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

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kkhrd
So my daughter is doing really well.  She is currently in her senior year of high school, fully weight restored and dare I say thriving.  She looks like a new girl.  Her senior photos were taken at the start of the school year and I actually gasped at how gorgeous she has become.  She is no longer the scared, bewildered, skinny, scrawny LITTLE girl that she has been her entire high school career, but instead a beautiful, vibrant young woman.  

She has never dealt with mean girls before, and I counted her lucky for choosing such good friendships.  I can only guess the reason for this is that she has never been a threat to anyone before.  She was always the awkward skinny girl who stood in the background and who looked like everyone's little sister.  Now however she has grown 4 inches, gone through puberty, her hair is fuller and thicker and she's beautiful.  I am so proud of her.

This year, her senior year, supposedly the best year of her high school career, she is bombarded with mean girls.  She is essentially being bullied by her best friend of last year, who has ostracized her from her other friends, and she is feeling very lonely.  She still puts on a brave face and heads off to school every morning, but I can see that she is sad and I am TERRIFIED!  I keep having bouts of PTSD about her trying to gain control by starving herself, and while I have not seen any behaviors, I know that it is a possibility.  

I was just hoping that someone out there has dealt with this before and could advise me.  I know that there isn't much to do other than be vigilant and watch like a hawk, but I am worried for her, so I just thought...  best to ask the experts!

Thanks in advance you wise Carers!
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sk8r31
Gah...mean girls.  It is just a hard, hard time to have to deal with those small-minded girls.  And you are right to keep an eye out for any behaviors that may be triggered by those thoughtless, selfish, and clearly unkind young women.  The good thing, in the long run, is that your d will find her 'tribe', the friends who love her for who she is, and celebrate her vibrancy. 
 
Unfortunately, it may mean not finding those nurturing and supportive friends until after high school.  But in the meantime, does your d do any volunteer work, or have social connections outside of the high school milieu?  I would try to nurture any outside relationships if possible and focus on the future.  Is your d planning to go to college or university?   What are her interests and goals outside of high school?  Is there something, an activity or interest, that she might like to delve into? 
Again, in the long run, learning how to manage adversity (and mean girls are one of those terrible things) can actually empower your d, and help her to develop the life skills she'll need as an adult.

Check out some of mamabear's posts.  I think her d also had to deal with mean girls in high school; it wasn't pretty.  But I know she was successful in navigating that challenging time.
Sending warm support to you & your lovely d.  
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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kkhrd
Yes, She does do so much volunteer work, but mainly through her school in clubs for Habitat for Humanity, Operation Smile, and community garden.  She's also edits the school paper and a literary magazine.  She is a eucharistic minister and an angel ambassador, but again all school affiliated things.  She has always made school her happy and safe place spending much of her free time volunteering and getting involved, that this recent development it devastating for her.  They only thing outside of school is her cheer squad where she has other friends, but unfortunately, her "best friend" is also on her team and she is nervous about her bullying tactics infiltrating her other friends at cheer.  She does see other girls outside of school on weekends, but the week has been unbearable for her.  This girl lived at our house last year, went away on vacation with us...  It makes no sense at all.

My D is applying to college for next year, so the only saving grace is that this will be a good test for her.  If she can handle her current situation without falling into old patterns, I can feel relatively confident that she can handle being away at college without backsliding, but we shall see.  After the college application process is done in November, she is hoping to get a job locally, so this may be an opportunity for new friendships away from her frenemies at school.

I do agree with you sk8r31, in the long run this will only make her stronger, but last night she actually wept in my lap, which she hasn't done since she was younger, and while it was a tender moment, it made me so very sad for her.
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scaredmom
Oh kkhrd,
I will reply a bit later when I have more time. I just don’t want you to feel alone with this so sending a big hug right now
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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kkhrd
thanks for that scaredmom!  😘😘
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scaredmom

