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Pingu

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Reply with quote  #1 
So wanted to ask you all as you have a lot of experience (unfortunately ) about school
I’m in the uk and my d is year 10 so started gcse last year. She’s a high achiever and perfectionist-how typical and Is IP at the minute and likely to be so for some time.
She’s heard through friends that the gossip about her at school is raging and she’s had people message and ask if she has anorexia. She says she wants to tell people herself but is now so upset that the rumour mill is running and is totally down about school
She’s also said that her friends have carried in with their lives without her and she feel left behind and abandoned.
She’s adamant she does not want friends seeing her in the unit so I’m stuck
I can speak to her school but it has issues with bullying and they e been useless in the past

I was sort of mulling over whether she should restart year 10 at a new school. Fresh start and takes the pressure off all the months she’s missed then she could decide if she wants to tell anyone or not

Any ideas? Does that sound like a daft thought?
tina72

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Pingu,

in your special case with rumor going around and experiences with bullying I would suggest that is a very good idea to change the school if possible.
At that age it is difficult to talk seriously with the peers. In our case my d was much older when she went back to school (17) and her class mates were much more adult and the head teacher did a very good work to avoid rumors and bad talking about her. But she did not want to see anyone in IP, too. In her case reintegration to school went well and she even made new friends there after IP which I never expected. But it was a totally different situation because of age I think.

What does she think about that idea? Does she miss some real "best friends" or does she have none? My d did not have any real friends at school before IP.

Tina72

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d off to University now 2 years after diagnose, still doing FBT and relapse prevention 
Foodsupport_AUS

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Reply with quote  #3 
There are all sorts of reasons why a change of schools may be good for your D when she goes  back, as well as other reasons for staying with the familiar.   I am  not really sure that changing schools has much to do with her decision to tell friends.

If  friends are messaging her, do they know of her illness or is she choosing not to tell them too? She really can't have things both ways with telling them herself and not seeing them. People are people and if they are not told rumours will fill  in the gaps. My D also was reluctant to tell people of her illness.  The school did know as they had already had concern about her and when she didn't come back to school as she was too ill a few select teachers knew the diagnosis. D told her few closest friends in person and they did keep her "secret". She got them to go and visit her and she explained why  she was hospitalised.  Her less close friends unfortunately did find out through the school - against our wishes students were told as the rumours started flying that she was dying of cancer. D and I were very angry at the time but overall it had very little impact when she went back to school. She was worried about being the girl with anorexia, but overall the students were appropriate and kind to her. 

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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.
Pingu

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Reply with quote  #4 
It’s a thought that I’ve been running past some people. I will mention it to the IP teacher Cos she’s lovely. My d is very resistant to restarting year10 but I can’t see how she can possibly catch up esp as some of her subjects are very practical based -she does drama and music. Drama is what she wants to do at uni so it’s important to her.
I know the IP teacher is really good but if she’s in for 3 months plus I think it would be a strain to catch up. The IP teacher also mentioned retaking year 10 as an option
She doesn’t have any real close friends and seems to be outside of the cliques
Her school is what can I say- “bitchy” if you know what I mean
I don’t want to add more stress to her but a new school would be a fresh start
Problem I have is I have 50/50 care with her dad which I will challenge later.
He works long hours and is not home on time so can’t give her the consistency she needs
We can so in her best interest I think she should now be with me
She’s also said she s has enough of staying with dad but that may change so I will just wait and see

Am just watching and observing but may speak to the other school next week

It’s like the girls almost love to gossip about her and report back
teecee

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Reply with quote  #5 
A couple of things to be mindful of...could another change create further overwhelming anxiety? ( in terms of moving school). I would be guided by your D on that.
Also if she is so adamant at not retaking yr10 this could be a real motivation for her to get to a point where she is physically well and mentally well enough to continue.

