oooooh, she's so thin, I hate her, she must be anorexic". She sounds genuinely concerned, not like a bitchy, green-with-envy little brat. And what she describes does exist for real, all too often, and so she does sound like she has cause to be concerned. Sorry.

And as for it being "very rare that a mother will ignore or encourage a situation like this", sorry again, but not only rare doesn't mean non-existent, but it's also much less rare than you think. Again, go back to AlienNation and nanchan's posts, you think BOTH OF THEM are making that up?

The fact that we have at least TWO posters right here, experienced with a mother who just shrugged it off and/or encouraged it should tell you something about statistics and how "rare" it really is.

Comment: #40
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:46 AM
Good response to the LW1.

And because LW2 mentioned frequent arguments, it crossed my mind also that there were unresolved issues between them at the time of his death, even if it wasn't a specific argument. Her cheating was to her the most troubling of these, but in therapy I bet she would be able to identify other issues that are keeping her from moving through her grief.

I know that you know that you pretty much ticked off the entire group of BTL posters with your response about the supposed loud parties. But I'm going to try to focus on what you actually wrote in response to the current letter, and not automatically jump on you because of that one (admittedly large) difference of opinion.
Comment: #41
Posted by: C Meier
Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:28 AM
Re: Lise Brouillette
OK, I've had it.
I DO NOT MAKE UP STORIES ON THIS FRIGGIN' THREAD ALL THE FRIGGIN' TIME!!!!!! I DON'T, I DON'T, I DON'T!!! (Isn't it nice that a calm, gentle thread can be turned into a firestorm so quick.)
It makes perfect sense that it could – didn't say did – have happened, even if she doesn't mention it. It's NOT a crazy or made-up scenario. I said, "My sense is they had a bad argument ...," which is me speculating. Meaning, it may or may not be true. Speculating is what many of us do on here in many of these threads, including you, me and others every time we have limited information and it's said, "I bet there's more to this story," someone elaborates and so forth and so on.
Perhaps IF (and I stress "IF") a pre-death fight did happen, she just didn't think it was important enough to include. If the letter writers on here were to pour their hearts out and say everything on their minds and tell their life story and situation to the tiniest detail, these columns would be as long as a telephone book. (OK, not THAT long, but you get the idea that it would be very lengthy and too much for us to digest.)
All I am looking to do on these threads is contribute positively – which I think you and others believe I do – and not be accused of making stuff up, right or wrong. Including this one where I gave some excellent advice that is in line with the Annies and everyone else: See a grief counselor. Root of my advice.
He could help out with the grieving process and anything that is troubling her – the fact she had an affair, however the last time she saw him went (whether good or not so good), what could happen in Heaven when the two meet again, and anything else about her relationship that by her account was good otherwise. (I will say I don't see anything in the letter that leads me to believe that it was anything but largely positive.)
DO WE AGREE ON WHAT I SAID IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH, YES OR NO? If yes, then drop it so we can both get on with our day and we don't have to keep on with this stupid argument. If not, then why not? I may not agree with you, but at least I'll understand.
Rest of you: Sorry for the large caps. I'm just frustrated, that's all.
Comment: #42
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:42 AM
Re: C Meier

And that's just it – there may well have been some unresolved issues that could have resulted in bad feelings. Not bad issues, but just ones that she wished were resolved so she knew she was OK with him.

BTW, Lise, et al.: The mention of "frequent arguments" is where I got the possibility that a bad argument could (and I stress could) have occurred shortly before his death. That's what the grief counselor could help her through – all the arguments, (including the last one, whenever it happened) and why they took place
Comment: #43
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:47 AM
LW1 - Talk to Emmy and tell her if she doesn't talk to an adult about this you will. Then give her about 15 minutes and then do it. Talk to an adult... any adult and get this conversation started and off of your shoulders. This is serious stuff.

LW2 - Oh good grief. Now we're borrowing trouble from the afterlife. You should write to Dear VooDoo Priestess not these two ladies.

LW3 - Good idea with the gravel. The neighbors will have to find a new issue and, they will.
Comment: #44
Posted by: Rick
Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:53 AM
@Bobaloo, of course, as long as speculation is clearly identified and somewhat relevant, it's obviously part of the fun of the forum.

