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

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Hello and Happy New Year!

My D was discharged from PHP last week and is now home after three months in hospital, RTC and PHP. Despite having gone through weeks of not speaking to me and then saying she was 18 and never coming home again, she has come home and is actually quite pleasant.

Mood is much, much improved. Do not know whether it is being WR or the Prozac, but after eight straight weeks of daily crying,I am finally seeing a bit of my old girl's personality.  What a joy. She is doing puzzles, and sitting with us, chatting. It's really nice.

Of course, all is not so rosy here in Sadmom's casa.  While D is eating three meals and two snacks, I see pickiness and some restriction. She is preparing all her own meals, which I know is not the way people here recommend, and it is not my choice. She simply refuses to be "fed" by me. And she's 18, so there you go.

She has already lost a pound, and I imagine she will continue to slip, since she was only tenuously in her range. She still does not have her period back, which to me means that her weight and fats are still too low.  I have not met with the nutritionist myself, because D is supposed to be managing all her own appointments. Ugh.

She wants to go back to college in the fall, but has few options, having withdrawn from her college (which was too far away and too competitive anyway---she's not going back there).  We have a college contract, which includes being more solidly in her range for 6-8 months, period back for 3, no compulsive exercising, more freely eating, etc, and have told her that even if she meets these criteria, she cannot be more than an hour away from home so that we can check on her weekly. Oh, and we can't afford a $62K private college, since she has now lost all her scholarships.

She's very upset about all of this, and mad at us for "limiting her options" but frankly, I don't even see that she will be ready to go anywhere, except the local community college, at the rate we're going with restricting, even slightly, already.  She says she refuses to be home next year and is acting like if she can't do what she wants, she will just further retreat into her ED. She hasn't said this, of course, but I can read it. She is beginning to sound like she has given up on her life.

She isn't going anywhere if her ED isn't under better control, but to take away all her hopes and dreams...doesn't that just give ED more power?  I know that the key to autonomy and a life of her own is not letting the ED take over, and yet, without hopes for the future, the ED seems to be all she has.

I can't quite see her way out of this one. My amazingly promising D, winner of awards and scholarships, now has no college hopes at all, and is about to give up.  We've come so far...from the brink of death to WR and emotionally in such a better place. How to keep moving forward, despite disappointment and derailment? How to keep the backsliding and depression at bay?

Thanks wise people.

PS Didn't realize that this was so long! Sorry about that!
Hi Sadmom

One thing I've learned through all the trials with my children is not to worry about the future.  Remember, the "present" is a "gift" not to be wasted by worrying about the future.

Yes, your D is not going down the path that was planned for her with school and scholarships.  Instead you are dealing with the more pressing problems with her health which may delay or derail the plans for school.  Who knows what the world has in store for her once she is in a better place to deal with it all.

I hear your worry and frustration.  About school, about her future, and about her ability to monitor her own recovery.  I can't imagine the challenges you parents of older kids face when their needs are so great and your input is limited.  You are doing a great job!

My thoughts and prayers are with you.  I'm sure someone who has more experience with older children will be along soon with lots of helpful advice.


Colleen in Ontario

Single Mom to DD#1 (20), Autism Spectrum Disorder (diagnosed at 16 1/2), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder
and DD#2 (17), In solid recovery from Restrictive AN, Managing Social Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, ASD, finished with IP and FBT, successfully managing school and life

If, at the end of my days, I can say I saved the life of not only my child, but helped to save the life of someone else's child as well, then I have lived a good life.
Dear SM-

We experienced the same the first time my d came home from residential. It is heartbreaking and scary.

I also worried that keeping my d home from college would make her MORE depressed and cause her to fall deeper into her ED. We did keep her home that first semester. She was eating well and had restored her period for a few months. It WAS awful and she did hate us. Now though she would tell you that it was necessary. She has had two very successful semesters at her out of state university.

She was 18, and reminded us of that often. I would tell her over and over that this was what we thought was necessary to help her move forward with her life. We continued to set the expectation of what was necessary before she could go to college. It sounds like you have done that with your college contract. I wonder if the dietitian can help you come up with a plan to help her get there.
Enjoying my 23 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!
Sadmom wrote:
She's very upset about all of this, and mad at us for "limiting her options" but

Hi Sadmom - Glad to hear the positives, but sorry to hear the challenges.  

When my d tries to blame me for all the problems Ed has caused her, I try to remember to say something like: "This illness really sucks, doesn't it.  It will be so nice when you have beaten this."

To which my d invariably replies that she doesn't have an eating disorder.  And is then somewhat justified in her irritation when I rephrase it by saying, "This illness you think you don't have really sucks..."

I'm getting a little off track here.  My point is that I'm sure YOU know it is the ED that is responsible for your d having lost so much.  Is there a way you can help her see this?

This vile illness is the worst.  The very worst.  But hang in there because it does get better.

♡ Hugs  

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