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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linefine
....to do this.  I do not.

I'm new to all this - so new that we don't really even have a diagnosis, except in our own heads.  But our D does have an ED, we are sure.

In the last fortnight, I've been reading all over this forum, looking at recommended links, talking to lovely and knowledgeable people, feeding my daughter (who doesn't want to be fed), talking to my (non-ED) son (who doesn't want to listen), explaining to and educating my husband (who DOES want to understand and be educated), praying, talking and talking again and talking AGAIN to our GP (who thinks he knows what he's talking about but doesn't), worrying instead of going to sleep, waking early and worrying some more, praying some more, crying, having panic attacks, reading more on the forum, ordering books, reading books, feeding my daughter (who still doesn't want to be fed), explaining to my mother (who is 83 and unwell herself), praying some more, shouting and ranting to my husband (who is the best man IN THE WORLD), stressing and crying again, feeding my daughter (ditto above), managing my panic attacks, reading more on this forum, talking to my son (ditto above), eating too much chocolate.....

And the conclusion I have come to is;

I do not want to do this.

Here is a list of what I don't want to do;

-Be anxious (had enough of that now, thanks.  I have general anxiety & depression & am on medication)
-Watch my daughter get more ill
-Fight with her
-Do research
-Argue with medics to try and get good and right treatment
-Be shouted at
-Be told I am ruining her life
-Read books about managing ED
-Spend HOURS trawling through the internet
-Spend ages on the phone
-Have to think all the time about fattening food and how the calories get into her
-Explain AGAIN that we are doing this because she's so precious and our only and much beloved daughter
-Wonder if my beautiful and completely honest daughter is lying to me
-Miss nice things (like the Christmas dance I'd been looking forward to for ages)
-Think about ED almost every waking moment during the Christmas holidays when we should be having fun
-Substitute food-based presents for D with something not food based & become devious (my sister told me she'd got her a cake baking kit before she knew about the ED.  I unwrapped it, substituted a doggie draught excluder and wrapped it in the original paper; I'm appalled at the depths of my deceit)
-Listen to transparent food-avoiding excuses (I'm not hungry; I'll have an apple; I'll have something later; I had a late breakfast; I've NEVER eaten that much!)
-Remain calm in the face of afore-mentioned excuses
-Be a dolphin (I want to be an ostrich 80% of the time, and a teeth-baring, tantrum throwing, daughter-eating tiger the rest of the time)
-Be strong
-Be consistent
-Carry on....and on....and on....and on.....
-Dig deep into my reserves (not sure if I've got any left)

I do NOT WANT TO DO ALL THESE THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But I will.  

And I am grateful from the bottom of my wrung out heart for all of you on here.
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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Torie
I hear you, Linefine, I hear you. This vile illness sucks, big time.

Your d is lucky you are on top of this, along with that best man in the world. You will beat this monster.

xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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mdmama

Hi, Linefine.

You're absolutely right, it's awful and none of us wants to do it. My D is newly diagnosed and this is our first holiday season dealing with ED and when I wake up every morning my first thought is one of dread at having to manage her and her meals all.day.long.again. I dream about counting calories and planning meals. But, as you said, your D is the most precious thing in the world, so you will do what you need to do. 

And it does help to know we're not alone, doesn't it?



_______
D diagnosed with AN November 2015 , the week she turned 12. Gaining slowly but steadily, fingers crossed...
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mrsfranks
I think we all have one of those lists...I don't want to see my daughters self harm scars, I don't ever want to think about food again..........It is never ending.

BUT all of my list is negated by the one thing on my daughters list:

I DONT WANT AN EATING DISORDER

It has always helped me get through to remember that no matter how hard it is for me, it's way harder for her. I've always seen my job as fighting for her when she can't, and controlling things for her until she can....sounds so simple doesn't it??

This journey sucks...but you are right. You CAN and WILL do whatever is necessary because you are a superhuman and you are not alone...and your D is so lucky to have you in her corner.
Failure is NOT an option.....
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linefine
Just had rather a day.....  Watched D playing about with a bit of potato yesterday, then today heard her telling me today she didn't have time for lunch (going out with a friend), then when we said she couldn't go till she'd eaten, heard her tell me she felt sick, was too full, couldn't eat it, would have an apple....  (She then ate it, by the way)  Both those incidents broke my heart.

