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.

Join these conversations already in progress:
• Road To Recovery - Stories of Hope
• Events for Parents and Caregivers Around the World
• Free F.E.A.S.T Conference Videos

Visit the F.E.A.S.T website for information and support.

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.

Need to talk with another parent? F.E.A.S.T. parents offer peer support via:

JustBelieve
*Long post alert

Background: D diagnosed with RAN at age 12. I quickly discovered Maudsley site and started refeeding. Went to UCSD Family Week, but ended up staying for two months due to her extreme anxiety, running away, etc. Came back home (where, despite my best efforts, she lost the weight program put on her). Zero medical ED knowledge/support in our area, but did find a good therapist. Slowly, D started showing recovery signs and by the following summer was eating like a normal teen (tho’ ED never completely went away). 

Once ED was mostly gone, depression and suicidal thoughts/attempts arrived. Eight ER visits led to a brief stay in a mental hospital. Lots of med changes which initially helped, but also put a lot of extra weight on her. I didn’t mind at all. End of her sophomore year, she grew a little taller and lost some weight. I was nervous, but she still ate normally (I never stopped watching her like a hawk) so I chalked it up to growing. 

Well, that small loss brought ED back and she has lost weight consistently since then. I freaked that ED returned, felt like a failure...scared, so I didn’t take the reigns like I should have. I was flat out terrified to face ED again. Our psychiatrist “fired” us because she demanded I put her in program ASAP. At time, D was still at a much higher weight. Therapist fired us too. Because D’s weight had gone a bit too far, I am guilty of thinking we had room for some loss (for health issues because her weight had climbed very high).
 
So it’s a year and a half later and D eats a rigid meal plan with some variety when I push. Skips started in October with her part-time job. (Seasonal so she is no longer working.) She hates her old “fat” self. Terrified of returning to that weight. When I do push, the self-harm appears. When we were weighing, blind then open, she freaked over a 2 lb gain. Exercised for an hour. It took all summer just to get 2lbs on her. 

I am a teacher and since we are back to Phase 1, she eats with me in my classroom. We did bring in variety over the summer. There was definitely some improvement. Dessert, etc., but then school started and I get so tired and fold to her demands. Her older sister is a great support, but she returned to college. I do hide canola oil in everything I can, but calories still aren’t enough. She looks like she gets smaller all the time. Still has her period.... ED definitely controlling her brain, however. Debates and argues everrrrrything. 

With the weight loss, self-harm returned....happens maybe twice a month. Cuts. Bangs her head on wall. Punches self. She has hit me a few times. 

She refuses to let me weigh her. I told her if she showed brain healing we could forgo weighing. Last night I told her we have a December challenge. Variety. Weighing. She closed down. Refused dinner. Got her to have one Ensure eventually. 

Re: program. My insurance is good, but I have no extra money to live in another city. I am still paying off debt I incurred living in San Diego that summer. I am paycheck to paycheck. 

My father died last year and my mom drives me crazy (bossy, critical, needy, paranoid). This past week I learned my ex-fiancé (together for 9 1/2 years, engaged for nearly 3 years) got married in Vegas Tuesday and we only broke up 3 months ago. :’(  I made decision to break up (mostly due to ED - I had to put all my energy into ED and was too tired to include him in my life. He started backing off/getting distant) but I am devastated he did this. Devastated!!! He blocked the announcement (and other hints of her) from me on FB, but mutual friends told me. I cry all the time. 

My D is 17, a senior, and wants to go to college. Very bright. Straight A’s in six AP classes this year. I told her I cannot let her go away in this condition - hence the December pressure. Dr Laura Mulheim (?) suggests six solid months of recovery before transitioning to college. I have thought to call Dr M’s office in Los Angeles. Three hour drive for us, but might be worth it. 

I feel so alone and honestly wish to die most days. Because of ED, my world has become very small. I have no friends. Work is hard. ED is hard. Ex-fiancé mess has got me really down. I want to give up. I do see a therapist but he doesn’t fully understand ED. Says I need to give her more reign. Yeah, right.....

