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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PurpleRain

Hi everyone, I have been a lurker for several months now. I’ve never written before because I’ve always found the answer to every question in one or many posts of this wonderful forum.  I want to thank you all for that. I have read all hall of fame and almost everything from 2015 to today; some older posts too so I have many people to thank, some of them no longer posting, some still around. I’ve also checked videos, blogs, articles, books, etc.  recommended here, it’s been a life saver. You don’t know me but I feel supported and less alone thanks to you all. I was lucky enough to found FEAST and the forum right at the beginning, I feel blessed for it.

I’ve finally found some people in my own country (we are so few and not close but I feel  so much better knowing that I can reach out “locally”) also through this forum.

So just to share my story and get me started as a contributing member of this god send forum, here it goes:  my D (13 yo almost 14) started eating “healthy” at some point after summer last year. I’ve always been careful with food because I have a family history of diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol, but I didn’t want my kids to ´get overly concerned about body shape, or weight or anything like that so I never ever talked about diets, calories, being fat, never commented on anyone’s body shape, but was careful to eat enough fruit, veggies, not so much processed food, you know the drill. D became anorexic all the same (sigh). I think for her it was a combination of eating “healthier” after the summer and Christmas holidays, a growth spurt and a tummy bug that caused her to lose enough weight for ED to get activated. She started to say she wanted to eat less meat and more smoothies, my mom has been a vegetarian since before she was born, I have been one on and off (obviously off at the moment)  so that did not ring any alarm bells. Actually alarm bells did not ring for me at all even when my husband said she only wanted smoothies for breakfast, nor when my mom said she didn’t want to have crepes for dinner (she had something else, that was adequate and normal but not a treat), it was only when my sister said she took her to eat sushi and she just ate a miso soup that alarms started ringing loud and clear (february 2019). We later learned (when I went to talk to the school director, who is a psychologist ) that she had been eating very little or nothing at school. This psychologist is not really up to date about eating disorders unfortunately, so she told me that EDs were always about mother-daughter dynamics, I felt terrible but I knew she was not up to date in other issues so I was not totally devastated. That night I started searching the internet, I stayed awake until the wee hours and found FEAST, that same night! 

Luckily for us this person was caring (although said a lot of stupid comment out of sheer ignorance, I was ignorant my self but she is a psychologist and works with adolescents! scary) and she was adamant that my daughter had to eat at school so she was not completely useless, and my daughter was able to continue school. I even let her go to a 3 day camp the following week (I was still in shock I guess, I would not do it now, I really don’t remember much of that first week).  Anyway those 3 days allowed me to prepare properly, and she ate every meal and snack while away supervised by the psychologist (turns out in the camp they were given 3 meals and 2 snacks!), no doubt not the proper quantities but at least the routine was set.

I showed my husband a lot of what I read and thankfully he was totally on board, we started refeeding quite aggressively with magic plate (shakes and smoothies with lots of calories, cream cheese, canola oil in everything, etc. thanks to all the advice in here) the minute she arrived from camp and haven’t looked back. She responded well, although of course there were really horrible moments, I had the bruises to prove it! I’ve been kicked at (she missed luckily), yelled at, cursed at, you know the drill (luckily little brother has only witnessed one mayor meltdown and only heard some screaming, I took him outside while hubby dealt with d). I got Eva Musby´s book and found it very useful, things deescalated a bit and then a lot, she is back to her historical curve and a bit more. We had a travel we couldn’t possibly cancel (long story, I won’t get into that this time) when we were only a month into refeeding, we were lucky that she never feared eating out or with others, very few fear foods and we survived; it was tense the first couple of days but the buffet at the hotel was adequate and we settled into a routine. We were prepared to take turns and stay with her in the room but it wasn’t necessary.

My main support is my H, he works a lot but helps in every way he can and we can really talk to each other. I can also talk to my brother. My dad kind of gets it, he takes my kids out sometimes (not enough but every little helps) and my d eats well with him. Others help in different ways, sometimes without even knowing like my friends, that don’t even know what’s going on but provide a ED free time once in a while, or my FIL that provide a perfect environment for my daughter to eat and enjoy the company of her cousins (we eat with them once a week, delicious, old fashioned food, full of sauces,oil, protein, carbohydrates, everyone gets their plate served and my sisters in law are always asking their own children, some of them mild picky eaters, to eat a bit more or have pudding), I have some domestic help (paid), my working hours are very flexible,  and I attend an alanon group (pre ED), on the other hand money is tight, we don’t have insurance, medical help is scarce and expensive but luckily we haven’t need much of it.

