Thursday 10 March 2011

Casualties of 'Ed Rage'...

Every morning I drive Ben to the bus stop to catch the bus to school. And this morning when he chucked his school bags into the back of the car, I reminded him to put them in the car boot (trunk) instead. Why? Because driving Ben to the bus stop in the Bad Old Days of High Anorexia used to be an altogether different experience... 12 months ago Ben dreaded going to school. He dreaded everything to do with school and dreaded being with everyone in it. Virtually every morning was a battle to get him to the bus. And virtually every morning he'd explode into a massive 'Ed Rage' which meant verbal abuse en route to the bus stop, usually lots of tears and finally the violent slamming of the rear passenger car door as the incredibly distressed 16 year old slunked off down the hill to the bus stop. My car door has never recovered...

Getting teenagers ready for school is a nightmare at the best of times. But getting an anorexia teenager ready for school is a million times worse. Every single morning was a battle. Not 'your usual' teenage battle, but something altogether worse and much, much darker. Even before we left the house we'd have screaming matches and I'd invariably drive back home in tears, unable to cope with the morning ahead - and definitely unable to work.

Within an hour or so I'd get the first text. Sometimes it would be on my mobile; other times it would be one of those sinister 'robotic' voices you get when voice texts on the land line. I used to dread the phone ringing and the voice robotically saying: "You have received a voice text from 077XXX XXXXXX. Voice text received on the Blah, Blah date."... by which time my levels of dread were rising rapidly... followed by the robotic text along the lines of "I can't go on like this" or similar...

Here's what happened on Monday 8th March 2010 (almost one year ago to the day!!!):

The following is from my diary...

Crisis day - last day at school and the day I crashed the dinner plates on the kitchen floor, the tension was so much after getting 22 distressing texts and 2 phone calls from Ben at school, being faced with the pack lunch I'd given him (we'd given up on school dinners after he'd walked out of the dining hall, unable to make the choice of what to eat) - followed by the prospect of a burger for the evening meal (too many carbs!!)

I also discovered that although Ben had told me that he'd PUT ON WEIGHT at the last CAMHS weigh-in, he'd actually put on NO weight...

Ben text: I can't eat the bagel and have a burger tonight.

My reply: Eat it. CAMHS told me today you put on no weight last week.

Ben text: I can't do it!

My reply: Eat it.

Ben text: No! There's way too much and the chicken's really fatty.

My reply: Then I'll call dad!

Ben text: It's too much!

My reply: It's what you asked for. Eat it.

Ben text: It's simple. If you want me to eat lunch don't give me something that stresses me out!

My reply: Eat it!

Ben text: Too big and too late now!

My reply: (No reply)

Ben text: I can't stand this!!!

My reply: Go to medical. Ask if I can get you. [Medical was an agreed 'bolt hole' for Ben to escape to, although he often texted me from the boys' toilets rather than 'brave' the Medical Centre.]

Ben text: I'm in medical.

My reply: Ask if I can get you.

Ben text: What am I gonna do? I've had my Quorn things and pud yet I haven't had quite enough yet it's too late to have anything and yet I'm having a big tea tonight so really I have had enough.

My reply: Eat bagel. You said you'd put on weight on Friday and you hadn't.

Ben text: Bagel's too much and like I said it's too late.

My reply: (No reply)

Ben text: And I've had the Quorn and pud.

My reply: (No reply)

Ben text: I hate this feeling!!!

My reply: Talk to the medical staff. See if I can come and get you.

Ben text: What's happening then?

My reply: Talk to the medical staff.

Ben text: Have 

My reply: Did she say you could go home? Need her OK for you to go home. And I don't want you to go to yoga [at school tonight] if you stay. Get bus if she says no.

Ben text: Nothing's been said. And that friggin' bagel's ruined my day more than it was already.

My reply: (No reply)

Ben text: F*** it! I can't stand this! Too confusing! Have I had enough? Have I done enough? Should I go home? Am I doing enough for it? Is tea too big? Was my lunch too big? Why am I doing nothing? Is it too late to eat? Was what I had for lunch actually the right amount? Should I eat more? Why do people distance me? Will I ever be normal?

My reply: (No reply - stress gets too much and I deliberately smash a dinner plate on the kitchen floor and end up in floods of tears.)

Ben text: If you're not coming, I'm going to yoga.

My reply: OK, but only if you promise to be nice to me.

Ben text: [towards the end of school day] To be honest I don't know or care what's right or wrong any more.

My reply: I'm coming now. Be in car park at 4.15.

Ben text: No!!!

Plus two phone calls along similar lines. This was followed by an evening of ultra distress as he fell apart when faced with the ciabatta he was supposed to have with his burger. Eventually he calmed down and I decided to take him out of school for the time being.

How things have changed since then!!!! He's like a different boy!

Well, he IS a different boy.

The car door is never slammed - and (touch wood!) the only texts and phone calls I get are really nice ones!

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