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

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jens
My daughter has been at the residential treatment center for six days now. It's gone from crying and asking me to bring her home to now being very angry and telling me:

"I dont want the plant book and tell grammy not to send me stuff and i don't want her or anyone else to visit and get me out of here this is literally the opposite of helpful i just want to feel normal and the food here is disgusting so ibviously i dont want to eat it this isnt fair they never switched my room i havent showered and i need to go home i hate you and everyine and you said youd get me out and if you dont by the weekend i will hate you forever and i will never talk to you again once i turn 18. "

and then after I responded by telling her this is the best place for her and that I just want her to get healthy and that I love her, I got this:

"Im literally fine this isn't the best place i dont even need this level of care if anything at all im not underweight and my vitals and blood work are fine this is bullshit and if you dont get me out i wont call you or email you i dont want you to visit and when i get out im leaving and im never speaking to you again. im claustrophobic here i have no clothes i cant shower and i dont get my phone this is stupid and youre a stupid b*tch for putting me somewhere i dont even need to be i hate you with a passion and i never want to see you again rot in a hole stupid b*tch"

I'm trying really hard to remember that this is her illness talking but it's so hard.  What if I am doing the wrong thing?  What if a different partial-hospitalization program could help instead of this residential?  What if she really does run away when she gets out or hates me forever?  I hate this so much.  I'm doing it on my own (her dad is in another state and barely in the picture) and just want to do the best and right thing for her.


We have our first session with the family therapist this afternoon so I'm hoping that will help but I don't know how much it can help.

Help me.
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Enn
Is she texting that to you? I would only respond by saying that you love her and tell her you won’t respond to mean words but that you are always there for her and love her.
is the program doing their job? Is she gaining is she supervised. 
Ask when you see them. If they are doing what they are supposed to then she is in a good place. 
There was a recent blog by FEASt Laura Collins about how it is good that your child hates you. I will post soon.
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)
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Enn
https://www.feast-ed.org/its-okay-if-your-kid-hates-you/
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)
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jens
She sent these as emails when she had access to her laptop during school time.  Yes, she has gained some weight and yes, she is supervised well (which she hates lol).  Thank you so much for sharing that article.  I've bookmarked it and will revisit it often.
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Enn
I think/ I know Laura’s words ring so true and cut through issues. I find them so helpful. That article puts into perspective what is going on and how important we are despite the ‘abuse’ thrown at us.
If she hated you she would not  be communicating with you. She needs you!
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)
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jens
scaredmom wrote:

If she hated you she would not  be communicating with you. She needs you!


Wow.  That is true.  Thank you.

And this line from the article:  "It means whatever’s happening is making the eating disorder unhappy, which is good for your person."  That makes sense, too.  She actually really enjoyed going to her partial-hospitalization program and now I see it was because it wasn't challenging her ED as much.  She was not completing her meals while there and was not eating at home (except for dinner).
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Enn
EXACTLY!!!
i had the same things said to me too. And now this kid and I are closer than ever. 
💜
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)
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Torie
Aw, Jens, I'm so sorry for all this.  Ugh.  This vile illness is the worst.

Unfortunately, the person LEAST able to evaluate the quality of care is the sufferer. he  Everyone seems to get rubbish information from the sufferer.   I wonder if the family therapist will provide contact information in case you have questions later.  If you have concerns about the quality of care, she might be a good person to ask.  (For example, is it true that your d hasn't been allowed to shower?  If so, is there a good reason for that?)

Be strong!!!  It is so very hard to watch them suffer, but they cannot get well without that.

