N is now 12 1/2 years old. When he first got anorexia, he was barely 11. At the beginning of his treatment, his therapist stated that it was good that N didn't also have bulimia -- that the characteristics N was demonstrating at the time were evidence that we would have a long, long road ahead if N's illness led him toward purging. Because of this concern, we've watched him carefully for signs of purging, kept the research books hidden (with mixed success), and haven't really talked in depth about bulimia. I assumed that N didn't really know what bulimia was and that to talk about it was to also put ideas in his head.
I briefly talked to N after our visit with his Great Grandmother (last post) and wondered whether it made him uncomfortable. You can imagine my surprise, though, when he shifted subjects and started talking about the girl with bulimia, confessing that he had "thought about it" (throwing up), but couldn't stand the idea of making his throat burn. I looked at my husband, who was also processing the comment in shock.
I'm not sure what to do with this information now. I think it was naive of me to think that by not talking about bulimia it could prevent N from purging. It leaves me wondering if we should have (or should be) engaging that topic more directly. Thankfully, though, I really believe him when he said that he has never done it.