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

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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Scaredmom2019
She was home with me for the day from dads. Lunch sucked. Dinner was worse. Puked half way through, in front of me, then managed the other half. 

Im at my wits end. I held it together the best I could but ultimately she sobbed and said she just wants a life etc, etc. I told her no life unless able to eat. 

She said she wants to eat normally again so badly. She just cant eat without puking or feeling like it and fighting so hard through it. 

She packed all her stuff and said she's going to dads for a long time. I let her go. I am relieved. I feel guilty but glad shes gone. Oh im in such despair. 
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Kali
Scaredmom2019,

So sorry you are going through this. I understand how awful it is.

But I can't help wondering: Do you think that she wants to be at Dad's house because he doesn't insist that she eat? If she is having more trouble than usual eating after being at his house, it could indicate that she has not been eating well. How are you and her Dad coordinating treatment?

Is there something nice you can do for yourself before you get back in the ring with ED again? 

warmly,

Kali






Food=Love
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Scaredmom2019
@Kali

I've got her dad pretty on board. He gets the large amount of food she needs. In many ways he is more strict with her in ways than I am (not with food but life stuff). 

She doesn't like being there either but I was just reading about compassion fatigue. Pretty sure I meet all the check boxes. Im tapped. I have struggled all my life with anxiety but have it well under control until now... I am.having panic attacks etc. Im a mess. Im already on meds. 

Its the vomiting thing. It would be one thing to make her eat but how do you do it when she is literally gagging on most of it. I watched it in front of me today. I feel helpless and hopeless. I feel resentful and scared but I can't do this in front of my son anymore.
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Kali
Oh Scaredmom2019 that is so difficult to watch.
I know you have had her medically checked to make sure that there are no reasons she is vomiting.
Often the ED will do things to push people away when it is being threatened. 

Right now your priority might very well be to pull down your own oxygen mask and take care of yourself. What ways can you do that?

Can you speak with your Dr. about your anxiety meds and see if they can be adjusted? Do you have a therapist you can speak with? We all get to so many low points at different times in the journey and it is important to have some helpful strategies to be able to care for yourself. Especially now. If you search the forum for self care it has been a frequent topic and there might be some ideas there for you.

I see Enn bumped up the self care thread, here
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/profile/4930637

and some FEAST resources:

https://mailchi.mp/5509ddc93a63/our-new-website-new-logo-and-an-event-announcement-for-march-1735989

If you are feeling very down and it might help to speak with someone in person, on the FEAST site there is a chat button and that will connect you to someone who can provide peer support for you.

http://www.feast-ed.org

sending support,

Kali
Food=Love
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Enn
A couple of things I wish to ask:
  • Is she eating at dad’s and is she throwing up? If she is eating well and less throwing up, great!
  • I too wish to know if you have a therapist for YOU?

I get the compassion fatigue and the anxiety. If you are struggling please reach out for the peer support as Kali has mentioned and get some help on the ground too, not ‘just’ meds but a full team approach for your mental health. I know you have mentioned you are a therapist and understand mental health issues well so you know what I mean. 


The panic is real. I don’t want it consuming you. Your feelings of guilt and worry are valid. You can feel both at the same time. These feelings are a sign for you to take care of you! 

🌺

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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Scaredmom2019
Thank you all. I really do need help myself. When this all started with D in October, I took it on alone. After months on my own, I just am spent. 

I just checked with her dad and he said she has calmed down. I simply said "food, food and more food" in return. 

The vomiting is strange..We've tried all different meds and had the medical work up.  I can see her trying so hard to breathe through it. She is gagging and gagging. I've studied up on rumination syndrome and that doesn't seem to be a fit. 

When she was younger she had major food issues around feeling like she had too many bowel movements. Ironically with ED ED treatment the bowel issues have gotten way better but it is now replaced with the other end. Food = nausea = vomit ...no one seems to be able to help us in the ED world. So hard. 
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Torie
I'm so glad you are able to take advantage of this little respite.  I am picturing a pressure cooker that is about to explode and pleased to see there is a little opportunity for it to vent.  Please get some sleep if you can. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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MKR
Hi @Scaredmom2019,

Your post says "kicked her out" but I hear a lot of compassion in your description.

Likewise, while your D packed her bags, she hasn't really let go of you.

Wishing you lots of energy and hoping you will find out soon what causes all the reactions to food.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Scaredmom2019
Thank you all. The overwhelming grief, guilt and simultaneous relief I feel is unreal. On top of that I'm, as many of us are, in isolation and telecommuting with my little son still with me. 

I haven't reached out to her today and it's killing me but I'm scared. Truly I am so scared. ED terrifies me. Im also not asking dad how it is going because I'm sure I already now. I have to remain hopeful that she is getting proper care from him. I sent him a few good articles on the importance of food and asked that he please let those guide him in her care. 

The trauma and PTSD I feel from this whole ED experience is so awful. Seven months I took this on totally myself and I feel broken. My dearest D feels so far away. I would never have imagined feeling this hopeless and scared about anything in my life.
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Torie
I feel sure that you have plenty of challenges with telecommuting with young son in tow.  That is more than enough right there.  No wonder you feel deep relief to be getting a break from dealing with your d.  I think you have a good idea in trying to keep the faith that her dad is caring for her properly.

