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How to tell my sister

C

carrots

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Joined
Jul 31, 2020
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I have a sister in middle school, who has watched me struggle with my eating disorder (food restriction for a time, and then binging/purging) and depression for many years now. My parents told her vaguely what was going on when she was much younger, but for the most part it hasn't been talked about. She is growing up, finding herself, and she is the same age I was when a lot of negative body image thoughts started popping into my head.

She seems happy and healthy at the moment, but I worry that she will/has notice(d) my habits and will eventually copy them, or just generally that she will in any way go down the path I did. I want her to be able to talk to me no matter what, but I don't want her to get ideas (part of the change in my eating disorder habits is a result of getting ideas from other kids in my recovery program). How do I tell her about my experience without endangering her? should I tell her, or wait until she's older, or should I just make it clear that I'm here for her mental health needs?

I want the stigma to stop, and I want her to feel safe talking to me about anything, even though the rest of my family likes to brush things under the table. I would eventually like her to know my experience, too, but again, I want her safety first.

any advice?
 
Lavender_Rose

Lavender_Rose

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Apr 12, 2020
Messages
738
Location
United States
I would say it depends on your sister age. I do not have an eating disorder but there are thing in my family that I debate whether or not the younger children should know. So my advice is based off that. If you want to be more open with her then it's a conversation you can maybe have with her in private. Be open letting her know your concern for her but if your worried about her copying your habits, don't go into detail. If you think she old enough to have some basic knowledge about you and your experience you can. And let her know you just want to be there for her if she ever needs you. I always try to keep things on an age appropriate level and sometimes I just leave certain things out because I don't think they should know them yet.
 
N

nutsie

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Joined
Jul 5, 2020
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266
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Keeling
You can try write letter her

Take your time

I think write is better than plan speech because when speak forget so much
 
E

Elisante

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Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
427
Location
Greece
Don't tell her anything. You said she seems happy and healthy. She might start to copy you if you tell her. The only thing you'll manage to do is exactly what you said, give her ideas. She might start worrying about it happening to her too, and that might become a self fulfilling prophecy.
 
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