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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I am new here, just wanted to introduce myself and ask a question or two.

I have been in touch through email with ValentinaGermania as I am in Germany as well. She has been very helpful in passing her knowledge to me and letting me ask her anything I want.  So, first - Thank you Tina! 

I ordered the book from Eva Musby, should be here tomorrow, hoping to start with D15 (alomst 16) by the weekend or beginning of next week. I have a lot of planning to do over the next few days.

For me the hardest part of the "journey" that started a few weeks ago, has been the meltdowns D has had. Just hating herself, hating her body and most of all her thighs. She cannot sit comfortably on any chair (home or school) as this makes her thighs look even bigger. She sits just on the edge.

Yesterday evening she was crying in bed because she constantly feels the weight of her thighs and could not find rest or sleep. I sat at her bed and all of the sudden she got very angry, screaming and digging her nails and fingers into the inner side of her thighs yelling she hates herself. I tried to stop her from harming herself, she then started to punch the wall and then her forehead. I had to stop her from doing this so I held her arms and all of the sudden she gave me this evil look and tried to bite my hand so I would let go (but I didn't). This is causing me to cry again as I am typing this. I held her as tight as I could, waiting for her to calm down which took quite a while...after an hour or so she got tired and went with me to my bed and fell asleep. Last week during one of these meltdowns she was punching  and scratching her stomach. Why does she do this?  Any thoughts, any help? Really hard to believe that this behavior will go away in a few weeks if we are successful with feeding her.

I am devastated...what is happening with my baby girl?
Oh my, I'm so sorry. I can't imagine how scary this is for you.. and her. Though my D has not been physically aggresive (yet), I do know that look very well. It's almost like a possessed look that is so unsettling. This never happened before ED.
Meds didn't help my D but I would sure consider them if you havent already. For many it can make a huge difference.
Sending you hugs. 
Hi Pudding, and welcome.  So sorry you are having all this difficulty.  This vile illness does terrible things to their brains.  The sooner you are able to get her weight back up, the sooner the torment will ease.

In the meantime, I would suggest you remove anything she might use to cut or burn herself.  (Razors, matches, knives, etc.)  Sadly, they are often driven to that.

It's great that you have been in contact with Tina - I'm sure she has given you excellent advice.  BTW, like Tina, your English is amazing!

Please feel free to ask all the questions you like. xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Hi Pudding, I know how frightening this can be. my D started to hit herself on her legs repeatedly and bang her head about 3 months into refeeding. I think it was a manifestation of the distress she was feeling. It went on for about 3 weeks. It was the most frightening thing I have seen.
 What helped here is I told the psychologist what was happening. My D was mortified that someone external to family knew and she stopped. She understood it was so serious that I wouldn’t keep this as a “secret”.

It is an awful awful illness. It affects kids in different ways and different things work for different kids. 

My D hated herself and I think the self-loathing is common in kids with ED and they need food, love and to know that you will love them no matter what. It sounds to me like you handled it really well, holding her and ending up sleeping with her so you were able to comfort and soothe her. 

She will get better. Take care of yourself. I cried buckets of tears but life is much much better now.  Xx
Courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair

Welcome to the club no one wants to join but we are glad you are here having found us.

Please do believe it. This behaviour is a symptom of the illness and food is the medicine. Keep feeding persistently and behaviour will and does change. I didn’t believe it and thought there was no hope 2 years ago (my D was actively suicidal) but my D is at college preparing to go to university- a real opposite to what we were experiencing as a family back then. 

It will not last forever...nothing ever does, even the bad times when they are in crisis. Please treat yourself gently so that you are in a position to be there for her in those dark times. The chinks of light will start to fill the darkness very soon. 

virtual hugs to you xx

Welcome to the forum. 
Self injury is very common in eating disorders. Many kids with eating disorders struggle with liking themselves, it turns them against themselves. The self injury is a reflection of this, and since one of the common features is a fear of fatness it is common for them to attack the areas they see as fat. 
My D also self injured, a lot. Unfortunately it did take a lot longer than a few weeks to improve but she has now not self injured for a number of years. 
Unfortunately when this is happening we need to push through, as much as it makes them want to hurt themselves or worse even to die, the only way through is through regular reliable nutrition and progressive weight gain. It can be a delicate balancing act. 

As much as possible I would recommend that any tools which could be used to self injure - think very broadly- are not available to your D unsupervised and preferrably not at all. She may require someone with her 24/7 to help her being alone with her thoughts. My D required that intensive supervision you give to young toddlers, never out of sight, just to keep her safe. Even then it didn't always work. 

It really does get better though, keep pushing through. 
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.
Hi and welcome,
Yes, I remember the sitting on the edge of the seat.  Now I know why.  And the obsession with the gap between the thighs (we have gone to the other extreme in the meantime).
Isn't it heart breaking that your baby, the person you got along with so well, wears the face of illness so suddenly and so extremely. It was so hard for me to accept, I felt like my parenting failed, but this has nothing to do with parenting and everything to do with the amount of food. Feed, feed, feed.  With every few hundred grams those tantrums will be further apart.  Almost hard to believe, but yes, it will get better with refeeding.  So, the sooner the better.  

Carry out your plans over the next few days but start with good meals ASAP so you can pull her a little bit out of the vortex the poor thing is in.

I am glad she came to sleep next to you.  I used those moments to tell her how much I love her.  She often asked for a shoulder and neck massage, especially when she had trouble sleeping. 

All the best,
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.