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

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faith15
Hi all

My d has been getting on well and we managed to get her WR but this week we had lost 2kg! I know how this happened cos she was told she could maintain so decided she didn't need smoothies or ice cream anymore, I allowed this knowing she would loose a bit, but never guessed it would be 2kg! I feel awful that I allowed this to happen but have tried to tell her to maintain is to continue eating what she has been and not start restricting again, we're just going into stage 2 of fbt, and allowing her to choose her afternoon snacks, tho I dnt feel she's ready yet.
Meantime she is quite happy within herself and is getting herself dressed and back to wearing make up everyday, she's even going back out socialising with friends, but I'm sinking into what I think is depression. I went to see my gp a few months ago and was put on anti depressants, she also refer erred me for counselling, seemed ok at first, but now I think it's making me feel worse! The counseller keeps asking what I think has triggered her ed and I have told her it's a brain thing and it's nothing I've done that has caused it, however she says something must of happened!
I now feel awful thinking of all the things I could of done better, and I carry a lot of blame and guilt even tho I know I'm not the cause and I've given both my girls the best I've been able too and always showed them how much there loved.
Is it normal to feel this way? I think I'm starting to resent ed and how it's taken over all our lives and I'm abit lost as to staying strong to help d fully recover, I guess I'm scared that this will never go away, and if I crumble everything else will fall apart! I'm scared

Xx
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deenl
Dear faith 15,

Sorry but the first thing that went through my head is to get rid of the therapist. Many here have experience with poor, uninformed professionals who make things worse. This applies to us as well as to our kids.

My husband is a terror for combing our history to find out what went 'wrong' but, ya know, we are no better and no worse than the vast majority of parents. Researchers have combed family histories to 'prove' their theory that parents cause EDs but they couldn't find the evidence!

Now, I have my fair share of regrets just like all the other parents here but we weren't uploaded with a manual listing the early signs of an ED or how to become our kids therapists, dieticians, cook, cleaner, taxi driver, etc. The learning curve is enormous but the day-to-day tedium is painful. Add in training the professionals and our own emotional roller coaster it's no wonder we all have tough times, especially when the immediate danger to our kids lives eases.

The loss of 2kgs is feedback to take back to the fbt therapist and discuss how to go further. It's just one more step in the process. I know you'll all get back on track.

For yourself, I urge you to address the situation with your therapist. She is not properly informed and unless she is willing to learn more about EDs she seems to be doing more harm than good.

Mind yourself and reach out to us and to your loved ones,

All the best,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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sk8r31
Oh faith15....what you are feeling at the moment is what many parents have felt, myself included, after the worst of the ED situation/crisis with our kids is over.  The kids are 'out of the woods' medically speaking, and on their way to recovery....and then BAM...parents hit the wall.

Some have likened it to PTSD...or simply that you can finally let your guard down, and the focus isn't all on refeeding and getting your kid out of medical danger.

That is when therapy and/or meds can be helpful for you; to process what's happened, and to learn to enjoy life once more, without needing to be on a hair-trigger alert for ED behaviors.

I was on a low dose antidepressant for about a year, during the time my d was well on her way to recovery.  I also talked to a therapist during that time too.

One of the best pieces of advice I was given came from a friend, who is also a psychologist.  She said 'Do as much as you can of the things you love'.  I was an avid reader and liked to garden, but had done neither of those things during the time my d was ill, and for some time afterwards.  Slowly, I did get back to doing more of what I had enjoyed, prior to the ED in the house.  It is a process, but really taking time to do things for yourself is important.  Healing for yourself is going to take time...

Doesn't sound like your current counselor either knows or understands much about EDs, and truly hasn't a clue about latest evidence-based research.  You are not to blame for your d's ED!  Going back over your life and events to try to 'tease' out the reason for your d's ED is a fool's errand; it is just not productive, and really doesn't help to move you forward.  Perhaps you might consider looking for another counselor, or at least giving this one some up-to-date info? 

Here is a link to a fabulous article on EDs and parenting, written by Joe Kelly.  You might want to print it out to give to your counselor.  It begins with a quote by Dr. Daniel Le Grange and Dr. Sarah Buckelew from the University of San Francisco's Psychiatry Department:

“Many parents feel guilty that they have played a role in their child’s eating disorder, but the evidence is irrefutable that parents are not culpable.”

