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freedomfighter

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Reply with quote  #1 
Just one month after posting in desperation on ADTF, we have started re-feeding, on day 2.  We prepared ourselves as well as we could and plunged in.

The meals have been varied, some disconcertingly peaceful, but in between has been frightening, D is terrified and furious and in despair as she realises that we are serious.  It has been particularly awful at night.  Have already made some classic blunders (breakfast today, once we managed to get her up - she is 16 and on half term - she refused to eat the muesli, I negotiated and ended up cooking her an fried egg on toast IN FRONT OF HER aaaaaargh, never meant to do that, all disastrous, then she refused to sit at the table and sat in the corner beside the rabbit's litter tray with her back to us, ate it, stormed out, then I saw she had deposited the yolk on the floor.)

Lunchtime she went awol but surprisingly she texted to be collected 2.30 instead of staying out all afternoon (instead of 1pm, lunchtime), I went and got her and she ate her lunch in the car, though she threw the tomatos out of the window. 

later...supper-time, she refused to eat the pastry on her pie and squashed it all down and poured water all over it, so I made her a piece of toast to eat instead.  She poured lentils and water all over the floor, pulled books form the shelf.  She stuffed the toast whole into her mouth and tried to leave the room but my husband stood at the door, not restraining her but it had that kind of vibe.  She was pushing and kind of sobbing and my heart feels broken.  We let her out, she stormed upstairs to the bathroom, turned on all the taps, tried to get in (there is no lock), she screamed at me. I don't believe she has ever purged but it feels like she might start just to kind of punish us. 

How she hates us right now! I understand it is the anorexia hating us not her etc but... it's her too, right now.  So hard to bear.  So frightened of what she might do.  She has now left the house, in the dark.  Probably to go to the gym.  My husband has suggested I go out to a friends music event, which I will do. 

Lord have mercy.


tammy

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Freedomfighter, I am relatively new to this as well as our Eight year old son was diagnosed in August 17. I am sure there will be more experienced members in soon with lots of good advice. I just wanted to congratulate you on your achievements so far and to give you some hope.
Re feeding was awful for us as it is for most families. The resistance was massive, our son turned into a demon. He threw things, damaged property, was violent to us and hardest of all he tried to hurt himself and begged us to kill him.
With a lot of the tips from here and from Eva Musbys book and videos we managed to get through the re feeding. Once he realised that we meant business and that he did not get out or get to go to his clubs etc until he ate things started to improve. If took many long dragged out feeding times and lots of compassion and understanding. We also had to hide knifes etc and lock doors and hide keys from him.
We are still tackling fear foods and still struggle some days but our son is coming back to us. He eats his meals and has recently started taking snacks himself when he feels like it. The bad behaviour has almost all gone and I felt comfortable enough to put the knife block back in the worktop yesterday. It probably will get worse before it gets better but you will get there.
Tammy
scaredmom

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Reply with quote  #3 

freedomfighter,

You are doing such a good job! She is eating and that is your goal.She knows you and your H are serious. It is so hard. When my D threw the food away or "damaged it", I replated the same food again and again.. I repeated it over and over again. She finally got to a point where she knew fighting would not get her  anywhere. Now my D was 11 almost 12 when diagnosed. With a high calorie diet and weight gain she will heal- but it will take a lot of time. Just take it one meal or snack at a time. It may help to look up high calorie foods too. I know right now it is early but get the calories in. If she is going to fight, it will be for any type of food, high calories or not, so make the calories count. 

We had issues with D standing all the time and we had to stop ALL physical activity. If you can get her stop all physical exercise, please do it. Do you pay for a gym membership? Could you cancel it?   We had rewards for sitting more, and took away her phone if she did not comply.But we tried to reward the god behaviour. Her father sat with her when we had to have her sit more over time and that helped her. We took a canoe ride and so she had to sit.  It is harder as your D is older and can leave the home more readily. 

I know you feel she really hates you and H but it is ED, not her. It feels like you will never have a good relationship with her with all this anger, rage etc... but it is ED.Please try to remember this. It really does get better.  
All my support.
You are doing a fine job!

 

mbsmom

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi freedomfighter,

I am new too so all I can offer is you are not alone. My 16 yr old s is in his 9th week of refeeding and 3lbs shy of gaining all his weight back he lost last summer. He continues to gain as I learned here he is a moving target and still growing.

My s has been mostly compliant up until now - we are in the process of pulling some big fear food weeds and seeing a lot of anger and resistance. Our rd/therapist explained he is grieving a loss in addition to fear and to expect unpredictable ed behaviors. He has not been violent but I grew up in a home with violence so just the thought of it brings some ptsd.

