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HateEDwithApassion

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Hi,
Looking for suggested responses when D calls from residential with a litany of comments: It's not organized here. I want to come home, and I'll work hard there to get better. Everyone hates it here, not just me. I want to leave with you when you visit. The girls are cliquey. Etc.

It's only the second day, but I already dread seeing her name on my phone. The center prepared us that we will get these calls. Said to just listen and encourage and they will do the rest. I know it's normal. I'm just running out of things to say back.

I've been validating her feelings and showing empathy. She asked if I would be okay with her coming home, and I said no.

I continue to validate and then change the subject to whatever I can think of. Suggestions on other things to say? I'm out of ideas and keep saying the same things. Maybe that's ok and she'll get bored and stop asking??! Ha


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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.
Kali

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Hateedwithapassion,

It is a step forward that your daughter has agreed to go in and I hope she will turn a corner while there! My d. also begged and cried for me to take her home and I was very firm and said that I understood that treatment was very difficult but that she needed to be there and that we would be happy to welcome her home when she completed treatment. At one point we were sitting in an atrium in the hospital in a public space outside the unit, and she crawled into my lap crying mommy I love you take me home take me home I love you over and over again. Honestly, I don't have any illusions about her state at that time and don't think it was really because she missed us; I think it was because she knew they were very serious about weight restoration and she didn't want to gain the weight and thought that if she came home she could try to get out of eating again. As time went on she became friends with some of the other patients and they shared a special bond because of what they were going through.

When your daughter starts to gain some weight, her head clears a little, and she gets used to the routine, she may actually find that she is benefitting from therapy, likes some of the other girls and starts to feel better.

Good luck!

Kali






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Torie

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Reply with quote  #3 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HateEDwithApassion
I continue to validate and then change the subject to whatever I can think of. Suggestions on other things to say? I'm out of ideas and keep saying the same things. Maybe that's ok and she'll get bored and stop asking??! Ha


Sounds like you are doing about the best that can be done with this.  One of the things I liked saying was, "I'm so sorry.  It really sucks having an eating disorder, doesn't it?"  Put the blame where it belongs: on ED.  I think my d really didn't like hearing this, which might have helped her stop saying the things that provoked me to reply with this.

Keep up the good work.  xx

-Torie


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Foodsupport_AUS

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Reply with quote  #4 
I absolutely agree about laying the blame firmly at the feet of ED. 

I also had pleas etc. from my D but after multiple admissions and never once taking her out early she did learn there was on point in pleading. Making it clear that you think this is the best place for her at the moment, even though she is finding it really hard will help to slow things down. At the same time I think it is important to hear what she is saying and take on board concerns where you feel she may not be being heard as well as she should. 

For example I would sometimes raise concerns about the protocols that were causing difficulty. Not because I expected them to change, but because she could see I still was going into bat for her, even though I thought she should still be there. 

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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.
mjkz

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Reply with quote  #5 
Set a limit on how many calls you will take and how long you will listen to complaints.  One day I got 20 calls and 25 texts from my daughter all saying the same thing.  I finally told her I would talk to her once a day and for every negative thing she said about the place she was at, she had to say at least one positive thing. If she couldn't, then I was hanging up. It took a few days but it finally got through to her that I wasn't going to listen to her ED anymore.
bccka5

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Reply with quote  #6 
Consistency is key. Keep saying the loving things that you are. Blame it on ED.

My D was in IOP so I never had these calls. In the beginning she hated going to the Center everyday and begged not to go. She wasn't happy anywhere she was though. After about 12 weeks, we started talking about transitioning back to school, she pleaded not to go back and wanted to stay at the Center. Change can be very hard during this time and it's scary to them.

I also want to share something that our dr. told us. Most patients don't even remember the first few weeks of treatment. She said she had adults who couldn't even remember how to drive to the Center after recovery. It sounds absurd but my D doesn't even recall the excruciating pain that she had for months during refeeding. I, on the other hand, will never be able to forget it.

So my point is, even though you feel like a broken record, it's ok to keep saying those encouraging things. She needs to hear them a lot, her brain is doing a lot of healing. 

