F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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I don’t think I can go round again. I see friends and family with normal lives and it’s like looking in into a warm house when I’m locked out in the cold. I know it’s partly my fault for not setting impenetrable boundaries, but I don’t blame myself because the mistakes were easy to make. When you see your child  eating and socialising and attending school after having not, you are so grateful and so desperate for normality, you don’t want to see it creeping back in. In all probability it had never gone and was just rearming and morphing to come back in another form (bulimia). It is so sneaky and stealthy it’s hard to spot and now it’s here again it controls me through violence, aggression and self harm. 

How do you find the strength to go through it again? Did you do anything differently? What would have done differently?
Dear Seashell, sorry you had to find your way back here. Unfortunately this illness has a high relapse rate, but on the other hand,  you're not starting at square one. With bulimia, she needs  constant supervision. Ask her to go on bathroom breaks before meal and snack time and keep her distracted and supervised for at least an hour afterwards. Ask her to sing when she's going to the toilet and shower, some parents have even supervised then inside the bathroom. Check her room for items where she could leave vomit (my d used to spit out her food in socks), they can become very creative. 

You should make it clear to your d that violence and aggression would not be tolerated, but keep her safe from self harm by removing anything sharp or poisonous such as cleaning products (today I can clean virtually anything with just dishwashing liquid). Lock up windows and door as they can ran away and I know of patents who have removed bedroom doors as well. 

How to find strength again? I like to listen to positive, motivational podcasts, my favourite is Joel Osteen. You can listen to uplifting music and of course you can come here to vent, we understand. Sending you lots of hugs 🤗🤗🤗🤗
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
HI Seashell, so sorry about the renewed difficulty.  Ugh.  Aside from all the other adjectives I could mention, it is so very unfair.

Mamaroo has given you good advice.  As you will have to dig deep to find the strength to take on this new form of the beast please be sure to take care of yourself.

Thinking of you. xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Hi Seashell
I feel exactly the same as you. My daughter has relapsed with AN. I could have written your post myself. I’m trying to take one day at a time and look no further forward than that. It’s a very lonely path to tread as outsiders can never really understand how utterly devastating it is for the family as well as the sufferer. I’m trying to stay calm not overreact and point out that violence and aggression is not acceptable. 

All the very very best X
Hi Seashell and mid73
I just wanted say thinking of you both 
we’ve been there done that and it’s so hard
so very hard!
but don’t give up, there is hope of recovery 
my very severely ill d is doing ok (always scared to say that though)
I hope you both have access to support and services I think after relapse possibly a higher level of care may be necessary?
hang in there!
Thank you Kazi. We needed IP to get things started last time. And to be honest I think we need the threat of IP to move things along this time. At the moment she refuses to go back to CAMHS as we have been referred. Just hoping I can get her to see the GP    . I have an appointment soon. I think the game AN is playing is eat enough to not lose more weight and assume she won’t be forced to a higher level of care as isn’t being seen by CAHMS  and isn’t “ ill enough”. 
oh that’s so hard isn’t it, this illness is so sneaky
my d had to be on deaths doorstep before we got IP care
my d needed 3 IP admissions and It’s very hurtful to then hear the comments of “revolving door treatment” grrrr!!!
we couldn’t get the weight on her and she needed the extra support 
my d was SH and very depressed 
it’s not a failure to need a higher level of care 
and it’s not our fault DO NOT blame  yourself seashell
its so hard to climb out of a relapse but recovery isn’t linear as we would like it to be 
I’m not sure where the strength comes from just one day at a time one foot infront of the other 
one meal at a time
the only  thing I can think of what I would of done differently was quit my job
but the treatment team encouraged me to go back to work 
guess that did help my own mental health but who knows if it would of made a difference to my d recovery if I was at home Idk? 
guess we will never really know ?

she is going ok at the moment making progress so it’s hard to say 
plus we all have bills to pay, it’s not realistic really to just quit a job is it?

each case is different we are all doing our best trying to get our kids better 
who unfortunately got the dx of one of the most complex physciatric illnesses and we are just supposed to know what to do

keep feeding and hang in there!

