Sunday 3 January 2016

A big huge massive snotty kind of blob

No, not me. I'm describing my anger, as suggested by my wonderful therapist (who sadly I will have to leave within the next week or so). I still have a heck of a lot of anger inside me, primarily concerning the way I had to fight CAMHS so very much throughout the 26 months Ben was receiving treatment for his eating disorder. There are so many, many reasons why I'm still angry – but of course much of it is about the past, about things I can't do anything about now.

My therapist asked me to externalise my anger and imagine it sitting on the chair in front of us. How big is it? What shape? What colour? What is it made of? What could you do to make it smaller – to shrink it?

What came into my mind was a huge massive snotty kind of blob, a bilious green colour tinged with muddy brown - wobbly like a thick gel.

I tried various techniques like imagining it discarded in the desert where it would dry out and get smaller. But unfortunately the anger is still very much here.

It has emerged again over the last few days as I've been putting together the script for my talk at the Edinburgh carers' conference in February.

In this talk I will be speaking about how Ben's weight initially went up as he began treatment with CAMHS, after I'd asked them to produce an eating plan (which became known as "Mums Eating Plan").

I will talk about how the eating plan was scrapped after two or three months (I had very little support in implementing it); it was felt that Ben had arrived at a stage where he should take control of his own eating.

As Ben took control of his eating, his weight headed south.

Then, 12 months after he began treatment, he arrived at his lowest weight and only began to increase again once he and I had introduced the contract (see tab at the top of blog for more info).

The result was that, when Ben was discharged from eating disorder treatment after being with CAMHS for 26 months, his weight was exactly the same as when he started.

I have never really understood why this was allowed to happen during what was essentially treatment to help Ben recover from an eating disorder. Especially as I was forever pointing it out to them – the fact that my son was losing weight, week on week.

Oh, occasionally he would gain point-something of a kilogram, but then he would promptly lose it again once CAMHS weighed him which they did at the beginning of every session (in front of him, never "blind"). The fact is that over the period between withdrawing "Mums Eating Plan" and introducing the contract, Ben's weight went down. And it went down over a period of eight months, which is a heck of a long period.

This made me angry at the time and has made me angry ever since.

My anger maybe a huge massive snotty kind of blob that sits there on the chair opposite me, wobbling away, but it's still there – for better or for worse.

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