You may also find it helpful to read this post by Eva Musby, which includes a link to a video about PTSD in parents, after their kids are weight-restored.

And of course, you've witnessed 'feedback, not failure' with your d this past week.  She tried to manage her own eating, without the shake, and weight loss happened.  Time to go back a bit, and help her manage again.  It is a dance, helping our kids to take back control over their own eating.

Hang in there!

Warmly,
sk8r31


It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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deenl
It is really lovely to hear firmly that parents don't cause Eds and the author makes very many good points. Our son did not respond to FBT so we are making it up as we go along and follow many points made in the article. I do take exception to the article saying the child must “take responsibility for her own recovery” and that anorexia “performs some function in the child.” Utter rubbish IMO

Cheers,
D


2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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sk8r31
Hi deenl,

Exactly...you found the two points in that article by Joe Kelly that raise my hackles as well!

However, overall I think it is a valuable article for parents to read, in order to reaffirm that they in no way caused their child's ED.

Warmly,
sk8r31


It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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deenl
I totally agree! [smile]

Thanks for posting it.
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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Colleen
Faith15, I'm going to underline what the others here have said, and add that poor therapy is worse than no therapy at all--for us as well as for our kids.

When we were in the thick of refeeding, my anxiety levels were sooo high I thought I would lose my mind.  I could hardly get a breath past my collarbone.  I went to a therapist whom I knew to be very compassionate and helpful in other situations.  However, he knew NOTHING about EDs and wouldn't learn anything new about them....wouldn't read anything I brought or click on a link.  Had firm beliefs forged back in the last century.  We spent most of our sessions arguing with how we were treating d (requiring her to eat)--he felt we should back off, not be the food police, not engage in a power struggle, etc.  Whatever good I might have gotten from him about reducing or coping with my anxiety were offset by the distress I felt at trying to make him understand, and emotional fallout I felt from being judged and criticized.  It took so much energy to find another therapist (energy I didn't really have), but I found another one who at least didn't argue with me about ED.  It just wasn't helpful for me though.  Finally I found a therapist who was up-to-date on EDs and was able to give me evidence-based strategies for coping with unbearable and unavoidable anxiety.

IT STILL WASN'T ALL THAT HELPFUL!

What helped me most:
1.  Reducing anxiety by having a Plan (and a Plan B, Plan C, etc).  Even if Plan A was really hard (refeeding at home) it helped to know that if it got too hard, I could go to Plan B (for me at that time, UCSD) or even Plan C.  It became like Dumbo's Magic Feather.  It was a way to keep going.  "This is hard and I think I'm ready to move to Plan B.  I'm going to give this another fifteen minutes first."  And then I would be okay.

2.  Talking to parents here ATDT.  Having others who understood (not just textbook learning, but actual LIVING experience) was huge.  Getting hope from parents who'd successfully come out the other side was HUGE.

3.  Medication.  I really couldn't have done it without an anti-depressant.  It wasn't forever (only about six months, twice) but it was a lifesaver.

You deserve to find good help.  Lean on everything you can find that helps support you, and set aside the stuff that doesn't.
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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Sotired
Yup.never keep going to someone who isn't helpful.i see a pyschotherapist who is organised through our eating disorder service.her job is to help me work through feelings of guilt,anger depression.it is not her job to find the root cause of my ds ed.and she doesn't.her job is to support me through what has been a horrific journey which she does,letting me work out how I feel IN THE NOW. Not digging into my past.
Someone who is doing what your therapist is doing is dangerously unhelpful.they can paralyse you with indecision,making you second guess everything,from how you were brought up to how you lived up to this point.i had a professional do this and I actually pulled her up on this later in the week.we went out for coffee and I thought it would be a chance for me to talk about how I felt now but instead she dug into my past.she wasn't looking for answers for ME,she was looking for answers for HERSELF.i needed support,not psychoanalysing.when I pulled her up on this after I had thought about how little I had got out of the meeting,I felt much better and had re established my own boundary line.i also did not have another meeting with her for myself.instead I received the help I am currently getting.much better.
In terms of your ds weight loss.dont panic.feedback,not failure.take back the reins a bit.re institute a smoothie.you got this.
Sotired42
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Torie
I agree that you need to lose this clueless, damaging psych. You didn't cause the ED; your d didn't choose it. End of.

