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

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So mad at myself for losing my cool now for the 2nd time. D had refused her afternoon snack with w. So w told her that it would be made up at dinner or after. So dinner came (she already drinks boost and water with dinner) She had a really good dinner (usually always does) So by 8 I started in with when are you going to drink that afternoon snack ? (8oz smoothie) I went on with the LSUYE this, took away the ipad, had her stand in kitchen and not get to see tv, no getting bath or going to bed, etc. I ended up losing it and pounding fist on table and yelling... which prompted her to jump, cry harder and at one time she says "please don't hurt me" (Ive never spanked or physically struck her ever) And I even said that to her but she was too far out for that to process. So after over 2hr standoff let her get her bath and go to bed. I hate that ED won that battle but I know the war goes on. I normally lay down with her at bedtime but of course she didn't want that. This morning she wouldn't talk to me and would flinch if I got close to her. I said c'mon now, its over and Im sorry for acting that way. I shouldn't yell, etc. but silence of course and same at bus stop. Thanks for letting me vent
thanks toothfairy, I told her last night and this morning that I was sorry. I know this is no excuse but I've been dealing with a lot of my own emotions as today marks the 3rd year since my Dads passing. Long story but I was the one who found him and its been hard ever since. Whenever this day/week happens, it puts me more into of a mood and now battling this with her. I tried explaining that to her last night and this morning but to no avail. She did eat all her breakfast as I sat with her but not talking. I was calm and tried to be "normal" as much as I would be. Should be interesting, we have a baseball game tonight that whole family and g-parents are coming to, she's been looking forward to it for a month. Hope it goes well. God help us all
Hi Steveandmissy, By now you are realizing that losing your cool is feeding your d's problems. But it's understandable, I have been there myself (very recently, in fact). You have a kindred spirit here because my go-to reaction was always anger. I have worked to try and diminish the number of times that this happens. Here are the things that have helped me reduce the number of times I have lost my cool:

Individual therapy for me (sometimes with my hubby) - having someone to talk to was very helpful because unlike family or friends who don't understand what you're going through, a therapist does know what you're going through and can relate better. And I didn't feel like I was gossiping about my D when I talked with a therapist.

Watch this video on Youtube: CandMedProductions,  Modeling Effective Parenting OR the longer one: Modeling Effective Parenting for Eating Disorder, which I found more valuable and worth the 5 minutes. Once I watched that, I got how to encourage my d to eat when I had always been unsuccessful in the past. It didn't work quite as I expected, but it did work.

Taking a Family Connections course through this organization: http://www.borderlinepersonalitydisorder.com/family-connections/ (it is designed for people with BPD, but I believe it is helpful for anyone whose family member is suffering from a mental illness)

Practicing mindfulness exercises (being in the moment) at calm times so that when things got bad I was able to be mindful.

Leaving the house to take a walk or if things were really bad, take a drive with the windows rolled up and yelling/swearing out all the nasty things I was feeling 

Really observing my daughter. Once I started doing that I began to see how frightened she is and how much she needs my support.

Rather than berating her for not doing what she needed to do, I began to ask questions. That, surprisingly, really helped reduce my anger because it began to let me see things from her perspective.

Someone on this forum has a nice saying with their signature. It goes something like this: "love me when I am most unlovable because that's when I need it the most".

I hope this is helpful. 


Heck, we've all lost our cool with this disease.  We all *know* that we should remain calm, but we all have lost it.  I've found (for me) the best technique when I feel myself about to blow is to say "I need a minute" and then step away briefly until I can regain my cool.  

