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

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daybydaybyday
16 year old d diagnosed 6 months ago but in hindsight ED around for a good while before that. AN & BN. No health insurance coverage so dived into educating myself here (wonderful, wonderful info & support) plus reading, researching & talking to T's etc. Anything & everything I could get my hands on. The problem, as I see it, is that H refuses to believe the info I have found out & applied.(It works!) Refuses to come to this site, refuses to read, research or go to FBT, refuses to support me in any way. He just knows best. I am "crazy, controlling" So we are stuck in this cycle of my feeding, d gaining weight, conflict coming up between d & myself, H intervening, undermining & taking d's side, negotiating with d/ed, d/ed reveling in this & getting away from "mean, controlling mother". D losing weight, H tired after a week or so and my having to start over again & again.  Have tried discussing this with h calmly, not so calmly, with FBT. He says he will not be around during meals, not intervene but then does the opposite  D also became violent toward me & h blamed me for her behavour. It has come up that I spend some time in a safehouse but what of d's health.  D will not leave with me. No family around & no help. Am wondering if there is any hope left.
DaybyDaybyDay
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Tempest
I am so sorry you are going through this family struggle. You d's story/ time-line is so similar to mine except my h and I are a united front. I can not imagine how difficult this has been for you. I wonder if you could give over complete care of D to H for two weeks. In the long term he may have to experience ED for himself to come to the learning himself. I know it took me a couple of months and a lot of research to understand and accept the illness of ED. Since your h won't follow your lead to learn from this site and other sources, perhaps he needs to feel the frustration of being in charge of d's care himself. Right now it sounds like he can take a 'pass' as you are doing all the work. Can you take a couple of respite weeks away and just leave him to it? I'm sure he loves your d and it probably won't take too long to open his eyes to ED when he has to fend it off himself.
Tempest -18 yo daughter diagnosed with EDNOS since 15, FBT at home WR 12/13, relapse 10/14, Residential 2015 for 3 months, PHP several weeks. New dx bi-polar. Home now seeing good treatment team weekly, attending college. D still occasionally purging but weight stable.
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HillBilly
Hi!

There is always hope. Please don't give up on your D. Unfortunately this illness is very good at triangulation, but we have to be very strong and stand together with our partners, clinicians etc. Any conflict or arguments or difference of opinion should not be exposed to ED, but sorted in private.

Have you tried emailing bite sized snippets of relevant information to your H? This way, you have done the research so all he has to do is read it.

It can be very difficult to comprehend what this illness does to our kids, making them behave in ways quite alien to how they really are. But once I understood this and was able to separate the ED from my D, I became much more skilled in dealing with the illness.

Some parents do decide that only one of them deals with the refeeding etc. Unfortunately this in itself can cause triangulation because the feeder is the bad guy and the passive parent becomes the good guy. Even when H and I thought we were on the same page ED would find a chink, and favour one or other parent. That's okay, the most important thing was to keep strong and keep feeding.

You obviously can do what has to be done, but you and H just need to find a way to not let ED divide and rule.

Best Wishes for 2014.

HillBilly (formerly registered June 2012 under another name)
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daybydaybyday
Tempest, thank your for that.  H has taken over (several times) for a week or two, d lost weight plus ed behavour ramped up & h handed feeding back over to me. I helped d get back up again but the closer to wr she gets, the more ed rages & the more conflict there appears to be between d & myself, which is when H "has" to step in. Then the cycle starts all over again. Have asked him not to be around during meals, to not undermine the leverage that I have had to use to (phone, car keys etc) but he doesn't agree with any consequences. D/ed wants me to leave for several weeks but refuses to be weighed unless she chooses where & when. Am at a loss on how to help her right now.