Thinking of you. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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alphie1991
It sounds terrible but similar to our daughter.  She is in residential and has only been there for about 9 days.  Although she can call and talk to us she doesn't really want to.  She was in a PHP program but would not eat and could not be forced to so she ended up in the hospital before having to go to residential.  I really do hope this changes her thinking and helps stop the ED behavior.  Hang in there -- from everything I have read, heard and experience, it must be working/fight the ED because of how she is reacting.
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Mamaroo
Her feelings about residential are very typical, as long as she's gaining weight it's the right place for her. My d didn't enjoy IP either and it motivated her to eat at home so that she would not return. My d also said mean things to me during refeeding and now she can't even recall the things she had said. This will also pass, hand in there, 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
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Kali

Hi Jens,

If it can make you feel any better, my daughter also hated me when she went into residential. She had to stay for nearly 3 months. When she first went in she was so angry she that I decided mutually to take a break from each other, and I saw her minimally the first couple of weeks she was there. The time before she went in was so stressful that I actually found it to be a relief to take a step back. We did have to show up once a week for a family therapy session, and most of the first few sessions were kind of wasted as they were filled with her recounting things like the morning I put muffins on the table for everyone to eat (which proved to her that I was some kind of a monster) and things of that nature—completely distorted by the eating disorder. There was even a session where we showed up and she refused to speak with us and we sat there for 45 minutes in silence. As she started eating and gaining weight things got better and I visited her a few times a week.

I'm sure that your daughter has the opportunity to take a shower for example.
My daughter also did not want any presents. 

However I would be concerned about this comment:

Quote:
i just want to feel normal and the food here is disgusting so ibviously i dont want to eat it 

I would see if it might be possible to talk with the therapist behind the scenes and find out whether your daughter is completing meals. I'm also pretty sure that their food is most likely not disgusting. I would also stress that while you are in family therapy sessions that if you are calm and sensible and don't take offense at any of the mud your daughter is slinging at you, the sessions will be more productive. I felt that the eating disorder was being cruel on purpose to hurt me and that if I was calm and kind and didn't become provoked or get all caught up in the drama, that eventually the ED would see that it was not being successful and had nothing to gain by behaving angrily towards me. Later on my daughter admitted that in fact SHE WAS ANGRY AT HERSELF FOR BEING IN THE SITUATION SHE WAS IN AND TAKING IT OUT ON ME. I'm writing that in caps because it is an opportunity to reframe your daughter's behavior. Your daughter may be doing the same and as her mother you are the safest person to take it out on because she knows your love for her is unconditional. 

We used the family therapy time to talk about how to transition at home and to uncover some of the things which had been going on during our daughter's illness which she had not felt comfortable talking about. Luckily we had a very skilled therapist who was able to intervene in a really positive manner, and she helped repair the relationships. 

Sending you hope and strength,

Kali

Food=Love
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ValentinaGermania
My d said exactly the same things and she even used the same words 2,5 years ago.
Now she is sitting on the sofa with us in the evening to be cuddled. At nearly 20. There is no day she does not say "I love you".

She also said she would quit with us the day she gets 18. Her brain recovery started 2 months before she was 18 (thanks to the old rabbits here that told me to act quickly) and on her birthday she went out with friends to have pizza and gave us hugs and kisses for saving her life.

ED wants to seperate you. ED tells her that her parents must hate her because you have send her there. She now wants to know if that is true. She says terrible things to you. She uses words you never thought she would use against you. Just to find out if you love her or not.

Guess how ED must get crazy when you just answer "I love you, my dear, and I will do everything that is needed to get you healthy and back to life".
Show ED that you love her whatever she says and does and whatever words she uses. Love is a big gun against ED. Use it.
And try to take it not personally. It is a compliment that ED hates you and makes her say these things. ED hates YOU. Not your d.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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deenl
Hi Jens,

Looking back on when my son was IP here is how I see it. Our kids are very seriously ill, that is stressful and traumatic for parents and our brains do what they are designed to do and switch into high alert. We revert back to ancient humans who sense a wild animal in the area and are hyper-vigilent. Then our kids go IP and that is no easier - all of a sudden we are in the forest with a wild animal somewhere and we can't see where our kids are at!!!!!! The emotional part of our brains in now super charged and everything we see and hear is filtered through this lens.