For my own opinion, though, I just don't see that it's necessary to posit unresolved arguments *in addition to* the guilt of the affair as the reason for the LW's issue.

I think the guilt of the affair is sufficient in and of itself to account for her problem, and there's no need for further speculation in this particular case, especially when she doesn't indicate that that is what she's worried about herself.

But a few sessions with an appropriate counselor would likely get to the root of it anyway, if, as you speculate, there's an added layer of unresolved arguments she's clinging to subconsciously as well.
Comment: #45
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:05 AM
C'mon y'al. Stop the fighting or they'll close the sandbox again. I will then be forced to spew my snark and cynicism via emails to my employees and they'll be very unhappy....actually they'll just ignore me as always but still..........
Comment: #46
Posted by: Rick
Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:51 AM
@ VegHeadBiatch: No, I've never suffered from anorexia, but a friend did, although I didn't know her at the time. She suffered from severe depression, brought on by grief and became anorexic. She had to be hospitalized, but the doctors and her family helped her survive. Ironically, it was she who told me that anorexia is not taken as seriously as it should be because so many people are labeled anorexics when that is not the case. She told me that whenever an actress or model loses a few pounds, the press raises a huge cry and calls her anorexic, making a mockery of the issue. This is a medical issue and I think only a doctor can determine wether a girl is anorexic or not.
@ Lise Brouilette: So what makes you so sure you've got it right? Sure, I'm stating only one possible hypothesis here, but so are you. What makes you think that Emmy and her friend are any different psychologically than the majority of teenage girls and that they have 'something dramatic in their lives' as you put it? Nothing like that was mentioned in the letter. Some parts of the letter, where the LW compares her body to Emmy's, watches constantly what she eats and says that everyone asks her if her friend is anorexic make me think that she might be obsessed with her friend's weight.
As for what I said about the mother, you conveniently ignored the part where I said that the LW herself, who knows the family, wants to inform the mother of the situation. The LW seems to think the mother would be concerned for her daughter, so I don't think this is one of those rare cases you're talking about.
Comment: #47
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:51 AM
Re: Mike H:

If you read my response to C Meier's post (#43), you'll see where I thought the "bad argument before he died" thing came in. Goes back to LW's statement, "This was a source of a great many arguments." If you disagree, fine, but this is where that all came in.

I'd think that a good grief counselor would ask, at some point, "How was the last meeting between you? The last time you ever saw each other?" And then she'd elaborate. To me, that would be an important part of closure and her moving past this grief.

I'll agree with the last part. I would bet, though, there are several unresolved issues she's clinging to about him and their relationship – those, which I won't speculate on, 'cause I have no idea what they may be – that the counselor can help her deal with and understand why things happened the way they did.
Comment: #48
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:00 AM
Janie- thanks for sharing your story and big congrats to you! It's truly awesome!
Comment: #49
Posted by: VegHeadBiatch
Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:34 AM
My father died suddenly when I was only 17 years old. We had had a very strained relationship, always at odds. In my teenage brain I felt unwanted. As an adult, I feel we would have had a better relationship given time. After he died, it was hard to let go of the negative feelings. For years I was angry and confused. Then in my early 20s I had a dream in which my father was alive. He said to me that he was sorry for the hurt he had caused, and that he forgave me for the hurt that I caused. I am a spiritual person, and truly believe that his soul was speaking to me.
I have been comforted by this, and hope maybe this will help.
Comment: #50
Posted by: MS
Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:39 AM
@Bobaloo, that makes sense, although I didn't get that from the LW's comment about "frequent arguments".

To me, that was part and parcel of her explaining the background of (a) why they didn't live together and (b) why she had an affair in the first place. ("I was lonely and felt that he really didn't want me.")

Having a big fight with someone that never gets resolved because they die suddenly seems, to me, something big and dramatic enough where it would have been more on her mind as she wrote the letter. (Of course, maybe she did and it was edited out... we also know that's happened before.)

