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

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mec
I've started this thread copying the idea from the U13 crowd. There are so many variables that are specific to high school teenagers that I want us to have a place to discuss them here.

My d has been in recovery for over 5 years now. She is rising junior - 2 years away from college. She  drives a car. She is not a perfectionist in most areas of her life. She is a good student but is happy with B's in her core subjects and Cs in Math. She has a summer job. She is currently not in a relationship but is constantly aware of boys. She is pretty independent in her eating but still requires a certain level of support. The experiment to let her be almost fully independent in her eating this summer, didn't go as well as I had hoped, so we've had to bring her lunch or supper to work, as per her request. She is on stimulant meds for ADHD during the school year but not during the summer. Off her medication, she exhibits some symptoms of anxiety, OCD and body dissatisfaction.

The constant tape in the back of my mind is transition-to-college....transition-to-college....
21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
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WeNWinning
Good for you starting a thread for this age group.  I was thinking of starting one for Y/A - college age and beyond.    And maybe that would be a place for those like you who are in planning stages for college to visit as well.

When I look back, the biggest mistake I made was allowing my H and the ED psychiatrist to condone my D going off to college far away.  I was outnumbered and should have put my foot down and trusted my instincts.  When she relapsed, and we brought her home, my D returned to her former clinician which I now know was another huge mistake.

the real problem in  hindsight was that my D needed accurate and full WR and maintenance long-term so she could then learn healthy coping skills and build her resilience.

And it takes time and a lot of practice.

I think this is key for all of our children.
WenWinning (formerly wenlow) - a Mom who has learned patience, determination, empathy, and inner strength to help her young adult daughter gain full remission after over a decade of illness and clinician set inaccurate weights
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Resolute_Dad
Great idea!  Please do learn from all the feedback we who have walked in your shoes before you have received.

I would say that the overarching number 1 lesson we learned was, DO NOT try to shoehorn recovery into a timetable dictated by college.  So many young adults get a great college education and have a fantastic college experience living at home - no matter how important you might think "going away" to college is, it is not worth risking recovery.

We told our D that we were not sure what she would be ready for, so we told her that she needed to apply to schools where she would be living away, schools where she could commute but would need to eat lunch and snack away, and one school that is in our town (not a school she had any desire to go to) because it was the one school she could attend and come home for lunch.  I think that really set the tone well - told her we were serious about recovery taking precedence over all else.

We ended up in the middle of 1 and 2 - she will commute, but it is a school that has a dorm and she will be able to transition slowly to dorm living (a night a week at first, then two nights, then home for weekends, etc.) such that hopefully over the first semester, if things continue on their trajectory, she will be transitioned to dorm life.  This was part luck and part planning - she got into the right school (and the honors program there which made it palatable for her) and she did not get into her "dream" schools that involved going away.  That being said, even if she had gotten in, I dont think we would have let her go (though it would have been tough).

You have 2 years of high school left - work your tails off these two years to get recovery as cemented in place as possible - in many ways I wish we had one more year of high school...

RD
Dad to 24 yr old D - recent relapse but relieved that she reached out for help.
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Amoma
yeah Maria!! you know you have been my personal mentor on here. Thank you for your wisdom to the younger set. Will be reading....since we are younger.
And I think there are many on here who will benefit from mutual support for this age group...

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mec
Wen,

I do hope you start a YA support group. There have been a couple of threads started on the topic but over time have disappeared. I think part of the success of the U13 thread is that it is labeled "support.." and also the fact that Amoma is keeping up with it.

RD and Wen, our d has her heart set on going to our city U. It is HUGE (25,000 students on main campus), which I see as a disadvantage. However, the biggest advantage is that it is a 15 min drive from our house. I don't think that we can stop d if she has made her mind up that she will be going away to school.

So, the way we see it RIGHT NOW and based on her high degree of recovery, we have two options. Send her away to a school that is 15 mins down the road from us, with a contract, with previously arranged support with her former T, whom we trust, and with us controlling the purse strings. Option #2 and the one that I believe she is independent enough to attempt is her going off on her own because she would legally be an adult, getting into debt by signing off on loans, taking on second and third jobs in order to pay for expenses, etc. This would take place without support from us and WHEN not IF she gets in trouble, she may be too stubborn or ill to allow us to help her out.

BTW, d will be 19 on September during her Freshman year in college. Right now, she is talking to some of her BFFs about the possibility of rooming together. That would also be a big plus because these girls, particularly the one we hope would work out, knows her history and is like a mother to her.

21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
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mec
Ahhhh this child better do some growing up between now and 2016!

