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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EDAction
I just deleted my Facebook account.  I just can't stand to read another friend's boast about her child's amazing accomplishments.  And I feel terribly small, petty and selfish for feeling that way.  That's not the person I want to be.  But here I am.  Ugh.  I'm feeling low.

My D has been WR for about a month and just lost 2.5 lbs while on a holiday.  So we told her we are tightening up this week to get her back to WR, and started doing so, and she is reacting as you would expect.  We, D included, are all so sick and tired of this. 

I have plans to meet an old friend this weekend.  She knows D has an ED, but that's about it.  I almost don't want to meet with her.  She's such a good mom and a wonderful person and I feel like a failure.  I know she will be kind and that she truly cares, but I will just feel like the screw-up.  

And I don't want to feel like the screw-up!  I need to take charge of this situation again.

DD diagnosed with anorexia at 14; FBT at home with the help of psychologist and medical dr; 3+ years later and doing well (knock on wood)
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Rayney
You are not a bad mum, you are a wonderful mum who has challenges on top of being a mum, but still continues to fight this fight.  I totally get where you are coming from with the fb posts etc as I sometimes think yeh great my daughter would do that if she was well, but hey she will one day.  It is so hard that life goes on sometimes when you are in the midst of this struggle but please don't beat yourself up, you are doing a great job under really difficult circumstances, I am sure your real friends understand and if they don't they are not real friends (something I learnt early on in this journey).  You are not a screw up and everyone needs a day to feel sorry for themselves then to start again, you can do it!! See if you can get some time for you, just a walk alone or a bath somewhere quiet to re-charge your batteries as then it is easier to carry on, take care.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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foodgloriousfood
Their children are not battling a serious psychiatric illness though. There is no need to compare or feel jealous, your child is amazing in her own way. The scenario is no different than if you had a child with cancer, cystic fibrosis or crohn's disease - any illness which impacts a child's ability to go to school full time, work or train to become an elite athlete will result in that child achieving different accomplishments than others.

Any mum of a sick child is a wonderful mum in my opinion.
20yo D; dx AN Feb '10 (15yrs old); self-recovering Dec '13; WR
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deenl
Hi EDAction,

Don't forget that nobody posts the less than ideal aspects of their lives. The whole social media thing is no reflection of anybody's real life. I read this article yesterday that links in well with your post
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hunger-artist/201606/failure

Look at the facts of your life: your kid got dealt a bad hand with this illness; you stepped up and got her weight restored (that in itself deserves a lifetime achievement award); she's hit a blip and despite your weariness with the whole thing you jump straight back in to keep her well. You have done fab but because of the stigma of mental illness, you can't post this amazing feat on your timeline. And your daughter has overcome/is overcoming an illness that is one of the most challenging because it demands so much courage, strength and perseverence. But because of stigma she can't shout it from the rooftops but she has/is doing something that is more difficult than most things in life.

YOU ARE DOING GREAT.

Hang in there,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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hyacinth
I think you have received some great replies - which I have also found really helpful. But I wanted to say that I know how you feel and I think it is so natural. And actually deleting your FB account sounds like a pretty rational thing to do at this point - the false view of reality from social media can be triggering for us, just as it can be for our Ds in a different way.
Personally, I can get sad even when seeing normal, relaxed family interactions when out and about on the street or on the bus. I know that this is not the same for everyone on this forum, but we had challenges in our family dynamics even before ED made an appearance, so I don't know what the future will bring. But I will keep fighting for and believing in my D's future, and not let any of these thoughts stop me from doing that.
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Sotired
I so identify with this.when I see my friends with their normal kids having normal problems I am deeply envious.but for me it's even worse-I deeply envy the people on here who get their child weight recovered and have things if not return to normal,have do much of their life returned to them.
I read of people going on trips for example.my d has blood tests three days a week and a weekly nurses check-we can't even leave our city and haven't been able to go on holiday anywhere for about 18 months I think.the furthest we have gone in the last three years is two hours away.any more and we are too far from hospital.
My d attends school for social reasons-any chance of her sitting exams is over.she has only one real friend left and she is often too busy to see my d.
Meanwhile my friends children are just living normal lives.my friends go away for a week-a whole week!
I am not on Facebook and would never join now because other people's lives would just bring me down.i survive my life by protecting myself from the pain of what used to be versus what is.
I know I'm not alone like this,but it doesn't change how lonely it can be and distancing from others who are not (and hopefully never will be) where I am.
I make the best of things IRL but I'm ok with confessing here that it's much harder to be happy for others than it used to be.im working through it and not expecting too much of myself-I'm only human after all,as are you.its ok to be sad.
Sotired42
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ooKoo

I too can empathise with deleting your facebook.

