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Torie

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Reply with quote  #1 
Oh my.  Here we go off into the vast beyond.

I dropped my d off at university 3 hours from home, but honestly I'm not sure this is the best thing.  I belatedly realized at the eleventh hour that her mental health is quite a bit worse than I had thought - ugh ugh ugh.  I'm not so worried about her eating as about her anxiety - she has been well and truly wr for more than 3 years and did a great job feeding herself all summer.  But the anxiety!  Through the roof.  Her history of SH and suicidal ideation worries me so much.  

Every year her mental health takes a turn for the worse at the same time - right now (late summer).  Such unfortunate timing. 

My advice to those with somewhat younger teens is to start preparing early!  The summer flew past in a blink what with all the travel and having her friend visit from across the country.  I'm sorry to say I didn't get many of the things done that were on my mental list so now I'm kicking myself.  I hope she will be okay.

She is so young.  So very young - much younger than you would think from her chronological age.  (Well, fellow FEASTIES will know that makes perfect sense but the rest of the world ... ) 

In about 10 days I'll head down to meet her new therapist with her and see how D seems.  

Please send thoughts of strength and hope our way.  Thanks.  xx

-Torie


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"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
catbells

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Reply with quote  #2 
Sending you and your darling d many, many strong thoughts and love. Maybe her anxiety has been greater because of the move? It's a big step for any teen never mind one who has been what she's been through.
The good thing is, is that you will be meeting her therapist. Are college aware of her history? Can they put something in place to let you know how she's doing?
How great that she is able to start college though! Nerve wracking I am sure for you but back in those dark days I bet you hardly dare hope for this.

Sending you virtual hugs xx

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Mum to 17y/o D living in England. RAN since Sept 2015. Refed at home but after getting within 3kg of WR D relapsed July 2016. hospital twice for 2 and then 5 weeks. Now IP since Sept 2016.
martican

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Reply with quote  #3 
Torie - what a significant and challenging step both you and your D have to do! Sounds like you set up some support there, such as T....what about any doctors, or even close friends to keep your D under their wing, and report to you? Are there any anxiety support groups maybe? I totally get your worry about your D' mental age. I know that if you get into any suspicion of ED you will fly there. Keeping you in my thoughts and keep us posted! Xx
toothfairy

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Reply with quote  #4 
Dear Torie,
Wishing your Daughter the very best of Irish luck in college.
I really hope it works out,
You are a wonderful Mum.
xxxx

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Son,DX with AN, (purging type) in 2015 ,had 4 months immediate inpatient,then FBT at home since. He is now in strong recovery, (Phase 3 ) and Living life to the full, like a "normal"[biggrin] teen. This is with thanks to ATDT. Hoping to get him into full recovery and remission one day at a time. Getting him to a much higher weight, and with a much higher calorie plan than his clinicians gave him as a target, was instrumental to getting him to the strong recovery that he is in now. Food is the medicine.
Kali

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Torie

What a big day for your daughter and for you! Take a bow for being able to help her so that she is able to go away to college! 3 hours is not that far and if she falters, you can be there to help her. I know you are anxious but you know what to do; visit regularly, meet with her and her team to let them know you are her trusty support person, and let her spread her wings and see how she does...I hope it will be a wonderful experience for her.

Face-timing is also a good way to stay in touch.

warmly,

Kali


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sk8r31

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Reply with quote  #6 
Wishing you & your d all the best during this exciting, challenging and somewhat nerve-wracking transition.

Transitions are times when parents and carers need to be on their toes, and alert for changes in mental/physical health for our kids who've had an ED.

Sounds like you will be right there if needed, as a safety net.  We definitely had an 'eyes on' visit monthly for the first year and skyped or spoke regularly.  Facetime is wonderful as well.

Good that you've got professional support lined up, and it certainly helped us to have the Residential Fellow or Dorm Advisor aware of our d's health history.

Sending warm support,
sk8r31

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It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
deenl

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Torie,

Can't add anything better than the experienced voices above but just wanted to wish you all luck. You have done a wonderful job and I am sure that will continue.

Warm wishes
D

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2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, tons of variety in food, stepping back into social life. Sept 2017, back to school full time for the first time in 2 years. Happy and relaxed, just usual non ED hassles. 

