Home » Blog » Rebuilding Trust Among Family Members Through ED Treatment

Previous post: Exercising as a Family to Support a Healthy Lifestyle

Next post: Advocacy Efforts for Families to Become Involved In

January 3, 2016

Rebuilding Trust Among Family Members Through ED Treatment

Contributor: Nikki DuBose, contributor for Eating Disorder Hope

I knew that look on my brother’s face one Christmas Eve several years ago as I walked out of the bathroom. I had seen it too many times. It was one not of anger or disgust, but rather, of disappointment mixed with sadness. His silence spoke volumes, but I was certain what he would have said. “You’re not doing that again, are you?”

In fact, it wasn’t just my brother’s trust I had broken during the course of seventeen years of eating disorders, addictions and battles with various mental health issues. Almost everyone in my family and anyone I had had a relationship with had been whipped into the Nikki hurricane, only to be spit out again and left for dead.

I had a habit of using people for what they could do for me, and then leaving them when emotions became too intense to handle. It was painful for me to form loving, trusting bonds with my family members, let alone anyone in a truly intimate capacity, which went back to the original trauma of being sexually, physically and emotionally abused as a child.

Focusing on Honesty

When I began recovery in my mid twenties, I knew it was going to be a long and hard, but necessary road. Armed with continual therapy, an online sponsor through the twelve-step program, spiritual resources, books, medication, and leaving my career and everything behind to focus on my mental health, I was determined to get well. One of the first issues that came up was the subject of sheer honesty.

How many times did I lie to myself daily and how did that keep me entrapped in my disordered behaviors and thoughts? Who in my family had I lied to and manipulated to get what I had wanted? As I worked through the steps of recovery with my sponsor, I wrote down all of the things that I had done to my family members and soon realized that most of the anger I held towards them was unjustified because I lived my life hurting them, not the other way around.

Whatever pain I was carrying from the past was over and done with. The way I was behaving in the present was only breaking their hearts and their trust.

Asking for Forgiveness

lterer Sohn im Gesprch mit seinen ElternAfter I went through my inventory, I shared what I had learned with my family and asked for their forgiveness. As they saw my genuine willingness to recover, they lovingly accepted my apologies and helped me to continue along the path of healing. As long as I worked, they worked with me, and therefore, new and authentic trust was rebuilt.

Yes, destruction and pain is real and there are times when you might think that nothing can be repaired. But when you take an honest look inside yourself and act in a humble manner towards others, an amazing thing starts to happen: love and commitment has the power to heal everything.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What has been your experience with relapse and forgiving yourself? Who do you reach to for support?


Nikki_Dubose_2015 Web-6About the Author: Nikki DuBose is a former model, host, and actress who has recently turned her career focus towards writing, public speaking, and mental health advocacy. She is a passionate dynamic voice in the mental health field and seeks to encourage others to develop a strong sense of their intrinsic value and self worth.

Nikki grew up in charming Charleston, South Carolina and lives in Los Angeles. After traveling the globe and working as a fashion model and commercial actress in exciting destinations such as the Middle East, Paris, Barcelona, and London, she was inspired to leave the industry to pursue writing full time. Her writing is focused on encouraging others to overcome the deadly grip of mental health issues that affect millions. She draws firsthand experience from a long-standing battle with eating disorders, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addictions, and a wide range of mental health issues.

Her memoir is set-to-be released this year and recounts her life struggles and ultimate triumph over the mental disorders and addictions that plagued her for most of her life. She has been published multiple times within The National Eating Disorders Association for her hope, strength, and community outreach initiatives. She continues to advocate for NEDA, writes for the association and other incredible establishments such as Eating Disorder Hope and Recovery Warriors. She has been able to connect with people around the world through her website and speaks and assists with other organizations covering various mental health issues, body image and self-esteem.

Currently she serves on the executive board of Project Heal SoCal Chapter and on the board of directors of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, which seeks to educate, support and empower sufferers and the public about child sexual abuse. In addition to her writing and advocacy, Nikki is pursuing her degree in Psychology.


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 3, 2016
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com

Previous post: Exercising as a Family to Support a Healthy Lifestyle

Next post: Advocacy Efforts for Families to Become Involved In

Search Eating Disorder Hope