When she'd gone out, I showed my H & my Mum this video a friend had recommended 
and suddenly, having watched it now 3 times, I thought, "I don't want to do this".  

I've said to my H (aka Best Man in the World) "Do you think I can do this?  I don't think I can" about a dozen times this afternoon.  He replies every time, "Yes, you can" (hug, squeeze, hug)

I know he's right.  I know I will do it.  And I know I will have my heart wrung and crushed and broken and squeezed.

Good news is she's put on 2lb in a week.   Other good news is she's eaten well at her friend's this evening, AND friend's mother managed to get her to eat ice cream for late evening snack.

Bad news is she thinks she can beat this by "deciding" to put on weight.

Big sigh.
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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mnmomUSA
None of us "want" to do this, but all of us here have discovered within us a wellspring of strength that we couldn't imagine when our children first got sick.  You do it because the alternative (losing our children to this disease) is simply unimaginable and therefore, we get up every day and we do what needs to be done.  You are DOING it.  You put 2 pounds on your sweet child.  You are a hero, and don't even know it.

Sure, we all have moments of self doubt, heck, I'll admit to having days of self doubt.  Days when I was less than the mother I wanted to be.  Days when I yelled at my sweet D.  Not proud moments.  But, I pick myself up, forgive myself (HARD to do) for being less than perfect, and keep trudging on.  

hang in there.
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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sk8r31
Huge kudos to you for getting such a decent amount of weight on this week.

Parenting a kid with an ED is the hardest thing in the world.  I didn't think I could do it either...that ANYONE else would be better at helping my daughter than I would.

It took a while to believe that I actually COULD manage, and the support of parents on this forum were key to helping me believe in myself.

One of the quotes that got me through was by Winston Churchill:

When you're going through hell, keep going


Take it a day at a time...an hour at a time...or a minute at a time.  You can do this.
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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K63
Hi linefine, this forum has been my strength since my d was diagnosed with ed. I remember saying to my h at the beginning that I couldn't do this but in fact I could and I had to we are her best hope of recovery. I had and still have sleepless nights , days when I cry so much it hurts , days when I want to run away but I am continuing to re feed my d . She is 18 and sometimes in the middle of this chaos I realise how lucky I am that we are managing to feed her it's a daily struggle and we still have so much worry re how long will it take will she recover but right now we all can only do our best. You are doing a great job feeding your d as right now that's the medicine she needs . None of us want to do this but out of love we will do anything to rid our children of this vile illness. Keep going , keep hoping it gets better it's slow . Have you listened to Eva Musby s video on helping your child to eat , I find it so helpful. Sending you warm wishes. You can do this.
Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
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linefine
Thanks for all your lovely replies.  I know I can and will do it, and that all of you have done and are doing it, also that my D is not seriously ill yet, so we're in a (relatively, again!) "good" place.

It's such a powerful thing to be able to say virtually anything on here and know there will people who understand and empathise, and don't start telling me I shouldn't feel like that!

Heartbreaking moment today when my best friend, who D stayed with last night, whispered to me, "You can feel all her bones...."  She loves D a lot, so I think hugging her brought it all into sharp focus.


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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mamabear
How about this:
I don't want to sit by helpless and watch Ed torture my child.

I don't want to sit there and listen to " professionals" tell me to " back off" or " let them choose to eat".

I don't want to watch my child get thinner and thinner.

I dont want to regret not insisting that my child gets his/her medicine which is food.

I don't want to feel guilt that this is somehow my fault.

I don't want to have Ed in our lives one second longer than it has to be.

Every day for 3 years I looked in the mirror and slapped my own cheeks a bit like a boxer and said out loud " bring it Ed. I'm going to beat your ass. She is MINE."
Get empowered. Go to war. You can and are doing this.

And it's ok to have s pity party now and again because it SUCKS!!!! But I promise you it is worth every tear.

Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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Rayney
I think we all just HAVE to do it, lovely words Mamabear.  I was feeling a bit down today what with a new year, resolutions and Christmas being an emotive time and I thought next year will be better I just know it.................Then I thought to be more realistic...............it will have more ups than downs and we will be a year nearer winning the fight. This year was hard but we won alot of battles.  So my resolution is I don't want to do this, but next year I am gonna win some more fights and be a year nearer to getting rid of ED and getting my daughter back !!!!