And here's the other thing: It doesn't help your d one wit for you to question your parenting and take on guilt. No no no. On the contrary, that just helps Ed. Your d needs you to be strong and confident, not guilty and tentative.

Please ditch the lousy psych Expert Blah asap. xx

-Torie

PS here another emoticon from me to your psych:
Brick
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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K63
Hi Faith 15, well done at getting your d to weight restoration the hardest job you will ever do I am still struggling to get my d to that place. This illness comes out of nowhere and effects the whole family and changes our whole lives so it has to have an effect. Be kind to yourself . I find walking by the sea therapy in itself . Meet a friend for coffee, have a massage. You need a therapist who is compassionate not judgemental .
Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
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faith15
Thank u all so much.

Just to know that u guys understand and are here for advice and support is great and helps so much.
I'm back at my gp this week so I'll say to her I'm not going back to the counseller, I knew it was the wrong thing and isn't helping me but you've helped me come to my decision!

Today I've been for a massage, it's amazing how much it's helped me feel better. In a couple weeks I'm going to stay with my friend for the weekend, I'm so looking forward to it, but d doesn't know yet and I'm scared it will set her back knowing I'm not going to be around, but it's not forever it's only 3 nights, and I'm sure between h and my mum d will survive.

Thank u all so much
Xx
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Torie
oceanlover wrote:
Torie -

Where do you find those awesome emoticons???


Glad you like them - I collected them a while back from a few different places - I don't remember where I found them. [scratch]  xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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StepbyStep
Dear Faith,
Hang in there. I am new to this site but everyone here understands what you are going through and is incredibly supportive. We are on our own long uphill journey with D with threat of day patient looming. There are times I feel terrible but then when I can I take myself off for a walk for an hour. Just being alone taking in the surroundings and being in the now and not thinking about all the crap helps. Have you tried Mindfulness? My older son just told me to try a free app called JC Hypnosis and there is also MySpace.

Your counsellor does not sound the right one for you, find a new one. We all know that ED's are very complicated and that we may never know what was the exact trigger for our S or D. Sometimes it is more obvious and can perhaps be related to a passing comment from someone, bullying at school, etc but not with everyone. Do not blame yourself. Great that you are taking some time out. Very important.


Hang in there you are doing amazing things.
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deenl
Hi Faith,

Just came across this on the Kartini Clinic blog

https://www.kartiniclinic.com/blog/post/do-parents-cause-eating-disorders

Maybe you want to send it on to you un-informed, out-dated, dangerous therapist.

All the best,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
Quote
faith15
Hi all

Thank you so much for ur advice and links, and emojis they made me smile [smile]

I have ditched my counseller, Dr agreed it been doing more harm than good and making me feel worse.

Had our app at Cahms yesterday, good news is d is slightly above WR again so I've the task of maintaining again without restricting, cos now she's WR she doesn't believe she still needs the same, she's scared she just gains and gains. I'm really pleased cos we managed to get 2.5 kg on this week, I'm still convinced last weeks weigh was wrong, but hey ho!
Our app didn't go great today tho, as our usual clinician couldn't see us cos there was a medical emergency, and unfortunately my d saw the young girl who was the emergency come into the waiting room, the kid looked a very extreme case and was hospitalised, bless her. But this has been a huge trigger to my d, she compares herself to everyone and compares how ill they are compared to her. She apologised to me saying the illness makes her so selfish and she wants to be as ill as that girl cos she gets more attention! I try to reassure her that we don't want to go back down that road where she is really poorly, tho we understand she still isn't better in herself even tho the weight is better. Is this normal for our children to react this way? She's scared of recovery! She's scared life will change and no one will bother with her if she's not ill anymore. It's so frustrating but I think this is just another part of the illness tormenting her.

We struggle on
But keep faith xx
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deenl
Hi Faith15,

I think about this too. With all the menu planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning up, sitting for meals it feels that my whole day revolves around the ED. And, of course, that is where all the attention goes to.

But what I TRY to do is to give all my kids my time and attention sometime during the day. That means also that my ED kid gets some too. I try to play cards, talk about his hobbies, you know, the usual things. I am hoping that this is a case of actions speaking louder than words and he will eventually see that the more normal aspects of his life get attention and as he gets better even more attention from us and all those who love him. I'll update if I see any fruits of my efforts!

Wishing you all the best,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
Quote

        

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