While all that is going on the more logical part of our brains is telling us stuff like 'They are in a safe place' 'This is short term pain for long term gain' etc. Sometimes the logical part of the brain is ahead and sometimes the emotional. I noticed a difference between how my husband and I dealt with this. I have had experience of traumas and so have learned techniques that give my locical brain an edge. Don't get me wrong though; I was horrifically stressed, cried lakes of tears, needed anti-anxiety meds etc. But compared to my poor husband who was in such a desperate, panicked emotional state for months, I appeared calmer. In this period, he was very susceptible to taking everything our son said at face value. And why not? Up until then our son had been a very truthful kid.

So what I've learned is that ED has a language of its own that you have to translate.

So when your daughter says something like " i have no clothes i cant shower" it might actually mean something like "I am all out of my routines, I don't have the right clothes, the right shampoo, can't do the right rituals so I can't shower" (remember how OCD most ED rituals are) or she says "I can't shower" but the team has said "You can't shower without supervision because we need to keep you safe from purging/self harm/suicide attempts"  There is no doubt in my mind that your daughter is at six's and seven's and genuinely feels that she cannot shower but the team is used to getting them over the hump I am sure. Not showering is a 'thing' as I found out when I posted asking about it!

"the food here is disgusting so ibviously i dont want to eat it " Well, this one is pretty easy to reframe! All food is disguisting to them and they don't want to eat at all or they wouldn't be IP. I'm a good cook and cook and bake 90% or more from scratch. When my son was IP they had, for example, bolognaise made from a jar and mince while he has always had homemade sauce. So no, IP food was not as nice as what he got at home but he wasn't eating my lovely home cooked food either! The food in IP was just fine and perfectly edible but he just didn't want to eat. Full stop.

I have been on this forum for 4 years and I have only heard of one instance where the parent/kid relationship did not return to normal when the kid was doing better. My own son would leave the room or turn his back if I came in, only snarled at me, acted as if I had scalded him if I accidently brushed up against him (forget about deliberate touch and he would have hit me if I'd tried to hug him). It was a really, really difficult, nasty stage and I was both strong and heart-broken at the time. But we are back to normal now and it is such a gift.

Some of the things I thought to make it easier were: He knew my love was strong enough to take whatever he could throw at me. I loved him, no matter what. Somewhere underneath he trusted me to see the depths of his fear and pain. He also knew that I was strong enough. A  totally backward compliment if ever there was one. Better out, than in was a mantra. I preferred that he lash out at me than beat himself up in his thoughts or self harm. Other mantras were 'Short term pain, for long term gain' 'You have to be cruel to be kind'. I imagined other parents who had to do hard stuff and find courage too. Like if your kid had cancer, you would have to bring them for chemo no matter how sick it made them or how much they begged you not to. 

EDs are a nightmare because there is no way to get better without going through hell. 'When you are going through hell, keep going' (mis)appropriated to Winston Churchill

Wishing you strength and courage,

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

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • 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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kazi67
Hi Jens
its the ED saying all the rubbish, hurtful things to you not your d

when I no longer could see my d anymore, when I couldn’t seperate her from the illness my therapist suggested I write on a piece of paper that was divided into 2

on one side I was to write all my d qualities and strengths and everything I loved about her

on the other side all the ED traits that I hated 
ie: verbal abuse (not that my d did that so much to me) as she took the hate  out on herself and SH, tbh I would of preferred I copped all that hate instead of her SH 
lies about having eaten 
dramas/fights/frustration caused between h and myself because of the ED
exersize compulsion, etc etc

then I could clearly see my d again when at one stage I honestly no longer could 
I hated her, the ED, anyone who mentioned a stupid diet they were on, stupid diet ads on tv, anyone’s kids who where healthy 😳pretty much everyone and everything at one stage!
it just didn’t seem fair!!


IP isn’t easy at all!!  not by a long shot!!!
but you will get your d back, slowly, once she starts getting the nutrition to her brain you will see your d again 
i found being loving, kind, calm and compassionate (even when I really didn’t want to) “a false happy” helped me to connect with d, the ED wants you to get angry but I found it best not to (sometimes I lost it tho)
hang in there!!

as we all say it really does get better,  it just takes a LOT of time 

my d is pretty much back to herself again, I’m forever watching for signs tho, I some how think that will never go away 
x
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jens
Thank you, everyone.  