DaybyDaybyDay
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Tempest
daybyday, I remembered something that was helpful in deciding how my h and I would divide up the tasks etc and that was reading the Lagrange book on Eating disorders and your adolescent. Can't remember the exact title, but we bought it online - amazon- and downloaded to devices, then read it at the same time. There is a chapter, as I recall, on presenting a united front, just as hillybilly describes. Perhaps you could make a deal with your h to read this book or withhold.....:-) I'm kidding, but seriously, your h MUST get on board for your d's sake, so this chapter might be the way to get him there.
Tempest -18 yo daughter diagnosed with EDNOS since 15, FBT at home WR 12/13, relapse 10/14, Residential 2015 for 3 months, PHP several weeks. New dx bi-polar. Home now seeing good treatment team weekly, attending college. D still occasionally purging but weight stable.
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daybydaybyday
Thank you HillBilly. Yup, triangulation definitely sounds like that is what's going on. D/ed has become masterful and playing one parent against the other and H loves to be the "good guy". H not open at all to any info outside of what is between his ears, does not believe ED is in any way physiological and refuses to read "any of that garbage from the internet". I would move heaven and earth to help d, but am currently at a loss how to get past the roadblocks H keeps throwing up.

I have tried to separate ed from d, even giving ed behavours/rages another name. The violence toward me is fairly new. I am still trying to recover from injuries.  H does not agree with any accountabilty for this. Blames me instead for standing up to ed & trying to get d to eat. Basically, he is stopping me from feeding d that may, on occassion, be challenging, but has been shown to work.
UGH.
DaybyDaybyDay
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Tempest
I see your dilemma. How about just you and D leave? I actually considered this over the summer - wish I had done it as we would have been ahead of the game. For us the 'triangulation' was between family, D/ED and various therapists/ programs in hospital and once out. I finally kicked it in gear at the end of November. Took TOTAL charge of d's life and have had absolutely remarkable results. She knew it was a choice between complying with MOM's program or going to a residential treatment facility. You may not have that choice, but maybe there is something else you can use to hold her accountable. We also used cold, hard cash to reward compliance with lunch plan. Truly, in one month she went from daily rages, full on purging, terrible ups and downs, to appearing completely 'cured.' I am not, however, naive enough to trust that she is cured - but certainly her state and weight are 100% better than a month ago, 6 months ago or a year ago before we knew what was going on, but knew something wasn't right.
Tempest -18 yo daughter diagnosed with EDNOS since 15, FBT at home WR 12/13, relapse 10/14, Residential 2015 for 3 months, PHP several weeks. New dx bi-polar. Home now seeing good treatment team weekly, attending college. D still occasionally purging but weight stable.
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daybydaybyday
Thanks again Tempest. Unfortunately leaving/IP not really an option but love the idea of cold, hard cash!! This about-to-be seventeen-year-old is a huge fan [smile]) Will give this some thought on how best to make that work. Great idea! Thanks!
DaybyDaybyDay
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Foodsupport_AUS
Triangulation clearly is the issue here. I understand your husband being reluctant to read information from the internet. Dr Google at his worst is terrible. There is a lot of trash out there. Has your husband tried to educate himself at all, or is he someone who someone who believes theories he has heard growing up and thinks he knows it all?

Would your husband be willing to read at all? Perhaps rather than read the terribly titled Help your teenager beat an Eating disorder (it really does sound like any other trashy help your way to a better life book), try 

Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Clinical Handbook   also by Lock and Legrange. Same message different cover. It is a much more clinical book, but perhaps that is what your husband needs.

Would he consider talking to one of the other dad's from ATDT, email, or phone? We could put out a call to see if there was someone who could help him see what needs to be done. 