Please remember that we can never know what tomorrow will bring.  Perhaps that will be the day you receive the good news you so richly deserve.

Hang in there! xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Enn
Scaredmom2019,
It is ok not to reach out to her today. I think you know that if there was something needed of you, your ex would have called you urgently- right?
To ease your anxiety remember that he is willing to do this. He has not called you up and saying he cannot do this. 

You need some distance from ED. You seem to be very upset. Are you able to get some virtual help via phone or video chat with your therapist or doctor. 
The one thing I realized with my h, believe me I did most of the work. He did follow my lead but it was mainly me. Well, one thing a friend told me when I had my first child and could not leave her alone with ANYONE. She told me once and I remember this so well, "Just because he does it differently, does not mean he did it incorrectly". The same happened when I wanted to go to a professional conference. I deliberated for a few weeks. I agonized about it. Would h be able to help d, would he know how to feed her, would she get sick under his care?  Would all my hard work be in vain? I was gone for 4 nights total and she did amazing. H learned and I had a great time on my own in a cool city. When I did call, d told me how she helped her dad feed her ( she would tell him what to feed her, and when snacks were etc..)
I came back with a renewed sense of self. I saw my professional world again and now I felt part of it again. I was rejuvenated. 

I am sharing that with you to tell you this is not the end of the world. This may be a great opportunity for you and your ex! 
He will now know intimately what you have been through. He will figure out his way through it. With both of you focussed on your d, you really can both utilize each of your strengths to help her. What he is weaker in, you have that strength. What he cannot grasp, you will fill in those gaps. What he is good at you will let him do and take a break.  Really, this is ok this may be better than you think!
Now how do we help you with your feelings and stress? 
I have found listening and rocking out to my tunes this week helpful. 

Sending a big bear hug, a glass of your favourite beverage, and I give you permission to let ED go a bit, just until you feel better.
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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Scaredmom2019
Update!

Shes still with her dad. He has told me that they have had a great week! I've chatted with her everyday and she reports to me that things are "pretty good". Mood is better (well school anxiety is off the table!) and has only been sick once in a week. 

She stopped home today and brought more to her dads. Im so glad! I'm stressed enough with my little son and sheltering in place.

BUT I can see her weight is down...not scary at all but just less than when I had her. Hugging her I felt no bones like I did when AN kicked off.

He only is doing three meals a day and leaving snacks to her. We have only tele visits once a week with ED and no scales at home ...hasn't weighed for probably three weeks. 


Im torn but inclined to let him carry on and encourage him to give more snacks. He is well aware of the amount of calories she needs and insists to me that he is getting them in via meals. Maybe I just have to "settle" with recovered enough....
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Enn

I am happy to see this update. I am glad she is happy with dad. And only threw up once in the week that is progress for sure. 

Now when you say "Maybe I just have to "settle" with recovered enough...." NOPE!

This may be a bit of a break and I want you to gain the strength to work towards FULL ABSOLUTE FULL RECOVERY! She deserves a life without ED.

In time, I hope your ex will work with you to get the weight up and move her forward. 
I am glad you feel better. 
Sending my best, 
🌸 

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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MKR
Hi @Scaredmom2019,

Thank you for the update and I like the lighter tone of your post!

Just thinking, confinement also means that the ED is confined, nowhere to hide. Let's just hope this once-a-week anxiety means more weight stays on.

Your instinct is right, your d should eat a bit more. I understand her dad knows she is still growing. Is he able to leave snacks around so your d can help herself? Things like almonds, muesli bars, dried fruit work well at our house. And even peanut butter seems to be scooped by a spoonful occasionally. Would she let you give her some to take with her next time?

I feel for you being torn. Hard to let things slip too far and at the same time there is relief, as we've got hands full already, no need for extra pressure. I know working from home will be hard with both kids here. Keeping them entertained is a full time job. Especially if things get heated over food or lack of exercise.

May you make the most of this situation and get plenty of rest. Not easy, I know, but worth it. Your kids need you to look up to 😀.

All the best,
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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melstevUK
Hi Scaredmom2019,

So very sorry to hear about the dreadful time you have been having. I am glad you were able to have some time with d being with her dad. You really needed it. 
I am not surprised by how you are feeling and in your shoes I would have been totally traumatised at seeing my d being sick at the table.  I have a fear of vomiting and seeing this in the middle of a meal would really have tested me. 

One thing that I have frequently seen in so many parents over the years on the forum is that they are very aware of the perfectionist tendencies in their children but rarely recognise it in themselves! So many put huge demands on themselves to do the whole refeeding thing, get it right and rescue their children from the ed and get totally thrown when they do not appear to be succeeding.  And then see this as failure.  And blame themselves. 
This is heroic parenting, way beyond the normal ups and downs of bringing up children. 
Take some time for you and your son. You are a loving mother and your d knows that. If you think she had lost weight, tell her. Be open and honest and bring the illness into the open. In your place   I would probably tell her you are glad she has had a great week with her dad but say casually that she will need more snacks as you see she has lost a little weight. 

You are doing a great job and you need some breathing space. Everyone does on this journey st some point. 
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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