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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sk8r31
This is an excellent article written by Harriet Brown, author of Brave Girl Eating.  She discusses how one's life is changed forever, having parented both her children through challenging illnesses, including one involving ED.
Highlighted is the benefit of peer support from others who have experienced the same thing.  Parents supporting other parents/carers is what F.E.A.S.T. is all about!
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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mamabear
So true. 
I find my son’s suicide attempts have been far worse for me than my Ds AN. It’s the visual of literally seeing his body on the ground and the ambulance and not knowing in those moments if he would die. Don’t get me wrong- not comparing. My PTSD from years of my Ds struggle was severe. This time it’s just weirdly more intense flashbacks. Today I put on the outfit I was wearing the day the first one happened... and I’m going to my lake cabin where it happened.... so I’m changing clothes. 
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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Enn
Thanks for this article. It helps to know that we can be forever changed and we are not ‘abnormal’ in that. I was doing a literature search about PTSD in parents of ill kids and suffice it to say, there is so much about there. It is real and important! From parents of kids who were in an accident, to kids who had any medical or psychological illness, even though they had recovered long ago. I will take this opportunity to remind everyone that is feeling ‘not themselves’ and having difficulties taking care of themselves,to get professional help. You should not need to do this alone, there is help out there. What you are feeling is real and has a name and effective therapies. 
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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peregrine_USA
The article is an oldie but definitely a goodie.  PTSD is very much a reality.  Seek help is you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned!!!
Peregrine_USA
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kazi67
Not sure what I’ve got probs not PTSD but think it’s just plain I’m so sick of Anorexia disorder ☹️
Omg and also I’m sick of stupid comments people make disorder 
“oh do ya think she’s self sabotaging?”
wtaf?? Idk?? Maybe ? 
So I rant and rave at her (not proudest parenting moment in hindsight) but when STUPID friends make EVEN STUPIDER comments, then I’m doubting myself and her team 
(seriously of course she wants to go back to hospital right???)
another friend of mine is dying of cancer, it’s horrible it really is but she gets sympathy and love and support 
I get asked if my d is self sabotaging ffs!
i want to scream from the rooftops I’d rather be dying of cancer myself than watching my kid suffer this anorexia journey 
 
The trigger, my d back in hospital 
suicidal thoughts 
were the hell did I go wrong?
Wanted to start a thread in the most stupidest comments that have been made but then thought that’s a bit negative isnt it ?

rant over 
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Enn
Kazi67, 
I am so sorry d is back in hospital and you are a great mom, please do not doubt that for one second! This illness is such a bear! They come in all different sizes and shapes and permutations and combinations galore! Just like the cancer analogy you made, some are less severe and others are nasty. 

There was a thread years ago to vent about the stupid things people said (before my time on the forum) I must say it was quite a relief.  To see what idiotic comments our forum
members  had to handle was helpful to me. I thought I was alone in dealing with the ignorance that abounds- I was not and neither are any of us. 
I don’t think it would be negative it may be therapeutic, if I may reframe it that way.
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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Kali
Mamabear, so so sad to hear about your son. What help do you have for him on the ground?

Kazi 67, hang in there.....it is really one step forward and two steps back for a very long time. Hoping she will take some steps forward while she is in the hospital, and you will get a bit of a rest while she is there. 

At one point I had a list of STUPID comments PROVIDERS had said to me.........you know, the people who are supposed to be helping you!

As for the article, it made me cry a little.

warmly, 

Kali
Food=Love
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ValentinaGermania
It is so true. There will always be that gap in our lives: the years before AN and the years after surviving that. Nothing will ever be the same.
But I try to see the positives and there are some. There was and still is some PTSD. But there is also a feeling that some things in life are more important than others. Your values change. And I learned who good friends are and who were not. That was really hard to learn but now I know that these friends left are friends for a life time. I learned that strangers that I met here and that did not know me in person would offer love, understanding and an open ear at 3 a.m. if needed. What a gift.
I learned that my marriage can survive AN and that this makes us able to survive everything.

Our life is different now. And we will never get back to that free and carefree und unmindful life we had before. But our life is a good life though.
And when I get sad about seeing other parents with their healthy kids and no such things in back I think:
Who of them can say from themselves "I saved my daughters life last year!"?
We can say that. That is something we can really be proud of. And that is a wonderful feeling.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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kazi67
Thanks for the support, yes the two steps forward one back is how we have to get used to living and I do understand that i do, I just hate that even after 3 years so called friends can not seem to understand that a bit of compassion would go a long way 
just when I stupidly thought the stigma of AN was starting to get better
i guess some people will always be ignorant
it nearly brought me to tears at work though
i give 100 per cent to my job, I love all the kids I work with and I guess I expect others to be as compassionate as I am, guess i was wrong

Tina we get life will be different now, I work with special needs children and I draw strength from their parents/families from the challenges they live with their kids
I get our lives have changed, unfortunately for all of us and I have accepted that much like when a kid has had cancer I would expect the parents always live worrying it will come back 

Kali, yes I had pretty “ordinary” comments and help too actually, by so called “professionals” before my d got the specialised ED services help she so desperately needed by that stage 

It was just so disheartening to get a comment that cuts you through to your heart from a so called friend,  makes me wonder is that what everyone thinks?? Just when I felt things were getting back to some form of “normal”  for both d and us, so that was a bit of a shock too 
The mat pulled from under our feet yet again 
We have truly done our best, I’ve listened to all the advise, made mistakes, YES, but we keep going, what choice do we have?