 
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.
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lisaNJ_US
I read the book Help your teenager beat an Eating disorder (as recommended by our doctor) AFTER H and I both read Brave Girl Eating by Harriet Brown (AWESOME book).  I highlight recommend you read both of the books. I hope H comes around as it is so important to have a united front and be able to tag team.  
Lisa NJ Mom to daughter dx AN (Nov. 2013) at age 10. WR April 2014. ~There is light at the end of the tunnel.~
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daybydaybyday
Thanks LisaNJ & Foodsupport_AUS. I have read both Locke & LeGrange/Harriet Brown. Loved them, very insightful, informative & validating. Requested them from library near where H works, he picked them up "for me" but would not read them. Or anything else for that matter! I agree, AUS, there can be a lot of misinformation on the net. I have gone to great lengths to try to sift through, cross reference, you name it, to educate myself with the intent of sharing the "good stuff" with H but he will not have any part of it. The extent he has been willing to go to was find a site 6 month ago & print a page off. He just thinks he knows best. Frustrating to say the least and the triangulation has led to major disagreements and issues between H & myself which is not helping our d one bit.  

She will eat for him, just not enough. He has no interest in calorie counting, following instructions from me on what she needs that meal (I'm being insulting/controlling) and will "do his best" to get her to eat the meal/snack which means if she doesn't want to, she doesn't have to.

In spite of my frantic hand signals, earlier attempts at discussing/begging to not do, or heat of the moment attempts to curtail him, he will contradict me & undermine my efforts in front of, or within earshot of, d. What he says he will do and what he does can be polar opposites. Clearly I cannot help him to understand how important a united front is and also that that front may not necessarily be one he 100% understands.

That said (sorry if I sounded a bit ranting), maybe he would be willing to talk to another dad that could hopefully help him understand what d needs at the moment! I currently have NO input as h seems convinced I am very wrong and ed/d is not having anything to do with me. UGH, UGH, UGH. 





DaybyDaybyDay
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JDon
Hi Daybyday, I empathise with what you are experiencing as it sounds very similar to my own, as we were unfortunately quite disfunctional (in hindsight probably should not still be together but thats another story) as a family and triangulation was the norm for both my daughters long before ED ;(
My H also won't read anything here or online and actively discourages me to (saying we are seeing experts so should follow their advice) but did read Locke & Legrange and Brave Girl Eating on Therapist/doctors recommendation.
Does yr husband go to/participate in/pay for FBT? In our early sessions, when we were still in shock & trying to work out how to proceed, the FBT sessions & Therapist were my best ally in getting my husband on board (probably also helped that our Therapist was male). The family meal served its purpose to shock him into seeing how bad/serious/out of control things were (& experience what I had daily), then in subsequent sessions it was bluntly stated that it was our D's life in the balance (quoting facts/figures/percentages of mortality/length of illness etc.) & that he needed to take leave from work (no matter what financial cost) and be on the same page with me if he wanted her to have a chance to get well. In effect he had to be "guilted" into working with me. Our Therapist regularly had to ask how/when we would communicate, even suggesting scheduling "appointments/meetings" daily to discuss strategy/progress etc. Once this decision was made things started improving as ED had no (or very few) opportunities.
Unfortunately its actually quite common for one partner (often the father possibly because they are not usually primary carer, no offense to the fantastic dads active here) to be in denial or just not get fully involved (I started a thread some time ago about this very topic & believe there were also others before my time here) but usually over time or through some intervention/crisis they find a way to work together so don't lose hope.
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daybydaybyday
Hi JDon & thanks for your response. We did (initial first stage shock) see a T & N initially that did not work out. Ok, moved on and I found a FBT with Maudsley training plus individual T FBT worked with for d. H went to FBT once individually, once as a couple (FBT validated my research [smile] and once as a family. Originally seemed to like he. Now adamant that "it didn't do any good" and wants no part for any of us with FBT or T again. Says it's all about them making $ and to answer your question, he did not pay, I did. In hindsight, he probably needed very direct advice rather than a "how do you fell about...." approach. As did d. Probably would have been helpful if she had taken a firmer life-is-in-the-balance/facts & figures approach. FBT also negotiated a deal with d which, of course, she didn't/wasn't able to stick to and this further confirmed that it was a waste of time and $. 