  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal. (but don't give up on the plan too soon, maybe it just needs a tweak or a bit more time and determination [wink] )
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
Foodsupport_AUS

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Reply with quote  #8 
Best of luck Torie, it is a great challenge for her and you. I am sure her anxiety will ramp up in the first few weeks. We  see it every year at university, but then it settles as she gets into the new groove of things. Hopefully the same for your D too. 
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D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Sotired

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Reply with quote  #9 
I know what you mean Torie about them being younger than their chronological age.but even then we still have to let them try to fly.three hours away is not so bad and if you haven't already(though I'm sure you have) you can always contact the counsellors at your ds uni and just ask if they could introduce themselves and make themselves known to your d.my d introduced herself to the onsite medical clinic staff for example and could give them clear ideas what she would need from them if she needed medical attention.
You don't mention whether your d is on any anti anxiety meds,if she isn't and her anxiety ramps up, would she take the meds if it was the difference between being able to manage her anxiety enough to stay at her course or not?
As you will meet with her therapist maybe that is a subject that could be broached with her?
It's frightening letting them go.i wanted my girl to go do her thing,but under the relief of getting time to myself there was always a worry thread.its there for all parents but perhaps when you go through tough times you have an extra worry strand that others don't understand.
You've put safeguards in place,you're going to have a better idea in a few weeks if more supports need to be put in place,now time to roll with it and see if things will work.most likely they will,but if there's one thing all of us learn on this journey,it's that if the plan does have to change,we can adapt to that quicker than most,with much less "what iffing".
Much love hon,

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Sotired42
skechers

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Reply with quote  #10 
Torie, I will be dropping my d at college in another week-also three hours away. I understand just how you feel. My d still has and always has had anxiety. SHe's on meds and we've done the therapy thing over and over so she knows coping skills, but still I worry. The good news is that she has really been doing great this past year, eating normally and on her own. Here's hoping both our girls stay healthy.
HateEDwithApassion

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Reply with quote  #11 
Congratulations, Torie. You have been such a bedrock of support for all of us - we are here to encourage and listen as you transition with your D.  Sounds like you have everything in place for her to succeed - now you get to watch her spread her wings. [smile]  Praying she settles in and uses whatever coping skills she's found that are positive and can help her with anxiety. Hopefully, she'll be better off than most teens who don't have the benefit of having those skills under their belts.



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17 yo D. Diagnosed in July 2013. W/R in Sept. 2013 and has remained so. Roller coaster on and off since, mainly with ED under control but co-morbid depression and other negative coping mechanisms making our life hell. Trusting in God for daily strength and wisdom.
BattyMatty_UK

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Reply with quote  #12 
I know how you feel, Torie! But I know you'll keep a close eye on things, even if you are some miles away. If you've read my blog, you'll know about our university experience and how there were some glitches first time around, even second time around for the first year. But it all turned out swimmingly well in the end - my son is just completing his Master's and about to start teacher training in 2 weeks.

What we did the second time was to enlist the help of various people at the uni. You will probably find there's a group of accommodation mentors (as they were called at my son's uni) who are there for any students who need to chat about anything. The head mentor was wonderful and even arranged for my son to move into a different apartment. Student Services also provided links to people who were there 'just in case' (counselling services, etc). And, when you live some distance away, it can be very reassuring to know there are people you can call up and ask to visit your child (subject to getting your child's permission; my son was glad to give this in writing to everyone so there were never any data protection issues). He also signed up with a sympathetic uni medical centre GP.

The first year was rocky (I seemed to spend a lot of time in the uni city, and he came home at weekends on the train), but from the second year onwards things improved massively and by the third it was plain sailing. My son made new friends, even got onto the committee of a huge uni (nerdy!) society and moved in with his new friends in his final year and last year while doing his Master's.

With us, the first time round didn't work out. My son lasted a few days before he was back home and we were busy doing the rounds of uni people to postpone his start date for another year (followed by meeting up with all the above people to make sure he had a firm foundation in place for next time round).

His impromptu 'gap year' was a very productive year in terms of kicking out the remnants of the ED, getting stuff together to make second time around easier to cope with and also doing some voluntary teaching work at his former school (which has come in useful now he's doing teacher training).

I really hope it works out OK for your daughter. But if it doesn't, for whatever reason, and she needs to do what my son did and take a year out, then it's not a massive problem, especially if you have a supportive uni which we did. But do keep an eye on her as I know that the stresses of uni can work against some young people. That sounds a bit negative, sorry!! Just writing this from a 'been there, done it' perspective!!! And, yes, my son did seem young, too, younger than the other kids starting uni, even though he was the same age.