I have seriously considered it, but I have several relatives abroad and it is a good way to keep in touch with what they are up to.

It is sometimes just a slap in the face when I actually do log on.  I know that it is only a snapshot of the good stuff going on in people's lives, but in the nicest possible way, it isn't really helpful to me to know that seemingly everyone else in my life is having an everso-wonderful time, and I am not.  I do know that everyone has "stuff" going on at various points in their lives, but not generally ongoing for 18 months. 

So, just press delete and keep on going.  There may be a time in the future when you might want to sign up for facebook again, or there may not.  You are going a great job!

UK - South East

19 yo D

Dx AN Feb 2015 (Aged 15). Pre-existing low self-esteen and high anxiety. 

2015: 3 x medical hospital admissions. 1 month in IP which she self discharged from [eek].
2016: 3 x hospital admissions. 
2017: CAMHS CBT. WR, dropped out of 2 different colleges and started an apprenticeship.  Started having grand mal seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy in Nov 2017. Sacked from job because of this.  Tribunal ensued.
2018 - doing a Psychology degree through Open University and working in retail to pay her way in life. Relapses with eating disorder in June 18 and Nov 18 😢. 

On particularly rough days when I am sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. [Author Unknown]
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deenl
I confess that I don't read the positive updates on the forum. I am too jealous of their success but at the same time feel like a total Grinch. In my heart of hearts I am so glad for anyone who's loved one is recovered but I just don't want to read about something that seems so removed from what I am dealing with.

Feel like I am in a confessional and that I should just say my Our father and three Hails Mary's.

Warm wishes to all where ever you are on the journey,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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BJUK
I think it's liberating to delete your Facebook account (or Boastbook as my H calls it). I do keep in touch with some family on it and avoid looking at all the "how wonderful is my daughter" type posts/boasts. We've been at this lark for 4 years now and I have isolated myself from anyone that makes me feel bad and that's pretty much everyone!! No, seriously though I do have a chosen few friends I can still manage to be around but I still feel a pang of jealousy when they talk about marvellous holidays, achieving children etc etc. It's just so bloody unfair!
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mjkz
There is a very interesting article on the same website Deenl posted about just this very thing.  I don't necessarily agree with the title but I do agree with what she has to say.

Check it out here.
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deenl
There is also a follow up blog post that clarifies some things
 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hunger-artist/201503/anorexia-and-the-dangers-blog-post-titles

My initial reaction was 'No way, totally wrong!' but once I calmed down, I could see the nuances in what she is trying to say and I think it is a very important but difficult point that should be discussed.

Cheers,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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Francie
Dear EDAction,
Thank you SO MUCH for your posting and beginning this thread. I love the comments by all you moms. Life just doesn't seem fair, does it? Even in the quiet of our own homes, at our computer, Facebook and other forms of social media just don't let us forget how different our lives are.

I will share these quotes that I find inspiring, they help me when I begin to feel sorry about the status of my family, my D, myself. I am hopeful something helps you moms (for any of you who are agnostic or aetheist, please forgive):

“When God is going to do something wonderful, He or She always starts with a hardship; when God is going to do something amazing, He or She starts with an impossibility.” 

“God never gives us more than we were designed to carry.” 

“It doesn't matter what has happened to you, it matters what you do with what has happened to you. Life is like a poker game. You don't get to choose the cards you are dealt, but it's entirely up to you how to play the hand.” 
 
“Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.” 

and I LOVE this one, though it's hard to imagine any of us grabbing back an ED:

“If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.” 


― quotes by Regina Brett, Author



Francie

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Francie
one more thing EDAction, your true friends will help you see that you are not a screw up. Continue seeing those friends, and avoid the ones who make you feel bad about yourself. And from my count on this thread you have 8 online friends as of right now!

Francie

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Sotired
I dunno Francie,I feel like God has overburdened me.i now no longer want grandchildren to be a part of my future, I'm too afraid of what God might decide I could deal with next.im not being facetious either.im sure that your quotes bring you happiness though and that is a good thing.
Sotired42
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Francie
I understand completely, Sotired. Not sure grandkids would be a good idea in our family, either. XO

Francie

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mjkz
Quote:
My initial reaction was 'No way, totally wrong!' but once I calmed down, I could see the nuances in what she is trying to say and I think it is a very important but difficult point that should be discussed.