This is just to explain why, to me, it doesn't seem that the frequent arguments are the problem, but the guilt over the affair. But I'll agree if that IS somehow subconsciously part of the deal, then a good counselor will get that out of her.
Comment: #51
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:39 AM
@Rick, that's only if you promise to keep providing your snark and cynicism! You've been sadly quiet too frequently of late.
Comment: #52
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:41 AM
OK ya'll, I'm going to say what you're to chicken to say! Go to a medium and hash it out with him yourself! There, I feel much better already. Bobaloo, ignore, ignore, ignore. You've been here long enough to know how we love to defend our positions. Even ole Chris takes a lickin and comes back tickin' all the time. Lise has never let it stop her and she gets piled on constantly. Of course those two knuckleheads love a good fight.;0)
Comment: #53
Posted by: Penny
Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:51 AM
Re: Bobaloo
"Speculating is what many of us do on here in many of these threads, including you,"
Speculating is assuredly what most of us do BTL, including me certainly, but the difference is that I don't integrate my speculations as if they were now part of the body of known facts, like you did about your "speculation" about the loud, substance-abuse-filled parties, and now about an argument just before his death which was never mentioned in the letter. That *is* making things up, especially since you bring this back over and over as if it was proven fact.

I keep my speculations in the domain of the maybe, and I try to have some point of origin to speculate from - unlike the loud, drug-filled parties, for which you didn't have a shred of evidence.

Yeah, there are times when you give excellent advice. Other times, you just run helter-skelter in some direction spinning some wild tale, and then treat it like it was part of the letter and you won't let go. If you don't want to be accused of making stuff up, then don't.

As for how gentle this thread is, I've seen another side to it and so has the real Miss Pasko, I think. And today, you're the only one who's yelling and cursing.

Nah, not over this. It's all on topic and, in spite of the Pinatubo explosion, nobody has indulged in personal attacks yet. Getting stinkingly mad is all within the site's rules as long as it doesn't get personal. ;-D

Comment: #54
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:13 PM
Re: MS
I too, believe it was him speaking to you. I'm glad it comforted you and that you found peace at last!

Comment: #55
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:17 PM
Oooops, Chris and Lise, then forget what I just said.
Comment: #56
Posted by: Penny
Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:29 PM
@bobaloo -- I just wanted to note that, for my part, I didn't think your speculation about some final argument was so far off the reservation, though I do agree with Mike H that the affair all by itself was more than enough reason for LW2 to have all this unresolved guilt. On the other hand, the bit about the loud parties fueled by substance abuse, with regard to LW3, was definitely way out in left field, and because it harkened back to a completely unrelated discussion here from some weeks past that a number of BTL members vociferously disagreed with, it did leave a weird and negative test in my mouth. I don't know if you did that on purpose, because you know that a number of BTLers were offended by your take on that previous debate, or if you really just assume that most neighbors are busy having loud, substance-abuse-fueled parties. If it was the former, are you really all that surprised that someone decided to call you out? If the latter, well, you're entitled to your speculation, just as everyone is. I say this to you as someone who, as recently as earlier today, praised some of your other advice (related to LW1), so obviously I believe that you make a valuable contribution to the BTL. I'm not going to accuse you of making up stories -- you're speculating, as most of us here do. But sometimes your speculations are going to raise some hackles here -- just as others' speculations sometimes raise hackles here.
Comment: #57
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:54 PM
TO ALL RE: Bobaloo

To be fair, Bobaloo and I have, in my mind, resolved the issue in a previous day's thread, in large part because Bobaloo clearly and specifically acknowledged that his speculations about loud parties were not part of the original letter and he did it in a manner that I found more than satisfactory.

So, kudos to him for doing something that is too-often too hard for people to do online.

But I also wanted to mention it here because I know that people often don't go back to previous day's threads, and so that he didn't keep on getting hammered unfairly for an issue that I think that he now truly does understand why so many were objecting to that instance of speculation.
Comment: #58
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:05 PM
MS- Thank you too for sharing your history with your father. I am also happy you were comforted by the dream.

SummerGal- Just so you know, I am an avid reader of commenters but rarely comment myself. You have said some very wise things in the past so I'm not trying to put you down. It just seems you don't have a full grasp on how terrible anorexia or anorexia/bulimia can be. It doesn't mean anything bad on your part but rather that you don't have a lot of experience in it. With that said, lets agree to disagree.

