Back on the 15th December, if you remember, I was worried sick that Ben was heading for a relapse - or worse. He admitted that he was considering suicide and then there was that effing and blinding with the private psychologist when he refused to cooperate with treatment. Later that afternoon I curled up in my bed, in the dark, and sobbed my eyes out, worried sick that we were heading for a relapse - and if we did, that there would be no-one to help us, because Ben is over 18 and legally allowed to make his own decisions.
One of the reasons why Ben is so
sceptical about further treatment is because he'd established such an
excellent relationship with his CAMHS psychiatrist (despite my own ups and
downs with CAMHS over the two years we were with them).
He feels that no-one can possibly understand like she did. She'd become almost like a close
friend. To him, she is the only person who could help him; the only person whose advice and suggestions he would listen to. To Ben, her word was gospel in an eating disorder world where it's so damn difficult to get through to your child. State that "Dr S said this, that or the other" and he'd immediately take notice...
therapists, Ben believes talk "boll*cks" and are
"freaking useless". He's met one or two, after all, and hasn't connected with any of them.
The other day he said to me: "Oh mum, I wish they
could wave a magic wand and bring back Dr S, I really do... I miss her so much!"
And so do I.
Yes she and I had had our ups and downs as you well know if you've been following my blog. But towards the end of CAMHS, almost one year ago, we were working pretty well as a team. She knew Ben, she knew how to snap him out of his moods or negativity, she knew exactly what to say and do... She knew me... We both knew her...
The point is it had taken two long years to get us to that point. Two years of getting to know each other inside out, of "experimenting" with various things (like our Recovery Contract), to see what worked best for Ben.
By the time we left CAMHS I would naturally take my cue from her and she would take her cue from me. Back at the start we triangulated like mad, as you well know. But, as we all got to know each other and saw progress, there was a kind of unspoken agreement between her and me. We both knew Ben. We knew what he was like. We knew what did - and didn't - motivate or convince him. I'd back her up and she'd back me up. Boy, did we have ED by the short and curlies!
Okay, from my perspective there's the danger of looking at this through rose coloured spectacles. And, yes, she and I clashed on what she constituted was a Weight Restored level for Ben - which, I believe, is a pretty important thing to clash on.
But, given time and a few private meetings between her and me, I feel we could have worked on that and gradually nudged Ben upwards. At the start of treatment she didn't listen to me. But by the end she did. And I know she respected me, because she told me so. She told me she "admired" me. (Blush.) And she knew I'd fight tooth and nail for Ben.
Sure, we couldn't help the fact that she was leaving CAMHS on maternity leave. But - in an ideal world - now she's back at work we could request for Ben to continue treatment with her.
In reality, of course, it's not going to happen. Because he is over 18.
But in an ideal world... a world where the "powers that be" recognised the sheer value of a relationship like this in a young person's road to recovery - and the sheer length of time it took to establish this relationship in the first place... they would realise that this made sense.
So much sense that it's screaming out at them in flashing Las Vegas lights.
As Gaby said in response to yesterday's blog post: "It is a protocol which needlessly places our young people at further risk and prolongs the illness if not fully recovered, as you so aptly point out."