how to react?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by change, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. change

    change New Member

    Hello Everyone,

    First, thanks for sharing everything. I can't believe I didn't find this site sooner. I've been looking on others and some were helpful, some totally O/T but fun until I read way to many "perfect children" get the drift.

    Anyway, wantd some advise on how to react to a rough situation tight now. My daughter (recently traumatized in the most horrible way you can think of) has a binge eating disorder that is triggered by stress and anxiety. She never totally has it under control but there have been patches of success with it. Recently, she "fell off the wagon" big time. This disorder is like being a drug addict. No consequence will stop them when they are on a binge. She has been caught numerous times over the years stealing food from other children, begs and pesters other children for $ and their food, etc.

    This time has been the worst ever. She has been outright taking food (like ice cream bars, etc.) from children at school right after they buy it and running away with it. She has alienated all of her closest friends (the few that she had) by "borrowing $" and never repaying it. Most embarrassing, she goes to an elite academy for an extracurricular program where they are very strict and I n ever thought she would get away with anything but she was recently caught rumamging through other girl's bags in search of food. They told on her to the principal of the school and she denied it of course with no evidence (because she ate it I guess). I told the principal everything about what had been going on (very difficult to do), she was understanding even though I thought they'd kick her out for the theft.

    Dilemma is that now an entire level (grade) of kids are gossiping a/b her (2 levels above hers, I think) and we are in a very uncomfrotable situation. These other children don't know of course about her issues and they have a right to be angry about her going through their things and taking their food.

    They whisper and point as we walk by or attend any kind of even held by the professional company.

    How should I react?

    We're under a tremendous amount of stress as it is and this is just icing on the putrid cake.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Welcome Change, I'm glad that you found us.

    Have you considered an inpatient clinic for your daughter? I am guessing that the stress of the classmates responses drives the anxiety up which in turn feeds the eating disorder. I just don't see how she could escape that cycle enough to deal with the underlying issues without being away from there.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    How to react? Oh this is hard. been there done that---so I know. I think all you can do is let your daughter know you love and support her and want to see her get better. That age is so tough. They are so easily upset by snubs from their peers. And when they have been violated by someone who is supposed to protect them, it only adds to the problems. I assume she is seeing a counselor/therapist? I don't know what to do about the school problems? Could you possibly pull her out and homeschool for a while? At least until this cycle of binging ends? Anyway, a big hug for what you are going through. And a big hug for your daughter who must be in such immense turmoil right now.
  4. AprilH

    AprilH Guest

    Hi there-
    Welcome to this forum...I'm so sorry you are going through this problem right now. The reality of it is this: kids are cruel in the worst way. It does not matter if they know the whole, true story about why your daughter is doing these things, they will still gossip about her, and that is a real shame. My son acts pretty eccentric at his school and in his classroom due to his ADD/ODD, and the entire class knows his issues. Are they compassionate? No, they try to egg him on and get him in trouble, which sadly has worked effectively time and again. I really don't know how you would go about tackling this situation with your daughter, for it is truly unique. I do think, however, that you should have a talk with the teacher, which it sounds as if you already did, and see if she can be more of an ally for your daughter. If she senses something is going to set your daughter off and get her to stealing food again, maybe she could send your daughter to the library or a resource room to have a few minutes to herself, maybe with the school counselor?

    And I'm sure since you mentioned your daughter has been through a terrible, traumatic experience not too long ago, she is seeing maybe a grief counselor or Psychological counselor? I'm sorry that you are having to face this situation and that your daughter is going through this. Does she have a favorite Aunt or grandparent that lives near? if so, maybe that favorite family member can have her visit for a weekend or for some time away? I hope those suggestions point you in the right direction. Everyone in here has a unique situation and a unique perspective that really gets me thinking about positive outcomes and ways to get there. Good luck to you and your daughter, she sounds like a really great, lovely girl!
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have an exSIL with bulimia. It is much harder to kick than her other addictions. It is also common in someone with sexual abuse. You have to deal with all the abuse BEFORE you can be very successful with the eating disorder.

    Your daughter is in a fight for her life. This eating disorder can and will cause very serious damage to her body. I, with great thought and care, strongly recommend seeking inpatient help followed by intensive outpatient help.

    Your daughter really doesn't have the strength to cope with the cruelty of other kids, or with learning about math, science, or other school subjects. She must FIRST fight to deal with the abuse and the eating disorder, then later, even MUCH later, she can learn math and science, etc....

    If she doesn't address the issues she won't heal. There is too much going on to NOT stop and focus on the really important stuff. School and other kids are less important.

    Please find inpatient help and let her heal. Even if you homeschool her to give her a break from the kids so she can heal, it can happen AFTER she gets a good grip on healing.