Thanks for reading/listening. Needed to vent to those who understand. I know I will keep fighting because that is what we do, but I don’t know how much longer. A few weeks ago, I shattered our slider glass door. My rage takes over and I want to smash everything. I fear I am losing my mind. :’( 
Quote
Kookaburra
Sending you big hugs from Australia. You are not losing your mind, it’s the ED. You have done so well what with all the bad things happening around you, you are obviously really strong (even if you don’t feel it). I admire what you have done so far for your daughter, and that you are still going. I can’t believe you have no help - wtf did your ED therapist & psychiatrist think they were doing by firing you?! You say you can’t afford to live elsewhere but your insurance is good - would it cover your D going to an IP program elsewhere? (While you stay at home doing your own self-care recovery). It really sounds like there needs to be some sort of change, it can’t continue like it is. I’m not qualified to give advice but there will be others with experience who may have some ideas to help. Please vent here, and come back to tell us how things are going. Sending hugs ...
Quote
Enn
I am sorry for all the stress you are under.
I think your d and you need to get some
professional help with her ED. I do think that Dr. M would be just wonderful. Please call them soon. Who knows what wait times are.

You have experienced quite a few significant losses this year as well. Your father and your significant other. That is a big burden.
I see you have your own therapist and they don’t understand ED, would you consider another one? I would think right now with all the losses, seeing someone to help you through that may be a priority. This is a very difficult time for you.

It seems quite overwhelming right now.
please vent away. Keep yourself safe!
sending my best.
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)
Quote
PurpleRain
You' ve bien given great advices ready, I just want to send my support, this is a great place, keep coming to vent and keep us posting. I also think that Dr. M is a great idea
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
 
Quote
Foodsupport_AUS
It sounds like this has been an incredibly tough year for you. 
From what you say your D clearly does need a lot more help with both the self harm and her eating. Given the depth of experience with Dr M it may well be worth trying to see her, 3 hours may be worth it all if you can get the time. She could also have input on to whether a more intensive program or going back to FBT since she has been going for a number years is really the best way forward. 
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.
Quote
greekdude
Dear @JustBelieve , its horrible, I wish the best for your angel. I think you need a team. IMHO There is no way this can be dealt by one sole individual. What if someone of commonly accepted prestige couched both you and your mom in order to bring you in the same boat? You need aliances with this. AN truly hates to see united fronts, but loves isolated worn out loners.
Quote
ValentinaGermania
JustBelieve wrote:
So it’s a year and a half later and D eats a rigid meal plan with some variety when I push. Skips started in October with her part-time job. (Seasonal so she is no longer working.) She hates her old “fat” self. Terrified of returning to that weight. When I do push, the self-harm appears. When we were weighing, blind then open, she freaked over a 2 lb gain. Exercised for an hour. It took all summer just to get 2lbs on her. 


It sounds like your d is still very much in the trenches of ED and needs refeeding and weight gain and brain recovery has not even started up to now. You know what you need to do but seem to have no power any more. I can understand that. It is such a long hard way and there are phases when you simply think you cannot stand that one more day.
But what is your alternative? The alternative is to give up. To accept that she is that sick. To accept that she can die from it. As a mum I know that you are surely very exhausted, but I cannot imagine that you are ready to give up. What you need is HELP. This is nothing you can fight alone. Is there anybody who can help you? A friend, sister, brother, other family member? What about her Dad?

JustBelieve wrote:
My D is 17, a senior, and wants to go to college. Very bright. Straight A’s in six AP classes this year. I told her I cannot let her go away in this condition - hence the December pressure. Dr Laura Mulheim (?) suggests six solid months of recovery before transitioning to college. I have thought to call Dr M’s office in Los Angeles. Three hour drive for us, but might be worth it. 


My d was 17 at diagnose and went to University about 1 year after WR and even at that time we had very strict rules and I was holding my breath that it will work. She is only doing half schedule and still living at home and I am not sure if it would work if she had moved out already.
I would definitivly go and see Dr. Muhlheim if that is possible for you. That is a great idea.
And I would make a very strict contract with rules and boundaries for college or this will be definitivly thrown out money.

She can go to college when she is WR + at least 6 months. So maybe a gap year could do that. And would give her the possibility to learn to eat in a cafeteria and to show that she can maintain her weight.
She can go to college when she can make good food decisions and when she can eat at a cafeteria. And I would only allow a college that she can reach by public transport and stay living at home in the first year (if possible there).

JustBelieve wrote:
I feel so alone and honestly wish to die most days. Because of ED, my world has become very small. I have no friends. Work is hard. ED is hard. Ex-fiancé mess has got me really down. I want to give up. I do see a therapist but he doesn’t fully understand ED. Says I need to give her more reign. Yeah, right.....


More reign is totally wrong with ED. She has already too much reign and uses it to lose weight and go down the rabbit hole. This therapist does really not know much about ED.
I hear you about feeling alone and having no friends. We lost nearly all friends and family due to AN.
But I made a lot of great friends here and I can only encourage you to stay in contact and to come here as often as possible and maybe even think about contacting 2 or 3 mums from here privatly. It is a totally different life when you have a place to vent and you feel understood because your problems are the same everyone else has here. We understand how you feel because we have been in your shoes. It is very hard to understand all that for a person that has never lived with ED.

You have some short time to go before she gets 18 and can exclude you from threatment. This was the first lesson I learned here from the old rabbits. Collect your last power that you can find and get her WR before she turns 18 no matter what is necessary to do that. I will be thankful forever for that advice, Torie.

And what we all forget in this time: We are not helpless once they turn adult. We still have financial power. And we should dare to set rules for that because we earn that money very hard. We do not pay for ED. We do everything to support our d with a normal ED free life but we do not give one single € for ED any more.

And now I want to say something about your threads title. You are not failing miserably. You are a human being and this disease is the hardest thing I ever met in my life. You were not prepared to fight something like that, no one here was. Some were lucky and could turn it round early. Some had to fight longer. Some are still fighting. That does not say anything about how much you tried or what you did right or wrong. It does not say anything about failure. In many cases it was just LUCK when some families seem to be more successful as others. Looking back I see we were lucky with many things. We had no purging. No over-exercising. That alone was jackpot.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Quote
mnmomUSA
I wish I could reach through this screen and wrap you in my arms.  I'm nearly certain you and I attended the same one week family intensive at UCSD and if I'm right, my heart is just breaking for you.  You have SO much on your plate. But, here's the thing.  You've done this before....you can do it again.  Obviously.  I know the feeling of not wanting to, but you so can do it.  You are one tough, smart mama!  If there is anything I can do to help you through this, I will.  I understand it all.  I want everyone to get a happy ending.  Lord knows you deserve it.  
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!
Quote
workingthrough

Oh my goodness, sending another hug your way. 

I have no advice and I feel like we’re barely crawling through ourselves; but I do understand the awfulness of the ED part. I stand in awe of you and all of the amazing carers here. 

Sending much love your way tonight. 

Quote
MKR
Sending hugs and strength to you ❤❤.

You are dealing with lots of loss and it must be hard to put it all in perspective.  When it comes to your ex-fiance, from what I can see, he was there for a number of years overlapping the ED. I gather he gave you lots of support.  It could not have been easy for him either. So some day, when you have pulled out of the present ED situation, you may be able to give him some credit. Looks like both your dad and he made you very strong!  

Your daughter might be grieving for your dad in her own way. 

You are NOT FAILING because:

- I can see you are fighting on. 
- You have successfully armed yourself with a good insurance policy.  In many countries (ours included) private insurance does not cover ED and I reached into my savings in those first few months. 
- Your daughter eats lunch with you.
- You are challenging the ED - or she wouldn't get upset.
- There are growth spurts and you can compensate for them.
- You have your other daughter's support and understanding - one less person to EDucate 😃.
- You have the number of a good expert Dr M.
- You have come to ADTD for support - we are all EDucated 😃.

If only I could make you a cup of tea or take over feeding so you could get a respite.

Sending MORE hugs and strength to you ❤❤.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
Quote
JustBelieve
Kookaburra wrote:
I can’t believe you have no help - wtf did your ED therapist & psychiatrist think they were doing by firing you?!


The psychiatrist was concerned that D had lost some weight. She was right to be concerned, but at the time it was just a few pounds so I thought she was overreacting (what I wouldn't give for her to be back at "that" weight so I could put a stop to ED). I tried to explain FBT to the doctor and she was really rude saying, "Well, it's not working...."  I believe she called the therapist because normally our therapist was so supportive and helped us the first round of recovery. A few days later she did text me saying we could return, but D felt betrayed by her and I did too, so we didn't return. The psychiatrist wouldn't give us a referral to another doctor nor would she approve refills until we could find one. My therapist said that was unethical of her to do. Thankfully, D's medical doctor agreed to approve refills for us. 

greekdude wrote:
What if someone of commonly accepted prestige couched both you and your mom in order to bring you in the same boat? You need aliances with this. AN truly hates to see united fronts, but loves isolated worn out loners.


