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.

Scaredmom2019
On my own fighting this AN with 17 year old D. This morning she was gagging on breakfast and I just lost it.  Screaming and slamming things. Crying. I had a breakdown. Scared her. I'm so mad and angry. I'm so tired. I'm working fulltime and raising 17 AN D and 7 year old boy who is lost in this. I cant take breaks. I spent every minute of this weekend with her. She has no friends-part of the problem. She just cries and shakes much of the time. I'm starting to feel so angry, even raging. I've done all the readings and I attend all the meetings with D at her partial hospital program. I'm overwhelmed and alone. You are all so strong. I dont know how you did/do this. 
Quote
Enn
Hey, we get it. I have been exactly where you are and not once but a few times. Once I had calmed down. I apologized and also told my d that this was hard for me too and that mommy needed to let it out. It is not a failure. IT IS NOT A FAILURE!!
Of course you are angry and you are allowed to be. If you feel you are not coping as it is really so much for all of us please get help. Ask your team for support, talk to your doctor. Do you need meds or just someone to talk to or both? And doing it by yourself with no respite- is a huge feat! 
I am not strong. I thought I was before Ed. This illness shakes us to our core, we can crumble like Humpty Dumpty, I know I did. And over time we are built up again. Different pieces that shield me more, I think. You are learning a new way of parenting and it sucks! 

Are there any friends that you can have over for you? A bit of a break anyway you can?
what I learned when i had my freak outs is this: forgive yourself. Grieve a bit that is what is required. Your feelings are telling you  something. Sit with the upset it is there for a reason. It will pass.  it is but a moment. You deserve compassion and caring and love- from you. Another way to look at it is to think of what you would feel for and say to a friend.i say this to you: It is yucky so hard and I know you hate this- it is ok to be mad and sad. Please vent  here. If I could I would be there to help you in person. I really would.
so I send you a hug 🤗 
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
Scaredmom2019
Oh my scaredmom... you brought me to tears. Thank you for the kind words and understanding of failures. This is a beast that I hate beyond words. Your hug was felt through your words. Thank you!!!
Quote
kazi67
Scaredmom2019
you are not alone 
all on the forum understand exactly the frustration, exhaustion and overwhelming relentless effort it takes to care for our loved one
i remember clearly one night when my d was fussing around with her dinner and had some smart comment to make to me,and on this day I had had enough of everything, I picked up my plate of dinner and threw it across the room it smashed into the wall and made a mess
i took off in the car to the beach for around 3 hours crying uncontrollably 
when I returned the mess was all cleaned up and d had eaten her tea
not my finest mothering moment but I too had lost it, we are after all only human 
are you able to get any time off work? My GP signed me off on stress/carers leave 
it really does take its toll and especially when you have little to no support, I didn’t either, it’s so hard 

i hope you can have a moment to yourself today even if it’s just to breathe and listen to some calming music/ or enjoy the sunshine?
if it’s sunny where you are? If not a LONG hot shower?

and no I didn’t feel strong at all but pretended a lot, I was so scared of what was happening to d and had no idea if she was ever going to get better
they can and do, have hope! but unfortunately  it’s not easy by a long shot 
you d loves you and you are the most important person to help her right now 
hang in there!
take care 
big hugs from me too
x
Quote
jens
I'm so sorry.  I'm doing this alone as well so I know how difficult and draining and terrifying it can be.  I'm super new to this (only 2 days into a partial-hospitalization program) but I think it's pretty normal for us, as caregivers, to have minor breakdowns. We are not super human.  

Please give yourself some credit. You are doing the best that you can!  Are you able to get some personal therapy for yourself?  I think it's really important that we take care of ourselves so that we can take care of our children. If you ever have the need to vent or cry with someone who is also doing this alone, please feel free to reach out to me.
Quote
Scaredmom2019
Thank you,  thank you!! I seriously thought I was just losing my mind as well. It is so helpful to know that we all do our best but at times our best doesnt always shine through 🙂 
 I really wanted to run outside my neighborhood and just scream! I just got so angry!

I'm just going to have to allow myself time alone. I just have to. I actually am daydreaming about running away or being placed inpatient myself. I've been through a lot in life and I actually am pretty strong (I think) but this experience with AN is unreal. 