My D missed 45 school days at the end of yr11 (this year) so we were kind of the opposite position that you are in but she was so adamant that she did not want to retake yr11 that she strived to get well enough to get to the exams. We completely took the pressure off in terms of results as we really didn’t want GCSE results to define her. We just wanted her to be able to move forward on the pathway she had chosen (starting college last month). Needless to say she attained 7A* and 2As....I still can’t get my head around it.
We were asked why we didn’t defer for a year but we could see the stress was magnified when we suggested that. The bottom line is that right up to GCSEs our head offered support before and during the exams and also gave us the option to take yr11 right u until the end. There is always another option.
Re friends my D chose to let people know. We talked through what to expect and how to deal with those who were not as caring but what it did expose was the real compassion in real friends. She lost her best friend but gained other friends she never thought she had anything in common with. She has kept those friendships even after moving away. I think it was good in building up resilience in her. Sometimes when you lose people they are never really a loss- she has learned that.
Whatever you choose it will be right for you all. Xxx
tina72

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Reply with quote  #6 
In a new school they can see wether she needs to redoe the class or can go ahead with the others. My d missed 4 months in school just a year before her a level exam (Abitur here in Germany) and she had no problems to go on with all. Most ED kids are highly intellligent and gifted and if the brain recovery starts she can get that all very quick. School is not so important at the moment for educational stuff but more for having fun with peers and a normal life and distraction.
Tina72

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Nicstar4

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Reply with quote  #7 
Agree, she will be ok with fresh start probably, although if she has good friends may be good to keep her there. In UK don’t they have 6th form college? Everyone is new there!
I was thinking of moving d probs too late now. 12 months to go. Twin was interested in option of her moving or delaying exams, but AN d said she said would not manage anywhere new.
Also, typical ED will pull it off by the sounds of all the others with perfectionist and high aims. I have said even if you don’t finish, there are different paths to jobs and a life that has some contentment.
Good luck with decisions. If it wasn’t a hard choice, it would not be called a decision.
mimi321

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Reply with quote  #8 
I am guessing the rumour mill will likely die down over three months. My D was out of school for two months then over the summer. One classmate messaged her and asked her where she was. She told her she had heart issues but she would be fine. When she wanted to start seeing friends again, she messaged a girl (three months later). That started a slow reignition of their friendship and they started to get together again.

Before this my D told me she would never return to school. After getting more well and getting more socialised with her good friend (whom she confided in), she wanted to get back to the familiar of her old school, even with the flaws of some of her classmates.

I would say your D can respond or not to her friends right now depending on her comfort level. Some have said heart or digestive problems if they wanted to maintain privacy. Going to another school may be an option, but when she's feeling better she may want to return to the familiar. Once they see her well again, the fire in those rumours will likely fade away and they move onto other things. I'd say explore your options, but be open to possibility she might prefer her old school when the time comes.

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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
scaredmom

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Reply with quote  #9 
Pingu, 
This is a complex issue with lots of layers.  A couple of questions come to my mind to break it up a bit.
1) Is it about the friends or the "knowing" of her diagnosis?
2) is is about the school and a fresh start academically?

I sometimes write things out, like a pro and con list. Then I come back to it after a day or so and see if I am making the decision with my heart or my head. Then once I have a few days of my written out thoughts I feel in a better position to make the pick. 
My D, the prinicipal know and I knew although I asked for privacy that all the teachers knew. The kids were great (but she was 11 at the time), and only knew she had a heart issue.As they were young, I think when D went back to school after being IP for 2.5 weeks, the kids were glad to have her back. I know the difficult thing as a teenage girl and rumours etc. are hard, and normal ( unfortunately), but there are other "targets of the day" for rumours no matter what (other people to "pick on" so to speak). 
Ultimately, I don't think there is a "correct" answer, just the "better" option. Until you do it, you won't know. 

