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

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teecee Show full post »
mjkz
Glad to help.  I think writing can be so useful in saying something thoughtfully.  You think about it as you write and he thinks as he reads.  It can really help overcome those initial automatic barriers that can impede communication.
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needhelp
Hi,

I can't speak for everyone, but I do know that I have become very sensitive about comments regarding food and looks.  To the point that I have just flat out given instructions (yes, sounds crazy).  As for my mother - I have said - Please don't talk about looks or food.  Whatever she eats, she eats.  Don't encourage more or comment on rate of eating or anything that has to do with food.  For my husband (who is now doing low carb high protein) I just flat out said, " what you choose to do with your eating - you do - please don't talk about it in any way."  Well, my mom was Facetiming with my d at college.  My mom told me she said to my D - "oh, why don't you also have a sweet potato?" I think my stomach flipped!  I know my mind went back to those days that if you said that you may as well just declare we were all going to take five steps back in the healing process.  I couldn't believe how inside I was so furious with my mother.  I knew she didn't mean anything, but I wanted to make sure I didn't say anything I would regret - so I told her I needed to get off the phone.  I had terrible visions of my daughter crying at school (I know this sounds nuts). I texted something silly about the dog to see if she would respond and she texted me something random and fun - so I knew she was out having fun and not at all affected by the comment.  I knew in that moment that my D had developed the skills to not be so sensitive, and it was time for me to let go of the reigns a bit. 

I think as parents we KNOW what it took to get our kids back into the real world - and I don't think any of us are willing to risk a return.  I think it is very exciting that your daughter has also moved beyond (although I am assuming that like myself, you still want to eliminate possible challenges).  Would it be appropriate to tell your H directly - look where we were - how far we have come - we don't always know the triggers - could we try to avoid anything that has to do with eating and exercise - she loves to visit us - she has a great boyfriend - she's at university - I know you want to be sure she is prepared for the courts, yet, could we try just leaving that area to her to be sure we don't trigger anything that brings us back in the direction we came from?  Maybe Teecee's letter form would work?  I do think that not everyone truly understands the whole trigger thing.  My D explained it to me pretty clearly, and while some seemed obvious when she pointed them out, others were quite tangential - but direct to her.  

So excited for you that your D has made it this far!!!
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CED123
I know you said upthread that your H won't read anything, but I just wanted to second the decoding anorexia book. I literally just got it for my H, who hasn't read much, if any, of the other books I have, and he is really sticking with it. I think it is written in a style he can cope with.  

But I also found this great analogy when I opened it up to his current page - which comes from FEAST! (unsurprisingly perhaps) and also hopefully it is ok to post it).

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Currently no light; only tunnel 🙁
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sk8r31
Thanks CED, it's a wonderful analogy, and perfectly fine to post it.  Decoding Anorexia is a great book, and not too long, so not daunting to read.  For anyone with a science-y bent, it is gold.  
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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teecee
Yes the two resources I recommend to anyone are Eva Musby and Decoding Anorexia by Carrie Arnold.
Eva’s resources helped me early on when I needed to get up to speed fast and then, when my brain could handle more information after refeeding, I read this. Just brilliant. I love the characters in the village denoting a separate function of the brain and what happens when one of them gets ill...so easy to understand! 
Ive tried telling him about it. Even AN daughter read it and said it was fantastic and helpful in her recovery - not that I encourage her to read etc but it helped her with insight and she loves the science bit. He wouldn’t entertain it ☹️
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CED123
so sorry to hear that teecee.  it's so hard when it feels like you are the one doing all the work/holding all the responsibility. 
Currently no light; only tunnel 🙁
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PurpleRain
Hi tecee, I'm really late to this post but I read the last bit and since I was thinking lately about Carrie's book and weather it would be s good idea for my D (14) to read it, I wanted to ask your opinion since your D read it.
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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teecee

Hi Purplerain I hope you and your family are well. 

Have you read the book? I read it first and in general conversation with hubby I told him some golden nuggets and raved about it. D picked up on this and expressed an interest in reading it so I knew she was in a better place to digest it as previously she struggled to absorb information for her GCSEs and would have rejected any additional reading as she didn’t have the brain space. She was 16 at the time of reading it and very keen to read anything remotely scientific (she loves sciences)...especially about her illness, as she didn’t see us as credible. 

In terms of your own D I note she is 14. I’m not sure if she would benefit depending on where she is in her journey. I’m not saying never but may be when you feel she is in strong recovery and has some insight in to her illness?
It is an excellent book though. 

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PurpleRain
Thanks for your reply tecee. Yes,  think is a great book. I studied biology and I love evolution and genes, so for me it makes so much sense. I have explained ED to her (and to hubby, and my brother and  less succesfully to my mom and sister) from that  view point of (Shan guisenguer famine response and all that). For us is a "normal" way to talk about many other things and feels comfortable, but yes she is younger that you D and earlier in recovery. She is an avid reader though, so I think at some point it will be a good book to read.
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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teecee
We were probably a year in to recovery when she read it. She loves biology too and has similar interests to you. If your D shows an interest in reading it I wouldn’t object. 
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PurpleRain
Thanks tecee 🙂
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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momon
My h has exercise obsession and compulsion  and many ED-type features and to this day always promotes exercise and sport over every other activity. He also refused to read one single thing about ED over a 6 year recovery period.  It was part of a pattern of minimizing the existence and the risk of her very grave ED. It's dangerous with a child with ED to fixate on them doing sport. Thank God my daughter herself  didn't have exercise compulsion.
       I hope very much your h doesn't have that extreme level of disorder around exercise, and I don't  mean to imply he does.  If anything you may be a bit relieved to know that my d recovered, despite a far more undermining parent!  But I comment more to say that given the genetic foundations of ED, the battle I faced in working to get my daughter well again could not be unique. I strongly think there should be more discussion within the treatment and parent community about how to handle it when there is a parent with their own ED symptoms, and no awareness or willingness to be aware of how they are placing their ED child at risk by their pushing sport/dance etc.  In our case, a parent who refused to read a single thing was also not going to talk to other dads, sadly.  I found some work arounds with her therapist but it was not a pleasant process, but Recovery is so worth it
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teecee

Dear momon I’m so happy that you are in a good place now. 

Unfortunately my H is as you’ve described although he has slacked off in terms of reinforcing exercise. I think before she was ill he felt he’d found his buddy, who had as much interest and commitment as him but sadly she became ill and had exercise compulsion. 

Its taken me 2 years of slowly reinforcing my views on the subject and trying to reduce rigidity. 

He will not read or speak to other men in a similar position although he will talk about it with our friends who know. He got very tearful recently hence why I think he struggles to open up to people. 

Exercise gives him a buzz and he can get quite down if he doesn’t do it. He has a personality where he cannot sit down. He always has to be doing something. Exercise fills that void. 

My D is doing amazingly well. She has blips but overall she’s come a very long way in 2 years. 

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