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

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Unsuremumuk
So. 5 years after my daughter stormed out on us she wants to return. After 3 years attempting fbt she turned 20 and gave up the fight turning her anger on me and my husband. She removed me as her next of kin and broke all contact. As far as I'm aware she's been living on benefits then out of the blue we get a phone call. She apologised and dropped the bomb. Her benefits have been stopped and she can't pay her bills or buy food. She needs us. My husband said no but I think yes. She's my baby and always will be. He says her manipulation drove us all apart when she was living here. I agree there will have to be some ground rules but all I can think is we have leverage. She has nowhere else to go. No income. I've told her she will have to take her medication which she admits to stopping attend therapy which she also stopped and eat what we give her. Any other ideas and has anyone successfully done this with a young adult before. I don't know her current weight or if she looks under as I haven't seen her just got the phone all yesterday. I don't know her medical status. 
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tina72
I am a mum of a nearly 20 years old and all I can say is that she cannot get out of this without help and that she can get rid of ED with your help and a lot of rules and a contract and as a mum I would encourage you to try it. But not with the old system of manipulation. With clear rules and a contract what will happen if she sticks to your rules and what will happen if not. My d is in good recovery now but needs to stick to the meal time and amount rules and see a GP regularly and she knows what will happen if she loses weight again or starts ED habits again.
It is possible to get rid of ED at any time no matter how long the journey before was. There is always hope.
If she wants to come home and you can fight for the FBT rules and refeeding that would be a chance for a better life for all of you.
Come back if we can help you with something, we are here to help you.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom
Hi Unsuremumuk,
Welcome to the club! Although I am so sorry you needed to be here, we are honoured to be able to support you in anyway we can.
I do not have an adult child with ED, however, from what I have seen, many have used contracts, very specific ones about how the parents will help their child. 
I would suggest you all have a proper ED team to guide and help with moving forward as well as a good doctor for weights and medical management of issues.
I understand the hurt and fear that your H seems to be exhibiting. It would be "normal" in this upside ED world. 
I am glad you have significant leverage. I have seen that is crucial if you are to aid her in her recovery.

I do think getting a proper medical assessment is prudent at this time. 
Please look up "contracts" using the search function (the magnifying glass) to get an idea of what others have used.
Sending my best.
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

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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Unsuremumuk
Thank you to you both for replying. 

A little more information. Until I take her to th gp I don't know her weight or if she qualify for Ed specialist support. Even if she does the waiting lists are long for adults with eds unless they are in immediate medical danger. 

Her diagnosis at home was anorexia nervosa binge purge subtype and borderline personality disorder with psychotic episodes. 

I can't seem to find the search function. 

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Kali

Dear Unsuremumuk,

I hope that things will go well. I have a young adult daughter and the way in which I have been able to help her is by building a strong, kind and loving relationship and forgiving the terrible things that the ED sent our way when she was very ill. And reaching out when I can to help her in whatever ways she needs support.

Yes you have leverage now and you can model compassionate and caring behavior for her and the fact that families support each other through the difficult times. It probably was not easy for her to make that phone call and ask for help.

Since you don't know the status of her weight you don't know whether she is ok or not. She might be fine. And she might not be. But is seems that you will need to get your husband to come around to having her at home. You have the opportunity to heal the relationship and can stress that to him if you think that might help. You might want to wait until you see her and speak more about it but there are some things to consider:

You have already stated the ground rules about eating, taking meds and seeking treatment if she needs it, which are sensible. And you may want to encourage her to find work, or be in school, or volunteer for some causes she is interested in if she is well enough. And make sure that she is getting any medical care which might be needed.

We had very simple "contracts". More of a series of requests and agreements for example when she came home from treatment, and then when she went off to university. I did not ask her to sign anything since that could have given her the opportunity to say no. I did give her a written paper with our requests.The requests were things like: open communication, weight maintenance, full nourishment, allowing her team to communicate with us if necessary, staying in treatment as long as she needed to and listening to what her team recommended for her.

best wishes for your reunion with your daughter.
Kali

 

Food=Love
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scaredmom
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/contractssamples-and-ideas-9471610?highlight=contracts&pid=1301889667
Here is a thread you may find helpful.
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

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
Unsuremumuk wrote:
Thank you to you both for replying. 