This just seems to be getting worse over time. Historically, my way of feeding & using leverage does seem to be successful unless H steps into any conflict and/or condones ed behaviors. He will do things his way for a while, gets tired of it or weight drops & then hand the reigns back over to me. This must be confusing & chaotic for d while leaving a giant chasm for ed to get through. In my heart & head, I truly believe that a united front is the way forward, but H just will not listen to me or do any research. 
DaybyDaybyDay
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mnmomUSA
I hate to suggest this, but is there any possibility that you could get your H to leave for the time necessary to get her over the hump of weight gain?  For us, the early days and then the "extinction" burst phase were the hardest.  But, once we got past that extinction burst, things calmed considerably.  If you could just get to this phase and through it, it might be possible to get your H to engage in a helpful way.  Unfortunately, some men are just not capable of dealing with this ED in the manner you need to.  They want to "fix" things, and they just can't.  So, they get frustrated and undermine rather than help.

Anyway, I hate to suggest a temporary separation, but it might be what you need.  If he won't do it voluntarily, then there are options for doing it legally.  I just hate when this kind of thing happens.
D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since.  UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side.  :-)  D at college and doing great!
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melstevUK
daybydaybyday,

What a horrible situation for you.  It is very frustrating when one parent is not supported by the other.

Can you deliver, in as unemotional way as possible, some very clear statements, such as:

- The only way to get d through this illness is with weight gain - every time you intervene to do things your way she loses weight, which is disastrous in terms of her recovery.

- The 'garbage' on the internet is the very best information and support available to us right now - whatever you think - so I would prefer it if you could support what I am doing.  I am confident that this will give us the best possible outcomes in the end.

- Noone likes to be the 'bad guy' and neither of us want to see our d suffer.  Unfortunately our d will have to experience a lot of anguish and turmoil while she comes to terms with needing to eat.  This is part of the illness.

- D's best chance and the cheapest option is for us to be on the same page, fighting together to get her eating and well.

Do I have your support or not?

If he still refuses to cooperate - do you have any family member around close by who could be the back up for you - and insist that h stays right out of the picture in terms of refeeding?
It really helps to have two people fighting an ed - if h cannot do it, it would be best if you could get intensive support from someone else for a while, until d is more accepting of the routines around the requirements to eat what she is told.




Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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daybydaybyday
Well, mnmom, d does seem to be more compliant with food when h is not around. Not sure what you might mean by legal options?
Hate this.
DaybyDaybyDay
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Tempest
How difficult for you, daybyday. I have to agree with mnmom and Mel. Your daughter must come first. There will be time later for life with h. Do whatever you must do to supervise 24/7. If h undermines your efforts he must step out of the picture. Hopefully, temporarily.
Tempest -18 yo daughter diagnosed with EDNOS since 15, FBT at home WR 12/13, relapse 10/14, Residential 2015 for 3 months, PHP several weeks. New dx bi-polar. Home now seeing good treatment team weekly, attending college. D still occasionally purging but weight stable.
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mnmomUSA
daybydaybyday wrote:
Well, mnmom, d does seem to be more compliant with food when h is not around. Not sure what you might mean by legal options?
Hate this.


I am not sure of your location, even country.  Here in most states of the US, there would be legal options for separation.  Part of this would be getting your H out of the home, and some sort of temporary custody arrangement for your D.  This would NOT be an easy road at all, but sometimes, it is the ONLY choice you have if you and your H cannot get on the same page in this very important process.

A family attorney would be able to advise you.  I know $$ is probably tight, but most family law attorneys would consult with you at least initially for little or no fee.  It might be worth a consult just to see what options you have....not that you are choosing anything at this point...but I find when I make decisions that I make better choices if I understand the paths available to me.

I would hope, in the end, that your H would realize that the current approach (where he temporarily lets you take control, then undermines you, only to have your D back slide) is NOT working.  Whatever he thinks about the right approach, the thing that has actually happened over the last months is NOT working.