Maggie- Thanks for your comment on my username last week. I don't think you were being sarcastic but honestly, my user name should read pescatarianbiatch since I do eat some seafood.
Comment: #59
Posted by: VegHeadBiatch
Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:10 PM
Lise- As I have said in the past... I do respect your two cents but please CHILL with your response to Boboloo. He/She has a very valid point and no one should be so darn mean in responding to him/her.
SummerGal- I am one of those lurkers that loves to read the commenters (BTL) and usually you give very sound advise but as far as the anorexia/bulima thing goes.... it does not appear that you know what you are talking about. Granted, you have/had a friend who went throug it but trust me when I tell you that many friends and family has gone through it and LW strikes me as someone who has seen it and not someone who is not jealous but very concerned. Can we agree to disagree on this subject?
MS- Thank you so MUCH for sharing your dreams and how it affected you. Lot of Hugs go to you from me. Another amazing story.
Comment: #60
Posted by: VegHeadBiatch
Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:19 PM
omg.. sorry about the "almost double post" but sometimes it takes over an hour for your post to post.
Comment: #61
Posted by: VegHeadBiatch
Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:21 PM
LW1: If her mother doesn't know she's anorexic than she doesn't care to know so what's there to talk about? Your friends with the girl not the mother so why don't you talk to her? Tell her she looks like death and everytime you see her you think she's going to eat you like some scary zombie. Maybe she has a disease like cancer and not a condition she actually actively chose to have. Unfortunately if it is an eating disorder than you have the enviable choice of watching your friend kill herself slowly or dropping her until she regains her sanity.

LW2: So glad you found a way to make your boyfriend's death and afterlife about you. You must be a real gem.
Comment: #62
Posted by: Diana
Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:31 PM
Diana.. Blah, Blah AND BLAH is what I hear from your very sarcastic and almost laughable post. Are you real? If you are, I have to wonder what kind of person you really are.
Comment: #63
Posted by: VegHeadBiatch
Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:27 PM
Re: Lisa

And FWIW, the affair itself probably did add the majority of the guilt to her grief. (I think that makes sense). I just sense there are other issues with her grief that exist.

And Lise: "I sense" means "I think maybe ... (whatever)." As I've said all along – and it is not off base to say – "maybe she's sad because the last time she saw her boyfriend, it ended in an argument" or something of the sort when it is derived from the content of the letter. Yes, who knows, it may be only a small part of her grief.

Also Lise (and anyone else whose brought it up), let's let the drug/sex parties go. Like Mike said. To add a days-old argument to the mix of remarks to today's second letter adds little to your rebuttal of today's comments. Really. (And yes, I was the only one shouting and cursing today. I've seen days when you run off the profanities quite a bit too and have been one of the only one doing so.)

Mike H: I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on how we interpreted LW2's comments. I am glad that I think we agree on most of the rest of her feelings and that the grief counselor is a definite need for her.

VegHeadBiatch: I'm a he. Thought of Ricky Ricardo (of "I Love Lucy" fame) with this one.

We'll try again tomorrow.
Comment: #64
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:46 PM
Re: Bobaloo
"I've seen days when you run off the profanities quite a bit too and have been one of the only one doing so."
If you really wanna play ping-pong... Well, for openers, I don't curse AT people, I don't use caps all that much and, as for profanities... Isn't it sad that Penny seems to be the only one who noticed the effort. At least you're being blamed for something you said yesterday, not six months ago.

Yeah, let's try tomorrow, why don't we do just that.

Comment: #65
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:07 PM
@ VegHeadBiatch. Of course we can agree to disagree. That's what having an opinion is all about. I respect other people's opinions and I don't mind if they don't agree with me. Life would be pretty boring if we all thought and believed the same things :-)
On a more serious note, I'm sorry for your friends and family who've suffered from this. I'm sure they appreciate all your support.
Comment: #66
Posted by: SummerGal
Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:12 PM
Re: Diana,
i know you like to cut to the chase in a sharp-edged way, but you obviously don't know what you're talking about this time. two of my employees (in different stores were i worked as a deli manager) were anorexic, one was also bulimic. that employee was in and out of the hospital with her illness and i was counseled by her doctor that the LAST thing you want to do is question the person's eating habits... or how MUCH (or, little, actually) they've eaten because it is VERY possible to send them into another downward spiral, to say nothing of the fact that their illness, like anyone else's illness is not up for public comment. would you tell a parkinson's sufferer to just stop that stupid twitching? would you tell an obese person to put down that fork? i would hope not... and it's no different for the opposite end of the spectrum. and yes, while her doctor could not discuss her exact case, he COULD and did give me counsel as to the illness itself, especially since it affected her work performance and attendance.
and, if you think that people are anorexic by choice, you seriously need to get yourself some education. people DIE from this disease (karen carpenter) and it is VERY serious... and NOT a choice.
i seriously doubt that you will come back and read these subsequent comments (in fact, it seems you read NO comments BTL, you just fly in, drop your load, and fly out) so i don't really expect any comment in return from you, nor do i expect that you will try to educate yourself concerning this illness. too bad.
Comment: #67
Posted by: Catherine E
Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:19 PM
Boboloo... thanks for clarifying that you are a "he". I thought so but didn't want to say as much for being titled a sexist... Anywho, you are awesome.

