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

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Everhopeful_12
Christmas with all these eating disorders. Where is the survival kit? Anyone got some good ideas to get through the family day with disordered eating, and siblings who hate the sight of each other? Maybe I will just hit the bottle at 7am and let it wash over me!
Already, we have had a big fall out. I was trying to wrap and hide some sweet favourites for my middle daughter. However, BED/Bulimic d found the hiding place, and unwrapped and ate the presents..then purged just to complete the mission. My blood was boiling. As it is, our food is hidden in the garden, in dog boxes, in the washing machine, up the chimney, behind wardrobes, ...it's all a nightmare when the change from severe anorexia to bulimia/binge takes over. At the end of term I am starting to receive some gifts from students. This morning I nearly gave them back..boxes of chocolates, beautifully wrapped...Immediate danger. How can I keep these gifts. I can't. I have to recycle them straight away before d sniffs them out. So sick of all of this. so sick of threats that she won't do this or that unless she loses weight, then just continues to hunt food and purge.
So Christmas, bloody Christmas. I don't want to contact my family at all. I don't want to even think of them all sitting down together, eating, drinking and having a laugh while we are here with timed appointments to come into the lounge, and probably wearing rucksacks to carry any nice food around...aarrrggghhh hate it..can't take it...
Tracey Golden
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NELLY_UK
Keep the chocolates in the locked car.
I am considering buying a second hand fridge for my shed that will be locked and the key will be hidden. In summer Ds bike will have to live outside the shed. Or I may just padlock said fridge shut.
I am dreading what to do with any leftovers. My son asked where were the mince pies yesterday. In the shop! He at least has his own fridge locked in his bedroom.
I shop when d is out so she doesn't know what I have bought so doesn't know that she hasn't found it yet.
No chocolates under the tree or on the tree. No advent calendars. It has sucked all the joy out of the event for us too.
Have you got a shed or garage? We have also got a set of garden furniture that has a cover so there is food under that.
My friend comes from a family of 6 boys and their mum worked and shopped daily. If it was edible it was gone. I guess it's a bit like that. 1 bulimic kid =6 teenage boys. But the waste of it when it goes down the drain is REALLY hard to cope with. The money it all costs.
Be glad when Christmas excess is over. [frown]
NELLY D 20 bulimic since age 12, diagnosed in 2011. 20 months useless CAMHs,7 months great IP, home March 14..... more useless CAMHs.now an adult & no MH services are involved. I reached the end of my tether, tied a knot in it and am hanging on. ED/Bulimia treatmentis in the dark ages in West Sussex.
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cjac16
I have a trunk which was used when d was at boarding school.  We keep all non chilled food in there and I keep the key - so ridiculous that we have to live our lives like this but at least it removes the temptation to binge and purge.
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enoughalready1
We only have the one daughter, so we lock up cereal, crackers, etc., in our walk-in closet.  We installed a lock with a key on that one rather than the standard lock.  We carry the keys with us, and my husband keeps some things in his car.

My mind has a hard time handling all the absurdity.  Ridiculous is the right word to describe the situation.  You do what you have to.

I try to switch my focus as much as I can.