Your d is doing so well! 
Look at these positives:"She is no longer the scared, bewildered, skinny, scrawny LITTLE girl that she has been her entire high school career, but instead a beautiful, vibrant young woman.  " WOW So amazing!! And well you should be so proud and YOU did this kkhrd!!
I find the adolescence really can bring out the mean/competitive side of many of us. Who can really say why these girls do that, but I alway wonder if they themselves are so insecure, they act that way to feel powerful. It is not power it is cowardice, imo. I sometimes feel badly for them. It makes me wonder what that other girl is going through that she needs to do mean things. If it is really bad, is there where a discussion with the school or her parents may be required. I had to do that with my ED d age 12 in grade 7 here 6 months into ED! This girl and her brother were screaming racial insults at her... well that is another story!
Is there another group of girls your d can hang out with? what about other girls that belong to the same clubs she belongs to? Maybe inviting one of those girls over may help. 
The thing about cheer, would it be something to discuss with  the coach? I know girls want to keep it private, but just making sure it is not something that she needs to tell the coach. Are there other girls on cheer that she gravitates to? 


Your d is a leader. She is full of light and love! I see that in this:"She does do so much volunteer work, but mainly through her school in clubs for Habitat for Humanity, Operation Smile, and community garden.  She's also edits the school paper and a literary magazine.  She is a eucharistic minister and an angel ambassador" 

I know it is awful, she has just been through H3!! and so have you. I have PTSD from my own high school years, and worried/worry so much about my kids going through the same. And as YOU know what is right and wrong behaviour toward others, she knows too. That is golden and she will internalize your nurturing to give her support in those stressful times- you may not see it yet but it will come. I have told my daughters when something like this has happened (yes a few times here with both Non ED and ED d) that we can see how they are suffering so that is why they lash out.My oldest d non ED was bullied/abused in her final year of high school, so I do understand how horrific it is to see them in emotional pain. It helped both my d's gain some perspective, empathy and forgiveness and it helped to lighten their angst to see those people as suffering within themselves.  I have used the knowledge that some friends we need let go in love and kindness and others will come to us with love and kindness. It helped my  kids feel less upset. It helps me to remember that too! To know that we have different friends at different times for different reasons is normal. I know it is so hard right now. It really does suck!

I am not sure if anything here helps you. But this too shall pass and it may be a time for your d to move forward with other people that are more supportive. She may just have to ask another girl that she never thought would be a friend "around the corner", to hang out, go shopping, etc.. 
That other friend is there, I am sure!

Our hearts really do break when they are in pain. And with ED the pain is more poignant, I think. They have been through enough physically and emotionally and we just want it all to be fine. I am sorry this is happening. 
(PS I still cannot watch any Mean Girls movies- too painful for me personally! 😔)

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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kkhrd
Thank you scaredmom, she really is doing well despite all this negativity, but I just worry that it will all be too much.  I have always marveled at her tenacity, she does keep trying.  She has removed herself from the mean girls lunch table and has sat alone, another friend did come over and join her and ask her to sit with her that day, that gives me hope for her at school, but I often wait on pins and needles to see how her mood is when she returns home. D is constantly putting herself out there with others suggesting outings, lunches, movies etc.  and while all her other friends do engage and I find her weekends are usually full, it’s the day to day that must be trying for her.  I think that her mean friends are mostly passive aggressive and talking behind her back, rumoring to other girls, while all this is awful behavior, it isn’t unusual for this age, and it isn’t blatant enough for me to get the school involved, so I do fear by doing so I would be putting a target on her back.  Similarly with cheer...  I find her coach to be like a big high schooler herself emotionally and she often gossips about other girls to the cheerleaders, so I fear her learning about Ds struggles with ED.  It’s like a mine field of emotions surrounding her and I am afraid to mis step.  Currently I am just offering emotional support and crossing my fingers that things improve.

I must say that I agree with your thoughts on the other girl’s motives.  My D over the summer had many friends come to visit and stay with us at our beach home, and I often wonder if this made her best friend jealous and insecure, you see my D was always glued to her side and once she began to heal and become more secure in her own skin she started branching out.  I think that her best friend took this as a personal affront.  I think her bestie enjoyed having my D under her thumb, now it seems she’s trying to put her in her place.  However I much prefer the newer version of my D to the older version, so I hope her mean girl tactics don’t work!
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sk8r31
It sounds as though your d is doing so much better, both physically and emotionally, the mean girl stuff aside.  She is engaging others in social activity and truly becoming her best self.  Your assessment of her bestie's behavior is likely spot-on.  That girl may be very insecure herself and enjoyed having your d to control.

