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May 24, 2012


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You nailed it. I could totally see it as a story where she writes a chapter, then you write one. Back and forth.


You both have a story. You could write a book with SB or you could write a book alone or you could each write your own. You both have worthwhile stories to share.

I wonder if the neighbor's response doesn't come from a perspective of shame, of keeping these sorts of things quiet and private -- and a safe way to that is to say "it his story, not mine." But you know as well as I do, if you are the parent/wife/brother of a person struggling with cancer/addiction/mental illness/eating disorder, etc -- there is a story that belongs to each individual player.

best to you Jenn, always.


It's your family's story. Yes, SB has a different perspective than everyone else, but why can't both of you have insightful things to say?

Lisa G.

Hi, Jenn..

You both definitely have a story, although I'd be leery of writing a book if SB didn't want to, even your own story as it so thoroughly intertwines with SB's.

You know your daughter best, and from what I've read here, you always have your kids' best interests in mind. I'd say it depends on the child - some people could have virtually the same set of circumstances, and no matter how many people it could help, writing a book and having their circumstances publicly known and talked about to that degree would not be at all comfortable for some kids. Wanting to keep some things private isn't always from a sense of shame, but maybe personality. You know SB best.

All the best to you - you all are in my prayers and it is so wonderful to hear how well SB is doing. (And, yes -that girl can WRITE!)

gary rith

DUH, of course it is YOUR story together, its not like she lives alone! Part of the greatness in this story is how the FAMILY came together to work on the situation!

Slow Panic

You each have a story here. And I think it would be wonderful to write about it. I'm completely out of touch and haven't been reading any blogs for months and this is the first I've read about SB's eating disorder. I'm going to go back and catch up.... hoping for the best for both of you.

Jen on the Edge

It's both your stories. Actually, it's your whole family's story, but since you and SB have been the ones down in the trenches on a daily basis, it's mostly hers and yours.

I agree, a book by the two of you would be a great addition to the body of knowledge out there. I know that I've learned a LOT from your blog posts about this (as well as general parenting over the years) and I also know that I'd LOVE to read about it from SB's perspective at some point when/if she feels ready.

Jessie - a different one

It seems to me that it is your story, her story, and the story of your whole family and the support you provided to SB.

I think that the two of you writing a book together would be wonderful. The different perspectives on dealing with this would be great.


It would be wrong if you were sort of talking about her behind her back. But if you are using your part of the book to talk about how parents feel in this situation, there is nothing wrong with that. I can't even list all the well-written books written (at least in part) from the parent's perspective. Beautiful Boy and Come Back are two that leap immediately to mind.

Everyone has a story. That's what is fascinating about blogging - hearing everyone's stories.

Cassi Renee

Um . . . all that cooking you've been doing? All the behind-the-scenes support to make sure she can focus on her recovery? Darn right it's your story too!


I think it would be powerful for both points of view to be in one book. The most powerful thing would be showing where your stories diverge and where they converge. Sharing your unique inner monologues would be fascinating. The key is not to fill in her story with your words AND not to fill in your story with hers.

Green Girl in Wisconsin

I think it's both.


I think, by virtue of the fact that she is still underage, living with you and clearly the treatment is a whole family process, it is CERTAINLY a shared story.

Yeah, if this had happened in her mid-20s and she lived 2000 miles away - it might be more hers than something shared.

But I know I would not question for a SECOND why you couldn't write something together. I love the idea of switching back and forth chapter by chapter with your two voices and perspectives.


Good question. You both have stories here, and you have a shared story; the ownership is in the perspective. You could argue to your neighbor, "So, when I tell about the day SB was born, am I also co-opting her story, or is that my story as well, as it's part of my life narrative, and I was a primary agent of change?" On the other hand, the neighbor could argue the story belongs to the person whose decisions and life are threatened. I have a deeply dear friend who is battling cancer, and her spouse always refers to it in the plural--i.e., "We're going to get on a new regimen and push our cancer back..." Someone I know commented that it seemed weird for that spouse to use language that implied she was facing anything like death herself, that it is wrong to use "we" and "our" when she's not the one who will be dying. I can see that. However, the spouse is the one with the energy and drive to attack the cancer; she's the one who gets them to appointments and sits through them and does the research and asks the questions. By benefit of love and energy, the cancer is part of her.

Now I'm rambling, when all I want to say is that I can see this book by you and SB coming to fruition and being really helpful and powerful. That you've been blogging it will provide you with such great documentation of the whole process, indeed.


Heather already wrote what I wanted to - you write every other chapter from your own point of view.I am sure both of you would be able to help others who are now struggling with what you have been through.
As for your neighbour's response... I really don't know what to say about that, so I'll just refrain from commenting.


You each have a story here.

I think it would be really fantastic to have a single book that talked through anorexia from both perspectives. You could either do it chronologically or by sub-topic.

I think the key would be complete and total no-holds-barred honesty from both of you. No sugar-coating or white-washing the good or the bad. If you would really do that - and I absolutely believe you would - then I hope you write it. I think you would help a lot of people by doing so.

Aunt Snow

It is your story, too - it's the story of a family.


It definetly is a story that belongs to both of you. So often, outsiders dismiss the journey a caregiver takes along side their loved one. Without the support of my husband during "our" cancer journey I might have had a different outcome. Also, other parents of children with Anorexia might benefit from your story intertwined with your daughter's.
Your neighbor, perhaps, just doesn't understand the connection.

Busy Bee Suz

It is most definitely a story to be told with both your voices.
I remember that wonderful essay SB wrote; the apple does not fall far from the tree!


I totally agree that your stories are intertwined. I also think writing a book is a wonderful idea. Every once in a while I wonder about writing one about what Mayan and I have been though, but I'm not there yet.


It is her story mostly, but also yours. I certainly think that other parents in the same situation would be very interested in your perspective. It would be an interesting book - to hear it from both sides. If SB wants to write a book together, I say go for it!

Karen (formerly kcinnova)

I would say there are several stories here: hers, yours, and the one where they converge and overlap. This is why writing a book together (sharing chapters or divided by chapters, whatever works best) is a brilliant idea. From what you have shared up to this point, the entire journey has been one of incredibly hard work done by SB and a huge amount of support (and yes, more hard work) done by you and others in the family.

Eating Disorders

I was delighted to find this web site. I wanted to thank you for sharing with us. This is really wonderful! I really enjoyed every bit of it. I totally agree that your stories are intertwined. I have an opinion that writing a book is a wonderful idea....


You did say you were talking to her about writing it together. It is very much a shared story. Her experience is obviously different than yours, since she is the one with the ED. But it is a shared effort, a shared story.

Minnesota Matron

Jenn - Of course, with the blog and a few published memoir pieces, I've thought about this quite a bit. Being the mother of a daughter with anorexia is your story and it's clear this is what you're telling, This story just intersects, necessarily, with SB's. But if I think about SB and how she's feeling -- the intimacies of her own journey -- those are excluded from your account. To me, this says you're doing a beautiful job of steering clear of what's hers and focusing on your story. It's a real art to be able to do this, and you've got it!

Buy Nike Shoes

How sweet that he made it home in time. These are great pics, even if it wasn't your first choice of venue. ;)

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