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

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This morning d woke up in good mood (usually does thankfully) I normally let her pick from our pre approved breakfast items. She had asked for something a bit different so a quick calc of the cals, etc. told me nope wasn't enough. So I said that's not enough and she got aggravated and said just forget it. So I got out the 2 waffles with a scrambled egg (snuck pad of butter in with the egg when I cooking) It quickly went downhill from there. She barely finished her water and Boost then came the crying. She said she was tired of all this, doesn't want to do anymore and wants to stop. I kept calm and kept trying to talk with her (usually works, followed Mausby Trust video language of trust me, its safe, etc.) She told me to quit saying that, it wasn't helping. I then said "food is your medicine" and we need it and that set her off more with her saying she hates hearing that phrase too. Told her she wouldn't go to school unless she ate everything, then more and more crying and push back. I did get her to finally do it all but she kept crying the whole time up until I took her down to the bus stop. But of course would barely speak and wouldn't hug or kiss her goodbye. Damn, we've only been doing this for not even 2 months. God help us all
OH steveandmissy, you're doing great and yes, it will work.  It's so painful to watch though and I KNOW how you are feeling.  You're not alone. 
Playball40 wrote:
OH steveandmissy, you're doing great and yes, it will work.  It's so painful to watch though and I KNOW how you are feeling.  You're not alone. 

thanks, I know its definitely tough love. My heart says one thing but my mind another. I know I did the right thing ultimately. Just tough when we've been trading notes with each other and I get ones like this
You are doing the right thing ... you are amazing ... stay strong.

We had nasty notes, then nice notes, then nasty notes, then nice and so on.     Keep the nice ones and look at them often, they can help you at tough times.  I have a little note my daughter did which she put on top of the radio near the kitchen table.  It is still there for all of us to see.


With my d, when her ed had tried/caused one tactic and found it unsuccessful, she moved on to the next. First was panic attacks, then self-harm, then Taking Absolutely Forever, then screaming and crying, then Rage, then hitting and other stuff towards me, then Negotiating The Tail off a Cat, then swearing (much better than all the previous actually), then Threatening to Leave when 18.

One phrase I found especially useful (cause yes, my d hated all the others and they just prolonged things) was, "I'm glad to talk about that after you eat." She never, ever wanted to talk about whatever it was after she ate. The sole reason for saying/doing it was to delay eating.

Your'e doing great.

Next time, if she asks for an inadequate breakfast, you could say, "you could have that if you also have toast and peanut butter," or something else added to make it adequate. Choice and flexibility are good things to encourage, if they are for choice and flexibility's sake (ie for your girl's sake, not for ed's.)

best wishes,

D diagnosed with EDNOS May 2013 at age 15, refed at home Aug 2013, since then symptoms gradually lessened and we retaught her how to feed and care for herself, including individual therapy, family skills DBT class, SSRI medication and relapse-prevention strategies. Anxiety was pre-existing and I believe she was sporadically restricting since about age 9. She now eats and behaves like any normal older teen, and is enjoying school, friends, sports, music and thinking about the future.
Pretty much par for the course in early days.

I will just say that in early days, choices were VERY hard for my daughter.  It was more compassionate of me to simply decide and put it in front of her.  Her eating disorder would "beat her up" if she chose something, but for some reason, if she was "forced" it was easier for her.  Be aware of the TRUE meaning behind her words.  If she says "do I have to eat this" what's she is really saying is "I want desperately to eat this thing, but I can't do it by choice....please make me."  

The crying and carrying on is also perfectly normal. It is very difficult to remain calm while this occurs, but the calmer you remain the quicker the storm will pass.  It was very hard for my husband not to "give in" to this pleading and begging and crying.  You must however.  So, sometimes it was easier for him to simply leave than bear the brunt of all of that.  Whatever works.  

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!
Par for the course sadly.im a bit concerned about something you said on your other thread-she doesn't want to be watched whilst eating?well of course anorexia doesn't want to be watched.your d would be fine with it but anorexia is in control right now.she HAS to be watched for EVERY MEAL.the more she complains and fights and hates you,the better you are doing-see it is crazy making!
Because it's not her fighting you-it's the anorexia.
One of the things you need to watch out for is waterloading before appointments.this is where she drinks a whole lot of water so the scales show that she has 'gained'.my d was a pro at this.they learn all sorts of tricks that they pick up from pro ana sites.even if it's not from there they Learn and adapt.
So you will have to be pretty strict-and brace for the hate.but when her eyes are glowing red and her head is spinning round-that's when you are trapping anorexia.
This isn't about not trusting your d-it's about not trusting anorexia.you just can't.at this point just present the food to her and expect it to be eaten-her choosing is stage two and you aren't there yet.remember ,no toilet for an hour after eating.
mnmomUSA wrote:
Pretty much par for the course in early days.

I will just say that in early days, choices were VERY hard for my daughter.  It was more compassionate of me to simply decide and put it in front of her.  Her eating disorder would "beat her up" if she chose something, but for some reason, if she was "forced" it was easier for her.  Be aware of the TRUE meaning behind her words.  If she says "do I have to eat this" what's she is really saying is "I want desperately to eat this thing, but I can't do it by choice....please make me."  

We had a similar experience.  Food choices tormented our son, so we took all choices away in the early stages.  If you give them choices, they will then tend to bargain over every little detail, and that's a slippery slope.  So we just setup a rule that he ate what was put in front of him, no questions asked.  And he sat there as long as it took, which was very long sometimes.  After he improved a bit, we'd give him a little choice, but we talked about it well in advance.  So in the evening, we would talk about what he'd like for breakfast.  Sometimes he'd have a suggestion, but often times he still say "you decide for me". 