Jensmom- what part of the US are you? I'm in the midwest. We are two weeks into PHP here. 
Quote
Scaredmom2019
Also, I'm on meds now and I actually work in mental health so I'm "educated" but not on this. I have taught mental health classes in colleges and I cringe to think how little time i spent on ED compared to other diagnoses. Of course "until it happens to you..." applies here. I cringe to think how naive I was to mental illness even though I have spent whole semesters teaching it. 
Quote
Torie
Scaredmom2019 I'm so sorry you are trapped in this nightmare.  It's great that you were able to come here and explain what happened because we all get it.  We've all lost it.  We've all had fantasies of escaping.  

I think some of the people here are super strong, but I'm not one of them.  We just do our best and no one can expect more than that.  We all make mistakes; we all feel scared and overwhelmed; we all lose it once in a while and then we all scrape ourselves off the floor and head back into the ring.  Really a shame that we can't remain collapsed on the floor and have someone take care of US (which is what should be happening) - I hope you can find someone(s) to share a bit of the load - now is the time to ask for help wherever it might be found - friends, relatives, neighbors, church - hopefully there is someone who can entertain your 7 year old, pitch in with some driving, fold he laundry, whatever.

Please take care of yourself as best you can.  And always remember that we're with you in spirit. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Quote
Barberton
Scaredmom2019,

You are definitely not alone. 

1. Make a list of things you could ask someone else to help you with.
2. Make a list of people whom you can ask for help.
3. Pick up the phone and ask for help.

You will get through this. We are all here sending you supportive thoughts.
D fell down the rabbit hole of AN at age 11 after difficulty swallowing followed by rapid weight loss. Progressing well through recovery, but still climbing our way out of the hole.
Quote
Human
Scardemom2019 you are not alone, this forum is marvellous and has kept me sane. I like you am a single parent, and I have tackled this awful illness on my own. I have become strong, and stubborn and would not back down to the ED. It's been very tough, and on many days I have felt like I was going to loose my mind and end up in hospital myself. I kept myself going, by thinking that my 10 year old daughter deserved to have her life back. I have been fortunate to have a good cahms team behind me. Keep plodding away, there is light at the end of the tunnel xx 
Quote
ValentinaGermania
We were not strong when we were in your shoes and we lost our coolness very often and I said things to my d that I regreted later and I failed a lot of times before I learned what to say and what to do. So you are in very good company here!
Please think about how you can get at least a 10 min break for yourself. This is important. I think it was KLB who locked herself in in the bathroom. I went for a short walk when possible. You need to do some self care. You cannot help her when you break down, you are the VIP in that system.
Please take care and try to get through that tunnel, it will get better. This will not be the rest of your life!

Mine was also 17 during refeeding and I know how hard that is but try to get her into most possible best state before she turns 18 and can exclude you from treatment. This was my best tip here from the old rabbits and brain recovery started about 2 months before her birthday and that was just in time. Now I have a happy young woman here that turns 20 soon...there is hope. Do not give up. Get help.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Quote
Human
I've had EMDR therapy that has really helped me. I've needed it to keep me sane. The trauma of the situation has softened, it is still there but I feel much more able to cope. I recommend this therapy to anyone in this horrendous situation.
Quote
sandie
A huge hug from me too. It is unbearably hard and I cried countless tears, sat in car parks crying, and dreamed of needing hospitalisation myself to escape. 
I am glad you are on meds. They really helped me. I am so glad you are reaching out to this forum as It has been such a wonderful support. You Will get through this. Take one day at a time. It will get better. 
I got signed off work for several months for stress. I know everyone can’t do this but I needed this time. 
know that we are all here rooting for you. Sending you strength. Xxxxxxxxxxx
Quote
Mamaroo
I scheduled a daily breakdown for my sanity's sake. In the afternoon I would go to the school a little bit early and have a good cry in the car, wipe away my tears and pick up the children. Try to take a break away from ED every day,  no talking,  thinking or even reading about ED. Sending you lots of hugs 🤗🤗🤗🤗
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
Quote
Mcmum
Just to say that i'm thinking about you and sending a big hug. 
I have no cool left to lose! !!! There can't be anyone here that hasn't resorted to shouting, crying, taking meds, feeling like they're failing/going insane on a daily basis. 
You are doing a super human job in impossible conditions and you have to be kind to yourself xxx
Quote
Scaredmom2019
Another fitful attempt at sleeping. It was nice to read all these messages of validation this morning. Thank you!!