She was in a car accident 10 days ago so the car is in the shop. We are not going to let her drive until she takes the 911 course. So, I am her driver right now.

At any rate, it's 2:00 p.m. and so far, I have driven her to PT and to her job plus got a panicked call that she forgot her whistle and sunglasses (not to mention her water and snacks). I delivered the items plus her water bottle and snacks. Got a sweet "guilty" little girl smile and a "thank you Mami, I love you!". Then got another call 2 hours later that she was starving so could I bring her lunch ASAP. I delivered lunch. I have to pick her up at 4 and take her to HS swimming practice. Of course, I will be bringing her a snack in between life guarding and swimming practice. Meanwhile I am trying to find her traffic ticket in the maze that is her room because I don't know at what time she is supposed to be in court tomorrow and I need to plan MY schedule! Just shoot me, please!

I work full time and so does my husband, so during the school year, she is on her own as far as forgotten stuff. But, I am at her school and have a drawer and closet shelf full of snacks, which she raids on a daily basis.

I wonder sometimes if my rescuing her with snacks and lunch/supper all the time is stopping her from growing up and taking responsibility for her own nutrition. We have told her that in order to go to college, she has to eat and maintain on her own for an entire year. This summer was supposed to be the summer that she started. She does a good job with eating on her own, but oh... the forgetfulness factor is THE BIG ISSUE for her.

From my training as an ADHD parent, I know that kids with ADHD are 2-4 years younger than their chronological age. So, she has a double whammy of ADHD plus having had an ED.
21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
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alwaysvigilantCAN
I'm signing up for this thread!!!

D is now 16, 3 1/2 yrs from falling down the rabbit hole. Having said that I now look back and see so so many signs 2 to 3 yrs prior.

So where are we now: today D left for her friend's cottage up north to work at a soccer camp this week for 4 days.  She will be on her own in terms of making sure she eats enough. I don't feel the least bit nervous-which in a sense, makes me feel nervous!!  I think this is because  3 weeks ago she came back from a one week soccer camp up north where she was a camper. I made all the necessary arrangements with the camp concerning her bringing extra snacks and boost plus at night.  They told me the councilors plate the food, but this was incorrect. I was a wreck the first couple of days, but she came home happy and made lots of friends.  We told her we were proud of her and she beamed at us with a big smile and thanked us for letting her go. Her cabin mates thought it was hilarious that she remembered to bring cheese and crackers but not her pillow.   I let her pack her own stuff, and talk about a challenge. But she is the type of kid that needs to learn by doing, so I let her do, except when it comes to packing food for school. That will be the project this fall. 

I was very nervous about the camp, in January thought there is no way, but what a difference a few months make, even after 3 yrs.

We are also working on the "fear of failing" and "procrastination" factors-waiting until everything is perfect. I drove her to get her beginners drivers license. She wanted to, all her friends have it, but she kept stalling. So I just drove to the license bureau and told her she was writing the test. She kept asking what if I fail? and I said, so you write it again.  Same thing happened first time I took her driving-she kept making excuses until one day after an appt I just pulled into a parking lot and told her to take over. Now she is fine, and likes to drive and I can use this as leverage if I ever need to.

I still plate her food most of the time, unless she is out or there is company over. Sometimes I will say serve yourself but it once in awhile, not always.  I plate everyone's food at dinner so it is not something out of the ordinary in her house.

As for post secondary, 2 more years of high school but I'm not even really thinking of it. She doesn't really know what she  is interested in (other than boys, texting, soccer and music) so I have had her just do some internet searches on different career paths. Her brother took a year off before university and so there is no pressure on her.  I want to make sure she has all the tools (cooking and looking after herself) before she goes to university, if she even does.  I used to think you needed to go away to university to get the whole experience, now I don't think that at all.

She loves soccer so much, but we will not let her play rep.  Many of her friends played but have now quit because the love of the game was squashed by the pressure to win and train all year. I hate that mentality, having grown up in a sports crazy family.

I am constantly reading the threads of those who have older children or who have been in recovery longer than my D and are slightly older or the same age. It's like getting a dose of inspiration and gives me the ability to carry on.

As for talking about her Ed and what she went through, I know that her feelings run deep and that she wants to leave it all behind. One day she will have to talk about it, but for now we (meaning our family) are healing, still vigilant, still a touch paranoid but not as sensitive to stupid remarks, things we see and hear on tv or radio. I would have to say, slaying ED is not the focus of our lives anymore, but we certainly have our spidey senses out as D gets older and gains more freedoms and independence.