You've apologized to her, acknowledged your mistake and that's all you can do.  Move ahead.  Forgive yourself.  You've got this.
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!
For all I know, you losing your calm is probably nothing in comparison to the distress the ED is giving your d. Keep fighting this illness as best as you can - in the long run it only matters that you beat it and your d can recover. Also sometimes losing your calm is what makes them "snap out of it". Don't beat yourself up over this, you're only trying to do what's best for your d. You are great parents and you're doing a great job and your real d will thank you someday.
Again, thanks all. I think there could be some underlying things that caused her to "react". This is last week of school and "field day" fun stuff is today. She isn't medically cleared to do it or any of the fun stuff this week and its killing her. Told her I was sorry but her health was more important and I know its hard to see it and that you have to miss it and sit in a room/library with other kids who cant go either for various reasons (most of them bc theyre bad kids which really pisses her off since she is not) Also, librarian invited her to do a 9am breakfast party today. She said can I go and I said sure but doesn't mean we're skipping bfast here. You can do both since you eat bfast at 630am and that's at 9am. Of course she said no, forget it, etc. I told her doesn't have to be all or nothing. Plus said that was plenty of time between the two. Later on she tore up invite and left on table..... ughhhh, said doesn't have to be that way
Try to think of what's going on in her head. This horrible bully in there telling her constantly how weak and horrible she is. There's a video of someone with this constant noise of voices in the background and she asks the audience if it is hard to concentrate on what she is saying and asks if it makes people feel anxious etc. it is really powerful. Anyone? My memory is failing me.

Every single ounce she gains is a tip toe forward. It truly is. The days last forever I know... But right now gain is the most important thing. Try to imagine yourself putting your fingers in your ears saying " nananananan" to ED and truly separate it from her. I know some kids hate it but I would talk to ED separately sometimes. I would tell my d how much I wish I could rip it out of her and kill it. That I would never ever give up on her.

You are doing great. We ALL have lost it a zillion times. Par for the course.
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
Does your wife do LSUYE too?  I know I had to do it every single time my daughter refused anything because if I didn't do it for a snack and moved the snack to later, then we were forever behind and ED knew it.  Maybe next time rather than skipping the snack and adding to later, wife has her sit there until she either has the snack or the next meal and the snack with it.

I have lost my temper many times and sometimes it has been good for my daughter to see the effect her behavior has on other people.  Sometimes though it has backfired and I've ended up where you are.  When I found myself getting frustrated as we sat there for hours, I would often take a book with me or cards to play solitare.  If I knew I was going to not be able to handle talking at that time, I just did not engage but stayed there.

You have a lot going on and refeeding tries the patience of  saint.   It happened.  You apologized and now move on hopefully a little wiser on how not to get in the same situation.  Your daughter needs to learn to eat with both parents and not just one of you be the "heavy"(no pun intended).
mamabear wrote:
There's a video of someone with this constant noise of voices in the background and she asks the audience if it is hard to concentrate on what she is saying and asks if it makes people feel anxious etc. it is really powerful. Anyone?  

Maybe this:

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
These are all great suggestions and I love everyone on here. Especially the people who always offer help--  for example, Torie is great with knowing how to link things -- and the people like Francie who don't post a lot but when they know they have something quite on target to share, they chip in. We are powerful together.

If you are losing your cool it is OK to just walk away. And sometimes if the child is really stuck, I found if we all went away for a bit that she could eat when we came back. Not waiting too long, maybe 20 minutes, and it helps if you can calmly (faking calm) say "we're just going to take a little break for a bit now." And that break gives the child a chance to calm down as well.  If you aren't losing your cool at all, it can work to just be insistent and stay at the table and keep on calmly saying "you have to eat the whatever" but if things are getting heated, taking a break and leaving the table can work too.
momon wrote:
These are all great suggestions and I love everyone on here. Especially the people who always offer help--  for example, Torie is great with knowing how to link things -- and the people like Francie who don't post a lot but when they know they have something quite on target to share, they chip in. We are powerful together.

Spot on.

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

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • 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.
Like everyone has said, everyone loses it at some point, we are only human and the best you can do is learn from the experience. 

LSUYE didn't work for us. We tried it but it ramped up her anxiety and she just didn't care. She would forfeit everything to not eat. It also played into the hands of the ed because she would run around the house, tantrum, stand etc for hours all whilst refusing food. 

One thing that I noticed in your post is she was standing in the kitchen. This could be a factor as to why she continued to refuse to eat because standing is a tactic the ed uses to burn calories. We were constantly telling d to sit down! She is in ip and she went through a phase of refusing to go to school (the school at the ip unit) by standing at the door and not going in. So I got them to put a chair for her to sit on, and since then the incidences of her refusing to go has decreased because the only reason she was refusing was so she could stand.

The ed is sneaky beyond belief. It is also divisive and manipulative, and I found the advice and experiences of others on here invaluable to learning more about my foe!
15yr old d. June 2014 stomach pain. Medical investigations until Feb 2015, referred to CAMHs dx food anxiety. Kept restricting and losing weight until July 2015, medically unstable. Began intensive re-feeding at home. Re-evaluated by psychiatrist, dx Autism Spectrum Disorder and Atypical AN.
Found out it's actually Typical AN.
IP from Oct 15, ng tube Nov. Re-started eating food July 2016. Discharged from IP August 2016 97% weight for height.
Mate if you can still count on the fingers of one hand (and have fingers left over) how many times you have lost it,you are doing brilliantly.
I took over all the refeeding in our house cause my h just couldn't do it without completely losing his rag.i had some epic meltdowns myself...we are only human.and the reality is you will slip and do it again,because only people who never raise their voice ever are capable of not losing it.i admire those people,but I'm certainly not one.
But here's the good thing about that-I can fight for my child every single time she needs it.i can use my anger to effect change in her treatment when it's needed.and sometimes,anorexia or not,they don't get to step ver the line.if your d has to be picked up and carried away from your w if she hits her,well,I'd do that.you aren't hurting her,just preventing hurt to the other person you love.
Call the police if you need to.some actions have to have consequences.and point out to your d that if she can't do what's needed at home,then hospital is the next logical step.
I worry that your wife is copping too much-and I do believe that it's not ok.once,twice maybe but not as a constant.here in NZ we have the child and family unit where a child can be put.it was heartbreaking when we had to do this-we cried all the way home-but sometimes doing this is the way our children learn what is acceptable and what is not (our teen was in there for threatening suicide.we simply couldn't keep her safe enough so she had to go there.but other people had their children in there for different reasons.its just about finding out what options there are if you need them).
We had a crisis line we could call and we had to on several occasions.
Find out what resources are available to you just in case you need to use them.you may not ever have to,but it's better to find them now than in a moment of crisis.we had our numbers to call on the fridge.
Just keep going,forgive yourself the mistakes and keep moving forward.you and your wife are doing better than you think you are,
Thank you Sotired.  I've run out of fingers on the number of times I have lost it.  I was feeling like I was a very bad parent when I read about only two instances of losing it. 
Add another person to the list of parents who have lost it. Or cried. Or gave the silent treatment. Bad parenting reactions - I've done them all. You are doing a fantastic job, but this journey has ups and downs. Like you, we had a lot of success right away with a compliant child, so I wasn't as prepared mentally for the first time or two that I got resistance from my D. 

This is a marathon, so be kind to yourself, know that you did the very best you could in that moment but you can do better going forward. That's a key element of DBT therapy and good for us parents to know too.
19 yo D. AN - since about 15 years old. WR quickly - but the last four years have been tough. Since Sept. 2017, two residential stays, now in IOP, fighting a relapse. ED is hanging on, mental state not great, can't get her to remain at a weight long enough or high enough to see mental healing. She's on a gap year that will likely now turn into two.
I'm sorry steveandmissy.  Like everyone said, we all have lost it as none of us are perfect.  One thing that helped me was creating what I could only imagine was the ED response in my daughter's head.  For instance "SEE, I TOLD you your Mom HATES you!"  "Your DAD just wants you FAT" "You're such a LOSER, even your MOM is yelling at you" "You can't do ANYTHING RIGHT!!"  When I imagined these responses in my daughter's head I was like AH HELL NO, I'm NOT going to lose it and give ED the satisfaction!!!!!