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To not want to deal with her ED again

(131 Posts)
Strawberryshortcake40 Thu 19-Jan-17 09:53:44

I know it's all part of a parent and I should suck it up but I just don't think I have the strength.

DD is 14. She was diagnosed with anorexia July 2015. Was off school for 9 months while I battled to get her better. Home recovery is pushed rather than hospital as the recovery rates are higher. It was the worst 9 months of my life. I had to drop lots of work, try and keep my business afloat whilst dealing with a seriously ill child. Mentally and physically. It was so bad I still have flashbacks, fortunately she retains little memory of it all. Slowly she got well and I got my life back a bit. My other DC started to relax and enjoy life again.

She's ill again. She has dropped a ton of weight since last month, all the behaviours are back. I've just searched her room and found a massive carrier bag full of rotting food in her wardrobe.

I don't want this again, I know that's unreasonable but I've tried so hard to get my life on track and have a happy family again. I'm divorced, there's only me to keep all of us okay. I just don't think I can

User1234567891011 Thu 19-Jan-17 09:57:27

Its hard but you are her mother, you need to help her. Just remember she is not doing this on purpose and it cannot be helped, just like any other MH disorder.

It will be hard but at least you know she has the capacity to get better again, its just keeping her on that track flowers

Thefitfatty Thu 19-Jan-17 09:57:53

YANBU to not want to deal with it. Who would want to deal with it? Sadly it looks like you have to though. sad flowers

shumway Thu 19-Jan-17 10:00:55

If she has relapsed then maybe a stay in a unit or hospital where she can get the relevant help would be more beneficial? Speak to your doctor.

Grapeeatingweirdo Thu 19-Jan-17 10:02:20

Relapses happen and they are relatively common. I understand how crap it must feel as the parent of an ED sufferer. I had anorexia from 19 to 25 (I'm 32 and consider myself to be pretty much recovered these days) but it was very scary for my mum and I don't think she handled it well at all.

You're an amazing mum and your daughter will always remember what you sacrificed to get her well last time. Also, don't think that this means your efforts went unrecognised or unrewarded. You kept your child alive to get to this moment.

She needs specialist care and therapy but most of all, she needs to know that her mum still has her back. Please, whatever you do, don't show her how annoyed and upset you are. She's ill and, however it may appear, she didn't choose this.

I didn't choose to weigh only a few stone, to have gnawing hunger that was painful or to hate my life so much I just wanted to die. It's awful watching the world around you enjoy themselves, be healthy and eat well and not know why you don't seem to be allowed or able to do the same thing.

I really feel your pain, as I can see this from my own DM's perspective these days, being I'm much older.

Hang in there and call the professionals, whether she wants you to or not. Even if she denies it and says she's OK.

I must reiterate what an amazing parent I think you are. You saved her life last time she was ill and your obvious love for her and strength will get her through this. If you or DD want to PM me, I will be here to listen and try and help.

Strawberryshortcake40 Thu 19-Jan-17 10:03:00

Hospital stays are not really the norm for this anymore. She will have to be a lot more ill.

Probably at the stage where my youngest is scared her sister will kill her. Or I can't leave her to have a shower else she will be exercising compulsively.

Yes it's a mental health issue and she can't help it. I get that. But when I can't work or pay the bills that won't help.

willconcern Thu 19-Jan-17 10:03:22

It sounds truly dreadful for you all. flowers

Can you access help and support for you while you go through this? I just did a quick google search and found

www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/parent-family-friends-network

Good luck OP

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Thu 19-Jan-17 10:04:34

You are obviously a very dedicated parent who is just having that 'oh god not again' moment when you see it all starting up again. And it sounds like your own strength to deal with it is being sapped from the last time around.

People don't have infinite strength and resources to cope when their children have MH issues, caring for someone with MH difficulties as intractable as anorexia can end up making the carer themselves ill.

Given she is back on the downward slide again, is there anything you can practically do? Go back to the treatment team earlier rather than waiting? Get support yourself? It's very hard when you are a single parent.

I know you will pick yourself up off the floor and deal with it, but I don't blame you for wanting to lie there and howl for a while.

Strawberryshortcake40 Thu 19-Jan-17 10:05:43

I am cross. I can't help it. She has said for months that she got more attention when she had anorexia. So we have all been doing our utmost to give her attention. I don't even want to think about the money I have spent on special food treats she's asked for, that seem to be in this bag!!

That makes me sound selfish I know, I just don't know how to cope with it again.

Strawberryshortcake40 Thu 19-Jan-17 10:07:11

My dr diagnosed me with PTSD last Oct because of all of this. I've tried really hard to get better myself because I'm aware how much my DC need me. But I'm a long way from well enough to cope with this.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Thu 19-Jan-17 10:08:58

That's really hard for you and miserable for your daughter too. My eldest sister had anorexia in her teens and I remember how awfully it affected my mum and the whole family.
It sounds as though you need support. Is there any help available for you? Support groups? Would your dd attend counselling sessions? My sister was referred to counselling through our Gp. It's difficult because your dd has to want help, I know it's such a secretive illness. Perhaps start up a conversation with her asking how things are, you've noticed she's not been herself lately, rather than confronting her with the bag of food?