" I know it’s partly my fault for not setting impenetrable boundaries,"

No, this is absolutely not your fault.  These are horrendous illnesses to face down and it is incredibly hard to see other families getting on with their lives while you have all this hell.  I totally get your feeling that you simply cannot do this again.  Give yourself a period to accept the situation - and be resentful - and eventually you will be able to start on the treatmill again.

Is your d still under CAMHS clinicians?  If not, you need to get her back under them and under the GP for medical monitoring.

When you have no 'control' over the illness whatsover, I think you have to work to try and get your d on side with you so that you are fighting the illness together.  She will resist but if you can get her to see that while she is still unwell she needs to be medically monitored, and let her know that you will not stand by and watch her throw her life away to this illness, and that you will do whatever it takes to ensure she recovers, however long it takes - she will know that you are there for her. 

If I remember rightly you are on your own with her and with no h or partner.  This makes it an even harder situation.  I had no backing and there was only myself and my d and it was hellish.  While I could not beat the illness, I at least insisted that she had to get her life together and find meaning in it.  That was all I could do because she would not eat anything I made and she would not put on weight for many years.  I never had to deal with bulimia and in many ways I think this is a harder illness to deal with.  I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like fighing b/p.

It is a question of just keeping going - because what else is there to do?

I blame clinicians in many ways for not spelling out at the point of discharge in particular, that patients need to keep fighting and be vigilant and that it is going to take a long long time to be fully recovered.  Clear messages that the battle is not over by a long way.  They should also be giving patients the message that their families are their best hope and support and that they should work with them, and not let the illness alienate and isolate them.  I don't believe I have ever heard any messages like this given out, ever. 


Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
Thank you all for your kind and helpful words. All so very true. It’s only you guys who understand. Had a less tough day today so feeling stronger. 
Relapses happen. Blimps happen. We make mistakes. We are human. And as somebody mentioned here, "this was not in the baby books". Nobody of us was prepared for that.
It does not help you or your d only one minute to look back and blame yourself for what went wrong. You cannot change the past.
But you can change the future. When you have found your strength and power again you can give ED that final stroke that he needs to be fought out of the house totally. You do not need to start back at square 1. You are much better prepared now and know what to do.

It is all try and error. You will find out what you need to do to eliminate this disease. If you would not do it, who else? You know her best. You love her most. You are the best enemy ED can get there!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Dear Seashell,

You deserved to see your child eating and socialising and attending school after having not, you deserved the normality - and you deserve to see it AGAIN!

The hard parts are so tough, we had quickly deleted them from our minds, blocked them from our memory. I am sure lots of carers do. So when a relapse came along I literally had to search through my handwritten notes for the rules and tips. Even though only 3-4 months had passed.

I had to become the policeman again, had to treat my teenager as a toddler again - had to go against my parenting ways. I didn't like it and I was exhausted. 

But we found strength somehow and so will you!  At least we were not in shock like in the very beginning.  Nor did we have to explain to family and friends this time. We were on the familiar road, determined to drive our child home safely again,  away from ED. Your road is slightly different. Your determination will get you and your daughter to safety again. 

Keep an eye out for triggers and try to offer alternatives. Like, how to deal with school exam results, losing a game in sport etc. The hardest for us was when a friend cancelled a date for whatever reason. Your love and motivation is there for her.  My daughter once asked, "And you love me even when I call you names? I wouldn't."  Of course I love her, I don't like the behaviour, but will always love the person and can't wait to see all the great things life will offer her. 

Lots of love ❤❤ and strength 🏋️‍♀️🏋️‍♀️, kerp going 👍👍!

Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
glad to hear you had a better day 
one foot in front of the other
one day at a time 
Seashell wrote:
Had a less tough day today so feeling stronger. 

So glad to hear that!

You will get through this.  With you in spirit. xx

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