A little more information. Until I take her to th gp I don't know her weight or if she qualify for Ed specialist support. Even if she does the waiting lists are long for adults with eds unless they are in immediate medical danger. 

Her diagnosis at home was anorexia nervosa binge purge subtype and borderline personality disorder with psychotic episodes. 

I can't seem to find the search function. 



The search funktion is the little magnifying glass on the right top.

For refeeding you will not need an ED specialist if you cannot get one, you "just" need to fight for the rules of 3 meals 2-3 snacks and feed her a good normal food that your grandma would have cooked with a lot of butter cream and oil. And you need a GP for all medical stuff. You could talk to some ED specialists by skype (Tabitha Farrar for example) if you need help and come here to aks questions.

Most thing you need is courage and the power to stay strict. No matter what subtype she is sticking to the rules is most important part of the game.
You need to feed regular meals and to avoid purging with 24/7 supervision if needed. Can you get time off from work for that?

I would be a bit careful with the borderline and psychotic diagnose. Was that diagnosed before ED moved in? In most cases these behaviour is a symptom of ED. People with ED do VERY strange things when their brain is malnurished...
Is she on meds for that?

Can you ask her to see a GP with you before you decide that she can come home? Her state can be very bad and she might need to go IP first...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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deenl
Hi Unsuremumuk and welcome,

My son is younger than yours and so I am not speaking from experience but as someone on the outside looking in. I hope you will take any comments in the spirit they are intended - to spark you to consider something in order to give this opportunity the best chance of sucess. I have the feeling that the better you are prepared, the better things will work out.

Unsuremumuk wrote:
... then out of the blue we get a phone call. She apologised and dropped the bomb. Her benefits have been stopped and she can't pay her bills or buy food. She needs us.

I can only imagine the joy and relief that went through you when you heard her voice. I am thinking it's something that you will never forget. And the hope you must feel to have another chance to support your daughter and help her towards health is something that we can all feel but it must be much magnified by the pain of your 5 year estrangement.

I am so hesitant to even suggest that you take a deep breath and not rush into saying yes straight away. But your experience of having already been down this journey for 3 years, I think that you probably know that our kids can genuinely promise to eat, take their meds, go to therapy, etc but ACTUALLY putting that into practice can often be more than they can handle. She has said that she has nowhere to go and no money. But has she said that she wants to recover? How hard is she prepared to work at it? Is she prepared to accept your support to recover or will every meal be a fight (resistence, distress are to be expected but for e.g. violence by a fully grown adult or complete refusal would be very, very difficult to live with)

I am unfamiliar with your benefit system but can you draw any conclusions about the fact that she lost her benefits? Was there an administrative error that you can help sort out? Does it mean that she has been ruled fit for work but will not/cannot work? Anything else you can deduce?

Unsuremumuk wrote:
My husband said no but I think yes.

From the outside, looking in, I can totally understand both positions. In the early days, my husband and I had differing ideas of the steps we should take. It was the most difficult time with many, many heart-wrenching discussions that became emotional and heated. How could they not be? Like you, we were talking about the life, health and happiness of our beloved child and the consequences for all the family. I found it really important to keep in mind certain truths; we both loved our child with all our hearts, we both believed we had found the right way forward and at that time there was no way of knowing which was correct, we were both determined that this would not destroy our relationship and we had a better chance of helping our child if we stayed together. With these in mind we did (just about) make it through to the other side. But it was very, very difficult and in the last few months we have been doing relationship counselling to heal the wounds.

Unsuremumuk wrote:
She's my baby and always will be.

100% correct. I hear you, my heart feels the same. And my head says she's your baby and he's your husband who loves you too and has no doubt supported you through the last 8 painful years. I respectfully suggest that once the initial emotions following her phone call calm a little that you need to listen and try to understand each other. Easier said, than done. Your best chance to support your daughter is together.

Unsuremumuk wrote:
He says her manipulation drove us all apart when she was living here.