Another option to perhaps get him to see that your way is right is for YOU to leave for a 1-2 week period and do things COMPLETELY his way.  If she gains weight, fine, you will consent to his approach.  If she loses weight, HE agrees to leave for an equivalent amount of time.  If she gains, he MUST consent to your approach or stay gone until she is fully weight restored.

I make this suggestion on the assumption that she is (reasonably) physically healthy and would not be placed at medical risk if your H is in charge of her care for a short period of time.

(ETA:  To do this alternating thing where one of you is gone for say two weeks time, you could as a couple rent a temporary apartment for one month's time...such as corporate housing....this would not be cheap of course, but it's ALL cheaper (by a long shot) than a residential treatment facility or watching your D's health deteriorate further).
D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since.  UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side.  :-)  D at college and doing great!
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daybydaybyday
Well, mnmom, Tempest &  MelstevUK those are some great ideas and have given me a lot to mull over. 

Thought I would start by using some leverage to get d on scales tomorrow and see if # might make "rotating out" an option (love that idea) but H refusing to leave even for that. Says d is fine and that I need to cool it for a few weeks. Here we go again.

Do live in southern US but a legal route might not be an option. Have had to fund ED pretty much by myself on limited income. Originally from UK and have no family here for support. 




DaybyDaybyDay
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gobsmacked_US

daybyday...

I am so sorry you are in this predicament.

Do you think your husband is fighting this because you are doing it on your own? Do you think that he would agree to medical care or to therapy?

Can you explain a little bit more about your lack of healthcare?

We are very lucky that my husband has good healthcare through work. Nothing changed for us with the new Affordable Care Act. We were discussing though that if we happened to be in a state that has the medicaid gap and we fell into the gap, we would move to a different state.  Having gone through our daughter's illness we cannot imagine living without healthcare if there was any way we could make it happen.

If this is your issue, is there any way moving to another state, even temporarily, could be an option for you?

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momon
daybyday

I had similar questions as does gobsmacked about getting insurance and therapy. Because my h also refused ( I think out of anxiety and because he has some ED tendencies) to read a single thing about ed including the two books (Lagrange and Locke and a book on cooking for anorexics) recommended by d's therapist. And he refuses to look at anything from  ATDT and denigrates what i think needs to be done, but he does listen to the therapist.  So the FBT therapist has been a critical source for keeping him reasonably on track.

It seems so crucial to me to have some ongoing therapy. I am wondering whether the Affordable Care Act might help you get health insurance so you can get the ongoing help she needs and you need?  And I agree, too, about moving to a better state if that is the only choice to get insurance or medicaid. (Tennessee is good now on medical insurance!)It is so immoral that some people will have ruinously worse health outcomes because they live in states that didn't do medicaid expansion.  There is hope but this is a tough illness and most of us need therapeutic help to beat it, especially in a challenging situation like yours.

Please forgive me for perhaps trodding inappropriately, but if what is going wrong is more than triangulation but instead you are dealing with a spouse who is being domineering in a way that is unsafe for your d, now is the time to get the support you need to separate.  Of course, if it is just ordinary triangulation and spousal pigheadedness, I understand that and it is frustrating but can be managed! 
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daybydaybyday
Thanks momom & gobsmacked_US.   Your support means so much.

H seems happy for me to do this on my own until conflict arises between d & myself. Then I am "wrong", sides with d. H can't seem to deal with conflict but refuses to even leave the room.

Can you explain a little bit more about your lack of healthcare? 

The policy we had last year did not offer any ED mental health coverage (with the exception of 8 MD  general psychiatric visits per lifetime & 6 month waiting list for new patients). Affordable Health Care Act; live in a state that opted out of expansion so H bought private policy with hefty deductible. I feel like ongoing FBT could help d and support structure she needs, d even asked to go but H adamantly against it and I have used up almost all of my available savings and, as I am sure many experienced know, FBT can be incredibly expensive. H just will not go and does not want me or d to go either.

momom,  (Tennessee is good now on medical insurance! Would be interested to know more. Do not live that far from TN & d interested in college in TN!