SummerGal- I truly took your words as sincere. Please understand that I have a daughter (24) who is going through anorexia right now so you can understand how I may not completely understand your thoughts but I do respect them.

Thanks for not being snarky but please understand that there are very good parents out there thas has loved ones going through something you may not fully understand.
Comment: #68
Posted by: VegHeadBiatch
Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:07 PM
@ Catherine E

"i seriously doubt that you will come back and read these subsequent comments (in fact, it seems you read NO comments BTL, you just fly in, drop your load, and fly out) so i don't really expect any comment in return from you..."

If you're so certain Diana won't read your comment or respond, then why did you feel the need to drop this unnecessary diatribe? If Diana does come back and responds (and I sincerely hope she does because I can't wait to read it,) then you'll be over at Delphi bellyaching and playing the martyr about how you're being picked on. Now why don't you go running to the moderator and report this post for removal.
Comment: #69
Posted by: Chris
Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:10 PM
Re Lise #65 I starting reading BTL about a year ago, and totally noticed that you have cleaned up your language since then, so Penny is not the only one that noticed.
Comment: #70
Posted by: C Meier
Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:28 PM
Wow, Chris, somebody pee in your cornflakes lately? "Fun Chris" seems to have disappeared, and he's missed.

Frankly, given how serious anorexia can be, I'm glad someone was directly refuting Diana's typically ridiculous misanthropic nonsense.
Comment: #71
Posted by: Mike H
Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:05 PM
Re: Chris,
i am NOT "so certain" that diana won't come back and read my post to her... just because i said "i doubt it" doesn't mean it will not happen. in fact, i hope she will. i even said so in the last line of your quote that it would be sad if she DIDN'T come back and read it so that she could educate herself. if she responds to me, i will read it and decide whether it requires a response of my own.
also, it is not "unnecessary diatribe" (bitter or abusive speech, usually prolonged) but rather, information for diana. she is dead wrong on several counts about this onerous illness, especially in the fact that it is chosen behavior and that the LW should rub her friend's face in her illness.
"Tell her she looks like death and everytime you see her you think she's going to eat you like some scary zombie."
do YOU, chris, really think that this quote from diana is GOOD, SOUND advice?
or, do you think it's snark because diana is obviously misinformed concerning this illness?
i know you have issues with me, just as i do with you. i also notice that you didn't call out the OTHER poster who commented on diana's post... without the benefit of giving diana any info. why is that?
as for me "running to the moderator", there is no reason for me to do that. your post does not deserve removal because you did not resort to name calling. thank you.
Comment: #72
Posted by: Catherine E
Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:49 PM
Re: Mike H #71,
thanks, mike! ;-D
i agree that the "fun chris" is missed!

Comment: #73
Posted by: Catherine E
Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:06 PM
Re: Chris
Speaking of unnecessary diatribe...

@C Meier
THANK you...

Comment: #74
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:25 PM
Oh, hey I did want to thank Mike H and others who had good words for me today. I didn't want to sound ungrateful or anything by not posting ... I at least want to acknowledge what you've all said and thank you.

Lise: Agreed. Try again tomorrow. Maybe it'll be a benign day, hopefully ... . And, at least I apologize when I swear at someone, like I'm going to here. Yes, it was out of frustration.
Comment: #75
Posted by: Bobaloo
Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:38 PM
I like Diana's comments. Sometimes I agree with her, sometimes she's funny o downright offensive, but she's always interesting. I get the feeling she is always herself, and we know she pulls no punches. Nothing wrong with that.
Comment: #76
Posted by: bugz
Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:02 PM
Re: bugz,
i agree to a certain point. and that point is that we HAVE, in the past, had the LWs show up BTL. diana is often wrong with the advice she gives (like today) and i don't think we really want a LW reading stuff like that. granted, it doesn't happen often that they show up... but there IS the chance and so we should do our best to give good advice.
lise, thank you.
bobaloo, i appreciate your nice post (#75)... it's always rewarding when people can disagree and still remain civil, if not friends. kudos to you!