one foot in front  of the other one day at a time 

Toughen up and put on my big girl pants 

the positive is d is going to come back home and fortunately for her, her job is still waiting for her 🙂

i think she realises now how much she does need us and I can’t wait for her to be home
thanks for being here

truly no one else “gets it” do they
❤️
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Mamaroo
Hi Kazi

I think we can fill a book with the stupid things people said to us. Sorry to hear your d's back at hospital, it really sucks. Sending you lots of hugs 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
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ValentinaGermania
kazi67 wrote:

It was just so disheartening to get a comment that cuts you through to your heart from a so called friend,  makes me wonder is that what everyone thinks?? Just when I felt things were getting back to some form of “normal”  for both d and us, so that was a bit of a shock too 
The mat pulled from under our feet yet again 
We have truly done our best, I’ve listened to all the advise, made mistakes, YES, but we keep going, what choice do we have?


I had that too, kazi67, with a friend that knew me and my d for 12 years and we saw her every week and I though she loves us and I thought she should know me better. And this "friend" told me I made my d sick and it is not normal to supervise meals for a 18 year old and that I only do that to keep her sick and to make her stay with me and that my d should run from me.

They do not get it. We must swallow that down and decide not to call those people a "friend". You learn who your friends are in these days. Sad but true.
I could add a lot to your list with bad words sad to me. By "friends", by family, by doctors and professionals. Maybe it would help to write all that down but in my case I think it would stopp my privacy totally here.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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mamabear
Kali- My son  is doing really well. he’s in therapy and loves his therapist ( 3 rd one as first 2 were disasters)  and doing well on Welbutrin. Prozac was a horrible med for him - led to Tylenol OD. He is talking more and socializing more. Getting some exercise. He has depression/ not ED. He does have body issues and we watch him like a hawk in that front. 

But the PTSD is a crazy thing. I’ve been feeling pretty well... and then 2 nights ago we went to our lake cabin where the first attempt happened.. and I realized I was wearing the same outfit. Immediate flashbacks to running down the highway barefoot in the dark to flag down the ambulance that took 30 minutes.
Then a few hours later an ambulance went by ( which rarely happens as it’s the middle of nowhere). I instantly started to cry and shake. I actually was surprised that I responded like that. 
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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Kali

Mamabear I'm so glad your son is feeling better. The PTSD is also hard to grapple with. If my daughter loses a couple of lbs I'm convinced she will end up really ill again and spiraling all the way down, and I panic and that is how it manifests with me. Even though she has now been out of the hospital for nearly 3.5 years and she feels strongly that she never wants to have to go back.

Siblings sometimes suffer in silence during the period where there is a child in the family with an eating disorder and the disruption and crisis caused by that. They become the ones who don't want to worry us because they see what we are going through. At least that is what I have noticed with my son. 

A few months ago my son was on a subway platform at 2 in the morning when someone fell onto the track, drunk, hit his head on the way down and passed out. Someone was already down there trying to lift him up but could not do it on his own and my son jumped down and helped lift him back onto the platform. That is causing me some PTSD when I take the subway to work every day and I can't stop imagining him down there and what could have happened to him when a train comes roaring into the station. I know he is fine and nothing happened, and he helped save someones' life, but I'm really having a lot of trouble shaking it off and letting it go. After having a child with a life threatening illness we cross over to some place where we know that the worst can happen as it says in the article.

Kali

Food=Love
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ValentinaGermania
Kali, I cannot imagine what you must have felt as you heard of that subway incident but SO GREAT that your son was able to safe this persons life!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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deenl
mamabear wrote:
 I instantly started to cry and shake. I actually was surprised that I responded like that. 


I have had this a couple of times too - a trigger out of the blue and a very strong physical reaction. The first time it took me a couple of days to calm down but I find that I return to my normal self quicker and quicker these days. It must have been a very difficult time for you all and I am so glad that his treatment is going well. Wishing him and you all strength.

Warm wishes,

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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deenl
@kazi67 so sorry that you are not getting the support you need.

Sending you hugs and strength,

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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kazi67
Such strong amazing mummas 
you/we have all been so through much watching our kids struggle and suffer
not to mention what our kids themselves are going through
just be nice if there was less stigmaand judgement  and more compassion and kindness in the world for MH

love and strength to all on this journey
❤️
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mnmomUSA
The PTSD is real.  How could it not be? Dealing with this illness is very confounding.  Very stressful.  But, I do try to find the positives in it.  With the benefit of hindsight (certainly NOT while I was in the midst of it...I couldn't think of one damn positive thing about it), I can see that it made me a better parent.  It made my relationship with my daughter much better than it otherwise might have been.  We are very close.  That seemed an impossible dream when I was battling ED for her (when she wasn't strong enough to do it herself).  She would scream and yell at me telling me I was the worst parent ever and that she would hate me "forever."  It was very traumatic and scarring.  And, it's taken me a long time to get over the fear of relapse.  A very very long time.  I *still* have it when I examine pictures of her....is she maybe looking thin?  Is she doing ok?  But, the reality is she is doing brilliantly.  Living her life.  Loving her life.  Loving me.  Yup, despite all the threats, she loves me fiercely.  She knows for a fact that I would walk across hot coals for her....she's seen it first hand in her life.  I never gave up.  I never would.  Hardest thing ever....but also deeply rewarding.
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!
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