“Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,
I am writing to you because I think my older sister has an eating disorder. In fact, I know she does. She and my mom have always been obsessed with their weight – going on diets together, comparing notes on what works and what doesn’t work. My dad and I always thought they were ridiculous, but never worried about it – until my sister came home from college during spring break earlier this year. Not only did she not gain the “freshman fifteen,” but she managed to lose a lot of weight. I don’t know exactly how much she weighs, but I know that she’s 5’5 and used to wear a size 6. When she came home from spring break, she was a size 2. Now, she’s home for the summer and bragging she’s a size 0. My dad and I are flipped about this – but my mom thinks we’re overreacting, saying she’s right in line with the “Hollywood set.” Because my mom encourages my sister, she doesn’t think there’s anything wrong – and says I’m just jealous because I’m so huge (oh yeah, I’m a heffer at 5’3 and 120lbs). I know this is having a bad effect on her. Besides being bitchier than usual, I know she stopped getting her period because she handed me a box of tampons and said, “keep them, I don’t need them anymore.” I haven’t told my dad or mom that part, but I think I should. But what can I do when she won’t help herself?
Dear Fab Little Sis Who Obviously Inherited Her Brains from Her Dad –
I’m going to keep this short because basically I’m just going to confirm what you already know: you’re mom’s an idiot and your sister has a severe eating disorder. So, what can you do? First thing, tell your parents about her stopped periods. Perhaps that physiologically red flag (pardon the pun) will get your dad into action and your mom to remove her head out of her ass. What can you all do? If your sister refuses to get help, then you can find a psychiatrist/psychologist specializing in eating disorders to deem her a threat to herself and have her committed to an eating disorder clinic. Many insurance plans cover some, if not all, of the treatment. However, know going into this that about 10% of those afflicted die of this disease – and even those in recovery struggle with the disease for the rest of their lives. It’s a bitch, to say the least – made worse if she buys into this mental illness, which it seems she does at present.
And MAJOR kudos to you for not buying into the family bullcrap. It can’t be easy being left out of their little club – no matter how dysfunctional the membership guidelines may be. Latching onto your dad as an emotional roll model is a good survivalist strategy – one that will bode well for your self esteem growth and, frankly, the kinds of partners you choose for yourself down the line.
Hopefully, your sister will get the help she needs – and if the place is worth its salt, so to speak, then they’ll do extensive family counseling sessions as well. It sounds as if there’s a lot going on here besides big sister eschewing Big Macs. Good luck.
For some reason, it feels like bad taste to make a mix for this particular dilemma. Sorry. But I recommend you see the HBO documentary, “Thin.”