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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #1 
My now 16 year old d has had RAN for more than three years now. The worst part was exactly two years ago when she was completely spellbound by the disease when we tried to do FBT at home - the screaming, hitting, complete terror, the works. She ended up spending almost 4 months at a specialised facility after which we did FBT again with success. She has been WR for 1,5 years now but her eating never became "intuitive" so I guess the beast was there the whole time. With me and my h prompting, she has been eating quite well but complaining how we do not treat her as "normal" even if she is "cured". The eating became clearly more difficult before Christmas and her period stopped (even if there was no clear change in the weight; we now thing she was waterloading). We stepped in and told d that from then on, we'd take responsibility of plating and she'd have to cut exercising. Her mood finally improved a lot and after all those horrible years, my lovely d was back again so I thought that we did well - I figured that the brain healing had finally occurred. She had her period again, but only once. A few weeks ago, we started to feel to our horror that things were truly deteriorating again and I sensed that her old enemy, obsessive exercising, had come back even if I did not catch her doing it. Her weight was going down even if in our presence she ate well. This weekend was a turning point: her weight has come down 5 kg and I found snacks/food hidden in her closet. Duh! A classic!  We obviously had a serious talk and told her that life stops now until her weight is back and things run smoothly again. Her dance class (only 1 x week) and the trips planned are off. The odd thing was, to me it felt like she was happy that we found out! She said: "Mommy, we can do this", and hugged me sooo tight. The whole weekend she followed me and h like a puppy and clearly did not want to be alone. She ate loads and then some - even candy and popcorn at the movies which has been a no-no for years. I was expecting her to struggle, to fight back, to be hostile. Instead, she was the witty and funny girl I so adore and we even ended up having a nice weekend! (Even with the weight loss, her weight is ok-ish - 52 kg for 165 cm, and she has always been thin like the whole family - so we let her go to school, but I going to meet her for lunch.) It just does not add up. I happen to know the a**hole that this illness is - is it hiding in my d's behaviour in order to make us less strict so it will be left to thrive more freely? Or can it be that it actually is this - well - easy? Can it be that d actually sees us now as a lifebuoy? Has anyone experienced this?

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Posts: 3,841
Reply with quote  #2 
Sorry that things have gone backwards for you and your D. Yes our children can and often do see us as a life-raft. Early on in the illness of course ED is strong and our children often don't recognise those thoughts for what they are. As time goes on, often they recognise the destructiveness of weight loss thoughts and behaviours and the way it impacts on their health, and well-being. It is very hard for them to fight it on their own, enter parents. My D did this and their are numerous others. You will meet resistance as weight goes on, but she is telling you she needs you even though as a typical teen she can't actually ask you for help. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.

Posts: 1,534
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi lou7,
I heard that often from other parents that the purging, the over-exercising, the hiding food was at a point so obvious that they thought their kids did not try to hide it any more. That is the point when ED is so present that they set a cry for help to be discovered. She knows that she needs your help and she cannot say openly "mum, I have hidden food" because of ED but she can do it so openly that you MUST find it out.
I am sure you will have some fights in refeeding, too [wink]
You know what to do and you have already done a great job on it so fight that bastard again. I hope it will be the last time now.
Close all wholes in the net for a long time. I fear we have to watch them seriously until their mid twenties.
I send you a big pack of power from Germany,

Posts: 671
Reply with quote  #4 
I am sorry that this happened. The great news is that you did it before and will do it again. You said she seems to feel glad that you found out and that she did not struggle. Yes this happens. Your real D inside want your help to fight ED. She is telling you she cannot do this alone.  At the early stages, my D threw away food behind my back. Well she would get so anxious, then she would want to tell me a "secret- and not to be mad", then she would fess up. She wanted reassurance that she was not "bad" and that I had the tools to help her.  I always thanked her, and said that mommy would work this out for her. She seemed to be relieved when I found out.

Your D may be compliant now, but with more weight gain, ED may lash out. Please look up "extinction burst" on this site. It helps to explain why near WR, it may be more difficult.  Just be vigilant. 

I am glad you are closing all the loop holes, ie limiting activities where you may not be able to support her. ED knows you are serious. Please ask all the questions you want. The people here are the best. There is such a range of experience and ages of children, there is always someone that has been where you are and can help.

You got this! 

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