But, as I said above, if it doesn't work out this time round, don't worry. Your D can always try again, like my son did.

Get in touch by email if you need to pick my brains about uni, won't you? And if it helps, check out my blog from September 2012 (first time round), spring 2013 (where we met up with all the uni mentors, etc) and September 2013 (second time round) where I talk about what went on.

But hopefully everything will work out fine. xx

Hugs!

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Bev Mattocks, mother of 23-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.
Torie

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Reply with quote  #13 
Thanks so much, everyone!  It sure is great to know that you're here for us.  She tried Prozac for a while in the early days of AN,  but it seems to make her more suicidal and besides, she had a terrible attitude about taking it so I was never too optimistic that it would help her.  Her non-AN sis is also starting therapy for anxiety so I think that gives her some comfort knowing she isn't the only one.

I keep telling her it is okay if she gets poor grades, it is okay if she needs loads of help, everything is okay except she MUST KEEP EATING.

I feel terrible knowing how hard it is for people to see an "off to college" thread when their daily struggles are so much more acute.  Ugh ugh ugh.  I hope, though, that the message of hope shines through because we have all seen those dark, dark days when even living through another night was a victory ... and it really can / does get better.  (Sure hope we're almost done with the "after it gets worse" parts.)  

I will keep you and your d in my thoughts, sketchers.  Good luck to us all. xx

-Torie

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"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
BattyMatty_UK

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Reply with quote  #14 
I've put together some links to my blog posts about university: My son's first (aborted) attempt and how he managed to get himself 'university ready' for the following year... My son's second attempt and its ups and downs... through to his second, third and fourth year at university. So it kind of goes from negative to Major Positive.

Hopefully all of you parents here who are waving your sons and daughters off to college or university will have a successful experience, but just in case things get a bit rocky, you might find our experience a help??

(PS And OMG trust him to fall prey to a phishing email pretending to be from Student Finance, just as he was trying to settle into uni second time round!!!! That was all we needed. Aaaarrrrggghhh!)

Is your son or daughter about to leave for university or college? Are you worried about how they will cope? I've put together some links to my blog posts about my son's experience at university - how he made a success of it... eventually!!


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Bev Mattocks, mother of 23-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.
tina72

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hi Torie,
I know what you mean about the "real age" and I hope my d will be as far in recovery as yours when she goes to college (hopefully next year).
It is hard to let them go but I think there is never a "right time". We must try it and if it doesn´t work take Plan B and try it again. As always for the last months/years.
It can get worse, surely, it always can. But it could get right and she could be o.k. and that could be such a great challenge for her. It could put her anxiety down to see: I can do that. I´m able to leave the nest. I can care for myself. See the positiv thinks: She eats. She is not far away. You know what to look for and how to care for her.
Its so hard for all Feasties to let their beloved children go after this struggle. But they have the right and the opportunity to live a normal life. And what if that works?
I keep all fingers crossed! Toes, too!
Keep posting, we learn from you because that is our future, too!
Send you a big hug!
Tina72
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Reply with quote  #16 
Torie- Sending you warm wishes... you have been a rock for all of us, and whatever comes your way, you'll know how to move forward. Hope you have a great visit.
mjkz

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Reply with quote  #17 
Congrats Torie and family!!!  That is awesome and totally expected that her anxiety would be high.  I'd be more worried if it wasn't high.  3 hours can seem really far but in reality it is not.  You are doing all the right things.
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Reply with quote  #18 
Hi Torie, good luck to you and your d. Thank you for all your support. You are a good mom and I am sure you will be on top of things and able to swoop in if help is needed. I wish your d all the best this year. XO


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Francie

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Reply with quote  #19 
Hi Torie, I was in this same place last year my d started college 3 hours from home I was terrified .She was seeing a dietician and therapist and we had a contract . She was ok for the dietician to contact me with her weigh , she would have to come home if her weight went below a certain weight and at the start I visited each week and she came home every weekend I know sometimes it's not always an option . I was so scared but thankfully she got through the year. On two occasions she had to come home for a week to regain lost weight but she really enjoyed college life and her course. We had some difficult times during the year and still have but it's improving all the time .You are doing a great job and your d is lucky to have you there to support her . Wishing you and your d the best .
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Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
Torie

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Reply with quote  #20 
Thanks so much, everyone.  This is a whole different kind of stress - not being able to see my d.  Just not knowing.  It has been one week now - is she eating enough?  Is she stressed out of her mind?