Thanks for posting that Deenl.  I was so disgusted by the quality or lack thereof to the comments after that I missed the update.  It would seem many people didn't get past the same initial reaction you had. I really felt bad for her mother who was sharing their journey only to be told how wrong it was.  How the heck can it be wrong if her daughter is recovered??  There is more than one way to recovery and if you choose to give up your life to get your kid there, more power to you but don't think that makes you any more or less of a parent than those who do not.  To me, giving up your life sets a very bad example to your kids and I'm so glad Emily addressed that.  I think too people missed the fact that what her mother said is true whether you choose to admit or not.  You can give up your life and still end up with a very sick or even dead child.  Sort of like the cancer analogy in the comments.  Unfortunately there are many situations where you can give up everything and it does not good in the end.  Your kid still dies.

Those of us who have been around for awhile and mostly dealing with YA are probably the audience most suited to her mother's post.  At a certain point you can give up everything and your kid can still walk away to live the remainder of his or her life very eating disordered.  In the end the only person who loses is the ones left behind who have given up everything.
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Sammie
Hi EDAction- Thanks for posting this topic. Does it ever ring true for me! When my D was really in the throes of AN, I was so tired of hearing about the accomplishments of everyone else's kids. Who am I kidding, I envied healthy looking teen girls walking down the street! It seemed like ED had taken so much away from my D and our family. It was hard to have hope that she would get well and we could all get our lives back. I was worried that she would be trapped in this horrible ED world forever and be stuck as a chronic anorexic. It is pretty isolating as a caregiver. Recovery is unpredictable and relapse is always a looming possibility. It is easy to feel like a failure as a parent in this situation. What I know now... is that I am an awesome parent because I saved my daughter's life this past year. Parenting a kid with an ED requires strength, patience, kindness and determination. Definitely not the qualities of a failure. You are doing a great job. Facebook is overrated anyways[smile]
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Kali

EDAction,

You are saving a life and doing hero's work.
We all understand what you are going through.
Every meal is a victory and every day of full nutrition is a huge accomplishment.
I have been trying not to compare d. to other girls her age but it is not always easy. It is heartbreaking to see how their lives are impacted by this illness and what they are losing because of it. It is a truly humbling experience.

Take one day at a time and one meal at a time.  
Can you find a way to relax and recharge your energy? It can be such an exhausting experience for a caregiver.

I work at a school and have the urge to cry when I see the healthy girls with normal weights walking in the hallways.
I read lots of recovery stories and they help keep me going. I try to find a little time to connect with friends. I try to make parts of my life into an ED free zone when I'm at work or with people who have no idea how devastating this illness is.

Can you find a therapist for yourself to support you? I see someone every two weeks and it is helpful. 
Wishing you strength.

Kali

 

Food=Love
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Boysmum
Yes agree! I have been told so many times - 'and it's not like you and H are pushy parents!' in conjunction with B's diagnosis. Like if we were then that could be put as the reason, all squared away and tied up with a bow! I find people who know fall into 3 camps:
Camp 1: 'well he looks really well' - translation he doesn't look thin to me, therefore he's cured, let's change the subject.
Camp 2: 'let me tell you about my child's minor school difficulties ad nauseum, because I am sure you can sympathise.' Let's not talk about your child's serious psychiatric illness, self harming because that's just weird and scary.
Camp 3: 'this is all beyond what I can cope with, I'm against using pyschiatric medication in children, have you thought of homeopathy' Go **** yourself!
13 yr old son diagnosed April 2015 with Anorexia.
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momtobeauty
EDAction- I know what you mean, but I can't bring myself to delete it and I keep looking. It's not like I wish bad things on my "friends" and I don't think their kids are "better" but it's just that it highlights how outside of normal life we are. I use FB to connect with other parents about my d's other health issue which is an unrelated physical problem and see that they are obsessed with only that issue and then they post about how their kid managed to be valedictorian in spite of it and how they are back to dancing, martial arts and getting great grades after surgery and their friends are visiting. And the physical issue is the huge tragedy and it is. But we don't even have only that. How small I feel when I feel envious of people who are facing a huge medical crisis.

I recently read Harold Kushner's book "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" and it really helped me not to feel *too* bitter about the difficulties we have to face. I recommend it for when you feel like it's all just not fair and the world makes no sense.
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EDAction
Thanks everyone for your compassionate replies.

Boysmum - Your response to Camp 3 resonated with me. [smile]  I've been doing a lot more swearing (in my head) than I used to.  I find it liberating.  And it helps to bring out my fighting spirit rather than feeling sad.

I agree with those of you who said even seeing normal interactions between a teen and parent is difficult to handle.  I left a New Year's Eve gathering early (claimed I had to get younger one to bed; it was partly true) when I just couldn't handle watching my friend and her teenage daughter joking and laughing together so easily and talking about future college plans.  Then friend (who doesn't know about D's ED) asked me what my D thinks - where does she want to go to college?  I was dumbfounded.  This was so far away from anything my D and I had discussed lately that I fumbled through a generic response.  I started to feel angry at friend and daughter - which was irrational and not fair to them - and to feel deeply sad.  Cue my exit!!

