Who do you live with, and do they know?

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ottilie's picture
Who do you live with, and do they know?

I live with my sister at the moment and she used to be bulimic so I get paranoid that she will notice bulimic tendencies and catch me. I told her a while ago that I'm bulimic but we made a pact that we won't purge anymore even if we binge, so that we might stop binge. It worked for her but it hasn't for me, and I haven't told her.

Before that I lived with my mother who thought a lot of people were fat, and she would continuously ask me if I should be eating that, or I'd feel ill if I ate that, or do I think that's healthy(even when I was underweight). She would suggest making myself throw up if I told her I felt too full. When my school teacher told her that she should be worried I might be bulimic. My mum told her but she eats and she's not thin.

Do you think it's better when the people you live with know about your eating? or not...

horsebacklover2's picture
Hi!! This is a great topic

Hi!! This is a great topic because its so vital. I think it depends on the situation. Of course secrets are never "good" but i honestly believe that it can sometimes be detrimental to you if hte people around you know. in your case it might be worth it to seek their support because your sister knows what it is like and she might be mre supportive and helpful than you think. when you keep it a secret you are also validating the ED, like saying its okay to the ED so it makes this stronger. it takes a lot of courage to own up to this and accept help from others.

dee, horsebackgirl

sandrapup3's picture

i live with my dad and my younger sister. I kept it a secret a while from both of them but they both always knew i had problems with eating just not the full extent with it. My sister thinks ive only thrown up 2 or 3 times in the past two years.. and i just recently told my dad about how serious it is. He was very supportive just recently got me help with therepist and made an appointment. Even though my dad knows, i still dont want my little sis to know.. idk our mother died and im the only one she can look up to. When she did knew i threw up a couple times i made her really upset and i hate to see her like that. Imagine she knew i did it multiple times a day? i would hate to see her upset just because of me. Id like to be a good role model for her so im hoping she never finds out.

sandra feels your pain.

misskris's picture

I would have to say that it would be beneficial to tell the person you live with. I live with my sister too. I haven't TOLD her, but I haven't exactly been sneaky with the b/p. I guess I find it helpful to have someone to hold me accountable...especially when food disappears...

Of course, it depends on the person. Are they a nuturing or caring person by nature? It's not going to help if they're just going to make you feel bad about yourself. Sisterhood is a good source of strength though. Take advantage of it if you can!

wendy's picture
yes this is interesting

because on the one side if the people you live with are someone you trust and can hold you accountable then this might help you minimize your b/p. on the other side it might lead you to b/p secretly (e.g. only in the night when everyone else is asleep) or when you are home alone - which further might trigger more extreme b/p sessions than previous.
My situation is that i live with seven (5 boyz, 2girls including me) friends in a big flat. I live next to the kitchen and next to the bathroom while the rest live in the other part of the partment (great for my ED) furthermore it needs to be said that i live with two chefs and they keep on making all this great food that they are feeding me with (even better!). what else - oh yeah, i'm secretly in love with one of the chefs and he himself is quite obsessive with healthy eating/workout and i'm really afraid he keeps track of what i eat (he must think i have a really great metabolism). purging is sometimse difficult as there are usually people around, but i think i have managed so far wthout anyone knowing. still i think that if they knew, for me that would trigger more secrecy and me b/p at night most likely...not to say embarrasment!
i don't know id this was to any help, but i just wanted to share my story as this subject is something i think alot about these days...

