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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If you need help using the forum please reach out to one of the moderators (listed below), or email us at bronwen@feast-ed.org.

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linefine
....and all of us here (and good fathers, too, of course!)

When my daughter tells me I'm mean and unkind for giving her food, I just need to come on here and assert that I'm neither mean or unkind.

I'm a good mother.  And I will continue to feed my precious child!
Heather

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always PROTECTS, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always PERSEVERES. Love never fails.
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catbells
You certainly are! As we all are on here. I've learnt so much about myself since being faced with this thing. I've obviously learnt things I didn't want to or ever thought I'd need to but there you go. We were trundling along in our little family then BOOM,!
Other things as well as obvious ED things I've learnt
-my d is stronger than she or anyone thinks
- do not take anything for granted - a bite at a time
- never assume the professionals know what they're talking about
- many people are more compassionate and understanding than you would think -particularly my employers
-some people/friends have struggled and have been noticeable by their absence. But. That's ok I understand. What do you say to someone who's d has lost 13kg in 4 months???
-if you're not already aware of how surrounded we are by diet obsessions this ED malarkey makes you super sensitive to it
- my d, me and my h can and will beat this.

We have been in the depths of despair and panic but thankfully we feel more equipped than we did a few months ago - largely thanks to this forum and the wonderful mums and dads who take the time to contribute offer advice and generally cheer from the side lines - despite how difficult a time they themselves are facing.

We are only at the start of this but I feel ready for this fight xx
Mum to 17y/o D living in England. RAN since Sept 2015. Refed at home but after getting within 3kg of WR D relapsed July 2016. hospital twice and then IP  Sept 2016 - Jan 2018. Now continuing the battle at home...
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deenl
That's you...
and you...
and you...
and dads...
and me too. 

And my mum who is doing heroic work emotionally supporting me, my ED son, my husband, my other two sons, my brothers and sisters and dealing with her own grief that beloved grandson is having a hellish time.

Our supporters deserve medals as well.
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.
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trusttheprocessUSA
OH linefine - this ED brain will make your D say the most hurtful things to get you to leave her alone. That is why you must not waiver. My son would say things that knocked the wind out of me.

We know you are a good mother - we know this is a biological brain disorder - we are here with you and we have been exactly where you are.
Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
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goodenoughmum
Linefine, you are doing amazing work. When my d refused to drink her chocolate drink, she warned me that forcing her to eat would make me lose her - meaning that I our relationship would end.
I looked at her with love and said, 'if that's the cost, I will be ok with that, as you are alive and living a full life'.
I agree with trusttheprocessUSA - they will say things to break you and make you waiver.

During the toughest times, I try and remember that I need to be like a wall - firm and straight. No leaning in, no cracks. Firm and steady - it's helps to centre me.

And you are right - this forum is our life line

You are doing great!
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Jasmine1
You are a super hero mother!!
Remember all the nasty profanities are ED speaking - not your daughter! And you are ED's biggest enemy as you are fighting it to keep your daughter well!
Most other parents have it easy in comparison! Keep up the good fight.
I felt like I'd given up everything in my life yet every day I was getting verbal abuse from my daughter. I thought ' I want to leave' and one day I did walk out when my husband was home -but came back a few hours later. In my head I had all these scenarios of where I was going to live (other side of the world!) and how I would support myself!! But, of course, it was all escapism dreams from the hell we were going through. Love for our children keeps us going. That strong bond makes us strong.
You are amazing and a warrior woman fighting for your daughters life.
Daughter was age 11 when she started restricting Aug 2014, admitted to paed ward Dec 2014 for low BP, pulse rate and spent 3 weeks there. As they were about to NG tube her, she decided to eat again. After approx. 1.5 years on a meal plan and lots of toil, sweat and tears she is weight restored and has just been discharged from NHS care. It's been a very slow traumatic process but each day we are making progress.
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Sotired
When I'm sitting in the waiting room for my d to get what I'm sure is an unnecessary gastroscopy and she starts in on me and how I'm awful,I too just remind myself that she calls me nasty names a lot and I've survived that and a lot worse.tbis illness tries to demean us and it is so important that we believe in ourselves and the job we are doing,parenting in very hard circumstances with precious little understanding from others and none from the person we are helping.thats why a supportive partner and some good friends are a godsend.
Sotired42
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Elena
The ED fights us because we, the parents, are the biggest threat to its existence. It wants to put space between us and our child/YA, so that it can continue to destroy our kid(s) without opposition.  It fights us because we are doing exactly what we need to do to save our kids. In fact when the ED is too quiet for too long I wonder what we are missing, is there some quiet purging happening or food not being eaten at school, or hidden exercise? So when your ED kid acts up, just remind yourself it is because you are an awesome foe of the ED, and keep on going!!
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linefine
This morning my D says, "What you think is a reasonable lunch would feed half the starving world...." when I have given her 2 small filled rolls, a small packet of cheese cubes, a packet of crisps, 2 chocolate biscuits and a small bottle of fruit smoothie.

Hmmm, not sure that would even half feed one starving person!  