I think we should all take a minute to see what we have achieved such as how many times we have wiped away the tears and got up again, argued with ED and won, got through a weigh in, a meal, a snack, fought for a service and we are still here probably stronger than ever and we are still fighting.  x
17 years old, well into recovery and taking full control of food herself and gaining weight, she's loving life at the minute, it does get better!!
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lisaNJ_US
Linefine --

It's great that you have identified the issue. You CAN do this.  Your D will say plenty of mean things to you and your H but you need to remember it's not her talking but the ED. Instead of what you don't want, put together a list of what you want. Let's start ...

I DO want my child back. 
I DO want to kick ED out of this house FOREVER.

Keep on feeding. You're doing great.
Lisa NJ Mom to daughter dx AN (Nov. 2013) at age 10. WR April 2014. ~There is light at the end of the tunnel.~
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linefine
Hi Lisa,

Good idea!

So here goes;
-I want my daughter to understand, believe and accept that she has a serious illness
-I want her to stop believing lies and believe the truth
-I want to see her relaxed and happy consistently
-I want my daughter to believe what everyone else knows and frequently says, which is that she's beautiful
-I want to stop wondering if she's lying
-I want mealtimes to be relaxed
-I want to stop being hyper-aware of every mouthful she puts in and every one she doesn't....
-I want our daughter to realise that we adore her and only want her best
-I want to relax
-I want to think about something else for long stretches of time
-I want my precious girl to have a life that's not dominated by anxiety
-I want to stop being the enemy
-I want her to know how much we love her
-I want to shout louder, stronger and longer than any negative voice in her head!
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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Elena
I'm just looking back at your first post on this thread. It looks as if you are having similar problems with your doctor as we had. Have you tried writing down everything ED related that you see in your d, and give it to the GP to read? If you have tried that and still aren't getting the help you need, try to find a new GP!!! In my experience older doctors often know less, or outdated, information about EDs. It seems that a fairly recently qualified doctor, especially female will be more likely to understand EDS. We went for more than a year without diagnosis, and could have lost her during that time. Later we found that we could have self referred her to our outpatients clinic, and they would have told us of a doctor to go and see, but we didn't know that they were there, so frustrating, just a phone call could have got us closer to diagnosis and treatment. 

You say that your D is not 'seriously ill yet', but you know she has an ED. Any ED is serious and potentially life threatening. 

You are doing so much right, getting any weight on her at this stage is great. I also thought I didn't have it in me to do this journey, we'd already been through a lot with her with the self harming, suicidal behaviours and sickness, and an ED on top of all of that just seemed too much and I thought I'd crumble under the pressure, and at times it did feel as if I might crumble, but I didn't. But this fight needs to be a joint effort, not just you, but your H too. Some really strong mums have had to do this on their own, but you have a good man, include him in this fight. Support each other, because he is the only one who loves your d as much as you do.
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linefine
Hi Elena, and thanks for the reply.  

I have told the GP all the ED related things, and the result was that he ordered more bloods and an ECG (which he should have done in the first place....) also phoned my D and encouraged her some more to contact CAMHS.  As she is 17, the "choice" of whether to see anyone more specialist is hers, not ours, and at present she is refusing.  However, she is also eating - not enough, but a lot more than she was.  

When I say she's not seriously ill yet, I'm talking in relative terms!  I've seen so many posts on here about IP treatment, kids being afraid of swallowing their own saliva etc, and we're nowhere near that at present.  BUT we know we must be vigilant and I watch every mouthful, listen outside the bathroom (we're certain she's not purging), inspect her room for hidden food etc, and we are as sure as we can be that she's eating everything we give her, or telling us if she's not.  

My husband (aka The Best Man In The World) is 100% with me on all of this.  The reason I'm referring to myself in the singular a lot of the time is because I'm the one doing most of the research, assimilating the information, working out what to do and dealing with the doc - simply because I'm best at all those things out of the 2 of us!  My darling H reads slowly, has a memory disorder, isn't as quick as me mentally and is out at work all day!  He's also an introvert who hates confrontation, whereas I'm an extrovert and have been a birth doula for a lot of years, so am well used to being an advocate.   He's an amazing husband, a wonderful father and has been my rock (still is) through my recent (and ongoing) depression and anxiety issues.  I've been very unwell myself recently with this and he has kept me going when I thought I couldn't make it through another day.  He has his own medical issues to cope with as well.  I love him so much.  I cannot imagine what it must be like to travel this road without a partner who is supportive. 

I'm so grateful for this forum, can't express my feelings enough!
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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