5 years in active recovery; With many, many days of full nutrition and closed loopholes, insight, life experiences and brain maturity we are slowly loosening the safety net
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GiveMeStrength_US
Wen, yes, please start a thread and you can label it "support" a la Amoma and RD and I will be right there!  Also, RD and Wen, you probably should put your two cents onto AndreaSmiles thread about sending her D off to college.  Wen, I know you have a lot of experience with this and I was looking for your reply on that thread.

Maria, I hear you about "rescuing" your D and trying to figure out how you can gently push her out of the nest into the world of being responsible for herself.  We see our D rely on us for all sorts of things, like how EXACTLY to word an email that she needs to send or other minute tasks that really she could figure out on her own.  It's interesting because we have shifted some of that over to her, telling her she knows what to do or how to do it and putting ourselves much more in the guidance/support role that we SHOULD be in.  I also think her driving and commuting to/from school this summer has made a HUGE impact on her confidence and independence.  She is starting to figure things out for herself rather than lean so heavily on us.

It is not as clear cut with the eating.  We want to transition her to feeding herself, but it is still hard for her to portion properly (although getting better) and we are taking baby steps in this regard.  This did lead to her yelling at us this weekend about how frustrated she is with our controlling everything and that she doesn't feel rewarded for all the work she does (complying, following through on FBT goals, etc.), but that died down fairly quickly.  In the meantime, we are increasing independence.  She is going out for more unsupervised meals and snacks (have to warm her up for eating on campus) and this week she is having one day where she chooses all her meals/snacks and we give her no feedback or input until the end of the day.  It's up to her.  This is obviously practice for when she is on campus and has to decide what to eat and how much (at first we will probably pack lunches from home in the a.m. so there is less anxiety about making those decisions).
Mom to D 21 in November, behaviors started at 15, hospitalized at 16, IP at 17, FBT at almost 18. Finished second year in college; now abroad in treatment program to deal with co-morbids.
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hopefulmama
Wen - Yes, please start the YA thread.  I would be particularly interested in some of the thoughtful step by step approaches you and your d worked through, like to address her social anxiety, etc.  I can't wait!
Enjoying my 23 year-old daughter's achievement of active recovery that was made possible by the resources and education I found on this forum.

Don't give up hope!
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mnmomUSA
Also subscribing...although my daughter won't be 14 for a couple of months yet.  She is, by age, an 8th grader this fall, but by credits in high school falls somewhere between freshman and sophomore (9th and 10th grade).  Believe me, college is already something I am thinking about....and reading a lot of the experiences discussed here of parents of older children with ED.  It is all very helpful! 
D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since.  UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side.  :-)  D at college and doing great!
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MidWestMom

Also interested in a 14-18 YO group.  My recently diagnosed D is 16, and we are still coming to terms with our revised reality, which does not include a return to a full school schedule this fall.  She is newly diagnosed, and had a fairly uneventful HS career to this point. 

I had put a post on a different threat about a support group in Wisc... which went.. no where.   However, the virtual support here is wonderful!

Tears today on the drive home from her PHP:      She  had some disturbing texts from a very close friend that moved last summer, and is in a very scary situation several states away.   That combined with the cereal bar challenge for snack resulted in a mini melt-down.   "Why aren't I getting Better?   I seem to be afraid of so many more foods now! I should be in residential" The good news is that it was short-lived...  we substituted a banana for half of the cereal bar (I know, I know...); we made some calls to the friend's aunt (a friend of mine)... and we seem to be back on track.  

When I asked her how she thought residential would be better... she doesn't know.. I think she feels guilty that we are spending 3 hours a day driving her back and forth.  We tell her (and she knows) that we will do whatever it takes... but she still feels guilty.    

We haven't tackled dinner yet... give me strength

17 yr old d dx RAN in June 2013.   W/R in Jan. 2014; as of May 2014- independently and doing well.  Read more at Paula-Ponders.com
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ccmom_us
I am interested in this group as well. My D is 14 and entering a new high school in 2 weeks. She is showing some anxiety and smallish issues with eating lately-- Transitions are tough on our kids.
CCmom
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trusttheprocessUSA
I'd like to be included here too. My 15yr old son will be heading to high school in 3 weeks. He feels confident now but I'm anticipating REAL anxiety soon.
Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
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mec
Don't have much time to write about transitions but a HUGE transition for my d 2 years ago when she started 9th G, was eating in the cafeteria. She was overwhelmed by the numbers of people, the huge lines, the rush to get a table with her friends.

Girls, particularly, will prioritize finding a table to sit in rather than getting in line to get food. A solution to the choice between getting in line or getting a seat is to pack a lunch. A lot of kids bring a lunch so it isn't weird. Packing a lunch didn't work for d because there was no time in the morning for me to get it ready and d couldn't get it ready because hair, make up and clothes take SO much time!