As painful as it is to see your d's distress with the 'mean girls', I think you can model calmness & support by not focusing too much on the 'bad behavior' of the mean girls, but focusing on the friendships that are nurturing and supportive to your d.  And frankly, Cheer doesn't sound like the best activity or environment for your d....I wonder if there are other activities that she might find more uplifting, either inside or outside of school.  The Cheer coach sounds a bit toxic, to be honest.

My d, several years older, had to weather some challenging stuff in high school and in college with other students who were mean or petty.  Learning good coping skills has been very positive for her, and she is a very strong advocate for herself, both academically and socially.  She was a bit timid, prior to ED and during the tough times, but so very much stronger and happier now.  I have great faith that your d will weather the 'mean girl storm' and come out stronger and happier too in the end.
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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scaredmom
I think it is great she is branching out! That tells me she is resilient and will be able to weather this stuff out! 

I wholeheartedly agree with sk8r31 ,that coach sounds quite immature and toxic! 
Maybe that is not the best place for your d. 
Also agree with sk8r31 about tolerating her distress and showing her the positives. This may be the first time she encounters such people and it for sure won’t be the last. Building on her resilience and learning how to manage these situations is part of maturity. It sounds as if she really is doing quite well  even with this bump in the road. 
These are life lessons and  for us as parents to bear witness, as we remember our own past struggles and pain with similar issues, is painful. All of us, everyone of us, has their burdens and trials and tribulations, all part of life. It can shape who we are as we live our lives. We are all but a mixture of our experiences that make us who we are today. And we can’t keep them from their own paths. The emotional pain is ok, it is growth- so long as nothing  truly  bad happens.

I think, no I know, she has a great role model in you, kkhrd! 😊
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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scaredmom
Sorry I was philosophizing at the end there! 😊
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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kkhrd
Thank you scaredmom😢 that means a lot to me.  I agree with you both about the cheer coach being toxic, but she absolutely loves cheer and she does have some good friends on the team, so I do encourage her not to listen too much to what her coach says, especially when she's talking about the other girls.  She is co captain this year, so there is a whole slew of other politicking that goes on there.  It's her last year after 4 years on the team and she would never give it up.

I do appreciate both of your encouraging words.  She is so much more resilient than I was at that age, so I think she will be fine, but the added awful layer of this dreadful disease is what gets me most worried.  
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Mamaroo
Hi Kkhrd
Sorry the mean girls are making your d's life hard now, it's so unfair. But your d has grown, not just physically, but also emotionally, becasuse she has gone through so much. She is now more mature than her old friends and they sense that and now they feel jeolous. I think it would be a good idea to get her into activities where she can meet new friends, even if the activies are more mature like volunteering at an art galery. I know your d will get through this as well!
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
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Barberton
Hi Kkhrd,

If you are not familiar with Jade Hameister, then show your daughter her TEDtalk.  http://www.jadehameister.com/

Inspiring.
D fell down the rabbit hole of AN at age 11 after difficulty swallowing followed by rapid weight loss. Progressing well through recovery, but still climbing our way out of the hole.
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kkhrd
Wow!  Barberton, she is one incredible young woman!!  Her Ted Talk made me cry, thank you for sharing, I will be sure to show my D!  She is absolutely right too, girls should be lifting each other up and encouraging their peers, not trying to cut each other down so that they feel better about themselves. 

D's behavior actually really surprised me yesterday which was so nice.  Her mood was completely upbeat and happy last night.  We talked about her day and I asked what happened at lunch.  She found other friends to sit with and they were happy to have her.  I think she was convinced that the garbage her mean girl friend was spinning about her not being liked or wanted by everyone and being talked about behind her back was truth.  I think that once she saw that her real friends were still there for her, she was able to write the other nonsense off as lies.  I will continue to be vigilant and watch for behavioral changes, but provided she just removes herself from the toxic mean girls, I think she will be okay.  Thank you all for your thoughtfulness and wisdom!
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Mamaroo
I'm so happy to hear she found other friends, that's great news!
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
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