The no shower thing was just her choice (which I knew).  The shower that she was assigned to is one where the shower is part of the entire bathroom with a drain in the middle of the room.  It grossed her out since it was so different from anything she has seen.  But I saw her today and could tell that she had finally taken a shower.  And as for the food, it probably is "disgusting" compared to what she's used to eating but like one of you said above, she wasn't really eating those foods either.  She is safe, she is being fed, she can take a shower if and when she chooses to. 🙂

We had our session with the family therapist yesterday and it went well.  She came into the room and said she hates me but by the end of the session she let me hug her (she didn't hug me but at least allowed me to hug her lol).  Last night she called and we had an almost normal conversation. Then today was a full day of family programming at the residence and she seemed to be in a really good place.  She was happy and laughing with the other girls, she sat with me and let me put my arm around her and just seemed okay with being there at the residence (though not happy about it and still saying it wasn't helpful). 

BUT....I just got a tearful upset phone call because they are moving rooms and they've put her in with the one girl that she asked/begged not to room with.  She's so upset that she's back to crying, begging to be picked up, saying she'd rather be dead, and saying she hates me and will never talk to me again once she is 18.  I'm so upset.  I don't know why they had to put her in a room with this one girl.  She's had so many choices and freedoms taken away from her, why couldn't this one lesson have waited?  This day was so good and I was feeling like we were on a good path and now it's all been tossed away because of this roommate change.
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ValentinaGermania
Ask for that. The team will be able to explain that decision to you.
Do you know why she does not want to be with that girl? I can imagine 2 reasons: 1) she is much worser than your d and your d is afraid that she triggers her - that is a good reason to ask the team NOT to put her in a room with that girl. 2) this girl is much better than your d - then your d might not want to be with her but the team can think it would be helpful for her - that is a good reason to give it a try.

During recovery my d often said that she would not want to do x y or eat x y when she in fact desperately wanted it. This is possible here too. My d for example would have cryed and begged me not to make her eat crisps on fear food day when she really wanted to eat them but AN did not allow it. So maybe it is AN that does not want to be in that room with that girl. You will find out. Call the team and ask.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Enn
I would like to reframe a bit here: There was a lot of good in the day and that stays and none of the good is erased. 
She showered, she let you hug her. That in and of itself is the best thing! She is safe, you know that. She is getting her medicine. As for being moved to room with another that she does not wish to room with, there could be many reasons and good ones at that. They may need to change rooms based on the the logistic needs. 
You note she has many freedoms and choices taken away from her. I see it differently, it is ED that that took her choices and freedoms away, ultimately. 
Was the movement to another room a lesson? I would ask the staff. There may be very good reasons that you are not aware of. Ask- there is no harm. 

The moving to another room does not, DOES NOT, take away the good! That I feel strongly about. 
I know it is hard on you. I can "feel" your upset. 
The one thing, a big thing, I learned here was that WE as their parents have to learn to tolerate their distress. They have to move through discomfort to really get better. And the discomfort will show up in so many ways. Just be aware of that. I have been wondering a bit about all this distress etc... I think that when we see the distress, then that is a good thing. The ED or other issues are "popping" up and then we need to work on them. Whack-A-mole for sure. And she called you with her distress to "give it to you" that is great. She is communicating with you and venting! It is now the staff's responsibility to help her tolerate her own distress. 

There is a list sk8r31 usually posts on distress tolerance and it may help you too. 
Once we learn how to tolerate their(really our own distress at their distress) things can dramatically feel better for YOU. 
It is that internal "movement" or shift inside of us, that helps us get through and gives us the strength to do what we have to  for our kids. For all of us it manifests differently. 

Sending strength. Take care of yourself. Know she is safe. 
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)
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Enn
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/tolerating-distress-9781586?highlight=distress+tolerance&pid=1304814807
Edited to add: there is a link to a great blog post from the Kartini clinic discussing this very well in this thread above. We all want to "save" our kids from the discomfort. That is what parents are supposed to do right? Well that may not help them (or us) in the long run. 