I love my mother, but she is toxic and stresses me out so much. She doesn't have any sense of the duress I am under and just complains  on and on about her life. I have learned not to share anything with her because she makes everything worse or gossips about our issues to other family members. It's sad to not have a mom to count on, but at least my girls know I am here for them always.

And now I want to say something about your threads title. You are not failing miserably. You are a human being and this disease is the hardest thing I ever met in my life. You were not prepared to fight something like that, no one here was.


Thank you so much, Valentina. Your kind words mean so much! 

mnmomUSA wrote:
I wish I could reach through this screen and wrap you in my arms.  I'm nearly certain you and I attended the same one week family intensive at UCSD and if I'm right, my heart is just breaking for you.  You have SO much on your plate. But, here's the thing.  You've done this before....you can do it again.  Obviously.  I know the feeling of not wanting to, but you so can do it.  You are one tough, smart mama!  If there is anything I can do to help you through this, I will.  I understand it all.  I want everyone to get a happy ending.  Lord knows you deserve it.  


Yes. Hello again! ❤ You were such a huge source of support for me. Those days were some of my darkest and I think that is why I am feeling a bit paralyzed now. I remember you looked me square in the eye and told me to never stop fighting!! I remember that moment like it was yesterday. â¤ I am so happy you and your beautiful family have your happy ending. You are so strong and amazing!

Enn wrote:
I see you have your own therapist and they don’t understand ED, would you consider another one? I would think right now with all the losses, seeing someone to help you through that may be a priority. This is a very difficult time for you.


My therapist is really helpful with my other issues so I feel torn. I'm really comfortable with him, but if subject of my D comes up (he knows her because we did a year of DBT with him), he goes on and on about how I have to "let go". Frustrating. 

PurpleRain wrote:
You' ve bien given great advices ready, I just want to send my support, this is a great place, keep coming to vent and keep us posting. I also think that Dr. M is a great idea


Thank you! â¤

Given the depth of experience with Dr M it may well be worth trying to see her, 3 hours may be worth it all if you can get the time. She could also have input on to whether a more intensive program or going back to FBT since she has been going for a number years is really the best way forward. 


I did contact Dr. Muhlheim and she is amazing! I am going to call my insurance to see what is covered. This is the most hope I have had in a long time.

Sending much love your way tonight. 


Thank you so much! I can feel all the love and support here. I appreciate it more than words can say!!!!

Zylie wrote:
Sending hugs and strength to you ❤❤.

You are dealing with lots of loss and it must be hard to put it all in perspective.  When it comes to your ex-fiance, from what I can see, he was there for a number of years overlapping the ED. I gather he gave you lots of support.  It could not have been easy for him either. So some day, when you have pulled out of the present ED situation, you may be able to give him some credit. Looks like both your dad and he made you very strong!  

Your daughter might be grieving for your dad in her own way. 

You are NOT FAILING because:

- I can see you are fighting on. 
- You have successfully armed yourself with a good insurance policy.  In many countries (ours included) private insurance does not cover ED and I reached into my savings in those first few months. 
- Your daughter eats lunch with you.
- You are challenging the ED - or she wouldn't get upset.
- There are growth spurts and you can compensate for them.
- You have your other daughter's support and understanding - one less person to EDucate 😃.
- You have the number of a good expert Dr M.
- You have come to ADTD for support - we are all EDucated 😃.

If only I could make you a cup of tea or take over feeding so you could get a respite.

Sending MORE hugs and strength to you ❤❤.


Thank you so much, Zylie!!! Your post made me cry!!!!  I have been marinating in anger over all of this. You are 100% right regarding my ex-fiance.  He was with me through many hard times. He was my rock and treated both of my daughters better than their own dad. I probably made a huge mistake by letting him go, but it wasn't fair to keep him waiting in the wings. It was hard for him. You are right. I decided to write him a short note tonight wishing him happiness in his new marriage. Doing that has made me feel so much better. Thank you! I don't think I would have gotten to that place without your insight.


Thank you to all who took time to respond. You have no idea how much your kind words have helped me. I am feeling more hopeful and am learning to focus on the successes. I have hope that we will pull through this again.

You and your precious children are all in my heart and in my prayers. â¤â¤â¤
Quote
MKR
Thank you @JustBelieve.

I wasn't expecting you to be ready yet, but if the perspective brings you peace, all the better ❀.

Enjoy those precious lunches with your daughter at school as much as you can.  Can't be easy, but our children need us.

Stay strong ðŸ‹.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
Quote

        

WTadmin