She says she is meeting people and has joined some clubs.  She can understand all her professors (sometimes their accents are so strong that isn't the case).  

The only problem I know of is that she has been hanging out with a "friend" from high school who is extremely toxic for her.  Ugh. 

Bev, thank you for the links to your son's journey into uni.  So helpful as a reminder that all is not lost even if it doesn't work out.  (As long as she stays alive.)

As for me, I've been taking my anxiety out on the weeds, which are available in abundance.  I have always found weeding to be therapeutic.  

I will see D next Thursday.  Until then, finger crossed.

Again, thanks for all the well wishes and support.  Best of luck to us all. xx

-Torie

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"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
iHateED

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Reply with quote  #21 
Best of luck to you and your D as you both navigate this new time in your life.  I remember all to well the fear and anxiety I had when my D left for school.  I am sorry to say my anxiety/PTSD lasted the whole year and beyond.  

Here are some things we did that may be of help to you, if not, please ignore!

- For my D's school the recommended course load is 15 to 18 credits.  Our D's first semester, we only allowed her to take 12 credits which is still considered a full time student at her university.  We wanted her to be able to ease into making friends and school work without being as overwhelmed as she would have been with one or two more classes.  We also wanted to make sure there was plenty of time in between classes for getting food.  I think this really helped her that first semester.

- I was able to go onto her school meal plan and see how often and where she ate and how much she spent from her dining points.  I couldn't tell exactly what she ate but I could make pretty good guesses.  If she went to a coffee shop and spent just a few dollars, I knew all she purchased was coffee.  The dining halls are "all you can eat" and I know if she went with friends she would have a decent meal.   Are you able to track her spending like this?

Hang in there!

OneToughMomma

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Reply with quote  #22 
Dear Torie,

I can relate to that last summer slipping through your fingers!  It was like that before my d left, too.


However, you and d have done an amazing job, and you will be there to catch her if need be.

My only advice from where I sit 18 months later is to remain vigilant and involved.  As you say, it's not what most college-aged kids need, but it IS what our kids need. 

Keep us posted!

xoOTM

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D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]
HateEDwithApassion

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Reply with quote  #23 
Torie,

This is a whole new stage for you, and it's so hard to step back and potentially let them sail... or fail if that is what happens. I have not mastered this letting go - probably no one on this board knows how to do it well since we've been so overly involved in our kids' lives for so long. With so much at stake.

I pray that she is settling in and will do well. If she struggles, that's okay too. Many non-ED kids struggle at school, so it's not unheard of. Keep us in the loop. Those of us who will eventually be sending ours to college can learn a lot from you and others who have done the college thing.

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17 yo D. Diagnosed in July 2013. W/R in Sept. 2013 and has remained so. Roller coaster on and off since, mainly with ED under control but co-morbid depression and other negative coping mechanisms making our life hell. Trusting in God for daily strength and wisdom.
Torie

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Reply with quote  #24 
Update: Visited my d yesterday, and all seems well IF she is eating enough to support all the university walking.  It is crazy-making being so far away and with so much wondering.  "Time will tell" is nerve wracking.

I know you will appreciate something that the outside world would not notice at all: My d had gone off to class, and I was trying to install the printer I had brought for their room.  One of her roommates asked, "What's this?" and tipped open the lid of brownies I had brought along.  My heart sang when she was THRILLED to see the brownies. (I live in fear of roomies who subsist on lettuce and celery sticks.)

What follows is mostly a note to self as a journal entry.

As best I can tell, all her roommates embrace food of all kinds.  Yay!

D asked to go to one of those restaurants that has the dreaded signs with "x calories for this and y calories for that" for every single item.  And she said "yes" to adding the cheese and guacamole.  She made good choices for dinner, too.

She is out and about, trying out clubs and also went to the office hours of one of her profs.

New therapist seems committed to "goals" and "skills" as opposed to uneaerthing underlying trauma.

Note to parents who have not yet experienced modern dorm food: It is SO much better than when we were in university.  Thank heavens for that.

Thanks, as always, for your support.  xx

-Torie

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"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
deenl

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Reply with quote  #25 
Glad the visit went well. 

Hang in there. I am sure you will get used to your new normal in time.

Warm wishes,

D

__________________
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, tons of variety in food, stepping back into social life. Sept 2017, back to school full time for the first time in 2 years. Happy and relaxed, just usual non ED hassles. 

  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal. (but don't give up on the plan too soon, maybe it just needs a tweak or a bit more time and determination [wink] )
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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