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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needhelp
Hello Everyone - I was just wondering if anyone else out there has discomfort over any type of "anniversary" that has to do with their child's ED?  My d is back at college, and doing well, with regard to food - but I find myself so uneasy as we have just passed the anniversary of her being pulled out of school.  I can tell my husband thinks this is pretty weird.  I'm not really having any sort of trouble - just a deep feeling of uneasiness at times when I look at the calendar, and remember how dark that time was. The doctor visits and tests, searching for the right professional help, meals and re-feeding at home, and everything else.  Believe me - I am very thankful - and am wondering if while caught up in all of that, and wearing more of a clinician hat, that I survived by just focusing on my daughter - and now (especially as I was going over medical, etc. bills for taxes) I'm like - OMG!
Yes, I am very thankful to be able to look back - and wish that for everyone.  I will tell you that this site and all of you were such a blessing, and really kept me going.  Just wondering if anyone else kind of experienced this delayed reaction of uneasiness at any latter point.  And, if you agree with my husband - that this is weird - that's OK, too - I was just wondering if anyone else has ever felt this way.
Thanks!
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mtkmbc4
I think what you are experiencing is very common. In fact, I recently read an article on how parents of children with chronic or severe disease are often overlooked but do indeed experience PTSD. 
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scaredmom

needhelp, 
It is such a coincidence that you posted that today! I was just telling some friends that this was the week 2 years ago that my D was diagnosed. I had been feeling off earlier in the week and then it hit me today! I have had flashbacks this week and that is why!. Yes we do suffer PTSD and I am sure there is a thread somewhere about this on the forum. 

While in the acute action phase, I think we just put our heads down and do the work to get it done and after in the calm and aftermath, there is a release, but in that release there is mourning. There now is time to see exactly what happened and it can be somewhat painful. It is only after that, that we can begin to process just what has happened to us. For me it has been a realization of what we went through (OMG we went through that???!!- Who goes through that?!) Then there is realization that OMG we got through this! How amazing. We did it, we are here on the other side. She is doing so well! 
Please take some time for yourself. Be kind to yourself and do nice things. 
 You got her healthy! 

https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/how-are-parents-coping-after-the-eating-disorder-has-gone-8315445?highlight=ptsd&trail=25
XXX

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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debra18
Same here. My daughter is doing well and yet I still think about it night and day. I have a terrible migraine today. Trying to do deep breathing.
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Suzanne
When my son first can back from college at the hight of his illness, I would sneak into his room at night to make sure he was still breathing. 
I’m looking forward for him to be able to leave and get back to his life, and also terrified.
It will take time your me...
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needhelp
Scaredmom - thank you for your reply - while I am, of course, sorry that you have experienced something similar to what I have experienced - there is a bit of an exhale on my part as I read from you and others that this is not so weird- just unfortunate.  I accepted that there were triggers for my daughter's food issues, as I learned about ED -- but I do laugh at myself for my trigger seems to be a calendar.  I read through many posts on the thread you shared.  It is so strange to have feelings that you don't really tell anyone -- but then see that you share with complete strangers, with whom you are bound only because you share a similar type of suffering. Well, this is one of the rare instances in which I am so thankful for social media.  This forum helped me through my d's darkest days, and is now here to help me navigate this post situation. Thank you also to mtkmbc4, debra18, and Suzanne - I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.
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tina72
Hi needhelp,
I also feeled that way last year but I think it is a bit better this year. But these marks in our inner calendar will be there for a very long time. It was a really traumatic experience and I think it is normal to remember that for a long time. Most people remember where they were and what they did on 9/11 and so you will always remember that first traumatic weeks. But I hope it will get better and not around your head all the time. I feel now a bit like coming out of the fog 2 years after diagnose. I still see the fog behind but it is not everywhere around me any more.
Hope that gives you a bit of hope and yes, you are not totally crazy and weird - or all of us are!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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bluerain

Oh, I am going through exactly this right now.

A couple of nights ago I awakened in the night because I was too warm - and flashed back to one year ago when our daughter was newly in treatment and we were told to keep our thermostat above 75 degrees at all times so as not to over-tax her heart - a "small detail" I'd forgotten about in this past year of other distress.