We are in that tricky phase of refeeding where everything goes pretty well (yellow, even green days, thank you Tina for the idea) for a while , even weeks, and you kind of semi relax (not the supervision or the meals, just the feeling of panic and stress) and suddenly there is another meltdown (less intense and shorter, no more kicks or punches, “only” screams and tears and you treat me as if i’m sick, leave me alone), and it is exhausting emotionally (how did I cope at the beginning?) I can see the progress, but I know ED is just behind the surface ready to strike at the first opportunity.  Some days I feel like cr.p , self-pity strikes and I hate/envy everyone. We are in very early days (started refeeding the 1st of march, WR mid April) sometimes I can’t begin to understand how will we possibly live like this for years. Some days are better, I can enjoy the good moments, I read and read this forum, and see how many of you have done it and that keeps me going.  I’m thinking of helping the group in my country to translate more of the info to our language, I don’t really have the energy right now but I look forward to that, to contribute and repay and support others.

Thank you all so much!

13 yo d started to eat "healthy" september 2018, she had a growth spur a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricitng breakfast and school lunch in january 2019 (that we know). We are refeeding at home (succesfully I think) since the beginning of march.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that i did not know I had. Never retreat, never surrender
Just keep feeding
 
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Enn

Welcome to the forum. 
I am pleased that you posted and that you have found information and support through reading the forum. 
We do wish to help. You have done a great job getting your child to gain! That is not an easy feat for sure. 
It does get better, The refeeding part is the hardest. My d was 11 almost 12 at diagnosis and I have to say that at 4 months it was so much better than the start and at 6 months better still and at one year amazing. 

So keep on pushing for the weight gain and so she can stay on or above her historical curve. She will need a lot of food to continue to grow and develop and to go through puberty as well. 

I know it feels like and eternity so far but it is still early days. You will not live like this forever. It truly get better, it just time, and a lot of it. 
Please ask all the questions you have, we are happy to help.

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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PurpleRain
Thank you so much for your quick response scared mom! your posts have been really helpul and hopeful
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" september 2018, she had a growth spur a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricitng breakfast and school lunch in january 2019 (that we know). We are refeeding at home (succesfully I think) since the beginning of march.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that i did not know I had. Never retreat, never surrender
Just keep feeding
 
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teecee
Very warm welcome from the north of England. 
Your journey has been very swift and bumpy up to now by the sounds of it. It reminds me of when we were refeeding 18 months ago. I felt that I completed a university degree in ED within 4 weeks! The reading and internet surfing was constant to try get to grips with it early and do things ‘right.’ 
What ive learned is that nothing stays the same...everything changes (very quickly) in this journey which includes the really bad times. Before you know it you look up and you find you’re actually leading a semi normal life again!! 
It’s very easy for us as parents to get lost in it all and neglect ourselves. My fantastic counsellor looked me in the eye after months of getting to know her and feeling sorry for myself and said...”well you’ve not been the role model to her have you Tracey” I looked in horror and with indignation at her as I couldn’t quite believe what she’d said  what she was actually saying was ‘you want your daughter to love herself but you have to teach her what that looks like and give yourself a break - love yourself - treat yourself- spend time with yourself doing things your passionate about!!’
I haven’t looked back since and my D is positively thriving seeing me happy again. She even sends me notes saying how proud of me she is and we have had months of green days now 😬😊💕💕
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Mamaroo
Hi, thanks for sharing your story, I'm glad to hear your d is eating and gaining weight, well done! You will find the time between meltdowns will stretch until one day your d asks what's for dinner and when you tell her, she will say: "o, that's my favourite!" And you will be making the happy dance in your head.
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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debra18
Your story is like mine in that I also found FEAST and resources about refeeding, and refed my daughter myself with in school supervision. I hope that one day people will no right away how to see eating disorders and stop all behaviors immediately. I know many times things are more complicated than that but maybe there will be less kids with eating disorders if people know right away what to do. 
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Mamaroo
debra18 wrote:
I know many times things are more complicated than that but maybe there will be less kids with eating disorders if people know right away what to do. 