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Daughter diagnosed with anorexia at 12 in 2013 without having any image issues/concerns about calories or exercise. Hospitalized - 3 days. FBT at home along with outpatient therapy - 16 weeks. Recovered/weight restored - 4 years. Still gaining and growing but has no hunger signs yet.  
HateEDwithApassion

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Reply with quote  #7 

I spoke with my D tonight. She was not hysterical (improvement) but still wanting to come home next week when we visit for Family Days. I calmly explained that she is in the best place for this right now. That we have this opportunity right now to get her started on recovery again, etc. She listened. 

I wanted to share some of the things she said that seemed kind of alarming to me. I didn't react but wonder if you heard these things or experienced them, too.

- She said most of the girls are very negative and talk about how they can't wait to leave and stop eating again. Yikes. She finds it really triggering. She hasn't yet met someone who wants to recover, but instead they are pissed at being there. The contrast is that her inpatient ED and PHP residents were really positive. They were trying to get well and encouraged one another even if they were struggling, so she's kind of shocked by this environment. Thoughts? Is this typical for a residential program? She called it toxic.

- She has a roommate, there were no single rooms left when she admitted. All other girls have single rooms. She asked to be moved to one today when someone left. They told her "they don't normally do that." I'm not going to get involved, but why wouldn't they? She asked becuase her roommate is one of the girls who is negative and talks about resuming restricting as soon as she leaves, which has been really hard on my D to hear and keep going herself.

- She said group therapy has been essentially fluff. One session they played spoons the whole time. Another, it was ice breakers and get to know you kind of stuff. In contrast, the local program did a lot of education during sessions. They were informative and even shared the Minnesota Starvation Study and how no foods are good or bad, etc. She called the day programming empty.

I realize it's only three days in. I also realize residential is a place where there will be lots of different levels of illness, with many who are very entrenched. I realize, too, that she doesn't want to be there, so she's seeing the negative and making sure I hear about it.

Her being there is needed. It's a good thing for many reasons. But, some of the things she's saying were things I had read on this forum as downsides to residential treatment. I didn't react to all of this - just told her in the real world, in a college setting, there are going to be lots of people living unhealthy lifestyles, saying triggering things, etc. and this is a good time for her to strengthen herself to stay in recovery in a difficult setting. I also said that for now, this is the best place she can be because she's tried to do it with less support and that hasn't been successful. I told her to give it more time, and talk to her treatment team honestly about all of this since they are in a better position to address anything than I am.

Thoughts? Reactions? Should I have concerns yet? Or is this typical comments - typical environment for residential? Thanks for all of the help you give me. I feel like I'm always seeking your expertise and encouragement. But I really trust your experiences and knowledge. Thank you for being here.


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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.
Foodsupport_AUS

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Reply with quote  #8 
I can't speak to a residential environment, however my D spent many months in hospital having treatment that she didn't want, and at the time expressing very strongly that her eating disorder was a part of her and she was not planning on recovering. Most of the people she met in hospital were of a similar mind set, though there were a few who truly wanted to recover. 

It is indeed a difficult environment, as even those who truly want to recover have doubts put in place frequently by those who strongly are expressing their disordered thoughts. 

To me the responsibility of  protecting the very vulnerable people in such an environment falls on the treatment centre itself. That is, it is imperative they have rules and processes in place to help to counteract some of this. This may include things like single rooms, lots of supervision and reminding those with very negative conversations that it is unhelpful, monitoring of behaviours that are triggering. Yes your D will need to learn to live with this in the real world, but right now she is vulnerable, and if she wants to get better she needs support and not encouragement to go backwards. You did mention you were considering other centres before, would somewhere else be better?



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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.
Kali

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Hateedwithapassion,

We had kind of the opposite scenario. In the residential center, the women were generally supportive of each other and trying to recover. But there were some very seriously ill women there since they did not shy away from difficult cases. And in the beginning I think my daughter was also uncomfortable with some of the other patients, it took a little while to settle in. In the php and iop my daughter stepped down to, there were many clients there who did not want to eat and did not want to be there and weren't in the least interested in recovery. I didn't love the php/iop and neither did my daughter but I looked at it as a necessary part of the process at that time and she stayed until they discharged her. They would not discharge her unless she maintained her weight and ate at mealtimes; she was there for 2.5 months, so that was an incentive to finish the program and also to eat. There were girls there who were on their way down into the disorder and my daughter was on her way up again. So this was my suggestion to her: identify which patients were eating and sit next to them at the table. And you could encourage your daughter to find any girls/women there who ARE interested in recovery and to become friends with them. 