We also made several mistakes including negotiating, arguing and allowing some behaviors to avoid conflict. That was before I had the resources and information I have now. My H and I are on the same page and know this is the way to the other side as painful as it is for all of us. I also try to remind myself there is always something else to try if something doesnt work.

I have learned the importance of regulating my emotions as I can go from weepy to angry fast. I am practicing (or I should say faking) peace and calm in the storm.

There are so many experienced, kind and compassionate voices on this forum. It sometimes helps to know we arent alone.

Xoxo
Mamaroo

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Freedomfighter
You are doing a great job, we all have replaced meals with choices from our daughters, so not a biggie. As they say here: you either win or you learn (bet, you'll make scramble eggs next time [wink]). When refeeding remember the 4 C's: Compassion towards your d, being Calm (even if you have to fake it), Consistency (have a menu on the fridge with all the meals on it & keep meal times the same every day) and Confidence (again fake until you have it).

Best of luck!!!


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D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for a year and WR at age 11 in March 2017. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her. Now working on intuitive eating.
hopenz

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Freedomfighter, and congratulations to you and your husband on making an awesome start.  It is not your d who is "terrified and furious and in despair as she realises that we are serious", it's ED, angry that you've called it out!  I'm not surprised your d phoned you to pick her up.  Deep inside she'll be so thankful that you're taking up arms agains her bully.

You seem to have lots in your favour:  humour, a hubby on the same page as you, determination, and an amazing support network right here.

May I make a couple of suggestions?  Put your china away, anything you'd be sad to see broken.  If you haven't already, prime a friend that you may need extra support over the next little while - a coffee or vino or phonecall to blow off steam.  Encourage your husband to do the same.  Prepare to be rock solid in your expectations that your d eats, as ED will try anything to reduce what she eats.  A saying I love on this forum is that you can't negotiate with terrorists.  Cultivate a sort-of invisible force shield that you power up as meal times approach so that you can meet that ghastly ED behaviour and hate speech with calm and quiet compassion.  Put your meal plan/menu up where your d can see it so that she knows you're in control, and also so that when you're having a wobbly day you are reminded of exactly what you need to do, and your husband does too.  And expect things to be ghastly for the next little while.  It was such a relief to me to be reassured that the spitting, hitting, kicking, shrieking and ugliness was completely normal.

My d was 13 when we started refeeding at home so I appreciate this may differ for you as your d is older.  On really bad days, we quietly locked the front door when the worst dramas were kicking off.  This was after a few occasions when she ran out into the dark in a terrible state and we feared for what she might do.  I realise you and others here may not be comfortable with this... just a suggestion.

Strength to you, let us know how it goes.
tina72

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi freedomfighter,
what I learned in the last year: If you see the demon, you can fight it. If everything is fine and she seems to be compliant, you may have a whole in your net.
It is so hard at the beginning, but I can tell you it will get easier with every day you stay firm.
Replace food. Put away the china [wink]. Take away everything that could be thrown, pured. Put your house back into the state of having a small child in there.
Lock the doors if needed. If she is not back at home for meal times, she cannot go out. Don´t let her sleep too long on weekends so that she misses breakfast and you get out of routine.
Don´t let her go to the gym, she will exercise there and all you got in may be lost.
Be aware to give her no opportunity to purge, if she begins with that it will all be more difficult. Hang the door off if needed.

Yes, ED hates you at the moment. But I can tell you, your d doesn´t hate you. My d said a lot of terrible things to us and hit us and screamed and threw things and now after one year she doesn´t remember anything of it. The kids can forget that, try to do that, too. I know it is hard.
Try to have some couple time for you and hubby and try to see friends outside the house (both of you). Be kind to yoursef, you need power for a long run.
But you will get that. The first time is the hardest. With every day you broke ED´s rules you are one day in progress.
And try to save your humor. Read Laura Collins book, I laughed a lot while reading it.
Tina72
Foodsupport_AUS

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Reply with quote  #8 
Well done on getting started. The fact that you are meeting a lot of resistance is evidence that you are doing the right thing. I would second the idea that ideally there is no exercise for the time being and that meals are replaced if at all possible with the same,though it can be a good idea to have a stock of Ensure or similar if too many end up on the walls, or there is an outright refusal for which a substitute seems a good option. With this as a back up there is no negotiation other than meal or supplement, and always make sure the supplement has more calories.
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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.
LauraCollins_US

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Reply with quote  #9 
Sending congratulations to you and your husband on the common front, the caring for one another, and the eviction of ED. As hard as it is to SEE and HEAR and FEEL the wrath of ED I think it is better when it is out there instead of just beating them up invisibly inside. Same monster, same torture, but you've made him have to do it out loud and to engage with you instead of just her. That's good. Incredibly hard and heartbreaking, but good. Your dear one is not alone any more with it, telling her lies and bullying her. Your response to his tantrums and flailing is a loving and very parental stance, which of course is his worst enemy.

