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

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StrongButScared
Would love some thoughts on this....

My daughter is an IP and has been for 6 weeks. Her weight and vitals are now stable but her anxiety is still through the roof which is why they are keeping her in, at this stage they are indicating for another 6 weeks. Her brain is still 100% anorexic (there is no sight of my beautiful daughter) and we visit her everyday. She tries to control everything we do or say. Sometimes we just go along other times we hold the line. My husband and I are unsure of what precidents we are setting, because when we get home we then have to become the law. I am of the opinion that she really just needs calmness and kindness from us (though I am not a total pushover) but my husband thinks that we should not allow her to tell us what to do. I do ask the hospital psychs but we don't ever really get straight answers. So as an example .... my husband picked up her playing cards and was just going to shuffle them and she rudely instructed him to stop. He spoke to her kindly and asked her why and then she lost it and it ruined our visit as it went on and on and very aggressive and emotional. Recently she gets really remorseful and tries to tell us that she is sorry and lets forget about it. It's not her normal behaviour at all. She is even trying to ask us not to visit her as much. My husband says that we should be consistent with our normal parenting styles so she knows where the boundaries are. I don't want to tred on eggshells but I also don't want to continue upsetting her when she is so distressed already. I keep reading that many kids (she's 16) don't remember a lot of what went on while in the worst of the AN, if so then we should just be more easy going?
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Foodsupport_AUS
Your husband sounds like a real gem. It is common for all sorts of behaviour from our children that is so atypical of them when they are at this stage of illness. Not all of them forget, mine didn't. 

Overall I think you should within reason still set boundaries on behaviour. You love her dearly but this is no reason for her to be unable to work on moderating her emotions and behaviour. My D was definitely not herself when in hospital. There were some things I tended to let slide, especially when there were very high emotions running about food, however the rest of the time I expected mutual respect - as always. 
Eating disorders commonly try to control other behaviours, I worry that giving in to this is allowing her ED to control things when she is struggling to control the feeding. It is OK if she gets angry, in fact it is normal. Reacting with love and boundaries is an appropriate parenting response. Have you read this? https://www.feast-ed.org/distress-tolerance-is-a-parental-superpower-not-a-lack-of-caring/
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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StrongButScared
Thankyou that was a wonderful response for both me and my husband. I feel like if she throws a tantrum then my initial response is that I need to relax her and remove the things that's setting her off as she is currently not in control of her emotions. But what you are saying, and that article is saying, is that we need to give her the guidelines and boundaries, and this will show her we are not scared and she can rely on us. I find that in her tantrums she says things like "you tell me that I can't see my skinny body because I have an illness as my perception is not working, but if I get upset and angry you tell me I am not allowed to behave like that, but thats not fair as its just my illness not me. You choose when my illness suits you". Whilst I know this is the AN talking it almost feels like a logical point. In fact its breathtaking sometimes how quick she can make a point that is so illogical logical. Does this really get better? All I see is her getting more anorexic by the day.
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Foodsupport_AUS
It really does get better. My D's ED also used to come up with some amazing arguments, that you had to do a double take not to believe. They seemed so rational (but not) all at the same time. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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PurpleRain
I tried to remain calm and patient (which is definitely not my nature) and let roll a lot of it, except when she became violent, I was very clear that violence would not be tolerated. Everything else could wait. My  D has always been intense but very compliant, during refeeding was mainly (not %100) food that set her off. Now (1 year WR) she's back to her old self, except of course that she is 14 and sometimes she behaves like every adolescent, but nothing major.
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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