My daughter had a roommate for part of the time and a single for part of the time. If your daughter is finding her roommate triggering why doesn't she mention it to her therapist and see if there is another option? And there is nothing against you mentioning it also when you go out.

The truth is that any residential setting is very difficult, especially at first. She is having to face some really hard truths right now and is at a crossroads in her life; after finishing high school and not knowing what lies ahead. And she has to eat every day. And worry about what kind of life she is going to create for herself.

My advice is to stay the course since things were very difficult at home. You will see when you go out there and speak with the therapists how the program is. And if she goes through the program and then remembers how difficult it was when she gets better, it can act as a deterrent to relapse if she does not want to have to go back to residential again.

Kali

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mjkz

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Reply with quote  #10 
I would also point out that your daughter wants to leave and everything she is saying is going to be colored by that.  She will find only people who don't want to be there because it matches what she is feeling.  My daughter has never liked being in an inpatient or residential setting.  She never found it a positive experience and quite frankly it motivated her to make it work at home.  Your daughter is pretty sick and that is going to change how she views things.

I would tell her to keep pushing for a single room if she has a room mate that is triggering.  I pretty much insisted my daughter had a single room any place she went due to her nights being so difficult due to nightmares and flashbacks.  She has a significant trauma history and needs the space.  She finds it extremely difficult to sleep with someone else in the room.  If she hadn't had that history, I would never have gotten involved but if you think she needs a single room, I would encourage her to keep asking.
HateEDwithApassion

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thanks to you all! And today is her birthday. So sad. 

I will encourage her today on the phone to try and find others who seem to be eating and more interested in recovery to sit with.

I did encourage her last night that when she sees her team today to be insistent that the roommate is triggering, especially if they do have an open room she could move to. I found that a strange reply when all of the other residents do have single rooms. I told her she needs to be the squeaky wheel and advocate for herself since she's there, and I'm here.

I will also share with them next week the many conversations going on that are not at all recovery-focused. I think now, she may very well be wishing she did the program your daughter did, Kali. Ha! It sounds more like what she came from.

I am so so so grateful to you who are sharing your insights. I am without a roadmap in this, so thank you!!!!!!!

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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  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HateEDwithApassion
The center prepared us that we will get these calls. Said to just listen and encourage and they will do the rest. I know it's normal. I'm just running out of things to say back.


Especially since they acknowledge that you have a role in talking to your d about all this, I might call them and ask for advice on what to say about some of this.  And if you / your insurance are paying the (astronomical) bills, I would ask them about getting your d a private room. 

It is so weird to me how one day we have to sign their every absence note at school, and the next day we are supposed to be part of the landscape.  No matter that they have a mental illness or two. xx

-Torie

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

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HateEDwithApassion
And today is her birthday. So sad. 


Bittersweet, I would say.  For sure this is not what any of us want for our kid's birthday.  Not not not.  But when the alternative is low income housing while waiting for a spot at an ineffective center, well, then we have reason to celebrate the hope.

On this birthday, she is taking this first step toward recovery.  What better gift could you give her than that.  xx

-Torie

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

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Reply with quote  #14 
Hi Hateedwithapassion,

Quote:
And today is her birthday. So sad. 


Deja vu...happened to us also. Was unutterably sad. Try to believe that things can get better. And I'll add something to Tories comment about gifts...this is also the best gift she can give herself for her birthday even if she may not realize it today.

Kali

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deenl

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Reply with quote  #15 
Today is my son's birthday and he is doing well this year. But he spent his 13th birthday IP. It was so sad at the time but has faded into the mists of time. I hope your daughter makes progress so that, in time, this birthday can be simply part of history.

Proficiat, (in Dutch they congratulate family members on someone's birthday too!)

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.
deenl

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Reply with quote  #16 
Today is my son's birthday and he is doing well this year. But he spent his 13th birthday IP. It was so sad at the time but has faded into the mists of time. I hope your daughter makes progress so that, in time, this birthday can be simply part of history.

