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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ed_newbie
Last night was a tough one.  

D's grandfather passed away about 10 weeks ago while she was in rapid weight loss mode and before AN diagnosis.  Although she appeared sad/upset at his funeral services she didn't say a lot about it and hasn't talked about it much since. 

We are now about 5 weeks into re-feeding and d has gained about 18 of 24 lost pounds. Although ed voice is still strong it has shown signs of waning while her mood has been improving and we see more of her old personality shining through each day.

We visited deceased grandfather's wife this past weekend (d's "step" grandma) and it had a great impact on d.  Last night she said she was upset at us for taking her there and making her go inside the house instead of letting her wait in the car.  All the grief and sadness suddenly came rushing out in a flood of tears at bedtime last night.  It was almost as if she couldn't remember him (what he looked like, the sound of his voice, when she last saw him, etc.) and needed reassurance and reminders about her relationship with him.

It suddenly occured to me that she may have been in such a numb state during her starvation that she literally couldn't feel the pain of his passing until now that the numbness is fading and all of her emotions are at a boiling point.

Has anyone had similar experiences?  Old painful moments or pent up issues coming to the surface during recovery as if they were being experienced for the first time?

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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Colleen
I'm so sorry you're going through ED recovery AND the loss of your d's grandpa.

I think you are right that she was numb at the time of his death. The body shuts down non-essential functions when there isn't enough energy coming in, and emotions are the first to go. It's why sufferers with pre-morbid anxiety feel better when they are restricting.

Laying down memories is another energy-intensive venture. It takes a number of redundant things going on to put something into long-term memory. It's why our kids don't remember a lot about refeeding.

The important thing here is to make sure she keeps eating. First, so she can continue to recover. And second, as a lesson that no matter what happens in life, she will need to be able to eat sufficiently. There will be sad and stressful times in life. Neurotypical people may lose their appetite when they are sad and nothing else happens. They lose weight, they gain it back later. When you have the genetics for ED and you lose weight, BOOM. Now you are dealing with depression AND ED - way more complicated and unnecessary.

Keep up her nutrition and empathize with her feelings. I am sending you virtual emotional superstrength!
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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ed_newbie
Thanks Colleen.  Yes, the point about being able to eat sufficiently when things go wrong is a tough one as it seems ed will use any excuse to declare "no eating because x,y,z happened".  

Trying to teach our kids how to cope with difficult events during the teen years isn't easy even without the AN thoughts in the mix but it sure is a lot tougher when you've got this illness along for the ride. 

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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K63
Hi ed-newbie, the first summer just as our d was diagnosed with anoxeria was just horrendous for us her parents and her siblings , it's over 20 months ago a few weeks ago we her sister and I were out walking and we mentioned that summer she had no recollection of that period of time. My other d and ii still talk about it . It will be etched in our brain forever she was in a state of starvation and had no recollection of it. . Hope your d will continue her recovery it's difficult coping with the loss of a loved one as well.
Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
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ed_newbie
Thank you K63. I think she actually forgets visiting him in the hospital when he was ill. I need to show pictures to prove to her that she did in fact see him and talk to him and hug him before he passed. So sad.

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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