Mother of 21-year-old
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Everhopeful_12
Our d has broken into every lock we have ...and climbed through windows when she couldn't break a lock. We got a camping container with a heavy lock and stored it in the shed. She managed to break through that container too. We have had food in the car..she has raided that too. She threatens to steal from the shops if her cravings aren't submitted to...Our son refuses to play the game. He is very angry and refuses to have to look in dog boxes for bread...So very difficult.
However, just back from the theatre show which she missed. Sad that she couldn't go. She would've loved it. All tickets sold out and no further opportunities. The bad days steal her life.
Tracey Golden
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Sotired
What a horrible,tough situation.you mention that your d threatens you with stealing from the shops if her cravings are not submitted to.the only thing I can think of here is -let her.say no.alert the shops you think would be most likely.and then let her face the consequences of that act.its a very big difference between threatening something and then doing it and facing what happens next.i don't suggest this lightly but I think you can't be held to ransom either.the food is away and if she feels that stealing is the answer the law will assure her it is not.because the only other thing I can suggest is getting a steel safe and installing that.
They hit an age where they seem to think that consequences don't apply to them.but eating disorder or not,action and consequence apply to us all.
Oh and like you we got an animal-a cat in our case-to help our d.she loves him,but help he does not.the only thing that has had a slight effect is enrolling her in a course.as she really wants to do the course,she has put herself back in day programme to get there as she is struggling to eat.
At least her siblings got time out to see the theatre show,it is a shame how much this illness costs our kids.during those times I just try to enjoy my other kids as otherwise I think I would go nuts!
So that would be my advice,but I understand completely if you think it's too harsh to let her deal with the consequence of you saying no and then her stealing and the police being involved.one of my therapists was pretty good at leading me through the 'and what happens then?' scenario and for me it helped firm up some decisions.good luck during this bloody hard time of year,
Sotired42
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atdt31_US
As a person involved in law enforcement, I do not think letting her steal and face the consequences is a terrific plan.  If it happens, so be it -- but please don't set her up for it.  In my jurisdiction we have a Prader-Willi Syndrome teen who gets picked up for shoplifting food with some frequency.  It is sad and frustrating for everyone involved -- and the criminal justice system is truly not set up to deal with situations like this.  I'd equate your d's situation to Prader Willi -- except that it would likely be much more difficult to convince a judge or prosecutor of that.  If you do convince them, they are stuck because it is tough to burden someone with theft convictions when a mental compulsion was more at the helm than free will, and yet the theft did occur and something needs to happen - either conviction with a low fine, or treatment and progress in return for a dismissal, or some other option I have yet to figure out.  If you don't convince them she is less culpable than someone just greedy and wanting to steal, she gets stuck with theft convictions, the effect of which can reverberate for years.  Assuming she does recover from ED at some point so as to be in a position to continue with schooling or start a career, having theft convictions is a very large obstacle to success.  So -- I know you are trying everything and it is exhausting and there is no easy answer.  But I do not believe letting her deal with the consequences of shoplifting is a path to seek out.  It is unlikely to shock her into compliance anyway.  Best wishes and I just dove in to speak to this one issue, not to assert any sort of opinion or advice on the ED issues -- just sympathy for you and your d that you are facing these issues.  
Mom of either pre-diagnosis or non-ed underweight 12 yoa (as of March 2018) kid here to learn how to achieve weight gain.  BMI steadily in the mid 12's for nearly her entire life.  Born 2006. UPDATE:  April 2018 diagnosed ARFID, based solely on weight being less than 75% of Ideal Body Weight.  Mildly picky, but mostly the problem is a volume/early satiety issue, along with abdominal discomfort and chronic constipation, all present since birth. FWIW ED-D is a fraternal twin and we have no other kids.
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K63
Hi all, isn't this illness just so horrendous, my d is the opposite end of the spectrum with anoxeria . I could leave food everywhere and the only thing she would do is pick it up to look to see what calories are on it if I don't remove the wrapping . We have a family wedding next weekend and I am trying to plan it so to lessen the stress for her having to eat the meal. we have been home alone with d for last few months my son and daughter will be home for christmas I want to make it enjoyable for them so we will try to put some plans in place to reduce the stress around eating as she is only used to eating with us. It's a difficult time for ed sufferers. It stresses me even to think how it must be to try to hide food and keep it for the rest of the family . Could you lock as much as possible in the car boot and could you keep some in a neighbours house.
Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
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Sotired
It wasn't about letting her steal,it was about saying no.and sticking to no.and then one of two things happen.she makes the threat and yet doesn't follow through, in which case it's an empty threat.great,you know not to listen to it.or she does follow through and then deals with the consequence.it might be that you take her back to the shop and make her pay for the items she took.its more than likely she would be banned from that particular shop.its not all or nothing,it doesn't automatically have to result in a record.
I just don't think it's realistic that you can do this for years and years.i would never suggest even for a heartbeat that someone steal.but we cannot shield them forever.and until we challenge the behaviour how can anything change? anyway,it was never about letting someone steal.it was about taking the power out of your child's threat.once that power has gone it can level the playing field a bit.hope that explains it better.
Sotired42
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enoughalready1
She didn't think I knew, but my daughter started shoplifting when Ed started.  She got caught once prior to turning 18.  Since it was the first time she had been caught, they released her to me.