I think anniversaries like these are a normal part of loving/living/grieving and hopefully healing.

We can do hard things well...
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Frazzled
I am also feeling this way lately. Next week (March 7th) my D was hospitalized and diagnosed with ED. All week I have been feeling a hint of what I felt last year at this time. Flashbacks and an uneasy feeling. Your definitely not alone in this. 
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Ronson
Yes - my youngest d is going to a competition in June.  Last June she had the same competition and it was when Ed d was at her worst.  Every time I think of the competition I start getting scared that Ed d will get worse if we go.  It makes no sense, they aren’t connected, but it just brings it all back 
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needhelp
YES! Frazzled and Ronson - dates and events. When my d was getting better and spoke about triggers, I accepted the concept and empathized with it -- but now I TOTALLY understand it!  Both of your examples are exactly the things that get me.  I do, Ronson, love your no nonsense way of stating, "It makes not sense, they aren't connected, but it just brings it all back."  I think you sum it up.  I guess we are fortunate to have this site on yet another level - so we know we are not alone in these unusual thought patterns.  

And Bluerain - I can totally understand that.  That must have been terribly frightful - having to keep the house extra warm to keep your daughter safe.  That would be a traumatic trigger!

Tina - I have always thought of you as a Voice of Wisdom on here.  You always seem to be able to apply your own personal experience, or relate a universal experience.  It is good to know that the vividness of the pain could likely soften with time.  Thank you!!

Suzanne- I totally understand the devastation of leaving college!  Those are some tricky years. It was frightening to leave my daughter - especially when she turned to me and said, "Mommy, I'm scared."  I told her I wouldn't leave her if I didn't know she could do it.  Yes, I got in the car after long hugs and cried for about the first hour of the four hour trip home.  Yet, thanks to the knowledge of so many parents on this site, I had a lot of safe guards in and felt good about that.  That was way harder than leaving her freshman year!!!

Debra - I'm sorry about the migraine. Just shows you what a beating ED takes on everyone.  Yes - the deep breathing does help (and I like that you can do it any time a thought or memory hits you!).

Scared Mom - YES!  There definitely is a "we went through that?!?!?!?!" moment.  It is like while you are in it you are so focused on pushing through it, that, although you are frightened you can't really experience that fear because you need to stay in caretaker mode for the benefit of your child, and family.  I guess these calendar/event markings are our "We did what?" moments.  Truly, only the parents on hear (and I feel badly for the parents who never find this site), can understand.  I even kind of stayed away from the site for a bit because as the anniversary date was coming up, it was just too painful to reconnect with anything that had to do with that experience (yet I always celebrated with Gold Star Moments that came up on my email).  Yet, as the date arrived, and I felt like I was just being so weird about it - well, I am so glad I reached out.  Thank you,.

Mtkbmc4 - Thank you so much for adding a scientific twist.  A little unbiased research is helpful in calming when you are wondering if you are being really abnormal in your thoughts. There is a definite correlation

Hugs to all - thank you!! We will pass this together, and stomp out those final ED ashes!!.
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Ronson
Let’s hope we stomp them all out.  And that this lessons with time. 

I also have nightmares about it and wake in a panic.  It is such a traumatic experience and we only really share on here where we won’t be judged.  So what we went through and continue to go through is unknown to those around us 
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O2relax
yes! So true. I was at the stove cooking the other day and had not seen AN d around for about 20 mins as she was in her room. I had a mini panic that I had to check on her as 6 mths earlier she was suicidal. She is in a better state now. Instead of being relieved I burst into tears. 
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edengirl
It is so weird this came up today of all days. I was just talking to my h last night telling him I think there must be something wrong with me. D is doing really well...why do I feel this way now? Things have been MUCH worse and I made it through those times. I should be rejoicing d is doing so well. Goodness knows I do know how fortunate we are to be this far along. Honestly though I can’t seem to shake it. H even said d is doing better than I am at this point. Thank you all for your words of wisdom. After all we have watched our d  go through it just adds to the guilt that I can’t seem to pull out of this. Knowing that this is common in this upside down world we find ourselves in offers me a little relief.
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KLB
Edengirl, I think when you're in the midst of the dark days your mind and body are both working so hard to keep on top of things that there's no room for anything else. It's only when you start to slow down a little that suddenly there's room for other things.....like feelings you may have unconsiously suppressed. It's a bit like those people that survive in the water for prolonged periods, only to collapse and sometimes die at the point of rescue. That's a bit of a morbid example, sorry, but I hope you get what I mean. 

