View Full Version : Too Supportive?

03-05-2012, 08:38 PM
I recently asked one of my best friends who's been really supportive to me in general to be a support person :lubdub technically speaking he's already been that but this is making it official. I know I don't always act like it, but I DO want to recover... I just don't always remember that. So I decided to listen to my therapist and start to build up a support network. And it was a good choice, he has no problem listening to me rant about it when I've had a bad day, or talk on the phone late at night when I'm trying not to be symptomatic. But how do I know when things are too comfortable :confused He's known about my Ed for quite a while, so none of this is shocking to him. We have in jokes about it, I've shared some of the grittier details with him that I never intended to tell anyone ever, and this weekend, I purged in front of him. I think maybe the boundries are getting a little too blurry here, and it's not really healthy. But at the same time I can be really uptight about relationships in general, and I know I have a habit of running away when people get too close too me, so I really don't know what to do about this :ummm so I was really looking for some advice from :bowl

03-05-2012, 10:04 PM
Hi FF,

good for you on building up your support network.

I think that the best way to establish boundaries is to talk to him about it. Purging in front of him must have been a very intense thing for him to witness. Talk to him about what he feels comfortable with. Make an agreement that if he feels something is crossing a boundary that he can let you know that you need to find support elsewhere. This is also why it's important to have more than one person in your support network. As much as people want to help, they can get burned out.

Also, make sure that you're not placing him in the position of being an enabler. To me, the fact that you purged in front of him makes me worried that this could be going down that route. What was his reaction?

03-05-2012, 10:17 PM
What comes to mind to me is not so much about boundaries but the risk that he is being drawn into making light of it or not holding you accountable.

A support person isnt there to make you just feel better. They can listen while you vent first but then they need to challenge you and hold you accountable.

there may be times when it is just about venting but this is serious stuff. Jokes are fine to take the edge off IF you both then face the seriousness. A combo of support and holing you accountable rather than "I will accept you no matter what".

I wondered the same thing as Bellydancer. What his reaction was.

Maybe your t would agree to one combine session?

03-05-2012, 11:47 PM
Agreed - purging in front of him brought up all kinds of red flags for me. It's fine to joke about the ED if you want to at times, but it's also important to remember that it is a very serious health issue. To take it lightly is not supportive, it's enabling.

I'm glad you have someone you can talk to about it and who is there for you, but is it actually in a healthy way?

03-06-2012, 12:29 AM
Why did you purge in front of him? What result did you want from doing that?

Does he ever challenge you? Does he ever hold you accountable for the choices you make?

Is he supporting you or enabling you?

I really think this is something you need to talk to your T about.

03-06-2012, 12:34 PM
I don't mean we always joke and laugh about my Ed, we do sometimes, but not when the situation is serious. The purging in front of him thing really disturbed me to be honest and it's why I'm questioning the relationship in terms of a support person. I couldn't really tell how he felt about it, he had a poker face on. I think he didn't want to make me more upset about it. The backstory is we were going to go out and I was going to let myself have a small amount of one of my bad foods and not purge it, just a really small amount so the anxiety wouldn't be too overwhelming. And I tripped out. We were going to hang around away from his or my house so I couldn't turn it into into a B/P, so I just skipped right to P while we were at a park near his house :ohboy. I don't really remember what I was thinking, I just got off the swing I was sitting on and started purging a few feet away :surprise. I think more than anything he didn't really know what to do, it was really out of nowhere. He doesn't really hold me accountable, he does try to get me to see things from other perspectives and he does challenge my Ed thoughts when I tell him them. But if it is enabling could it turn supportive again :confused

03-07-2012, 10:00 AM
Hi FF,

I think that if you just purge in front of this person out of the blue, that you're too comfortable around him. It's one thing to feel comfortable asking for and receiving support. It's another to feel that It also puts him in a very difficult position--does he try to stop you and risk his friend getting angry with him, does he let you do this and risk you dying in front of him, etc.?

I think that it could turn supportive again, but you both have to be very clear about what the appropriate boundaries are. Instead of getting up and purging, could you instead have said "I'm really struggling, could you hold my hand, listen to me talk, etc."?

03-07-2012, 06:09 PM

You could you discuss this with your t and maybe have your t go over some basics with him?
Would he join friends and family on sf?

03-09-2012, 10:29 AM
I don't know if he would join Friends and Family, I hadn't thought about it before :confused I'll definitely ask him about it and see what he thinks. The really hard thing with this situation is he really wants to help me get better, but he doesn't know exactly what he's supposed to do. I told him some things he can do to help me not be symptomatic when I really want to, and I try to explain why I do the things I do, ie the thinking part of it. He actually went out and reaserched on eating disorders to be better able to help me :touched I think he'd be willing to have my T tell him some of the basics or at least I'll tell him what she says. I just really want this to work out, this guy has been my best friend for years, since the beginning of high school, and he's the most solid person I have in terms of people I can rely on.

03-09-2012, 12:19 PM
Firefly- what did you hope to get out of purging in front of him?

Just because you don't remember exactly what you are feeling, you might be able to figure out your feelings about it.

Could it be that you are too comfortable with him, or are you testing him, trying to shock him, trying to push him away? Anything ring any bells?

I know I personally (not consciously, but in hindsight) want to see if they will still accept me after they find out about my ED.

03-09-2012, 04:11 PM
It occurred to me that this is the guy you were able to discuss the other stuff with. ?
I think if he really wants to be a help to you that is amazing and good. He probably just needs a few pointers and maybe you do to.

Maybe a book for carers may help too. I think maudsley do one.

Otherwise I imagine Sf would be great and your t should be a resource.

With the other stuff you are dealing with and having treatment you need all the help you can get.

03-09-2012, 08:06 PM
I do think testing him and pushing away may have had something to do with it, I know from experience in past relationships, I just have a real problem with trusting people. I guess when I actually end up trusting somebody, I push the relationship to see how far it can stretch. I feel really bad whenever I end up doing that, I don't even realize what I'm doing until I've really messed things up :sad Yeah it is the guy who I told about my childhood. I know I have a problem with boundries, I don't really know when it's healthy or not. So I'm hoping that it works out because I KNOW he cares about me and wants me to get better, I was thinking about lending him Life Without Ed, is they're anything that would be better?