For one month during a summer, we took the car, phone, and computer and said she had to stay home without contact with her friends.  That was the closest I could make it to jail term.  I drove her to work and made her volunteer during that time.  This was back when we had some leverage.  It was exhausting.

She knows I will not bail her out if it ever happens again.  It isn't an ideal choice, but it's all we can do.

All of our situations are different and so very complicated.  I appreciate all of the suggestions and advice, especially from parents who know that some of our kid's actions defy explanation or any easy answer.

 


Mother of 21-year-old
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NELLY_UK
How do we stay sane? It's a flipping miracle.
NELLY D 20 bulimic since age 12, diagnosed in 2011. 20 months useless CAMHs,7 months great IP, home March 14..... more useless CAMHs.now an adult & no MH services are involved. I reached the end of my tether, tied a knot in it and am hanging on. ED/Bulimia treatmentis in the dark ages in West Sussex.
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enoughalready1
For myself, I don't think I mentioned anything about being sane! [crazy]
Mother of 21-year-old
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Sotired
Really good anti depressants nelly...that's how in my case...
Sotired42
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Everhopeful_12
Thank you all for your comments. I have thought about letting her go and just get caught if she steals..I also thought that would teach her a lesson. We haven't come to that yet. Screaming demands for food tonight as we were trying to hold out for her to eat a meal instead of everything she craved. The result was a whole evening of shouting, screaming, distress, anger...and resulted in my taking all the Christmas cards down and saying we will just forget Christmas as our house is too miserable to stand it.
.
Last Christmas she was just a twig of 35 kg and we were trying to get her to eat..but at least we had Christmas. We never knew things would get so much worse now that she is about 65kg. WR and just a nightmare. Siblings fed up and not talking. Husband threatens to smash her phone with a hammer unless she stops destroying our family. Ugly ugly illness.
Tracey Golden
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NELLY_UK
I do feel like Christmas is just one day, it should be enjoyable but it's not going to be. It is a day of ridiculous excess and commercialism, BUT our other kids want what other families have. I guess the answer would be to get the whole family helping the homeless or something.
Major distraction is required for us all. An enforced walk maybe? After dinner. I don't know- nothing will work will it.
What a joyless time for us all.
Let's get drunk by lunchtime!
NELLY D 20 bulimic since age 12, diagnosed in 2011. 20 months useless CAMHs,7 months great IP, home March 14..... more useless CAMHs.now an adult & no MH services are involved. I reached the end of my tether, tied a knot in it and am hanging on. ED/Bulimia treatmentis in the dark ages in West Sussex.
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Sotired
Certainly my plan!that way I can deal with all the family being 'helpful'(critisising the hell out of me and my parenting).christmas.it isn't what our kids think it is...
Sotired42
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Everhopeful_12
I have decided to have a drink first thing,,and NOT a cup of tea ! I will have a nice glass of Port at 7am and then go back to sleep..maybe have another glass when I wake up again..That will be the order of the day...just for Christmas !
Tracey Golden
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mjkz
I once had a therapist tell me that the urge to binge may not be something they can control but the choice of what to binge on is.  Somewhere along the line the kids/YA are going to have to start taking some responsibility and consequences.  I don't see any difference between stealing from the shops or stealing from your lock boxes.  I was lucky in that when my daughter started eating everything in sight, I had a friend who was a police officer who came over and told her exactly what would happen if she stole from a store or from me. Add to that consequences of having to replace any food eaten that was not hers to eat, losing her phone, and having to move in with her father (divorced) who keeps nothing but a wilted head of lettuce and a beer in his fridge very quickly cured my daughter of the habit of making bad choices of what food to eat.

My heart goes out to those of you who have to lock up food and still lose it.  I personally couldn't live like that especially since I don't drink!![biggrin]
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BB68
I am so saddened to hear all that you are all dealing with.  I hope that you all manage to get some peace over the Christmas holidays.  Make the most of any minutes/hours that give you happiness, don't forget yourselves in all of this and the rest of your family and friends.  This is not our illness, it is sadly our children's but do not let it destroy everyone else's life too. 

Sending all my warmth and support to you all. [smile]

Heading into our fourth year ... [frown] D aged 16, RAN officially in Jan 2013, but pretty sure it started in Feb 2012.  In hospital for third time ... really hoping this will be the one to turn things around

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