Proficiat, (in Dutch they congratulate family members on someone's birthday too!)

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.
mjkz

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Reply with quote  #17 
Wish her a happy birthday for us and the hope that future birthdays will be better.  My daughter has spent so many holidays like this inpatient and it just plain sucks for them and us.  Torie, I love your comment about the signing absence slips and then fading into the background!!  So true.
K63

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Reply with quote  #18 
Hi hateedwithapassion, when my daughter was ip and wanted us to bring her home she painted a very negative picture of it to us. Initially she refused to eat and said well I am not eating here so ye might as well take me home. She complained about some of staff doctors , dietician but we knew she needed more help than we could give her . Hope your daughter will veer towards positive people and that this will start her recovery journey.
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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. 
hopefulmama

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Reply with quote  #19 
Oh my it is amazing how these calls from residential and the pleas they make are all of the same.  The bottom line is when she was home it wasn't working and that is why she is there.  Keep reminding yourself of that. I had to remind my d of that too. 

When my d was at veritas more than 5 years ago, I heard all the same.  The girls were mean to her, nobody wanted to get better, so many were dealing with gender and sexuality issues, they didn't supervise them, everyone talked about her because she wasn't skinny enough and on and on and on.  I too HATED those phone calls.  About 10 days in, we had a crisis.  During a family therapy session, she told us that was 18 and was going to check herself out. She then launched into all of the same reasons why.  She asked to come home.  We said calmly (for some reason it helps me when I speak quietly and slowly to stay calm) that we loved her and we knew that she was where she needed to be and we could not allow her to come home.  Thankfully, she only had a re loadable debit card with a few hundred dollars on it and was in another state. (You might want to be sure she does not have access to funds in the event that this becomes an issue.) She went ballistic and screamed at us and hung up.  It was all ED!!!  Her ED was being challenged (as I guess your d's is at ERC) and it lashed out.  It was a real turning point for my h and I because we felt like for the first time in more than a year at that point battling ED, we finally stood our ground.

In the end she stayed because she had no money to go anywhere.  She even called back later that night crying to apologize. That day set the tone for the next several months.  We were NOT backing down and we were going to kick ED to the curb and she knew that!

At Veritas they had their phones for a few hours at night. After too many calls that ended badly for me, for her and for my then pre-teen son who was often in the car with me when she called, we set boundaries around calls.  She could call and vent for 5 minutes.  I would listen and validate and not try to solve the issues. (Internally I would try to remember it was ED talking and not reality.)  At the end of 5 minutes we would change the subject.  if she couldn't move to talk about something else after a few gentle reminders, I would end the call saying it was not helpful to her or me.  It took a bit, but in the end it worked.  Before long she wasn't even calling to vent.

Just keep reminding yourself, it is ED.  I have spoken with literally dozens of parents how have gone through the same thing and have received calls where they say all the same things.  It is as if there is a secret playbook somewhere.  Knowing that helped me a lot.


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Enjoying my 21 year-old daughter's achievement of active recovery that was made possible by the resources and education I found on this forum.

Don't give up hope!
HateEDwithApassion

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Reply with quote  #20 
Hi,

Quick update. Daughter still at residential. Sad but not calling hysterical. Birthday was sad, of course.

She told me today the programming has not been strong. But her individual therapist is very good and so is the family therapist we'll work with. She feels the group therapy is just busy work and not helpful. Who knows. 

She is on strictest admission for the first week, so no leaving the unit today while others went on outings. That bummed her. On Tuesday, they will move her to transitional residential where she'll have more freedoms. She does have a single room now, which is good.  She's heard when the move a patient to transitional residential, they only have a week or two more in treatment. I don't know if that is true, but if so, I find it amazing, because that would be really quick. We will see when we go there on Wed. for Family Days.

This is why I'm getting my ducks in a row for UCSD - because I think I am going to need more support when she comes home. That's where the wheels always fall off. My H can't take off any more work after the time he takes next week, so UCSD would be just her and I, with my H weighing in on the contract remotely. I think he'll learn a lot this week while in Denver though for Family Days, so I'm happy about that.  





__________________
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.
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