Please forgive me for perhaps trodding inappropriately, but if what is going wrong is more than triangulation but instead you are dealing with a spouse who is being domineering in a way that is unsafe for your d, now is the time to get the support you need to separate.  Of course, if it is just ordinary triangulation and spousal pigheadedness, I understand that and it is frustrating but can be managed! 
Oh my goodness, nothing to forgive! Really do not currently have anyone to discuss this with outside of ATDT and so appreciate your perspectives. H just thinks he is right about pretty much everything and will do things his way only. Tried to talk to him about leaving but did not go well at all! Maybe I need to try a different approach on dealing with major case of spousal pigheadedness!

Triangulation now locked me out completely, at least until h returns to work and d forced to interact with me. UGH.


DaybyDaybyDay
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WeNWinning
DaybyDay

I feel  much empathy for you.  I was in the same situation 14 years ago when my D was 13 and had her first relapse.  My Ex refused to cooperate with anything that the family therapist asked of him.

In those days we did not know as much as we do now, about the neurobiology of ED's or what is the best approach (FBT with getting quickly to accurate WR range, and helping our child maintain that while their brain is healing and they are slowly learning to eat independently)

My H and I did separate permanently because of his lack of cooperation, triangulation and undermining of anything that would help our D recover.

But we were then forced to keep going to other family therapists over the years, with my D in individual therapy.

the problem was twofold - no one set her weight accurately, and NO ONE helped my EX to stop his triangulating behavior.

I learned only in recent years, that his mother had long term anorexia as a teen and young adult, and I suspect he has some issues with body image and eating.  He always feared we would make our D "fat".

It really made a mess for my D because ED knew she could run to her father and  attack me as the mean MOM who was trying to get her to eat.

When my D was 22, I found an FBT who worked with my Ex, D and me.  She helped me to reefed my D who needed an additional 20 pounds more than the therapist she was seeing said she needed.  And 10 pounds more than the ED internist told her.

Once again, we were in a similar situation to you, where my Ex had no knowledge of the neurobiology or how to stand firm and calm against ED.   The FBT had us sharing meals with her, but every time she had a meal with him or weekend, he would cave to ED.

I finally said enough is enough, and did most of it myself until we saw my D was accurately and fully weight restored.

Then he could  help have a meal with his D, because ED was not in the triangulating rages anymore.

If you read about emotional anorexia, this is what many of our children have and it is usually towards the primary person who is standing firm to ED.

After many years and attempts for me to teach my Ex about the neurobiology of AN - he finally gets it.
He understand no one is to blame, that it is genetically passed on, and that the most important thing is to feed them and get to an accurate WR range, and maintain that long term.

He finally understands that her rages were ED and that if we stay the course, she will have much better support system to maintain her remission.

If there is some way for you to stop this triangulation and get your D fully WR and seeing that you can hold firm with her, no matter what ED throws at you,  that is what will help her move forward.

These days my D tells me how grateful she is that I did what I did. 
She knows how important it is for her to eat fully and maintain her WR range, in order to keep ED away.

It is a lifelong process.

Sending you strength and  hope




WenWinning (formerly wenlow) - a Mom who has learned patience, determination, empathy, and inner strength to help her young adult daughter gain full remission after over a decade of illness and clinician set inaccurate weights
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melstevUK
daybydaybyday,

I guess I would be asking on what does h base his views that d is 'fine'.

He clearly bought into the idea of getting help for her at the beginning - so why now does he think that doing nothing is an option?
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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Red
Would the presentation of objective data appeal more to his nature? Perhaps you could carefully record her weights onto a growth chart (you can do this electronically at mygrowthcharts.com, I believe) thus making the variations in her weight (and her failure to gain as she grows) clear to all.  If necessary, these could then be shared with your FBT.
The future is not set; there is no fate but that which we make for ourselves.

"Not my daughter, you bitch." Mrs. Weasley
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