best of wishes :-)

caliwb's picture
I dont know who to tell either

I moved back in with my parents about a year ago, and they just now found out about my bulimia. Actually, just my mom knows, because she heard me throwing up in the bathroom one day and confronted me. So its not like i actually told her of my own accord. if she hadnt found out, I'll probably be still binging and purging 5-6 times a day. Now that she knows, its like I have someone watching my back, but she's never pressures me into recovery or tells me to eat more or less. She lets me do my own thing, so it doesnt stress me out that she knows. So in that regard, I'm glad she knows.
We talked and decided not to tell my dad, mostly because I dont have a very close relationship with him, at least not enough to want to involve him in my recovery. I'm afraid my dad wouldn't be as understanding as my mom and not give me the room I need to recover at my own pace. I do have thoughts sometimes that maybe I should tell him too, but that thought scares me, so until I feel strong enough in my recovery to tell him, I think its better for my recovery not to.
I have a sister and a brother, I'm close to both of them but I dont live with either of them anymore and I havent told them. I dont think it would hurt my recovery efforts telling them like it would my dad, but I cant get the courage up to come clean to them.

stephy's picture
I live wit my sis but i get no help at all

I use to live wit ma parents and they found out about the problem and my dad is a doctor( pediatrtion) so they knew more about the situation they tried to help out were VERY supportive but when they tried to help out id just get pissed of wit them like if im in the kitchen to try sneak food id start kicking them out of the kitchen wit excuses .mum started to notice when id be getin in a binge cause id act strange and very pissed off but i couldnt stand hurtin them anymore i was treating them wit no respect and like a complete *iatch that i decided to move out and go live wit my sis it was for the best and i thought id get a new start but it got worse here wit my sis she knows have a prob but she just i guess doesnt give a crap she just gets really pissed when theres no food left n all but shed know when im binging i try to be secretive but its not that easy and thats wat gets to me most that she dosnt help out i love my sis but i think she just doesnt want to get envolved .. my parents i still see them once a week but the think that the prob has stoped.. sometime i do talk to da about it especially since i cant take any medication cause im afraid that in the mean while id b/p and id be wasting the money iv spent on the medication but in the end this is battel between Me n Me its me who has to step up and stay STOP no one else can do that for us

Forget the past....think of wats to come not was has gone!

joanna999's picture
I told my boyfriend

I was told that it was best to tell those around you who you trust completely.
The idea behind the theory is that by telling people you trust the whole taboo and secrecy behind bulimia will decrease, and thus you almost start to see it as not such a big deal, therefore you relax more etc...
Well i'v told a few of my close friends. Iv also explained to them that it is nto for attention that i am telling them this (Iv had bulimia for 5 years and iv only just told a few people now), but for support. The few people i have told are very much there for me and neither judge me nor bring up the subject unless i do.
I told my boyfriend. He has shared so much stuff with me i feel like he should know this part of me. Maybe explain my erratic body fears and why sometime i react certains ways...and how i hate compliments! lol
Anyway i realise this will seem far out to some of those who will not tell anyone. I was like that until my mum found out. Once one person knew, i had the strength to tell my best friend, and my boyfriend. Two people i trust the most.and it has really helped in terms of being able to accept what i have and to work towards recovery. My only bit of advice is to be clear when telling people why your telling them, and be tactful, as it may also be shocking/upsetting for them to hear too.
Hope this helps!

threelittlebirds's picture
how did he react? im thinking

how did he react? im thinking about telling mine but im not sure if i should. my forum post explains everything if you want ot read it, just check my minifeed

three little birds sat on my window, and told me i don't need to worry...

Raven's picture
The first person I told was

The first person I told was my bf. He ended up telling my parents (I was living with them at the time). I was so angry with him but relieved because I really needed help but couldn't tell them myself. It did cause a lot of issues and conflict but it has been for the best in the long-run. It deters me from b/ping when they are around.

I live with my boyfriend and sister they both know and it helps because when they are around I don't b/p either... but then that can be bad because I tend to do it in secrecy...

I really want to tell my best friend...I don't know if I should? It would be nice to have someone else to talk to, my boyfriend gets sick of hearing my "bulimia rants" all the time... but I'm scared and nervous about it because he might think there is no reason for me to tell him? He might not want to know about it. What should I do?

Catherine Liberty
Catherine Liberty's picture
Just my fiance knows

I told him pretty much as soon as we got together nearly five years ago, which was crazy as I'd just got out of a three year relationship where the guy never knew about my eating disorder.