He'll pipe down as your daughter sees how clearly you are on her side, not his, making it safer for her to get through the difficult work of eating and getting back her life. He'll lurk, and look for opportunities to crawl back in, but nothing is worse than leaving them to fight that battle alone.

Well done, really!

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tina72

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Reply with quote  #10 
Freedomfighter,
how are you doing?
Tina72
freedomfighter

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thanks for asking.  My heart is still thumping, but I think our capacity is growing.  D has eaten 3 meals each day but the hate is getting stronger and the violence is escalating. Still no broken glass (which I think is a real boundary).  Consequences now for violence, laptop removed until that part of the day is over (am, afternoon, evening).  Also she has been throwing away food, pouring olive oil & milk down the sink, putting cheese, peanut butter, muesli, really expensive organic yoghurt lovingly bought for her, all in the rubbish. 

Yesterday the anger changed to sorrow a bit, and I though maybe the protracted scenes from the exorcist may have passed but no, lunchtime today was HORRIFIC.  Really upset our 14 yr old S.

But two good things.

When I gave her a foot rub last night, her feet were no longer cold, like a dead person, they were warm and rosy.  That gave me joy.

Also, I was in a supermarket yesterday, and it was so good not to be looking bleakly at the wholefood bean salad thinking it might tempt her.  Instead I was able to get her proper food which, like it or not, she would have to eat.  This blesses me so much.  I am frightened right now but the terrible bleakness of just watching her slip away is no longer.  We are fighting for her.  

Thank you for support everyone.
EC_Mom

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Reply with quote  #12 
Freedomfighter, I remember so well the months of heart-thumping. It was really awful. But you are doing so much the right thing with all that feeding!

I know people have different "discipline" styles around the out-of-control behavior with ED. My own view was that the ED did those awful things, not my d, so once eating happened there was no punishment or 'consequences'. And after an awful, mean episode I made sure to connect lovingly with my d to communicate with her that I was on her side, not mad, etc. Whatever works for your family, though, is what you should be doing.

It sounds like your steely resolve is really working, cheering you on here!
tina72

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Reply with quote  #13 
You seem to make progress, so that is quite good. [thumb]
Throwing away food: Tell her you will replace everything going down the sink with double portion on her plate.
Son: think about getting him out of the line a bit. Maybe hubby could eat with him seperately or you can eat with him first and than with your d. It must be terrible for the siblings, try to give him some extra time or get some relatives or friends into the boat that can do that for you.
It is great that she allows you to give her a foot rub. Try to offer some massage as well. My d likes it a lot and it fixes boundaries between us that cannot be destroyed easily by ED.
Supermarket: I so remember my first shopping after we found FBT. No more anxiety what is allowed to buy and what not. Just watching which yoghurt has the most calories. I remember feeling watched by the other women: Oh, look, she is buying cream yoghurt and full fat cheese! Yes, I do!!! And chocolate, and crisps, and cake!!!
The fear will be there for a long time, but it will get less. You will feel much more safe and you will feel that you know what you do because it is working. That gives you so much power. My d lost 1 kg recently and I didn´t freak out. I just rolled up my sleeves and went to the supermarket and started cooking.
You will feel so much better in a few weeks when you see some progress and your nice beloved girls is looking around the corner again.
Keep on fighting. It will get better.
Tina72
Torie

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by freedomfighter
We are fighting for her.  


That says it all.  You are in the battle of your life - a war, really - and it's important to celebrate all the small victories.  You are having a lot of them already - yay, you!!  Yes, there will still be terrible mealtimes and awful scenes, but you will see better times sprinkling in more and more.

"When you're getting flak, you're over the target" is a famous saying here.  And my favorite of all, "When you're going through hell, keep going."