There are a lot of horrible pro-anorexia websites followed by mainly young girls and their perspective can be skewed by these. It would be worth keeping an eye on her online activity just in case.

I'm sorry I can't offer more advice. Your dd may not succumb to full blown anorexia, it may just be a minor set back but obviously you can't ignore the signs.

Strawberryshortcake40 Thu 19-Jan-17 10:11:13

Support in our area is virtually non existent. We did it before. All that got her better was eating. It sounds simple but it wasn't. It literally meant hours spent at the table watching every mouthful and then searching her afterwards. Oh and taking the bathroom door off. Happy times hmm

ChasedByBees Thu 19-Jan-17 10:11:38

I'm so sorry flowers

Rixera Thu 19-Jan-17 10:12:27

She probably doesn't know how to cope either. And please try to avoid sending her to a unit, all you learn there are new tricks to fight weight gain with, new people to compete with.

I know it's shit, which is why you need support but it's also shit for her to live with this nightmare in her head. I used to hoard food too. I didn't want to, I didn't think it was some great idea to keep food until it rotted and stank out the room but the terror if I didn't have the food was overwhelming, second only to the terror if I ate it.

I also was terrified of upsetting people by being anorexic. Again, second only to the terror of NOT being anorexic. For the sufferer, you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. And for the carer, you're just stuck watching them. It's not fun for anyone. But it also can't be helped. If your daughter had a physical health problem and relapsed would you really be angry with her? You'd surely be as frustrated, exhausted and upset but you wouldn't blame them.

Strawberryshortcake40 Thu 19-Jan-17 10:14:09

I literally have nobody I can share this with. The friends who helped me through last time are in shock too, we all fought so hard.

My youngest DC is home ill today. She's sobbing on the sofa, scared her sister will start hurting her again or that she will die this time. How can I tell her that won't happen, she's only 9 sad

amusedbush Thu 19-Jan-17 10:15:26

You don't sound selfish, OP, you just sound wrung out.

I have bulimia, I've suffered with it since I was a young teenager and I'm now 26. It's so hard on my husband as well as me when I relapse because I'm sneaky and I lie to him, I feel utterly miserable and powerless and he bears the brunt of it. It's awful.

You're allowed to be angry at how unfair it is. Remember that your daughter doesn't want to be ill though.

Rixera Thu 19-Jan-17 10:18:28

Well you do, you have MN. There are also support groups, irl and online.

Have you spoken and explained it to your Dd2? 9 isn't a baby, she can understand. I've prepared to explain to my DD in age appropriate words if I relapse because it's always on the table (ha) as much as I would rather it wasn't. I also had to explain to my 8 year old niece why I needed to see a doctor every week. It's not as scary when it's not a big unknown.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 19-Jan-17 10:23:03

I am sorry, you must be beside yourself.

ClaryIsTheBest Thu 19-Jan-17 10:23:16

I don't know what to say

But of course YANBU.

Nobody would suggest you were being unreasonable if this was, for example, cancer.

Your daughter is sick. And I think it must be awful to know that she is the one putting her life and health in danger and yet she can't just switch it off...

So, not sure what to say. But YANBU.

flowers

Grapeeatingweirdo Thu 19-Jan-17 10:24:24

You have our support OP, we are here for you and DD. Use us as your network of people to rant and cry to.

ClaryIsTheBest Thu 19-Jan-17 10:25:15

Your DD2 is scared DD1 will hurt herself or hurt her sister?

I think that's an important distinction to make and from the phrasing it sounds like she's hurting DD2? Which can't be accepted. But maybe I misunderstood, my English isn't that good...

Strawberryshortcake40 Thu 19-Jan-17 10:25:43

I've explained to youngest DD. It's something we live with constantly, we all eat regular snacks (even when we don't want to) eat the kind of foods DD needs. It's been a constant battle to keep the weight on as she has hyper metabolism now.

But she's scared. And I get that. I get that my DD with the ed is scared too, I have tried so hard to understand this and her. Read the books, spent hours doing the research.

I thought she was recovered and it's come back. I need to get my head round that. Phone the Drs and therapists (£90 a time!), speak to school and my clients. Put on my battle dress again.

Strawberryshortcake40 Thu 19-Jan-17 10:27:52

DD used to threaten to kill her little sister (and me too). Anorexia makes the sufferer very violent. I was attacked often. Slept with the dog to protect me a few times.

It's hard to explain what it's like when your own child looks in your eyes and tells you she plans to kill you. Yes I know it's the illness. But you never ever forget that.

Or the times she tried to kill herself.

Grapeeatingweirdo Thu 19-Jan-17 10:29:25

Threats to kill should be taken extremely seriously. I'd be insisting on a hospital stay. She clearly needs expert care and for the brain imbalance to be sorted. Anorexia starves the brain as well.

Branleuse Thu 19-Jan-17 10:30:35

Anorexia is really prevalent amongst undiagnosed autistic girls. Is there a chance this might be another angle to look at because it might partly explain the unpredicatble violence

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