I hope you are all able to get through these times just like you got through the others. Allow yourself to feel now, and let it out.
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scaredmom
One thing I would consider, is if anyone is really struggling please get help. If you are not sleeping or anxious all the time, you may be suffering from depression. 
Please take the cues  your bodies and minds are giving you, and get some professional help. You do not need to do this alone. There is good help, please seek it out. I had to get counselling and it was only after d was  in a good place that those feelings hit me so hard I did not recognize myself. I felt I had lost my sense of who I was. 
This illness can cause serious “side effects”  on everyone that it touches. 
XXX
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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tina72
KLB wrote:
Edengirl, I think when you're in the midst of the dark days your mind and body are both working so hard to keep on top of things that there's no room for anything else. It's only when you start to slow down a little that suddenly there's room for other things.....like feelings you may have unconsiously suppressed. It's a bit like those people that survive in the water for prolonged periods, only to collapse and sometimes die at the point of rescue. That's a bit of a morbid example, sorry, but I hope you get what I mean. 

I hope you are all able to get through these times just like you got through the others. Allow yourself to feel now, and let it out.


This is so true, my body was just working and had no time even to get sick, I had no allergy reactions this spring 2017 because my body was so occupied with everything, it was scary. The second year my body asked me to relax more and to do something for me and I made sure I listened when he said "too much".
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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mimi321
Yes, I would second what scaredmom mentioned, about getting professional help, whether counselling, meds, or a medical check-up. No matter how much self-care and rest I had I was still feeling run down/low with a side order of other mystery symptoms. Bloodwork showed I was anemic, then follow-up revealed celiac. No amount of self-care would change my "state" until the physical causes were addressed. And yes, just like with our children, doctors need to be pushed as they can often brush things off. So get your paps, your mammograms, your bloodwork, take your vitamins, your meds, your general checkup, ask for a referral to specialists if you think you might need it for physical or mental symptoms. You deserve it. 
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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deenl
I found the book Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic and Worry. It explains the two pathways anxiety develops and has ideas to help ease symptoms. 


Warm wishes,

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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Ellesmum
I just wrote something similar on my thread, I suddenly feel the weight of the past year hit me like a train.  I feel panicky, exhausted, very sad and a whole load of jumbled feelings.  