That is so true, Debra. If I didn't allow her to stop eating treats and snacks and insisted she ate more to make up for extra sport, then I'm pretty convinced she would not have loss all that weight and fell into the ED pit.
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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kazi67
Purple rain so great to hear your d doing well!! Well done to you and your family!!

So true debra18 and mamaroo
If only it was that easy!
 I’m not sure how you get the information out there and even if you did have it do you really know what’s happening until it’s too late 

my wish is  in the future all will learn but even in the MH profession the stigma and misunderstand of ED, AN anxiety and depression is around I found out today at work 

I found this site read and read and brought books and cooked and went to workshops,carers meetings and still keep searching for the way forward to help my d with her recovery 
3 years later we ARE seeing the light 
it’s taken it’s toll, let me tell you 

my d started off the same with just wanting to be super healthy and fit and strong for her dance she started to watch what her intake was, started eating very healthy no junk foods
we are all encouraged to do this, we all try luckily we don’t all end up with AN though do we
Unfortunate for the ones who do though and the havoc it plays with their life and hopes and dreams 

I have seen the effect of all the underlying anxiety on my dear d(caused by a very nasty bullying act that went on for years through her high school years unbeknown to us my poor d kept it to herself until her mind could no longer cope with the shame, humiliation and embarrassment (she continued with her happy face, it was all a lie 🙁 and it breaks my heart we didn’t see what this was all going to come to

her ED (we now know became her coping mechanism)
3 years of absolute hell for our entire family which has effected us all on so many levels 

then....., I’m at work today with a well liked work colleague who also happens to be a phycologist and she says to me “all these kids on medicines today and diagnosed with anxiety and depression it’s all a load of rubbish everyone’s depressed they need to just get over it and on with it and stop feeling sorry for themselves, spoilt little entitled so and so’s spoilt brat syndrome blah blah blah” 
I BEG YOUR PARDON???  

my d has suffered unbearable mental anguish her body is covered in self harming scars and many times wanted to die.........felt such a burden and no longer felt she was worthy of anything including her life!
im wondering if you can imagine what was going through my mind whilst my apparently good work colleague is carrying on like this infront of several staff members including me

i just had to say please stop! Just please stop Please dont say anymore 🙁

how is sad is it that even the so called “professionals” honestly DO NOT understand the pain our kids go through and unfortunately some much more severe and for longer if they didn’t get the early intervention (even when we tried) school councillor/phycologist didn’t even pick up on my d pain (obviously high schooler not going to unload too much to a school councillor either is she for fear or shame)

i was floored today to hear that comment from
my work mate, truly floored and thought wow I really believe it’s people like this that give the NASTY STIGMA to these life threatening illnesses (I could of slapped her, I simply said please just stop)
I wish I had a few pics of my d scarred skeleton body to show her and maybe wake her up but I refuse to show anybody those pics 

I believe until you have AN living under your roof with you and you have cared for a loved one suffering then we really are the only ones who can truly understand it all
maybe it should be compulsory for these so called physcologists who think they know all should go do prac for a length of time and follow up on a severely ill patients recovery journey also perhaps spend some time talking with family members to see the worry, stress, financial burden and pain it does actually cause everyone in that family and their friends 

but we are STRONGER, more EMPATHATIC, PATIENT, SUPPORTIVE ,CLOSER, and LOVING and kind, and so PROUD SO very VERY  proud of my brave strong d that this evil illness tried to take from us, and so SO very GRATEFUL for the brilliant team that understand this illness and don’t judge or give up on her 
it’s been long and hard and heartbreaking journey but we are coming out the other end 


my advise to all of you if you suspect  anything please keep looking for answers, help and support
you can beat this horrible illness 
trust your gut 
you know your kid
don’t give up
xx
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PurpleRain
thanks to everyone for your replies.
It is so true kazi69 and so sad about this so called professionals. I mean the rest of the people are ignorant, so was I but people who works with teens or with mental health affected people (i.e. phycoligists) really should know better, read a bit, or at the very least be more sensitive in their comments. The stigma is huge and is a powerful barrier when you are in need of help, proffessional or otherwise (family, friends, school). I am incredibly grateful for this forum and I know I was so lucky to find it so soon!
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" september 2018, she had a growth spur a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricitng breakfast and school lunch in january 2019 (that we know). We are refeeding at home (succesfully I think) since the beginning of march.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that i did not know I had. Never retreat, never surrender
Just keep feeding
 
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