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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lluka
My 19 yr old AN daughter is in stage 2 of FBT. She is “technically” weight restored and now, we are feeding for the brain. She is working 30 hours per week, has a boyfriend, lives at home with us, and is generally happy (and medicated). So, she is moving forward. 
My question is....at what point does she become trustworthy?? She has been telling me snippets of the sneaky things she used to do (driving down to our waterfront after meals and vomiting, not eating anything for days etc etc). I feel physically shattered when she tells me this stuff, but i just listen. She tells me this stuff randomly. But the more she tells me, the more i feel like i cant trust her. (I feel bad saying that) Because if she was being deceitful then, she could be being deceitful now??? She still says how she would love to be that weight again, but she knows that she cant because our Doc and FBT weigh her each week, and that I would know. 
Does the brain, with regular food, eventually just “know” that that weight is too low?? I want to trust her but am
terrified of going backwards, especially knowing she still wants to be thin. 
TIA. I love this group so much. I feel like im on the edge of a cliff constantly. Thanks for listening
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Foodsupport_AUS
It may be that she never truly lets go of wanting to be thinner. It is after all a common trope in society at large as well. Hopefully however she is practicing every day that she doesn't want to feel like she used to feel. It is this that helps many kids avoid going backwards. They still have thoughts and ideas about doing things like in the past, but they have that realisation that they can't and don't want to go back there. At 19 she should be slowly increasing her weight as is normal at this age. If she is managing to do this well then of course that is half the battle. The more she practices the better she will get, and the more she will avoid going backwards. 
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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Enn
The more she practices the better she will get, and the more she will avoid going backwards. 

👆
I fully agree with everything  that Foodsupport has written. It is a practice of good nutrition and not falling into the trap that is the key. It can come subconsciously for some and others need to be conscious of the choice for health every time they eat. It also depends how long she has been well and keeping well to see what  happens with her brain. 
It must have felt awful to hear what she was doing. Great job on remaining quiet. It is frightening how their minds work and of course I understand not trusting her(ED) right now. 
I am still,  at 2 years in, on the hunt for ED in everything she says and does. It is the trauma we have had that shapes our brain and thoughts too. 
Please take time to savour that she is well and your love and care for her  got her there! 
You have done an amazing job! 
Big hug!
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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ValentinaGermania
With time you learn to trust her again when she shows you in her mood and behaviour that she can be trusted. We are in year 3 now and on normal days I can trust her 100%. I dare to say that because there were a lot of occasions where she could have betrayed or not tell us the truth and she did not. She even reminds me about snacks or more food when I "forget" it today.

On bad days, tricky days, stressy days I do not trust her 100% and she knows that and finds it helpful today. She knows that when she struggles I will be alert and check all and that helps her not to give in in case the ED voice is there again.

My d is 19,5 and also in stage 2. It takes a lot of time to say that they are "recovered". If someone asks me I always say she is "in recovery".

"She still says how she would love to be that weight again, but she knows that she cant because our Doc and FBT weigh her each week, and that I would know."
I think that was the case one year ago here too (one year after WR) but now that is different. If you would ask my d today she will say that she NEVER wants to go back to the dark days and the low weight and all the AN stress and if she sees anorexic people today for example in public transport she says that she really struggles to NOT go to them and shake them and tell them not to throw their lives away.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Enn
lluka wrote:
 She has been telling me snippets of the sneaky things she used to do (driving down to our waterfront after meals and vomiting, not eating anything for days etc etc). I feel physically shattered when she tells me this stuff, but i just listen. She tells me this stuff randomly. But the more she tells me, the more i feel like i cant trust her. (I feel bad saying that)


Don't feel bad. 
I just read your post again, and to be quite frank, she did not need to be so honest with you at this point in time to tell you what she did. You never would have known otherwise. I am not saying you should trust her 100% right now but this was a confession, so to speak. I wonder if ED is trying to warn to by telling you her ED tricks so that you can keep her safe and can watch out for her. She is letting you in on  her thought process. If my d told me something like that, (and she did) I would watch out and keep her away from the waterfront. 
My d used to tell me, "you put so much juice in the cup. No one drinks that much!" well, that was her way of letting me know she was throwing out her juice as soon as I turned away. She would say she was drinking in the other room watching Netflix then run to the toilet and dump it! I learned big time with that one!

