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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Hi All,

 I didn’t post last time around, just read. Info in my intro below. I don’t know what to ask for. But “Hello” to this group. Good to know we’re not alone.

I read just now and appreciated the thread on DIY Dietician. I could have asked that a few months ago. I always appreciate sources of info on menus sans calorie counts for kids who think they are ready to start self-managing.

But alas I think we have AN back in the driver’s seat too much for that right now.

Here’s our situation (or my perception of it):

I have, and DD has, great support from my spouse—he is a champion re-feeder and loving dad.  However, our ED knowledge/experience differs. I have a lot of “inside” & prof knowledge. So while I was initially useful in identifying ED and was involved with outpatient treatment in a balanced way, we are now more lopsided where its been he and DD in trenches and my role has been more in the background. I do get very frustrated w/ ED behavior and DD is hypersensitive to any tiny thing I say and so pushes me away. Dad can food manage more evenly (can also play fun easy-going dad role—which helps). But then it seems to me AN uses his ED greenness and good faith in her to do its sneaky behaviors. So their parental bond stays strong and I watch, knowing we’re going downhill. My DD knows I am watching and distances from me. ED probably loves this. And to you all I will admit I sometimes feel (and probably act) powerless. I do have a weakness around feeling shut out.

Also, I am freaking sick of eating disorders – – particularly having been through it myself. I am just really
so effing over it. I hate them. I hate body hating. EDs are such an incredible waste of time and soul and purpose and life. I resent having to go through it again with my precious child.

Dad meanwhile is working so hard for her (great) BUT he takes anything I say as criticism and so the unwritten rule is that since I’m not the one primarily food managing, I don’t deserve to comment. Or at least that’s the defensive stance, I think his  actual feelings are more like overwhelm and inability to process input without fearing he will break down under pressure.

Anyway, she needs us, and me, to get into full gear for her (though honestly—and sorry to snivel—i feel unwelcome and unloved and anxious—all the traits she recoils from in me, which is one reason I retreat to background). Meanwhile I am managing another family crisis and our other kiddos and work and pre-existing overwhelm. And, as always, I miss her and love her and just want her back.

Look forward to meeting you as we move forward.

I want to empathize:  I am also so freaking sick of eating disorders.  The damage, the time suck, the psychological toll on her, siblings and us.   Yesterday I sreamed at the top of my lungs while driving my car I was so frustrated by all of this.   Between her and work and the other kids - my whole self/life has been completely lost.  It's hard not to get angry.

just want to say hi back and sorry things are so tough. Sounds like things are really overwhelming right now. I am so sorry. It must be super challenging and stressful trying to cope with all the stresses and demands - esp with your other family crisis. 

I am glad you have posted now. It is so important to have somewhere to vent, and get the support from parents who understand. Don’t apologise for “snivelling”. never apologise- I understand how awful it is. I am sorry that you have had to go through an ED yourself. 

It sounds like both you and your husband have real strengths when it comes to managing the ED, and you both are obviously under a lot of stress. Are you getting any support from services now? You seem to be at a key point now where you are trying to work out the best way forward. Have you any ideas about that? 

Sending you a big hug. Xxx


Hi @recoverwe,

We welcome your post and I hope you have found the forum helpful since you started reading it.

recoverwe wrote:
EDs are such an incredible waste of time and soul and purpose and life.

Well said! I sometimes grieve the wonderful high school years that my daughter should have had and which the ED hijacked from her. I have to work really hard to look at the fact on the bright side (like, her isolation at least didn't let her mix with a bad crowd, she didn't have a boyfriend that broke her heart etc).

recoverwe wrote:
I miss her and love her and just want her back.

Hello from another mum shunned from her once loving, fun and supportive daughter. I am sitting through this and waiting for my child to come out of the tunnel back into the light.

However, it looks to me that the ED is trying hard to divide and conquer the parents. I suggest you compliment your husband and acknowledge (like you have to us) the great effort he is putting in getting your DD to eat. And maybe encourage him to also focus on the behaviours and realise that the ED is venting out on you. You may have to be super diplomatic in your approach, as you do not want to discourage him, like you said.

You have our support and we hear you! Feel free to off-load here, because this is one of the hardest jobs parents have to do.

P.S. Well done on overcoming your own ED!

All the best,
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
Welcome to the club no one wants to join, I hope it as valuable to you as it has been to me. Sorry it is so difficult right now. I did have a tendency toward orthorexic (completely turned around since ed cameacame to "visit" my daughter).it has been really useful to understand my D (and all the reading has also been useful to understand me, and my brother and my dad, and some other members of my dad's family). I hope you and your husband can work towards a more united front, it really help! My husband luckily really gets it, although of course, we are not always 100% in agreement. 
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