You're doing great.  Keep going. xx

-Torie

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

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hi, you're doing a great job! [biggrin]

As you have seen, unfortunately ED is still here and angry. I found that when we started refeeding, my d's anxiety was reduced, but as soon as the weight came on (tummy and face first) the demon raged again. We just persevered and told my d that she is not fat. After a while the weight got distributed to the arms and legs and she started to grow, which lessened the anxiety. There is a last peak of anxiety, known here as the 'extinction burst', which occurs at 5kgs or so below weight restored target. Please note that the weight restoration target is a moving one and increases with age and height. For many months my d was always 10kg underweight, due to her getting older. Eventually we needed to increase the calorie amount to close the gap. Also look at your d's historical height and weight curve to determine what her ideal weight range is. My d was a big baby, so needed to be at the 90-95% percentile. She was hospitalised at 50%. Doctors tend just to look at the average and not specifically at your child's chart. If you feel the target is too low, just keep on feeding.

Sending lots of hugs!!!!

__________________
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for a year and WR at age 11 in March 2017. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her. Now working on intuitive eating.
freedomfighter

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Reply with quote  #16 
Another day down, 3 meals in, but a tough day.  D almost 17 and 6ft tall so her rages are scary and take over the whole house.  The destruction is down (due to threat of laptop being taken away) but the hate and anger and total denial are terrible. 

I made the mistake at dinner of using the word malnourished and she blew up, and insisted that her assessment didn't say that, and asked me to show her where it said that, and I made the mistake of looking through the assessment to find this word, which wasn't there.  Realise I was foolishly trying to argue with the ED.  She made loads of awful accusations and so full of fury.  My H very low afterwards (he is social worker and comes home from a very tough day at work to more abuse). 

We remind ourselves that it is important work we are doing, the most important kind of work.

Small glimpse of joy for me, after bringing her lunch to college in the car park, after she had eaten it I brushed her hand with my hand and.... it was warm, not freezing.
Kali

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Reply with quote  #17 

Dear Freedomfighter,

Slow and steady wins the race with this illness. Keep on going and feeding your daughter and try to minimalize any arguments with the eating disorder. It took me awhile to catch onto that...that I didn't need to argue with her about how she thought I was trying to make her fat, etc. I stopped talking about weight...the language I used was "being fully nourished". That is a little harder to argue with. But I would only respond once, so you could try and say what you think and then if she wants to keep at it you could try saying "I already explained what my opinion is". She can say the same thing, you can even agree to disagree, but just keep the food coming. Try to change the subject to something more interesting when it starts heading in that direction. My daughter was newly 17 when it became apparent that there was a problem and really for the first 9 months she tried her hardest to get out of eating as much as possible and I ran around after her with a plate of food and was never quite behind the 8 ball as they say. It takes awhile to figure out what will work.

I also felt totally abused: and someone on ATDT explained that the internal abuse is much much worse for the sufferer. 

There is a way to counter the eating disordered thoughts with a calm, loving, yet firm manner. I started to realize that when I felt tense and angry inside (even if I was not showing it on the outside) things went worse; when I was calmer things went better. 

Hope tomorrow will be a better day.

warmly,

Kali


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Torie

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Reply with quote  #18 
We call that "feedback, not failure."  Whatever else I might say about the experience, I sure learned a lot.  Unfortunately, none of it was stuff I wanted to know.

You are having such important victories!  3 meals despite the difficult day - woohoo!!  While ED rages, please remember that your real d will thank you one day.  

PLease also remember that we're with you in spirit.  It does get better. xx

-Torie

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"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
tina72

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Reply with quote  #19 
Hi freedomfighter,
you are just a few days in and you will learn soon what to say and what not. We all make these "mistakes" up to now. As Torie said, it is learning by experience.
Great that you got all 3 meals in. Hope you can add some snacks soon.
It will get better, remember that like a mantra in bad days. And some day in future she will be thankful for that, even if you cannot believe that now.
Could hubby get his work a bit down? You both need a lot of power and it is important that you care for yourself.
Send you a big pack of power for today!
Tina72
EC_Mom

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Reply with quote  #20 
Yep, lots of missteps and resulting blowups here too. You can't win arguing with ED. If you can remember in the moment, try to quietly back down from whatever the verbal dispute was. Feeding is the only important thing. (And keeping you and everyone safe in case of violence.)
freedomfighter

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Reply with quote  #21 
Day 11, and things have settled down a bit.  I know this because we haven't had to send out emergency prayer requests at all hours of the night and day since Tuesday.  Also, on Wednesday, I got a tiny tiny glimmer of a smile during lunch-time (which then shut down), which kept me happy for days.  Breakfast today was silent and surly but not toxic and abusive.  If I ask her something now she says 'Shut up', not 'fuck off you sadistic bitch', so it's all good!

She's angry this afternoon though (not sure why) and I am starting to get nervous about supper (salmon risotto - what's not to love?)

Need enormous wisdom for next week, so would appreciate some advice.