I also agree with others regarding upping calories.  We had our son in the 3,000-3,200 range, and he's a pretty little kid.  We recently hit his target weight so we backed him off a bit, down to 2,500ish, and he lost a little weight.  So we are bumping back up again. 

Again, like others have mentioned, just keep in mind that the nasty things your daughter is saying isn't her, it's the ED monster.

Anorexia reminds me of the dragon in the Hobbits movies.  For us, anorexia snuck in and we had no clue what was going on.  Once we figured it out, it was too late, the dragon had overtaken our son.  But at that stage it's easy because like in the movie, the dragon is sleeping.  As long as you don't wake up the dragon, no big problems(other than eventually your kid will die).  When you start re-feeding, you awaken the dragon and it wreaks havoc on everyone in the vicinity.  Every meal is like shooting another arrow at the dragon and hitting it, and the more calories in a meal, the more powerful the arrow.  It takes many arrows to take the dragon down, but you have to keep at it.  Eventually you'll drive the dragon out of your kid and they return to normal.   

A little corny, but that's how I see it.


I read the other thread and this one and wanted to add some things from my own experiences.
Because you are new to the forum, here's a brief history of my story: daughter diagnosed st 10.5 after rapid decent into AN. Spent 30 days in hospital until we pulled her out AMA to refeed at home. Spent next 3 years battling growth and puberty and lunch ditching and food hiding etc. And now my daughter turns 16 in 2 weeks. She has been solidly in recovery for well over 2 years now. She eats intuitively and independently and is an amazing human being. She is the bravest person I know.

A few things stuck out. Again- take what helps and leave what doesn't.

1) you need to know her weight. It is ridiculous and frankly quite ludacris that your doctor doesn't let you know her weight. If you are to be in charge of feeding her, then you need to know what her weight is and how much she is or is not gaining. This is YOUR show and YOU are in charge. In fact, many people weigh their kid themselves at home. We did-2 times a week for many months and then weekly/biweekly for the next 2.5 years. We blind weighed her. The key is to not react at all. Just a " thank you". And if she asks about it just a simple " trust us. ". That's it. We weighed her in a tshirt and undies first thing in the am after she peed ( door open and me standing there always.). I slept with her for a year. She would exercise secretly at night. We also didn't want her to be able to water load etc for weights. It helped her immensely to sleep with me. It took hours for her to sleep and ED tormented her even then.No bathroom or shower after eating and I sat outside of toilet and shower for many months.

2) There is no reason to go slow with weight gain. The faster you can get it on the better. 2 pounds a week is completely doable and often it is possible to get even more on a young kid. I don't know that you have stated yet what she currently needs to gain. Kerp in mind that number is a moving target. Once her body knows it can rely on nutrition it will kick into high gear. She will grow and puberty will hit. Her metabolism will speed up. Her caloric needs, specifically fats, will keep rising. It is not uncommon for kids in this stage of life to need 4-5000 cals daily. My d holds the record at 6000. Use canola oil, heavy whipping cream, butter etc wherever you can. Hagan Das and Ben and Jerrys are your best friend.

3) Therapy is pretty much useless in the beginning. Their brains are too whacky. Talk therapy in particular can be actually harmful. ED will twist and tweak anything and everything and will lie. It will use the disguise of your daughters face to play upon your parental empathy and sympathy. It will try to pit you and your wife against each other.

I too have a drawer of notes from my D. She wanted me to eat with her, me to feed her, me to do everything. You know why? Because in the beginning I was the weakest. I felt guilty. I blamed myself. It killed me because I felt like I was torturing her... And my husband was the one who would stick to full requirement of eating. He did not negotiate. ED was way more scared of him. I became empowered and realized that by negotiating and giving in even on one bite I was aiding and abetting ED, I was actually helping this thing that wanted her DEAD. So having said that- GREAT JOB this am. Stick to your guns. My d could not handle choices. It was torture. I highly recommend at this stage and age that you make it and she eats it.

So here's a little story: my d had a shake daily for nearly 3 years. A 2000 plus cal shake. For the first few months she only wanted strawberry. I would offer other Flavors and...nope. So one day I made Chocolate. ED freaked the hell out. But I held my ground and she ate it. From then on I switched up Flavors. She later told me ED would only let her have strawberry because it was a " fruit" but that she really wanted chocolate and was so happy when I gave her chocolate..but of course she could not say anything.
If she said" just please no fries" then I ordered fries. That was her way of telling me what SHE wanted.

And finally- I'm sorry to tell you she is most likely NOT eating her lunch...or not eating all of it. We ate with my D the last half of 5 th grade and the majority of grades 6 and 7. When given the opportunity to eat on her own she would throw it away. She would lose weight but swear on her life, my life, her little brothers life that she was eating lunch. I followed her to school to see her get off of the bus and dump her thermos of 1200 cal noodles. So back to school we went.

It is hard. It is a long slog. But I can tell that ED will be no match for you guys. You have come to the right place.

And know that recovery is totally possible. You can get your girl back. I know the pain you are in right now. We all do. It sucks. Hold tight to your wife. Be a united team. Ask for help from each other when you need it.
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
Mama - I know this post was directed at SteveandMissy but I can't tell you how much they help me to read them.

It's a long road and I feel like we are so accustomed to a quick fix in life or wanting to fix things for our kids - but this is anything but a quick fix and we can't do it for them. 

We've been enduring the same struggles for the past four months.  I know it will get better - have faith, stay strong and continue to be the support your child needs. 

Prayers to you and your family <3