So, I would consider using her random thoughts/conversations about her ED, as an ED thermometer to tell you how she is doing and what she needs. Use it to your advantage. I know you are upset, it is so shocking and terrifying but she did not have to tell you and she did. She is becoming more honest and open about her ED and that is a gift to you. It will help you monitor and follow her progress by being wiser. 
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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lluka
Thankyou for all your responses. Maybe because im the main caregiver for my daughter, im sometimes too close to her situation to make rational decisions and see clearly. Thankyou for helping me see😊. 
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Enn

I think you are doing splendidly! 

This is an illness that reaches far and deep and affects everyone around them, especially their main caregivers. I always found it helpful to put my worries on the forum to give me perspective and/or just  for a shoulder to cry on. I always felt that seeing other's points of view helped me. 
I do hope that we can provide that for you in a way you need that is good for you.

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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teecee
She obviously trusts you to be able to open up and be honest. Communication was a huge issue with our D and something that has been completely transformed in a positive way. We have open and honest conversations and yes sometimes it is hard to hear but necessary for them to talk about. 
I would look at the fact she is opening up as a real positive and not let it scare you in to thinking she’s going backwards. Let’s face it...she could just keep quiet if she was going to be deceitful....this could be the start of better communication between you. Embrace it! Xxx
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melstevUK
lluka,

I think that this is the start of the recovery process - when my d finally started to be able to open up and explain about her feelings around the illness, it was very much the start of this.  It did not mean that, at that point, she was able to actually change her eating habits or put on weight, but it did mean she was able to start separating herself from the illness, recognize its hold, understand what she needed to do to recover, and yet still could not face gaining the weight.  But being able to open up about what had been going on was a big step in the right direction.

Remember too that, while she is weight restored for the age she is at, your d needs to go on putting on weight and growing and developing right into the mid-twenties.  And although she can rationally recognize what she needs to do, she still may not be able to do it independently (eat enough to keep putting on weight, eating through anxious times, fight the illness enough to eat when she knows she should but simply cannot resist the urge to restrict).

I think you need to 're-frame' the situation and focus less on if you can trust her - but rather are you able to leave her unmonitored and unsupervised and able to manage totally on her own?  I think it is unlikely.

In your shoes I would tell her that you are happy that she is finally able to confide in how things used to be, that it is painful to hear how much she must have suffered, but that you will always be there to support her.  Express your feelings that you still need to be involved in staying abreast of what and how she is eating but that this is because you love her, know how serious the illness is, and want her to feel she can keep working with you to ensure that she finally reaches a stage in life when she will be properly free from her illness.

I assume the boyfriend knows about her illness  - but at the age she is at it is a huge responsibility to place on him in terms of monitoring her eating.  Which is why you need to keep that door open between you and your d and start to work together to support her through the next stages.

You have both done well to get this far.  And d is doing well in terms of having a normal life in spite of the illness.  That is a huge achievement and very necessary to totally defeat it.

Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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lluka
Thankyou. I have no idea where I would get this first-hand information from, if it wernt for Feast care-givers. 🙏🏻
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ValentinaGermania
That is why all parents should be prescribed to come around here 😁...
No therapist can help you with these questions because they never lived with an AN patient 24/7 (at least in most cases).
ATDT is a life saver.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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kazi67
Just a word of caution from me and I don’t want to seem negative (because I am a very positive person, even after the 3 years of hell we’ve had)
my d was the most honest trustworthy girl and we had a very good, close relationship 

everytime we thought she was doing really well was right before each of her 3 hospital admissions 
(I think my d had a particularly sneaky strain of AN??) 
so unfortunately I find it VERY hard to trust her or should I say the AN

so long as your d is continuing to gain and if she is being monitored by her “team” then you more than likely are able to trust her 
just don’t take your finger off the pulse is my suggestion, as I’m sure you do even at 19

it sounds like your d is going very well in her recovery though, with  working and getting on with life 👍
That’s really good to hear!  Great job!
Just be mindful of any stresses etc can  sometimes trigger the ED thoughts and as we know recovery isn’t linear 
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lluka
Yes, Im hearing you. Thankyou
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