Francie - I was raised Catholic and keep thinking about being taught that everyone has their cross to bear in life.  And that each person needs to pick up their cross and carry it.  I'm starting to think of ED as my cross - - not my D, but ED.  Also . . . some of the prayers that I was required to memorize but never had any use for (I've always been more of a free-form pray-er) found a use.  Early on when D was diagnosed and my thoughts would race in fear and anxiety, it helped me to recite those prayers in my head over and over.  It focused my brain and stopped the racing thoughts for a few minutes.

deenl - Thanks for the reminder that my D is fighting a huge challenge and yet can't shout her accomplishments either - heck she doesn't even tell me!  I try to see them and find a good time to tell her what I saw.

sotired - my heart goes out to you; I read your posts 

Today started out well and then crashed and burned.  I am 99% sure D exercised while I was out with younger D.  D had already exercised in the morning and wasn't supposed to do any more.  D denied it when I asked her calmly and then got very upset and took it out on me (I lie, I ignore, it's my fault, I always say the same thing, I don't listen, etc, etc, went up to room and banged around).  Then younger D decided that looked interesting and tried a bit out herself.  Stopped that.  D had her regular appt w/T today and came out feeling better, but I don't.  I feel we can't leave D home alone anymore for the time being at least.  That will make summer interesting.

DD diagnosed with anorexia at 14; FBT at home with the help of psychologist and medical dr; 3+ years later and doing well (knock on wood)
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momon
So many interesting thoughts here, many of which I share.  I appreciate the honesty that people showed, yet somehow manage to all show respect for each other despite different views.

Here's my nonfacebook reality: sometimes I have felt bad that we are 3 1/2 years in on this journey and I am still needing to do close to full magic plate, d having fell ill just after her 10th birthday. She's never had to be in- patient or in a php or anything, and I am so sorry for those that have had that harder road and wish you so much love and peace and healing for your kids. But sometimes I feel really bummed because so many on here find 3 years is the magic number. Not for my d and me.  I recently posted of some really good success of getting her past a stuck weight spot and seeing wonderful improvements in her ED symptoms lessening and her social health improving. That is joyful.

But oh the work goes on and on and on -- she grew a half inch in each of the last  2 months and we are always behind the 8 ball on gaining weight to match.

I am pretty sure many who entered this road with me in early or even late 2013 especially with young kids are through this push. I am tired and although I am optimistic we will get her in to complete remission, it is not guaranteed. And some things in our home situation (purposeful vagueness) make getting her into recovery much harder. I wish like hell I didn't have to be the Ginger Rogers of refeeding, but I keep on dancing backward and in heels because my kid needs me to. Oddly I almost more envy the parents who have a partner in getting their kid healthy rather than a frenemy, than I envy the parents who never had to do this at all.

And I also really thank deenl for the comments of how due to stigma we can't describe our real accomplishments nor can our kids. Remember the discussion on here about how our kids should NOT write about their overcoming an ED as their college essay? (now I am dating how long I have been on the list serve as this was probably 2 years ago).  How freakin unfair. My kid and your kids have had to tough out something so challenging that anything else they accomplish shows they are bad asses. And they have to hide it or feel like they do. Sad.

Sharing the warm wishes to all. Our love is the mantle we give our children.


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Francie
Hi Friends, 
I sound like such a PollyAnna in the earlier post on this thread. How do you put up with me?

I was just looking through FB and noticed my D updated her profile pic. She looks high and depressed (I doubt she's high, likely just tired, looks like the pic was taken in her ED PHP). It shocked me to see her looking so depressed and sad. And why would she want to post that? Does she think she looks cool?

And then I go on to read postings by some of her grade school friends who are back at their away colleges, and posts of their adventures with each other over the summer, and posts about their plans for the semester and posts from a mom whose beautiful daughter got married this weekend.

Doesn't my D see how she's missing out? I wonder why my D hasn't found anything in her life to feel passionate about, besides partying, boys and ED. Today she has blown off the second morning of weekend volunteer work she claims she likes to do. She'll spend her second day of the weekend in her pajamas with her laptop, TV and phone. That's a life?

Frustrating is what it is. 

I can't delete my account as I need it for work. Gotta curb my lurking, though.

Francie

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EDAction
Ugh.  I feel for you Francie.  Yes, definitely stop "lurking".  For now at least. [smile]

If you feel like it, tell me what your D is like when she's at her best.  What was she like before ED?  What was she like in that year before her symptoms returned?


DD diagnosed with anorexia at 14; FBT at home with the help of psychologist and medical dr; 3+ years later and doing well (knock on wood)
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