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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deetz
I've been on here several times in the past, and we've gotten better to a point, but have been completely stuck. We're going on our third year of fighting AN and I'm tired and angry and resentful. It's put a dark cloud on our whole family and shows no sign of going away. She's not in physical danger right now, but the ED behaviors are still so strong and she won't engage in anything. I'M the crazy one, I'M the one who has caused all the problems and misery, it's our fault she has no friends and no life. Our care providers have let us down again and again, I've tried so many different doctors and therapists and different types of therapy, and she still leaves behind food. She won't butter her toast. She won't eat a Christmas cookie. We finally took dance away from her (I didn't want her going back and the doctors pushed me to let her go back) and we've ripped away her life. I try to give her information about AN and what she has to do to get better, but "that doesn't interest me". All the help, time, tears and money we've spent are us torturing her and ripping her life away. I've thought about residential, but I doubt that would do any good. She never engages in any help we try to provide. AN has destroyed our family and right now all I want is her out of our house. I've researched the five day program, but to be honest, I don't think she'll engage and learn anything, and I really don't want to spend our valuable vacation time and money to go waste it on her when the rest of the family needs some down time. We just had another blow up because she think we gave her a 1/2 cup more of soup that she was supposed to eat. We started out with a dietitian and a meal plan, which obviously played right into EDs rigid hands, because now she will not deviate from what it's supposed to be.
Caring for her has ruined my health, our family is tense and upset all the time, and I don't know what to do. I'm looking into Tabitha Ferrar to see if some coaching might be available. Who knows?
This is probably just a rant, I don't know what the answers are, but I want this year to be different.
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debra18
I am sorry you are having such a hard time. Eva musby does skype coaching for parents in helping them deal with the ED behaviors. Maybe she could teach you some new tactics to help you help your daughter overcome the ED behaviors? 
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Foodsupport_AUS
I get it, you are tired and exhausted. ED ruins many lives when it comes to town. It is so hard to keep that momentum up when ED is so resistant. Daily conflict truly takes its toll and it does just seem easier at times to let things lie. 
ED says some horrible things but it is clear from what you write that you have been trying really hard to fight this. Those things she is saying, are just a way of getting under your skin, to make you doubt yourself -  yet another way of ED to create discord in the family. 

Where to go from now, I actually think you may do well on the five day program. The idea of a contract may work well for you - clear guidelines as to what she has to do and also what you have to do. The contracts are true two sided contracts with working to agreement on both sides. Many families have managed to get some coverage from insurance. 
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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MKR
Hi @deetz ,

I feel for you, dinner table should not be a war zone, it must be so draining for all. And this means 3 years of your other child's life, too.

Separating things into chunks might make them easier to conquer.

The dietitian/ nutritionist:
You can remind your D that you have changed lots of therapists. Therefore, you have also moved on from the dietitian. 
The dietitian was involved good 3 years earlier, your D's needs would have moved up since, as she is still growing. 
We, too started out with one (back in the days before the penny dropped for me) and those rigid  meal proportions are still etched in D's mind. On the upside, thanks to the dietitian, our D cooperated well in those vital, life-saving first weeks. 

Contract: 
I see you and your H have done well with contracts in the past. Perhaps the new one should focus on Behaviour as the current issue, as well as eating. And with new incentives for her current age.

I am sure you have considered these, so please forgive me if I am picking up the obvious. I am just another pair of eyes 😀. But maybe offering some fresh ideas if you are stuck. 

Expectation 1: table manners, Expectation 2: respect for the parents, no abusive language in the house.
Rewards: money for driving lessons, hours of car use, choosing the next family holiday, choosing the after-meal activity etc. (note this is slowly veering away from dance/ sport)
Consequences: less money for driving lessons, less car use etc. AND any abusive behaviour will be reported to the teachers (we'd stated this as a consequence but never actually had to implement, though I am sure teachers would be understanding).

Future:
Being able to finish her meals is a step towards helping your D gain independence should she go on to college, get a job. Surely, trying to leave mouthfuls behind is not worth holding her back from a bright future. My mantra at the moment is, "Meals have to be regular, even if you don't feel hungry." and "You are fragile, it's not your fault, but eating will keep you out of danger."

Sibling care and self-care:
Make sure you and/or your H do something special with your other child, as acknowledgment of the stressful meals over the years. And that he knows you'd come to his rescue, too if needed.
Make sure you and your H do something fun as a couple and on your own. Like a meal with no ED around. 😀

Please take away from here whatever you fancy, just some ideas for you...
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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ValentinaGermania
Tabitha Farrar is for sure a good idea. What about the one week family programs in UCSD or UCSF?
Just to get a new start? It sounds like there is still many ED behaviour. Was she truely WR in that time? For how long?
How old is she now? Is she still in school? Is she still eating with you and has 3 meals and 2-3 snacks?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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