I like this quote very much " Likely -- in the case of hospitalized kids or those in day treatment -- they will not directly identify food as a source of their depression (too obvious), but instead point to the fact that they are “missing school” or “their friends”.  Occasionally they will convince a parent that treatment is “actually making me worse” and that they would “eat whatever I need to” if they could only “be in charge of my own eating”."

https://www.therapistaid.com/worksheets/dbt-distress-tolerance-skills.pdf

Hope these help.
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)
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sandie
Very interesting that distress can manifest in child as insistence to decide on what to eat and resistance to supervision. We are really struggling with this. CAHMs approach to date  is about encouraging the child to take responsibility for their health. I find it difficult to differentiate between struggle for independence and distress at refeeding. It is definitely helpful to think of this as a portrayal of distress. 
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mjkz
Jen, one of the biggest and hardest things I learned in treatment was to let my kid learn from the experiences offered whether they were wanted or not.  I don't know why they moved this room mate in but look at it as a learning experience.  As hard as it is, you need to let her fight her own battles on that kind of stuff.  It isn't always clear why things happen but about all we can do is encourage our kids to speak up for that they need and deal with uncomfortable situations.  It may seem like unneeded aggravation but on the other hand she needs to learn to deal with things that are going to trigger her and what better place to do that than in the supported residential treatment.  I was always quick to march myself into the meetings and insist that they make my daughter's stay as comfortable and easy as possible.  Usually I found out there was a reason and the thing that she fought against the hardest was exactly what she needed at the time.  I often found it easier on both of us to set a time limit.  You got ten minutes to complain about what is going on with the place and then we talk about other things.

You had a great day and no matter what happened after, that doesn't extinguish the great day.
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ValentinaGermania
mjkz wrote:
You got ten minutes to complain about what is going on with the place and then we talk about other things.


I think that is a great idea, Mjkz. This ends all these neverending phone calls more quickly. I should have tried that 2 years ago!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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jens
Oh, yes, she has definitely used the "this is actually making me worse" line on me!  And of course, I first believed it and panicked but have now realized that being home was "actually" making her worse so this couldn't possibly be worse than that. 

scaredmom wrote:
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/tolerating-distress-9781586?highlight=distress+tolerance&pid=1304814807
Edited to add: there is a link to a great blog post from the Kartini clinic discussing this very well in this thread above. We all want to "save" our kids from the discomfort. That is what parents are supposed to do right? Well that may not help them (or us) in the long run. 

I like this quote very much " Likely -- in the case of hospitalized kids or those in day treatment -- they will not directly identify food as a source of their depression (too obvious), but instead point to the fact that they are “missing school” or “their friends”.  Occasionally they will convince a parent that treatment is “actually making me worse” and that they would “eat whatever I need to” if they could only “be in charge of my own eating”."

https://www.therapistaid.com/worksheets/dbt-distress-tolerance-skills.pdf

Hope these help.
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jens
Once again, thank you to everyone for your support and wisdom.  She did not want to room with this particular girl because she had said something negative to her that had made her feel bad.  The staff ended up spending time with her that evening having multiple conversations with her and said she finally went to sleep in the new room.  She woke up in a decent mood the next morning and said she was okay with staying in that room until Monday when her whole treatment team would be available to discuss a possible room switch.  (She also had cooled down enough to say that her brother and I could visit that day).

I saw her again today and while she's not loving being there she has finally accepted that she is there, that I am not bringing her home, and that the fastest way to get out is to work together with her team and progress up the levels.  

It is hard. I have been the mother who always swooped in to rescue her when she was in distress (it worked fine for my son who is now in college but not with her lol) so I'm glad that she is in a safe place where she is forced to accept that sometimes she just has to manage with the hand she is dealt.  
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ValentinaGermania
You are doing great, Jens. Now take care for yourself a bit and use the time she is in there to reload your batteries.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Torie
Thanks for the update.  I'm so glad things seem a bit calmer at the moment - as Tina said, please be sure to recharge your batteries while you have the chance.  And please keep us posted. xx

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