I told him when I was drunk, he was lovely in the beginning and concerned and prompting me to get help which I stupidly refused. We went through a lot of phases where he thought id just stopped etc which was annoying. Now hes grown hes a lot more supportive, we were only 19 at the time, now we've ages a little together he is so supportive of me.

Although I think I'll always be this person who doesnt like to talk about me, he doesnt know about this attempt at recovery yet although im planning on telling him, i think it will be easier to break it such as when I make it my first week with no B/P i could tell him that way! But its like he knows, he used to bring me a little chocolate home after work some days, yesterday he came home with a rose!! It was the most beautiful thing!!

So him knowing, although we dont really talk about it anymore was so for the best :)

steph's picture
Trust your instinct

If can be difficult to gauge how certain people will react to bulimia. Personally I found telling people a big help. My dad took it very badly to start with but eventually got a grip, realised i needed his support to get better and he's been brilliant ever since.
I realise not everyone is so lucky, sound like ottilie's mum was more worried about how she looked than her wellbeing. It is important to tell someone but make sure this person has ur best interest at heart, ur first instinct is usually a good one, before the over-analasis starts.

marley26's picture
i told my mom first

The first person I told was my mom, and she didnt know that I had a problem to the extent that it was, but i live with her so she knew something was going on. I use a lot of laxatives and diuretics and stuf like that and Im sure she has come across it. The thing that bothered me the most is that she didnt seem too concerned to try to help me with anything. She just calls me and asks how I am doing, but isnt very supportive otherwise. I told my boyfriend next and he has been the greatest help and support to me. unfortunately, i dont live with him, i only live with my mom, and we both have very busy schedules where we dont see eachother much. She is usually asleep by the time I get home, and sometimes the lack of support triggers me to b/p when shes not around. I am thinking about changing my living situation, but it is hard with my job and finances. I still am glad she knows, it has relieved alot of stress which was also causing me to b/p.

steph's picture
Do you find your mum tries to

Do you find your mum tries to sweap it under the carpet, as in just not talk about it unless you bring it up? I had that problem too with my dad, think some people think that by ignoring it, somehow it will magically go away. Or maybe its too much for them to handle so ignore it as a coping stratagy. Who knows! I hope you manage to sort out ur living situation, ur man sounds like a real catch :)

jennyk's picture
I live with my family but no

I live with my family but no one knows about my disorder. I've tried telling my mother that I might have an eating disorder but I did not tell her outright that I binge and purge everyday. I feel uncomfortable talking to any family member about my problem.. and thus the more distressed I am. This disorder has really set me apart from my family members (not being able to dine with them anymore..etc).

marley26's picture

sweeping it under the carpet is exactly how I would describe it. My boyfriend is a great guy, we are both trainers at gyms and he has a degree and minor in sports nutrition. When just put me on an eating plan, and at first, it freaked me out because he had me eating first thing in the morning and every few hours after that and I was so used to restricting myself till I would binge that it just seemed like so much to eat, when it really wasnt. I broke down because I didnt realize how hard this would be to change and i was talking to my mom about it, and it just seemed like she was disinterested in the topic. You think that your parents would be the most supportive of anyone, but sometimes they see support as just acecpting whatever it is you choose to do...good or bad

marley26's picture

i would seriously consider telling someone, even if its not a family member, just someone you are close to. Sometimes once you tell someone it makes it easier to tell the people that you are having a hard time let in on what is going on. Once one person knows its a huge weight lifted and you can move on and make progress. Just because you tell someone doesnt mean things are going to change right away, but its a big start

lspringf's picture
I have struggled with eating

I have struggled with eating disorders for 6 years, I'm 21 now. When it started I restricted my diet so much that I lost 45lbs in 4 months and looked sickly ill. Naturally, my doctor insisted I get help which I did, but all that happened was that I gained weight back and began to binge and purge. Thus I have been bulemic since.
I really want to tell someone because this secret is tearing apart my life and all my relationships. I am very close to my ex-boyfriend and my mom, and I feel that they would be the ones to tell if i ever want to get better. How should I bring it up? I just feel so stupid and disgusting about the person who I am, and it is almost better to suffer alone than have others know this about me...

