F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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After a lot of angst, I am (almost)! sure I have made a decision.

I don't feel comfortable with the idea of D not taking a semester off from college.  So, I think that I will not be paying for it.

At one point, she said to me recently that tuition is due at the end of the semester.  I'm not sure that I could require a medical leave under these circumstances, because her BMI is between 20 and 21 (she's probably at about 95 % of what she should weigh).

But, I look at this as a moral choice.  I cannot in good conscience pay to send her back in January.  There's no perfect decision -- and maybe I'm being too conservative.  But, the ED has not been eradicated.  My gut is telling me not to pay.  Even if she manages to take out loans and go back, it would be sending a very strong message.  I would make it clear that I am always here for her, no matter what.

I think that I just saw on another thread that a parent was told by a therapist that not sending her D right back to college would "cause a power struggle."  I don't know the details of that situation, but I disagree.  This will undoubtedly cause a big blow-up, which is scary.  And, she may figure out a way to go right back to college.  But, while my influence is certainly more limited than when she was under age, it will never be greater than it is right now.

The way I look at it, given the potential devastation of this illness, the onus should be on others to persuade me why she should not take a semester off.  No one has done that.  She is not fully recovered.  She's doing some restricting, and under the stress of preparing for exams, I saw terror and despair in her eyes after eating a good meal.

You are doing the right thing, Marilyn.

You can't control your daughter's potential reaction and choices. What you can know is that you did everything in your power to get your daughter healthy. I would try to head to UCSD in January and work out a plan for getting her back to school.

Sending hugs and strength.
Carrie Arnold Blogger and author at http://www.edbites.com
You are a good mom. Trust yourself.
- three teens and hubby all with special needs; blended family - D18 is Ladybug; fed at home for three months, then inpatient far away for three months. We lost nine family members in that same year including her step-mom,both grandfathers,four uncles - She now insists on living on own - family falling apart.
Hello Marilyn,

I've been a lurker on this site for a few months now but feel like I should reply seeing as my family are in a very similar situation. My youngest sister is 19 years old and started university several hours away from the rest of the family. Although she has gained some very needed weight (my parents took at risk letting her move to uni as she had just come out of treatment and has other comorbidities), she has come from home from university even more disordered in her behaviours and the only leverage my parents have is financial and our parents and myself are unwilling to let her go back to university next week. I agree with you, there is no perfect decision but sometimes we have to take the difficult decisions to save their lives.

You know your daughter best, so trust your gut.
marilyn and movingon, my heart goes out to your families.  I know these decisions are not made lightly.  We want our children to have the life they ought to have.  It is a courageous decision to re-order priorities and put health first--and endure the blowback.  You are my heroes!
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
Colleen is right, you are courageous!  This is the hard, thankless work of parenting an ill child.  I can really feel your pain in your words, but please know that you have our full support.  You are making the right decision in a horrible situation; you are being both responsible and loving.

mom to teen daughter in remission/recovery; treatment included UCSD's multi-family program and FBT with EXRP & ACT

These decisions are very tough. I don't envy you for having to make this one.

I remember that you said you had a contract.

Excuse me if I missed it, what did the contract say about what actions would be taken if your daughter is at 95% of weight goal?
What does her therapist have to say about the college decision?

Is there any room for compromise on the college decision?

You mentioned that your daughter goes to college in VA - 3 hours from your home.

Is there any ED services on campus?

Is there a possibility that she could commute to school?

I know that when my daughter was at university, she didn't have classes every day and some of her school work could be done partially online.

Not to throw confusion into the mix or doubt over your (almost) decision, as no matter what decision you make, it will be the right one.

Cathy V.
Southern California

You are a smart mama. For long-term recovery, we have to make short-term decisions that are hell.

Hang in there,
"Hope is a wonderful thing ... but hope by itself is not enough. Hope is the reason to take action, to make a plan and then to change the plan when it isn’t working - over and over and over again if necessary." Hannah Joseph (Let's Feast Friday Reflection, "Just Keep Going," Friday, March 3rd, 2015)
From everything I've read, doing what it takes now to completely rid your D of ED symptoms is her best chance.  Hopefully, you can get your team on board to back you up.  Keep reminding everyone that this is not forever, in fact it's only a few months out of what will continue to be a fantastic college career and beyond.  She deserves a future free of the torments of ED thoughts and fears. Is there a local internship or volunteer program she can participate in to keep her busy?  Be strong!
Mom to recovered RAN daughter, now age 18
Marilyn,  You are a strong Mom and I am behind you 100% and always a phone call away.

You know my thoughts as we've shared conversations about your situation and the clinical feedback that has been conflicting and undermining of accurate and full weight restoration all along.  

I agree with Carrie that you are doing what you know to be the right decision for your D's full health. Carrie was the one who inspired me to do the same for my 22 year old D and I have not regretted anything I've done.

I agree with Carrie that going to UCSD would give you both a great jumpstart for the semester even if you have a local FBT to work with.
Hope you can get Dr P back to support what you know is your D's accurate WR range.

No matter how much ED rages, you are putting your D's health and life as your top priority.  She can gain her strength through full nourishment and there are classes to take locally and other activities that she will have as outlets.  This area is full of enriching classes and places to volunteer.

You've also found her a good clinician to work with and to support you.  

Sending you strength and hope.  

WenWinning (formerly wenlow) - a Mom who has learned patience, determination, empathy, and inner strength to help her young adult daughter gain full remission after over a decade of illness and clinician set inaccurate weights

I heartily support you in your decision.  

We kept my daughter from beginning her first semester of college.  Then we sent her for the next 2 semesters.  

Luckily for us, she recognized that her ED and comorbids were interferring with her success, and that she needed to leave college to work on recovery.  She made the right decision and we did not have to struggle with it.  

Ultimately your daughter will thank you for your strong decision.  Rely on us to support you and carry on!
Papyrus, Philadelphia area
We withdrew our son from university after just 2 days - and here's what I wrote about it at the time. At the moment we are about to make the decision whether or not he is ready to try again this September. It's a really difficult decision to know what to do, isn't it? I'd just trust your instinct. If it tells you your D needs to take more time out, then go with that. Not only will she be more equipped to study when she is completely well, but there will be less risk to her health, weight-wise. Additionally, she will have a better, happier time. University is such a special (and yet stressful) time that it really is worth ensuring your child is well before they return.
Bev Mattocks, mother of 24-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.