I do feel it was bound to catch up at some point.
Ellesmum
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hopeful_mum
What you're going through is not weird at all!! I just wish that the PTSD that is experienced by caregivers, mainly mums from what ive seen, was given more credence and support. I commented on that original thread that scaredmom linked to. It was actually very sobering to read back how I was feeling back then. My daughter was weight restored in 2015 and it has taken until Jan of this year for me to finally feel I have overcome my feelings of PTSD and the memories of anniversaries etc. My truly dark days were probably only the 1st 2 years post-WR. I questioned if I was just feeling sorry for myself or just wanting to continue the drama!!! I was stuck and everyone else just returned to normal. Looking back now I think I should have just gone on some anti-depressants. I think my nervous system had just been overloaded by what Id been through and needed some help to heal. But my GP said I wasn't depressed and coz I was high functioning I didn't think I was either. Looking back I think I definitely was! My turning point was talking therapy. I had 16 sessions of CBT which was for general anxiety. I think it would have been more effective to have worked with a PTSD treatment but no-one seemed to understand me when I explained that that was what I thought I had. They couldn't see the trauma in caring for a child with am ED!!! But what the CBT for general anxiety made me realise is how I was talking to myself sooo negatively all day long. Once I realised this it was a huge turning point but still a long journey to full recovery. I had always had an outlook where I blamed myself harshly when things went wrong. So of course once my d got ill i 100% blamed myself for that and considered myself a total failure as a mum. The trauma, continual guilt and blame had destroyed me emotionally. It took alot to unpick and build myself up from. So what you're going through is totally natural. You might not have the underlying issues I had but talking therapy might really help you unpack it all. I also found writing about our journey, just in a short article, helped get it all out of my head rather than constantly whirring around inside it. Hope you get the help and recovery you need. You've done a fab job with your loved one and now it's time for your healing. 
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scaredmom
Hopeful_mum,
Thank you for posting. I am glad you are doing better. 
I have wondered if the trauma we go through also is due to the fact that our kids depend on us to give the treatment, decide on the treatment, take the side effects of treatment and we have to support them through it all. It is a 24 hr job and because of our love for them it is more poignant than if we were just the doctor or nurse who sees them a few hours a day to give the chemo? 
Their survival truly depends on us and what we do how and when we do it so how could it not be so heavy on our shoulders. If I decided to let ED win I could have lost my d. So simple a thought and yet so horrible to think that. The burden of all the care and aftermath is ours. That is huge!!
Wow look what we do and what we have done! We are truly superhuman, and we need support and help too!
XXX
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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edengirl
I can so relate to what you all are saying.  At the end of the day, I think my foundation for everything I ever believed about myself as a mom as well as the support that surrounded me was shaken.   I was always the mom that never missed a yearly checkup for my girls be it doctor, dentist, optometrist...all that.  We ate dinner together most nights- all sitting around the table talking about our day.  I did everything "by the book" all while working a full time job.  How did this vile illness sneak into our home undetected?  How did I miss the signs- even for a month?  How did it basically carry my youngest off into the night without me even being aware?  How did my pediatrician who I have trusted with my children's health since birth miss this?  How did he not see a red flag on her growth chart?  When I am in his office crying and telling him something was wrong, how does he just dismiss it by saying I am overreacting and she is just an athlete.  "Athlete's do not eat like normal kids" was his response to me.  Why in the year 2018 was I having to scour the internet to save my child?  As I know you all have, I felt like my d's life was hanging in the balance with only me and my h responsible for saving her.  We didn't even know what we were doing.  As she withered away in front of us, we were depending on info I found on the internet to save her.  Thank God for this forum.  I remember the day I discovered this site and read it solid for 3 hours.  It was the first ray of hope I had seen in weeks. 
I wish I could just let all the questions go and enjoy the health d currently has.  It was hard fought to get where we are and I feel ashamed that I can't shake this when I know there are so many other moms out there in the true trenches right now.  I guess deep down I struggle to understand how this happened.   How can I prevent it from happening again if I don't know how it happened in the first place?  What if it comes back and I can't stop it this time?  I fear I am not as strong as I was before the first battle.  What if I can't save her this time?  Sorry for the "emotional dumping."  It is crazy how I feel I can be honest with moms I don't even know but I have trouble expressing this even to my h without sounding like an ungrateful lunatic.  I hate what this illness has taken from us all. 
Love to you all
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tina72
You are so right with every single word and all of us experienced the same things.
Today I try to see some positives from all that and my d does that, too.
1) we do not rely on other people any more
2) we know family comes first
3) my d told me she NOW knows that we love her unconditionally and would visit her in prison if she has killed someone (her words)
4) we know how strong we are and what we can achieve - this beast can go and die and we know what to do if he lurks around the house again!
(my d once said to me: "I never knew you are such a strong person, mom" and I replied "I did not know that either!")
5) we learned that although people tell us that society is selfish and nobody cares for the other ones there are people in this world that are in the same shoes and that care and that help us although we do not even know them and although we are totally different in age, race, country - this is a great project here and we will need to thank Laura Collins on our knees until we die
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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debra18
Yes I agree that it is so traumatic because we are the ones that are responsible for the treatment and doing all the hard work . I was wondering yesterday if parents of kids who had cancer have such trauma because the doctors are the ones responsible for the treatment.
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