steph's picture
I think its a really brave

I think its a really brave decision you've made. Its NEVER EVER better to suffer alone and ur certainly not stupid. It sounds like you have the makings of a really solid support network around you. No one can tell you how best to bring up the subject, only you know whats best for you. I would suggest being somewhere private where you feel comfortable. Maybe spend a little time with them first before bringing it up. When I told my boyfriend, we'd both had a drink (literally 1 or 2) so I felt more relaxed anyway (i'm usually quite up tight so this really helped me). I hope it goes well for you, best of luck. Let us know how you get on. X

stellaluna's picture
nobody knows

I live with my mom, sister half of the time, and with my dad for the other half.

I have never ever told anybody about my bulimia, and I really don't intend to. Once my mom said that there was vomit left on the floor and in the bowl, but I knew she was just trying to make me confess, because I would NEVER be that careless. I could tell she had read my journal and was just making that up so I would spill... but I told her that I just write stories in my journals and that I obviously didn't have bulimia because I am not underweight. She bought it, luckily.

So with that being said, nobody knows that I have bulimia, and I hope to recover on my own, although lately it has been really tough and having somebody to talk to would be nice. I might tell one of my friends soon if I feel comfortable about it.

snowbuni1982's picture
If I had never told anyone/reached out, I wouldn't be where I am

When I first told my best friend, I went another year before I got where I am today. Although she was super supportive, she did not know the words to say or the strategies to help me to get better. I became sad that she couldn't fix it; however, telling her gave me the courage to tell more and more people. I reached out to an old friend that I always knew had an ED, I found an accountability partner on this site, and I told one of my good racing buddies. All of the sudden, I had this great support system to rely on! Whenever I have the urge, I have someone to talk to now. I've found strength and hope from others. With that said, I still haven't told everyone. I don't know if I'll ever need to.

"Be the change you want to see"

steph's picture
I don't think the world needs to know

I don't think the world needs to know, maybe one day when i'm 100% sure i'm cured but to make my ED public knowledge could have a negative effect. For example there will always be those insecure, narrow minded people who will put you down for it or use it to try humilite you. They type of people that can only feel good and get a laugh when insulting others. I would worry this could cause a relapse. Stick to sharing it with those you really trust until ur sure ur strong enough to handle the potential consequences.

anna999's picture
I told my best friend,

I told my best friend, boyfriend (and bfs mom), and mom. now my dad, grandma and pretty sure my best friends mom knows. i go back and forth between thinking it was good or bad. lots of times i feel bad because them knowing has caused them to stress so much. but they tell me theyre not idiots.. i was so underweight this year that they all knew and were just waiting for me to admit it. sometimes its really stressful having people know, because they want to help so much, and when im not willing to accept their help (the times when im still in denial about NEEDING help) it can make me really angry. sometimes when i want to purge, i get really really stressed because they make it difficult. (obviously, thats a good thing though. its just hard in the moment. this disease is about control, and when you feel unable to do this thing anymore.. its tough. but it needs to happen.)but i know that its for the best, and even though i wouldnt say im in good shape now, i dont even wanna know where i'd be if they hadn't been involved.

steph's picture
Do you find yourself getting

Do you find yourself getting angry when u really want to binge and purge and the people around you purposefully won't leave u alone? I get so frustrated and angry sometimes. I find I get a sense of relief from purging and sometime I really really feel like I need it. My boyfriend tends not to leave me alone now, ever so I don't get the oppotunity. Which is good obviously, but mega annoying! Do you ever feel like u don't want to get better so u can eat what u want, purge and then for that moment, everything is ok.

marley26's picture
I feel exactly the same way.