She started a period on Tuesday, fainted in class yesterday and consequently only ate about half the daily calories we're aiming for (felt really sick most of the day) and has an important exam today.  I'm guessing the fainting was due to period (she doesn't usually have them regularly but since recent weight gain she's had 2, 6 weeks apart, hoorah!) and general anxiety/pressure over exam, although she denies this.

H & I have stopped looking at her face when we give her food - it's easier if we don't see the "Are you REALLY expecting me to eat all THAT?" expression!

The good news, though, is that she's generally eating up, is gaining weight, and although sometimes there's some very loud shouting, it's weeks since we've had absolute food refusal, and her mood seems to be better most of the time. 
Heather

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always PROTECTS, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always PERSEVERES. Love never fails.
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ooKoo
How do I get one of these prestigious Good Mother badges?! [rolleyes]

I am a bad mother because I know that my D has relapsed, and I try to talk to her about it, but she is "perfetly fine and there isn't a problem".   Me talking about it will make her ill, apparently.  It will be my fault.  My bad.  I have sat back to see if she can pull herself out of relapse (she has done that before) for a week, but that makes me a bad mother too, as I know she is on a fast track to an A&E visit.  I am about to challenge her current (virtually non-existent) eating habits and no doubt, that will make me a bad mother too.  I can't win can I?? 
UK - South East

19 yo D

Dx AN Feb 2015 (Aged 15). Pre-existing low self-esteen and high anxiety. 

2015: 3 x medical hospital admissions. 1 month in IP which she self discharged from [eek].
2016: 3 x hospital admissions. 
2017: CAMHS CBT. WR, dropped out of 2 different colleges and started an apprenticeship.  Started having grand mal seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy in Nov 2017. Sacked from job because of this.  Tribunal ensued.
2018 - doing a Psychology degree through Open University and working in retail to pay her way in life. Relapses with eating disorder in June 18 and Nov 18 😢. 

On particularly rough days when I am sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. [Author Unknown]
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linefine
Dear Ookoo,

You already have the Good Mother badge!!!!!! You're doing everything you can to help and heal your precious girl.  As parents of teenagers we are already wrong about mostly everything, even without an ED in the picture, and once he gets his ugly self in on the act, well, we all know what happens.....

So keep on doing whatever you think is right at the time, knowing that in your daughter's opinion, it will always be wrong!  We spend the whole of our children's childhood and adolescent lives pouring ourselves out for them, and it's so wounding to have them tell us we're doing it all wrong, and that everything is our fault, but alongside the vicious ED, there's also "normal" teenage separating behaviour, so the chances are even without ED, you'd still be wrong/mean/unkind/horrible etc. about most things as far as your D was concerned.

My non-ED Aspergers 19 year old son chose the time I stayed with him in hospital for the day while he recovered from a minor operation to tell me all the things I had done wrong in the past, while I negotiated with doctors and nurses, wiped his brow, got food and drink for him and generally nursed him!

And no, you can't get through to ED with reason, or challenging, or logic, because ED doesn't have a brain that can or will compute those things, so by definition, wanting our children to be better and taking steps to try and make that happen will mean we can't win with them, BUT WE CAN WIN AGAINST ED!!!!!

Make yourself a Good Mother badge.....  Hugs to you xx
Heather

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always PROTECTS, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always PERSEVERES. Love never fails.
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goodenoughmum
ooKoo wrote:
Ican't win can I?? 


No, we cant. While my d has dinner we watch a tv series we are both into. She outlines the rule:'
one episode
No talking
And stop breathing heavy'
What??
It's tough
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goodenoughmum
linefine wrote:
ED Aspergers 19 year old son chose the time I stayed with him in hospital for the day while he recovered from a minor operation to tell me all the things I had done wrong in the past, while I negotiated with doctors and nurses, wiped his brow, got food and drink for him and generally nursed him!


Lifefine - my heart just broke for you. How horrible x
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linefine
Quote : Lifefine - my heart just broke for you. How horrible x

Bless you!  He's very lovely, really, and because of the Aspergers, he doesn't understand or "do" empathy much - he was just telling me some facts, in case I hadn't realised!  It was very hard, all the same, especially as most of the "wrong" things were done to help/protect him.  Guess that's all the same with our ED kids - they're certain we're trying to do them harm when what we're doing is exactly the opposite.

CS Lewis wrote, "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no-one, not even an animal."

How right he was.....
Heather

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always PROTECTS, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always PERSEVERES. Love never fails.
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mjkz
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Bless you!  He's very lovely, really, and because of the Aspergers, he doesn't understand or "do" empathy much - he was just telling me some facts, in case I hadn't realised!  It was very hard, all the same, especially as most of the "wrong" things were done to help/protect him.  Guess that's all the same with our ED kids - they're certain we're trying to do them harm when what we're doing is exactly the opposite.


I wonder at times whether this is the only way they know how to blow off steam or deal with their anxiety.  We as parents are safe targets.  They know we will love them and be there.  My daughter struggles with empathy even during good times.  I think we are there so we get used at the verbal (and sometimes physical) punching bag.  Aspergers is a totally different ballgame and as hard as it sounds, at least he communicates with you!!!  Sometimes we get what we want but not in the way that we want.[frown]
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