Comment: #77
Posted by: Catherine E
Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:16 PM
dang! forgot to mention... i, too, appreciate lise's efforts in her posts... it IS a noticeable improvement! good job, woman!
Comment: #78
Posted by: Catherine E
Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:18 PM
LW1: One way or another, this girl needs to have therapy and medical intervention.
LW2: When you love someone with all your heart, you don't cheat on them. Regardless of whether or not they return your love. I'm sick of reading all the excuses for cheating.
LW3: I like the comments about adding gravel to the side of the driveway, however there has been no mention of the property line. Usually, driveways are constructed right to the property line, so it is entirely possible that "Illinois Neighbour" is actually parking on the neighbour's property. And those who have written that the neighbour will find something else to complain about are right. Noisy air conditioners, loud children, music, noisy mufflers, the dog, even your visitors parking on the street in front of your neighbours', all are fair game. Lucky for us, we have great neighbours. Nothing like living in a suburb where there are big yards, tho. We're all so focussed on the problems generated by bears, no one has the inclination to complain about anything else! Yes, you read me right. Bears. Those black things that feed on bird seed and garbage until the berries ripen.
Comment: #79
Posted by: melinda
Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:44 AM
Re: bugz
Actually, I find Diana to be judgmental, abrasive and borderline abusive. There's a way and there's a WAY to convey an opinion.

And to all of you, THANK YOU for being supportive when I shared my experience with my eating disorder. It doesn't get a lot of press like anorexia and bulimia do, but compulsive overeating is rampant as well. After all, obesity is a major issue in this country and at least in my experience in talking with others that had gotten to the size I did, most of them are dealing with compulsive/emotional eating issues. Any eating disorder, just like other types of addictions/compulsive behaviors are usually a coping mechanism for a deeper issue...but again, that's from my experiences of dealing with other addicts. Granted, not everyone can do what I did to get my life back in control (everyone is different and does things in their own way), but I hope that others can learn from my experience and do what works for them to get healthy as well.
Comment: #80
Posted by: Janie
Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:22 AM
@bugz, I'm sorry, but when half of her responses are essentially "I hope you don't breed", whatever humor value may have been present in the first instance of that kind of comment has long since faded, with the 253rd repetition of her tired old diatribe.

I also haven't seen anything to indicate she's attempting to be funny; I think she really means what she says, and that's pretty hateful, when you add them all up. Someone so disdainful of other people's foibles and so lacking in compassion really doesn't seem like a good person to be giving advice to *anyone*, in my opinion.

Tough love is one thing; outright meanness something else entirely.
Comment: #81
Posted by: Mike H
Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:03 AM
Re: Mike H
One of her comments stuck with me, where she stated something to the effect that, "Have you seen anything good in human nature? I didn't think so."

I think she has a shitty life, is surrounded with shitty people and is in pain - but that doesn't excuse her any more than Bloom Hilda's life is an excuse for her bullying.

To all people with a shitty life, and coming from someone who's having a shitty life as well (so far)*:
a) You're the only one who can do anything to change it;
b) If you're doing all the right things and STILL things don't improve, it's not the rest of the world's fault;
c) Taking it out on the rest of the world DOESN'T DO ANY GOOD.

* At least I'm not surrounded with shitty people.

Comment: #82
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:10 PM
LW2: I think that none of it matters after death. I think you should forgive yourself for your mistakes, and learn from them. Guilt does not serve you.
Comment: #83
Posted by: Giovanna
Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:17 AM
LW! - If you by chance read your letter at, please go to Dr. Wallace June 14th 2012 column on Anorexia. He has an excellent column answering parents who want to know how to help their daughter, who they believe to be anorexic. It would be a good starting place for a discussion with your friend's parents, because he talks about how importants early treatment is, the physical problems it causes with internal organ damage, and how it usually has a physological component. Please read it if you can see this and have access to his column.
Comment: #84
Posted by: C Meier
Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:50 PM
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