It's her 17 birthday at the end of the week.  Her friend as a present bought her tickets to a concert in London so they're getting the train there.  It has been long arranged and of course I would love her to go.  But it will mean missing dinnertime at 6pm.  How should I approach making sure that she eats?

Also she is on a college day trip to London next week, this time missing lunch (normally I bring her lunch to college).  The kids get given an hour to do their own thing at lunch-time, there is no supervised lunch-time session, and again, I don't know how to approach this.  I am anxious and over-thinking everything.  My heart is thumping all the time still.

Any bright ideas gratefully received.  Big thanks as always!
EC_Mom

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Reply with quote  #22 
Freedomfighter, let me take a moment to CONGRATULATE you on heroic and effective refeeding! Look at how far you have already come in just a few days!

Make a lot of risotto! If she throws it, you need enough to re-plate, and maybe more than once.

Can you make it a very early dinner, possibly moving other meals earlier too? That is such beautiful short-term leverage, I would hate to waste that. Maybe even require a little birthday cake before the concert? How early would they need to leave?

Another option is for you to take the train with them (sitting in a different car if that helps) and having a bite with them in London before the concert. Can she handle a restaurant?

Same idea for the college day: Can you meet up in London, even if it's for a quick calorie-packed milkshake? Or is she far enough along that you could skype lunch with her? 

BTW you are NOT 'over-thinking'. You are thinking just right, exactly how you need to think to keep your refeeding momentum. This is how ED parents think. You are doing all the right things, and it is paying off!
tina72

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Reply with quote  #23 
Hi freedomfighter,
yeah, you got it!!![thumb]
So happy to hear this!
To answer your questions from my view:
There are two different days with possibly one meal missing?
I would not let her go for the college day trip, because two missing meals in one week are too much. If you cannot make sure that she eats something with the ideas EC-Mom had, I would not allow that at this stage. ED must see that eating is top of the list and life comes later after meals/snacks. She has to eat well to be able to do all these things normal healthy teenagers can do. My d had a day trip in June last year (6 months in refeeding and just at WR) and we did not let her go because she would have missed 2 meals 2 snacks and that was too much.
Birthday: That is different because it would be punishment to cancel that I feel. How long will she be away from home? Can you put dinner earlier as EC-Mom said? Can you give her a lunchbag and her friend will help her to eat it? Can you join them until the concert starts and get something to eat there before? We had nearly the same situation last December, a friend gave her concert cards for christmas. He bought something with her right before the concert (I gave him some ideas what) and she had a late evening big smoothie when she came back and that worked. So try to make that possible. She should see that life is more than AN. But it should be an exeption. And two exeptions in one week are no exeption any more. London can be done another time, the concert maybe not.

No, you are not over-thinking and it is right to be anxious about that because it can throw you back. But we should not be anxious of ED and think about tactics and strategies to get life back and fight ED. Sometimes it means to do strange things or have extra work. We took my d home for lunch from school for 4 months and drove 40 km extra for that every day. Hubby came home to have lunch with us to make that possible. We never regretted that. Strange challenges need strange solutions!
Tina72
EC_Mom

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Reply with quote  #24 
Good points by Tina. Another idea for the day trip: Can you have a responsible adult supervise her drinking a shake or eating something 'easy', which you hand DIRECTLY to that adult (don't give it to your d)? We had a helpful school counselor supervise my d's lunchtime shakes (imbalanced but high calorie) for weeks. D begged me to let her just take it to him, I gave it directly to him every single day. We know what would have happened if she had it in her possession.
Torie

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Reply with quote  #25 
So glad to hear things settling down a bit.  Yay!

I did so many weird things in the early days to make sure my d could do her activities (non-athletic) while still supervising the meals / snacks.  While it was inconvenient and expensive, I always reminded myself how much cheaper (in time, money, and suffering) this was than if I didn't do the things and she ended up needing a higher level of care.

I like the suggestions you have already received - the only thing I would add is perhaps you could coordinate with the concert friend and take them both to a nice dinner (if your d can eat in a restaurant) in London - as suggested already you would probably need to ride in a separate passage from them.  It can be tricky if the friend doesn't know about ED, but we navigated these types of things with vague explanations like "digestive issues" or "metabolic concerns."  We can always help brainstorm ideas like that if it would help.  I think I wasn't clear in my explanation above, but what I'm suggesting is that the friend might welcome this dinner option as a nice treat and so it might not be viewed as a negative having you there (except for ED).

I don't know what the right answer is for you, but I know I would bend over backward in an effort to have both the activities and the food.

Pleae be sure to let us know what happens. xx

-Torie

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