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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Rebecca67
My adult daughter has been through in patient and out patient treatment and has been doing well but has had a set back. I seem to always say "the wrong thing" and then she won't talk to me but I don't know what it is that I'm saying that shuts her down. Does anyone have just helpful suggestions on how to re-engage a recovering person? 
She knows I love her and I tell her "I'm always here for you." So she knows that too. I just wish she would talk to me. She's not talking to anyone that I know of. She is not talking with a counselor anymore because as she puts it, ..."I don't have time and can't afford it." I've told her I will pay for it but then it goes back to "when would I do it?" She has a full time job and a part time job and is over-stressed. She is a perfectionist and feels like a failure at so many things so telling her she needs to quit her job is like telling her to add one more thing to her list of things I failed at.
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Enn

Welcome,
I do hope you find the support and information you need to help your d. 
What you describe is so common. I also wanted to say some soothing things to my d, but she would never want me to be part of her ED or get into her head. But my d is only 14 now (11 at diagnosis). Does she look to you to help her and then gets upset as you have said the "wrong thing"? I am just trying to ascertain exactly what is going on. 
You mention she is recovering, do you feel she is eating well?  You mention a "set back". May I inquire what that entails? And is there a way to get her back to therapy/professional help?

I am not sure there is anything that will calm her to be honest. 
Does she live with you? 

Please ask all the questions you have. 
I know others that have adult children will be here soon. 

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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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum, sorry that you have had to find your way here. 

I think it is really common for people with eating disorders not to want to engage or discuss it. My D still struggles to talk about it. I think the not having time to see people go over things/ get check ups is also very common. She is working two jobs, is that actually necessary for her financially or is it a way to avoid having to deal with things? It is no wonder that she is stressed if working well over full time. 

