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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mamabear
Hi all. I know there are so many people here fighting the hard fight in the depths of despair right now...I have been there. I wanted to share something positive today.

When my d got sick with AN at 10, her older sister was 12, almost 13. It was VERY hard on her. I was gone out of state for a month with her sister in the hospital. She got her period when I was gone. She took on responsibilities far beyond her years. I would ask her to take her little brother ( then in first grade) up to her room to play a game and put on loud music so they would not see/hear the monster screaming etc. There were times that she was the only one who could calm down her sister. She once grabbed her in a bear hug during a huge panic attack and said " I love you. You can fight this." Even typing this makes me cry...

Now at 18 ( in 2 weeks) she is applying to the honors program at a college she has gotten a large academic scholarship to ( yay!). She had to answer a few questions in like under 200 words. One was asking to describe a hardship and what you learned from it. Here is her response:

The most difficult challenge I have faced is when my sister suffered from anorexia for several years. Not many people in my life are aware that this happened, but I tend to subconsciously show it through my words and actions. Curing an eating disorder is nowhere close to being as straightforward as most people tend to believe. Being a mere child when this was happening, all I could do was be a big sister and preach endless love and support towards my baby sister. I learned how strong the bond of love is. My sister never would have gotten better and could be dead right now if it was not for the intense power of loving each other that my family possesses. Equally important is loving yourself. I learned how absent this value is in our detrimental society and have developed a self love that will hopefully someday exist everywhere.

She also answered a question about her fears. She answered that she fears losing touch with what is truly important: living. The little things. Puns! Laughter! Time!

I'm so proud of my kids. They have been through hell but our family is STRONG.

I guess we've done a few things right.

Keep going....sending you all my mamabear love.

Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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goodenoughmum
Oh mamabear!
That was beautiful! And I admit I had a tear.
What a beacon of hope you have provided!
You are an amazing parent, struggling through this vile disorder with one child to help her live and, at the same time you have raised another articulate, intelligent and sensitive human being whose goal in life is to live wholeheartedly!
Breathe it all in mamabear and pat yourself on the back for THAT and for seeing the positives
Maria xx
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rosalind50
You must be so proud. What a beautiful thing to write. Well done to you and all your family. Hope mine can be as strong x
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mdmama
I shed a tear, too. Tomorrow we start family therapy to address how my 12-year-old D's AN is affecting my 9- and 6-year-old daughters. As younger siblings, they'll have different memories and perspectives in the long run compared to your older child. It is encouraging, though, to consider that they might eventually take some positive lessons away from this whole experience. Congratulations to you, mamabear, for all of your successes.

_______
D diagnosed with AN November 2015 , the week she turned 12. Gaining slowly but steadily, fingers crossed...
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mamabear
My son doesn't remember when D was out of her mind nuts. He does remember us being gone and he has more memories of her ditching lunches etc in the ensuing years. He told on her many times. It definitely had a much bigger impact on my eldest.
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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mnmomUSA
It is definitely hard on siblings.  My D's twin brother has grown wise beyond his years.  Yesterday, in the midst of her terrible battling with her ability to eat (see my post elsewhere), he came into her room and said (spontaneously) "S, don't forget that I love you."  And walked out.  He's not much for emotions, but he does know that he loves his sister and he hates when she struggles so.  
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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bicycle
To come out strong on the other side.... hopefully we are all getting there.
I can relate.  Younger d diagnosed at 11;older d was 13/14 and started high school with me and sib living in another state for treatment. When my mom died,  her dad filled in for me and older d was with YA babysitter. 
Traumatic for all of us.

Now older d 16. Not exactly thriving yet- has MH issues of her own, but wisdom beyond her years. Younger d 14 in recovery but not embracing it yet.
14-year-old daughter with restrictive ED including symptoms of exercise compulsion and orthorexia; dx at age 11. Weight loss/illness onset due to underfueling for sports.  Still recovering!
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momon
Thanks for sharing the positive side, mamabear, and it's great your eldest was able to see a lot of growth for her and the power of her family's love.
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WeNWinning
absolutely beautiful and you must be bursting with pride in her.  You all have been through so much and your D learned some very important  values and lessons of life, with your role modeling.  The power of love is so important.


WenWinning (formerly wenlow) - a Mom who has learned patience, determination, empathy, and inner strength to help her young adult daughter gain full remission after over a decade of illness and clinician set inaccurate weights
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lorpat
Wenwinning - What are your secrets for being a "mom who has learned patience, determination, empathy, and inner strength to help her young adult daughter gain full remission after over a decade of illness and clinician set inaccurate weights???? 

I was lucky to jump straight to maudesly method and easily had enough info to fight off first doctor who said "you are feeding her too much - slow down!" when she was 103 lbs. (she is closer to 130 now).   I only knew enough because I read one book (Brave Girl Eating)!  If I didn't, I would have had no idea what I was doing.  I don't have time now, but someday, I want to change things so the "professionals" are better informed!!!!

Anyway, I have thought of you for days since seeing your tag-line about how you learned inner strength.  I know I have some somewhere - but I often can't find it.  Any tips???? 

I have done three things that are helping me right now:
1.  I have a gratitude journal where I list what is "RIGHT" with my d. (some days it just says "she is still alive")...
2.  I made a little "kit" for low times - it just has some inspirational stuff in it and a reminder about what I can control and what I can't.
3.  I made my daughter a CD with songs to inspire her to get well - and I play my copy all the time..... (includes "Amazing Grace")... [smile]

Any other tips to stay sane and not fall into a hole of despair?????  I feel like I'm on the edge of that hole all day most days....
One day at a time...

daughter diagnosed 8/15 when she was 16,
wr through maudesly method 1/16,
currently in potential first relapse
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