Dear Amy: I am a 20-year-old recovering bulimic. In trying to find a way to eat normally, I gained quite a bit of weight. I'm not obese by any means; nor am I skinny.
My parents know that I have had an eating disorder, but this does not stop them (and other members of my family) from commenting on my weight every chance they get.
They constantly ask what I'm going to do to get back to the weight I was before (unhealthy and purging all my food), and they scoff at whatever I choose to eat.
I have asked them over and over to leave my weight alone. They aren't listening, and seem to be pretending that my eating disorder never happened. My mother has even claimed that she didn't see me purging so she doesn't know if I made it all up or not.
I don't want to have to cut ties with them after I graduate college, but they don't hear me when I tell them how hurtful their comments are and they ignore me when I ask them nicely to leave the subject alone. I don't know what other options I have because I'm afraid if I'm around their influence I will relapse.
Please help me, Amy.
Dear Worried: Your family members are undermining your recovery. I agree that you are at risk for relapse if they bully you.
I shared your query with Portia Lowndes, referred by the National Eating Disorders Association (nationaleatingdisorders.org). Lowndes is also a mom whose daughter is in recovery from anorexia. She and I agree that you seem in charge of your life and recovery. Good for you! She responds: "Your parents should respect your statements. They need to do some research about what you are going through." The association offers to match family members with a "navigator" who can help them respond to a loved one's situation (check the website).
Your folks are very much in need of education and counseling to understand this disease.
The most important person in this process is you. You are showing an admirable command of your own health. If your family members can't support this, then yes — you should distance yourself from them until your recovery is secure.
Dear Amy: Our granddaughter is annoyed that her "Papa" (grandfather) sends her too many texts (he sends about 10 a week). This has smoke puffing out of my ears because: He bought her a new car for graduation from high school. He pays the car insurance. He sends her a monthly stipend.
I appreciate how busy she is (graduating, holding a part-time job, playing sports, etc). But to actually complain to her father that, "Papa sends me too many texts"? Outrageous.
To be honest, he can be a pest. Still, I remember being a teenager with old grandparents who sometimes did annoying things, but I certainly never verbalized it.
Am I being too emotional about this?
— Unsettled grannie
Dear Grannie: My first question is if it is a good idea for this high school girl to have a new car and insurance payments — as well as a monthly "stipend" — provided by "Papa." (My second question is if I can sign up to be your granddaughter).
You obviously assume that his indulgence should purchase a little indulgence from the teenager. Ideally the girl would be kind and understanding toward him simply because, as you say, he is her grandfather.
Because she has complained to her father — who has passed her teenage complaint up the generational food chain to you and your husband — Dad should tell his daughter to be kind and tolerant toward someone who is very kind to her.
And someone should double check your husband's texting to make sure he is being reasonable.
Dear Amy: I'm responding to the tough letter from "Stressed Out," whose husband sometimes physically punished their son and was also engaged in a never-ending home renovation. She should use her inheritance to get out and create a stable and loving environment and life for her son. Her husband is an abuser and that will not change. Period.
Dear Horrified: This letter generated many concerned responses. Thank you.