Overall one of the best skills I have learned along the way is to not tell her what to do eg. quit her job. It may actually be better to talk to her about her stresses, how she is finding time to do things etc. and then ask her to problem solve herself. So when she talks to you about how she is under stress, let her know that you have heard this and ask her how she thinks she could improve it. Most people buy in better to their own decisions rather than someone else's.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Rebecca67
She doesn't look to me unfortunately but when I ask and try to listen and then when I don't know what to say that's wrong but if I try to encourage or suggest anything that's wrong.
She battles with bulimia and was eating well and then she shared with her dad that she was having ED behavior again. She texted me that she was sorry she didn't tell me. I told her that was okay and I was so happy that she talked with her dad. I have tried to connect with her but she is not opening up to me. She is not living with us. She lives with 2 other friends.
I have encouraged her to get back to a counselor but she comes back with no time and no money excuses.
Thanks for reaching out. I know I am not alone but live in a small Colorado town where there are no ED support groups so just being able to bounce things off someone else who has gone through or is going through this is helpful.
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Rebecca67
That is such great advice. Nobody likes to be told what to do. It's asking the right questions to encourage her to come to decisions about that is healthy for her that is challenging. Thanks for the encouragement. I truly appreciate it.
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Rebecca67
What are some good problem solving questions that encourage self care? I know that's a basic question but I am finding it difficult to come up with the right words. She also doesn't want me to be "her counselor" so asking her how she is feeling is not always a great question either. How do you say "How does that make you feel?" without saying it that way? 
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Foodsupport_AUS
It can be really hard to come up with things that are not scripted. I find it hard to find the right time to raise things with my D- it is of course always best to raise it when she is receptive and it is relevant. Then things just fall into the conversation. Talking about future plans can be helpful, things that are worrying her or causing her problems can give opportunity - I find it best to balance things and not always throw ED into the conversation - in the main because then she just shuts things out completely. The other side of the coin is sometimes you see something that is really concerning - at that point I think it is best to just come out and say I am concerned for you.....They can brush it aside but most of the time they are also hearing it too.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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ValentinaGermania
Part of the problem might be that you do not say the wrong things but totally true things but she does not know how to change that. The perfectionism is normal with ED and she does not know how to be perfect at one side and do some self care at the other.
Is she living far away from you? Would it help to tell her that YOU need to do something for yourself (like yoga lessons) and ask her if she wants to join you (like doing a mother-daughter thing once a week)?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Enn
I would fully agree with Foodsupport_AUS here. I don’t feel that you need to be her counsellor.
I recall someone recently calling this part of our jobs a ‘adulting’ and helping to guide their thoughts to a place we wish them to settle. 
My oldest d has issues with emotional dysregulation and I have found it so hard to navigate. When she is behind on schoolwork and frets, I have a difficult time not saying ‘ well what did you expect if you went out last night’. I am working with a model of communication called SET.
Acknowledging her upset no  with judgment, I try to reframe and ask her to come u
with solutions or sue just needs to vent and I have had to learn to say nothing.
https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/i-hate-you-dont-leave-me/201701/talking-bpd%3famp
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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Enn
I have also used the opportunity to redirect her thoughts when she is discussing a friend’s situation. When she mentions an issue with her friends and it is similar to her, I just say’ what do you think about that?’ I hope in those moments she can see an issue more objectively and then think about her own current situation. 
Parenting is tough and Ed on top of that is well, you know, (sigh)
sending a 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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sk8r31
Great ideas above on how to engage with an adult d from both Foodsupport & scaredmom.  I wonder if you would also find it helpful to read Tabitha Farrar's blogs?  She's an eating disorders recovery coach for adults.  Your d may or may not be receptive to reading her blogs or listening to her podcasts, but if so, I think it would be helpful.  And you can gain some insight from reading/listening yourself.
One other resource that may be useful for your d is Project HEAL.  Somewhat similar to F.E.A.S.T. resources for families with a loved one with an ED.  They are a terrific organization, offering peer mentorship.  Your d may be open to exploring the wonderful support they can provide.
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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Alwaysthere
The lack of communication is still the hardest part of this disease for me and my family, especially because we are so close. I did discover though that my sister decided to confide in a couple of close friends and they were the one's who really helped motivate her, maybe because the advice was coming from a peer rather then a family member and seemed less nagging, that it worked better for her? I'm not sure if you know who her close friends are, but if you do, it might be worth talking with one of them and ask them to try and help encourage her.

<3
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And_bet
In my case, I could only speak with my psychologist. Although, I was skeptical about her work. Neither my parents nor my friends knew about my problems. I always thought it was uninteresting for others cause they have their own problems. And at the same time, I really needed some support. The advice I can give parents and friends is to be supportive, not judgemental. Simple questions like how was your day and how do you fill can build trust between people.
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mommiful
Rebecca67 wrote:
What are some good problem solving questions that encourage self care? I know that's a basic question but I am finding it difficult to come up with the right words. She also doesn't want me to be "her counselor" so asking her how she is feeling is not always a great question either. How do you say "How does that make you feel?" without saying it that way? 


"How are things going for you?" seems to work for my young adult daughter. She can decide to answer about her recovery of stuff in general. If I notice that she looks upset/sad/anxious, I'll sometimes ask about that: "You look upset. Is something bothering you?" She'll often start off with some incident at work or worries about a friend, then mention some ED thing that's on her mind, too. This has started only recently, as we've been working out ways to talk to each other.

I've gotten a lot of messages along the lines of "It's not helpful when you say that" over the years. I ask what would be helpful, and I try to remember to use that again later. The basic idea is not to try to fix her or tell her what to do. Instead, she likes it when I talk genuinely and positively about how I'm feeling: I'm so proud of everything you've done [on your recovery] in the past few months. It was so nice to have dinner with you. I'm so relieved not to feel I need to worry about you all the time anymore. When I am worried about her, I try not to bring that up too often, but I will pick a moment to bring up the difficult stuff, too: I've been noticing [behavior] seems to be coming up again. Are you ok? That works better when there's already a good baseline of communication.


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