I'm not good at NOT playing supermom so it's hard to accept my ill feelings but you all have helped tremendously. I need to ask people for help. I just have to do it.
Quote
ValentinaGermania
And think about getting some time off work if any possible. At least for some days if possible. This is nothing you can do while working full time...it is like having 3 jobs at the same time...is there something like carer leave? Can you make your GP write you something?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Quote
Scaredmom2019
I am really lucky to have a very flexible job and great boss. I cant afford to take leave..
Mostly because I dont know what's ahead. What if it gets worse? I need to hang on to my time off for now.
Quote
Ellesmum
Goodness, I’ve lost my cool so many times because I’m human and so are you. It would take a saint to not blow sometimes. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to simply walk out the door and keep walking, I’d bet my last pound we all have. 

I will share too that the time I absolutely lost all reason and completely blew a gasket was the time d started eating, that’s not my ‘how to’ guide but it was the moment ED got scared of me.  I screamed ‘you are not ALLOWED to have an ED any more,’  I was hoarse after I finished roaring.  

Take any break you can, even a ten minute shower can be a chance to have a good cry. 

Sending strength and a massive hug x
Ellesmum
Quote
ValentinaGermania
I am really lucky to have a very flexible job and great boss. I cant afford to take leave..
Mostly because I dont know what's ahead. What if it gets worse? I need to hang on to my time off for now.


I understand that thought about "What if it gets worse" but in most cases early and strong and consequent intervention is key. So the better you can supervise her and work against all that ED behaviour from the start and the more time you have to distract her and for self care to reload your batteries the shorter the fight will be and the longer it takes to get her WR and work on all ED behaviour the longer the battle will continue. Just a thought.

I know that many here cannot afford to get time off work but often the health system allows parents to get some time off and the lost money is replaced. If that is possible use that possibility. Even if you can get only 1 day off a week that would be a help.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Quote
Enn
I am hoping today is a better day under the sun!
XX
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
Scaredmom2019
Oh thank you. It is better but mostly because D is at the program all day. Never in my wildest days did I imagine this for her life or mine. Heading out shortly to meet her for family therapy and medical appt. I just want to collapse onto my bed and weep. 

On a side note did any of your dear ones struggle with gagging while eating? My D tries very hard to keep going but eventually toward the end of the meal she cant swallow it and gags etc. It is heart wrenching to watch and I just cant make it her go any further. So we break and I try to supplement at next meal or snake. The gagging really makes me feel out of control and was the preceeding factor in this weekend's personal meltdown that I had. 
Quote
mjkz

Single mom here too and many times have blown gaskets.  I think at times you need to let them see how their behavior affects us.

It sounds like maybe you need to work on your own distress tolerance and how better to handle the gagging.  My daughter did it for awhile and while it was hard to watch, she had to get through it.  I don't know if you can cut down at all on the amount while still maintaining the calorie amount.  One big mistake I made was sacrificing calories and stomach space for my own thoughts on "nutrition".  A calorie is a calorie. I had to stop serving her steamed veggies and things that I thought of as "healthy" because they didn't contain enough calories.  I was also letting her drink water which was a huge mistake.  Any liquid has to contain calories.  Filling up on water didn't help at all.  If she starts gagging, maybe slow things down, remind her to breath and also to chew.  My daughter nearly choked once trying to swallow everything whole thinking the less surface area she exposed, the less calories she'd get (yeah, thinking goes to really weird spots).  I wouldn't let the gagging stop a meal or snack.  Work on breathing, slow things down if you need to, make the meal more calorie dense and smaller if you can and use a smoothie for liquids to really pack in the calories.  Also work on your own reaction to her gagging.  As hard as it is, you may have to just sit there and listen to it and encourage.

Quote
Hope42019

We feel your pain and distress. I have lost my cool many times which I am not proud of but as you can see from these posts it comes with the territory. We are only human. I have learned to walk away when I feel myself getting to this point and that has been helpful. I go to a quiet place and breathe. I remind myself how sick she is and come up with some words or a plan of how I can help her in the moment. We are 6 months from when we started refeeding and so I definitely have learned some ways of coping but still slip up. 

Our D also did some gagging at the start of refeeding. It helped for me to be calm and encouraging when she did this. If I got mad or anxious the gagging was worse. When I distracted her the gagging would suddenly stop. It got better the further we got into refeeding. 

I hope you can take time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty when you get the time because you have to think of it as it makes you better for your daughter. You want to be at your best so take care of you. It has taken me too long to realize this. Best wishes! We are with you in this. 

Quote
Scaredmom2019
Excellent advise!! Thank you!! I will work with her through gagging!! 
Quote

        

WTadmin