The solution for d was to get food from the a la carte line, which is always empty because the food is much more expensive. A la carte basically means pizza, chicken nuggets, fried chicken sandwiches, fries, etc. In other words, the junk food line.
21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
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perdido
Count me in!
Maria, my d wrecked her Jeep the day after her birthday back in April, luckily it wasn't her birthday present and it was 13 years old. However we now share my van. We are in that area where we are planning for college but and it's a big one, she needs to be eating all meals independently and we plate them up right now.
We leave to go see Dr. Ravin in a couple of days and we are helping that she can give d the confidence to move forward.
Slow and steady
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gobsmacked_US
Just checking in, although it's too late for me to think clearly.

D is 16 1/2 and was weight restored over 2 1/2 years ago.

In some ways she's doing amazingly, and in other ways she is really struggling. Social anxiety is the worst for her, and not having friends means not taking necessary risks with food. The other day (when responding to a thread of Maria's) it occurred to me that she is emotionally more like an 11 or 12 year old.  She tried to keep up with the other kids her age for a while but ended up heartbroken and now just spends most of her time at home with her sister and her pet rats.

Our challenge is to get her out in the world more.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Signing up. My D is now 16, having been diagnosed at 13.5 years. We too are taking the long slow road to recovery. D is "kind of weight restored", in that she is above 90% of where she should be, but just can't get that last few kg. on. Looking back over the last three years I can see changes every year. First 12 months, I couldn't keep her out of hospital, crazy and sad. Second 12 months finally got to weight restored but suicidal depressed, led to some loss of weight to where she is now. Last 12 months, slowly becoming more social, starting to deal with issues, acknowledging at last that not eating is not an option but still completely unable to do this unsupervised. Still supervised meals at school, and everywhere else too. The road to independent eating for her is going to be very long. Has already recognised she will be going to university in home town (fortunately we live in a major city). Goal for this year: eating some meals on her own or with only peer support. 
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.
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Aussie
Count me in too! D just turned 15 on the 4/8. For the past 31/2 weeks relative calm...but I know ed is simmering away beneath the surface. This seems to be the pattern for us right now...a few weeks of calm then ed erupts in anger and frustration which leads to a meltdown of some sort either self harm, a return to purging or both. Have just received news today that a biomedical dr will take her on as a patient...first app made for the 21st of August.
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hopefulmama
Joy-these are such great ideas. I love the way you have provided your d with so much practical advice. Visiting the campus and the dining hall is brilliant. I know my girl also does better when she can plan ahead and not be surprised. You are helping her with all of this. Really good stuff! Thanks for sharing!
Enjoying my 23 year-old daughter's achievement of active recovery that was made possible by the resources and education I found on this forum.

Don't give up hope!
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MidWestMom

Occurs to me that there may be two separate threads here:  One for coping with High School and another for preparing for post-high school transition.    Right now, I can't think beyond what it will take to get her through HS.

17 yr old d dx RAN in June 2013.   W/R in Jan. 2014; as of May 2014- independently and doing well.  Read more at Paula-Ponders.com
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nevermorED
Great idea. My D is 16 and recovered. We are keeping her in therapy for a while to see how things go with the increased stress of junior year, 3 AP classes, trying to increase her socializing with peers. She is doing great but I would feel better if she took some more risks socially. I want to make sure she is able to deal without restricting before sending her away to college which I know is what she is hoping.
Mom to recovered RAN daughter, now age 18
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mec
Paula,

I started a thread about 1-2 years transition to college. Will bump it up.

Joy,  you don't have to delete your wonderful post but do you mind copying it to the transition thread? It is really good and has lots of great ideas towards transition.
21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
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mec
Here is the thread about eating lunch in the cafeteria, that I wrote 2 years ago, when my d started 9th grade.

http://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/From-the-recovery-files-I-overreacted-5464125

It's ironic because I SO overreacted in the 9th grade as a result of WAY under reacting when she was in the 6th Grade.
21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
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joysomeday
If any of the mod can move/copy my post to the Transitions to college thread I would appreciate. I have tried, but can't get it to work.

Thanks
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Disneymom
Count me in the 14-18 YO group.  Not sure if I should be in the transition to college thread or high school thread.  My daughter is 18 years old and graduated high school in June.  Original plan was to go to university in the fall, however the plan has changed once we realized how much she has been struggling.  We are now looking at residential as the next step.  She may also take some high school upgrading credits.  Next psychiatrist appointment is tomorrow.  We'll see how that goes.
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