Whatever you decide, I support you.
XXX

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Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Pingu

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Reply with quote  #10 
I am just mulling things over at the minute I would not rush into anything. She uses the phrase eating disorder but won’t use “anorexia”. She’s told about 3 girls -one who said to her she needed to tell people Cos she didn’t like lying. One of the other girls she told has now started to tell stories but tbh it’s to be expected
I’m not sure if she is embarrassed? Or I’m being honest now enjoys the attention. She is a little like that anyway. She academically very bright and a perfectionist-she over studies which concerned me for a while.
I wouldn’t say she’s close to any of her friends in a girlie way .
She’s very mature but she’s dealt with a lot of issues and now this
I think it’s only now that she’s gained 2lb that the proverbial you know what is gonna hit the fan.
I feel we are now at the start of the journey finally
I’m trying not to get too emotionally entwined in the ED and after she was vile to me that visit i set boundaries. She called the other night and was being rude so I said I love you I will texts but I’m ending the call and I took back control of what I’m going to tolerate

The school ideas was because she’s not particularly enamoured of the high school anyway but I’m not rushing or saying anything just yet
I’m sitting back and observing for now
tina72

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Reply with quote  #11 
"She called the other night and was being rude so I said I love you I will texts but I’m ending the call and I took back control of what I’m going to tolerate"

I think you did great and are completely right with that! Show her love and compassion but also that you will not tolerate bad behaviour.

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d off to University now 2 years after diagnose, still doing FBT and relapse prevention 
HopeNZ

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Reply with quote  #12 
Pingu, unless you were planning to change schools anyway because you feel it is unsuitable, I would advocate against making any major changes in the forseeable future.  We know that transitions are very hard for our ED kids.  We also know that ED's modus operandi is to isolate our loved ones, and take advantage of anxieties and insecurities.  I'm concerned that a big upheaval like changing schools at this very early stage in your d's recovery would present just the kind of opportunity we don't want to give ED!

I know it's hard for you hearing your d's distress about the gossip-mongering going on behind her back.  But please try not to buy into it.  Honestly, gossips will gossip no matter what, and does it really matter what they say?  I think the rumour mill grinds on in the absence of information.  So could you give out that your d is being closely monitored for 'heart issues' or is being hospitalised for 'metabolic issues'?  Both true!  In due course, your d will return to school, pick up her academics no problem (our ED kids are generally pretty smart cookies) the other kids will return to their teenage self-centredness, and your d will be able to just get on with her life.

It's great that your d has told a couple of friends the truth. In my opinion, staying at her current school, where she has friends who know her story, will pay off in the long run.  I'm sorry to say, it's going to be something your d will need support with for quite some time to come, and having key people in her day-to-day life who 'get it' will really pay off.  This has been our experience.
Mungojerry

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi
I suffered from eating disorders myself at school. I was hospitalised for seven months during my final year (yr 13).

I know that your daughter is a bit younger, but here's my experience...

I had anorexia and bulimia from the age of about 13. Things got worse (I was untreated) for years. I was very ill with the anorexia the summer between yrs 12 and 13. I just got worse and wasn't functioning at all when I was there. Eventually I was hospitalised the day I was due to start the term after Christmas. I kept in touch with the school and was told by the head of department that he would save my place on the course. Fast forward seven months.... I was discharged from IP and went to speak to the head of department. I was told he had NOT saved my place and basically he was kicking me out!!!! So I went to the head of another department and asked if I could join his course and start again in year twelve.
He said yes, and so that's what I did!

It actually worked out well. The kids in my new class didn't know me so there were no rumours or comments about weight gain. I was mentally a lot more mature than them, I didn't mind being a 'loner' and was happy. I still had to attend day patient for my meals and missed a lot, but my tutor kept me up to date with the course and after the first year I was changed to outpatient and didn't have to miss classes anymore. I ended year 13, a few weeks off my 20th birthday with a triple distinction btec and 2 a levels.

I'm actually quite glad I started afresh. It worked out well and also I met my husband there!

Although the head of department of the first course was a total dickhead, it worked out for the best.

So I guess what I'm trying to say in a round about way, is that for me, from my perspective, starting again was a good thing!

Good luck xx
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