I feel exactly the same way. I live with my mom, and nighttime is the worst for me. I work really long days and when I get home I am stressed out, my mom knows about my ED but doesnt really help to be supportive about it. Sometimes I get home and I want her to be there so that I can fight the urge to b/p, but she usually is already in bed, or goes to bed right when i get home. That kind of depresses me and I get the urge to b/p. Then again, sometimes she will stay up late and not leave me alone and that really gives me the urge! I have been spending more time at my bf's because that relieves the urge and he takes my mind off things, but sometimes I just want to go home, be by myself and pretend that I can just have this problem for one more night and everything will be ok...I know thats not how it works though.

steph's picture
My god I could have written

My god I could have written ur entry, I feel exactly the same way! just this once, one more time, no one will know. The only problem is tha the only person ur really letting down is urself. Shame that has no impact at the time. The worst part of relapsing for me is the look of disappointment on the bf's face when I eventually tell him, and I always do. Breaks my heart to let him down.

threelittlebirds's picture
holy sh*t i feel the exact

holy sh*t i feel the exact same way. like if i do it tonight, it will just be for 1 more night and recovery will start tomorrow. i can it all out now and start new and frechin the morning. but if im going to bp i might as well "get it all out of my system" at once and "do it right" so i wont feel the urge in the morning.

it's a total freaking lie but i fall for it all the time. like just one more nice w/ mia wont hurt anything, one more night and everything will be ok tomorrow.

three little birds sat on my window, and told me i don't need to worry...

anna999's picture
yes! sometimes not being left

yes! sometimes not being left alone is actually a trigger because it makes me so anxious and then literally the first moment i have by myself i go straight to bingeing. i live with my parents for the summer as an attempt to get better, and i just decided yesterday that i want to "practice" being alone and dealing with my emotions. a lot if not all of my problems occur when im alone, feel lonely, etc cause i get lost in my own head and this is the way that i deal. ive noticed that as soon as im bored i get an OVERWHELMING lonely sensation. so i need to talk to them about that so that i can "practice." it sounds odd but im hopeful that it will help so i can get to a point where i know how to deal with "myself" alone before i go back to a new apartment in the fall.

ktepe@sio.midco.net's picture
I feel the same way too. I

I feel the same way too. I get worse when I'm around more adults becuase I get so anxious and afraid. Of what exactly, I don't know- judgment of eating? I just lose control. I haven't told anybody either- mainly because I've been battling it for so long and if I tell my husband he's going to expect me to stop immediately (I'm trying!!!!!) and it's not just a switch. I don't want to let him down. My parents knew when I was a teenager, but they think it's over. My mom was bulimic, too, so I can't imagine when she stays with us that she doesn't know. But, she raised me to be "fat-phobic" and I'm afraid of her judgment, too. I keep telling myself that hey, I do not need their approval or my body image and I need to take control of my life. So, I'm trying really hard, and I am doing good. But, I am still so afraid of failure. I think I would rather just recover and move on. And I do NOT want my husband guarding the bathroom if I do have a lapse!

steph's picture
Just recover and move on, god

Just recover and move on, god that sounds ideal! Any clues on the how part? :)
I can't imagine how you have managed to keep it a secret from ur husband, do you work different shifts or is it a big house where the bathroom is far away from the livingroom?
I was able to keep in secret when I live with my parents as it was a bigger house, so they were too far away to hear. Don't have that luxury/temptation now I live with my boyfriend.
Is ur mum recovered? I only ask as I would have thought that as a recovered bulimic she would know all the signs and tricks and try to help u when she's around. Sounds like she almost allows the behaviour, or ignores it. Makes u feel its better to be slim than recover.
How long have u been married? Do you think ur hubby would be understanding or get angry about it?

weemocky's picture
no one knows

started when living with parents and brothers, they dont know.
now live with my partner and daughter, my daughter is too young to know, not that i would ever tell her anyway,noway.
my partner knew i used to do it, but doesnt know how bad it actually is, and sometimes i can purge 4-5 times a day. would be too ashamed to tell him, he would think i am weird and leave me lol

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