I think any parent with a child suffering from ED can understand the strains that it puts on us as individuals, as a couple and as a family. I wonder what your memories are like? Do you remember it like that too? If I close my eyes and really think back I can remember the true awfulness of the first couple of years fighting ED but most of the time it's a bit like labour, the memory of the pain and fear fades. But in thinking through how to work things out you can make the best plans if you take the most realistic and not the most optimistic view.

Unsuremumuk wrote:
I agree there will have to be some ground rules but all I can think is we have leverage. She has nowhere else to go. No income. I've told her she will have to take her medication which she admits to stopping attend therapy which she also stopped and eat what we give her. Any other ideas and has anyone successfully done this with a young adult before.

If you do go through with this, I suggest that you and your husband discuss the detail - what does she eat? Whatever you cook or does she have input? How many meals? Who supervises? How do you interrupt the purging behaviours? Where does she get weighed? Will she sign waivers that allow you to access her health information? Which therapist does she see and how often? Can you go with her to the psychiatrist to hear from the horses mouth exactly which meds she should be taking? Will she be willing to accept this level of supervision? (I suspect that I am not proposing the right questions here - they are perhaps more suitable for a child/teen than for an adult. You could search the forum for parents of adults or ask another question)

Most importantly what consequences can you and your husband agree for the most expected difficulties, for not complying with treatment? It may be easiest if you think of likely situations and reasonable and balanced consequences, up to at what stage do you decide this is not working and she needs to find other accomodation. Then you could share them with her. It would make it easiest on everyone not to have to try to agree these things in the middle of a crisis.

As if all that was not enough, it is challenging for any adult to return home and for parents and their adult child to agree on the mundane daily issues; how much housework does she have to contribute, is she allowed to have romantic partners stay over, does she have to have an outside occupation like job hunting or volunteering so she is not hanging around all day, if she is earning does she have to contribute to household expenses, what expenses are you willing to pay, phone, car insurance, etc, etc? I suggest that it is easier to discuss these things before she moves in.

Unsuremumuk wrote:
I don't know her current weight or if she looks under as I haven't seen her just got the phone all yesterday. I don't know her medical status. 

May I suggest that you do not make any firm commitments until you know what you are getting into? Her willingness to go to the GP for a check up and to allow you to hear the results from the doctor yourself will tell you a lot about how much she is able to co-operate with professional treatment.

Unsuremumuk wrote:
Her diagnosis at home was anorexia nervosa binge purge subtype and borderline personality disorder with psychotic episodes.  

I sure don't need to tell you the long-term commitment you need to make in order to support her. Are you in a position in your life to be able to do that? Tina is right, there are people who have had such a diagnosis because of malnutrition and the symptoms have faded and the diagnosis no longer deemed reliable when they have recovered from the ED. However, there is also a group who genuinely have co-morbid ED and personality disorder. 

I have found 'Overcoming Broderline Personality Disorder' by Valerie Porr to be an excellent resource for families. It is full of support for the role of the family, lots of information with up-to-date treatments available and, most importantly, practical strategies for dealing with dysregulated emotions. I have found many of the tips useful even outside the context of a personality disorder.

We have a relative who has periods of psychosis as part of a mental illness. To be honest, it's hell when they are engaged in behaviours that are very dangerous to their health and there is no way to make them understand. Our reality and their reality are miles apart. In what way did your daughter's psychosis present itself? How would you all deal with it if it happened again?

Just one other word of caution. It is quite common for people with BPD to have co-morbid substance misuse/abuse. It may be worth investigating if there has been any change in this area over the last 5 years before you make any decision.

Unsuremumuk wrote:
I can't seem to find the search function.  

The User Guide is pinned to the top of the forum if you have any difficulties. It is quite handy as there are pictures of the screens which I, for one, find easier than words. If you still need any help please get in touch with any of the moderators.

One other thought - are there other options? It may be that her moving home turns out not to be the best option but you can perhaps research other ways you can support her. Can you help organise emergency accommodation? Sort out benifit snafus? Deliver a few bags of groceries? There may be an option that allows care and support for her without the strain of full time caring.

I wish you and your husband strength and courage with whatever decision you make and most of all I wish this to be a turning point in all your lives towards a better relationship with your daughter.

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
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  • 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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