    I know it was very very tough to concentrate on my son's emotional and other disorders in lieu of school. I felt for a very long time I was hurting him by NOT pushing the academics as we first homeschooled.

    Another mom told me that as parents, homeschoolers, people, our FIRST job is to raise a good, productive human being. Academics, subjects, etc... are all secondary to that. We have to heal and build the person BEFORE the academics matter.

    I hope you find the right help very soon. I am sorry about your son. I know how it hurts when one of your children hurts the other. IT just about kills you, doesn't it? been there done that, and fought through it. You will find a way to cope, and to help.


  6. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hey Susie,
    I don't want to hijack this thread but wanted to say your advice is greatly appreciated--helping me keep some perspective regarding my difficult child 2 and school matters. You are so right!
  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree with Susie's advice.
    Until your daughter starts to deal with her trauma, then it will be very hard to sort out the eating disorder. And until the eating disorder settles down, it will be VERY hard for your daughter to cope in school, especially if the others are taunting her, gossiping and being cruel.

    Speaking from personal experience, eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia in my case) are a very tough nut. Until you get at the underlying situation, the eating disorder is an escape from the pain and turmoil inside.

    I think inpatient treatment and intensive therapy are the right way to go for your daughter.

    Sending hugs and prayers your way,
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    The eating disorder must be addressed - there is an underlying stressor pushing your difficult child to eat to this level. I noted that you adopted the siblings together & that difficult child son is no longer in the home.

    We have a very similar situation . kt's anxiety is, at times, through the roof & her eating is out of control. She steals, hoards, eats until she throws up & then goes back for more. On the other hand, like right now, kt is very controlled with her eating, almost to the point of not eating at all. We have no happy medium here.

    Eating disorders tend to be common in traumatized young women; stealing & hoarding food is common in traumatized, neglected adopted children. I don't know your difficult children hx so I just mention this.

    Either way, your difficult child needs treatment. How do you react - like a warrior mum getting your child every intervention you can at this time. The other people can be understanding or not - I don't care. You hold your head high because you know you're a good mother who is doing her best to help her traumatized child. A traumatized child with a very serious disorder. Not unlike cancer or diabetes or any number of other walk a thons we support every year.

    Your difficult children behaviors are frightening to the other children most likely; they go home & tell mum & dad who get angry.

    Seriously, sweetie, get your difficult child some help. The only reaction that needs to changes is the others - their need for education.
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I have nothing to add to the others' wonderful advice, but wanted to add my welcome.
  10. change

    change New Member

    Thank you everyone. I'm crying right now...literally. Don't know why. Susie & both "hit the nails on the head".

    We can't homeschool but I'll be off for sumemr and can giv ethat kind of attention then.

    I HAVE been considering an inpatient program for the binge eating. I'm not sure how to go about it. We don't have much suppost from the resources for those programs (Post-Adopt, Insurance, etc.) and we're middle income.

    I appreciate all of your advise very much and take it to heart very much. I need advise from others who have been there done that.

  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    change, here's a link to a National eating disorders organization. It looks like there's a lot of resources available at the site, including information about treatment centers and how to advocate for insurance coverage.

    I would suggest starting by making an appointment for you alone with her pediatrician to ask for a referral. You may be referred to a GI specialist first before inpatient is considered but that's the place to start. Unless you live in an urban area you may have to travel out but there are some benefits to that.

    Your family has been through a lot and I hope you'll move on this now and not wait until summer. Her problems will likely only worsen with the stress of peers.

    Hang in there.
  12. dizzymum

    dizzymum Sarah

    Hello Change. My sympathies for you and your daughter.

    This is such a hard thing to deal with. I have been there done that myself. It is so hard to organise your feelings at that age.

    I found starving myself helped mask over the sick feeling in my gut. I didn't set out to starve, it wasn't about being thin or achieving a certain look or control. Being hungry is painful. I imagine being full to the brim makes you feel pretty sick too, so maybe it's a different end of the same stick?

    I would say the pain/high of hunger is like music..... the feelings from the abuse are like listening to your neighbours stereo blasting 24/7. The only way to tune it out is to play your own CD so loud that you can't hear any more from next door.

    It was important for me to KNOW, not lip service, but know that I did not have a flourescent sign over my head saying... do what you want, I have no say... and to recognise that this person had his own problems and he chose to inflict them on to me. It just happened to be where I was born and there was nothing about me that invited that sort of treatment. It gave me my voice back and the ability to defend myself and feel validated in doing so. It took me along time because I limped with it for years before breaking. Your daughter has the chance now. Well done. I wish you strength, courage and wisdom. :peaceful: