i’m not strong enough

oh God…i can’t do this. i’m not strong enough. i can’t watch my 2.5 year old son starve himself. i can’t keep trying things that don’t work. i can’t get my hopes up, only to have them dashed so soon after.

i’m not strong enough for this. why is this happening? i don’t understand.

we went to the parents’ group at the Children’s Hospital. we talked to other parents whose children had similar eating issues/disorders. we talked to a myriad of specialists. we thought we had to tools and information to attack this problem.

none of it helped.

we had a one-on-one session with the OT and Psychologist from the group, and we thought we heard what we needed to hear…what would help us.

we were wrong.

we now go for twice-monthly visits with his Psychologist. each time, we leave there with a new plan of attack…a new method to try….a new way of doing things. we leave with a spring in our step, and some optimism that we’ve finally found something that will work.

it never does.

i don’t know how much more of this i can take. i’ve never felt so helpless in my life. my child not only doesn’t want to eat…doesn’t like to eat. he is almost petrified of eating. he screams to get away from the table. and it’s getting worse.

he used to eat pizza like it was going out of style. now he will take his few bites, and then ask to leave the table with this fright in his voice…he needs to get away from this eating scene. the few things that he used to like to eat, he doesn’t want to eat anymore. i don’t get it.

last night we put cut-up bits of chicken fingers, corn and cauliflower on his plate. he had a sip of his water, took one look at his plate and scream “done!”. we begged and pleaded, as we always do. but he was done. not one bite, and as far as he was concerned his dinner was over. we did manage to get two teeny tiny bites of chicken into him, but we had to bribe him…he could get down from the table if he had two pieces of chicken. and we had to pretend they were Percy and Skarloey, two of his favourite engines from Thomas. even then, he was thisclose to spitting them out…we had to convince him it was okay to chew and swallow them. it was as if he thought the food was going to hurt him. a look of fear mixed with disgust was painted on his face as he painfully chewed and swallowed these minuscule bits of chicken.

after he had eaten the chicken, we let him down as promised. he ran around playing with his train and track while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. we invited Zander back to the table for dessert. yogurt…his favourite. but no, he did not want to come back to that damn table. i believe his exact words were “no way!”.

beaten down and needing our little boy to go to bed with more than 1/20th of a chicken finger (especially since he had refused his after-nap snack, meaning he hadn’t had anything to eat since lunch), we agreed to feed him yogurt on the couch while he watched TV. and when i say we agreed to feed him, i mean we spoon fed him. that’s right…we had to spoon feed yogurt to our 2.5 year old son. ’cause that’s the only way he would have anything to do with it.

with the terror of the dining table behind him and Thomas the Train suitably entertaining him, we snuck another yogurt and some puréed strawberry-banana into him. far from what a toddler should be having for dinner since most toddlers don’t eat mainly purées, but it’s better than nothing.

tonight’s dinner took almost an hour and a half, start to finish. now i could handle that if it happened every once in a while. but it doesn’t. it happens everyday. everyday. sometimes every meal.

i watch this smart, funny, beautiful, amazing little boy of ours….he’s barely eating, he won’t try to eat new things, he’s growing slowly, he’s been bouncing between 22 and 26 pounds for over a year, but never gains anymore weight….and i don’t know how to help him. and it’s killing me.

i don’t know how much longer i can do this. i want to stop trying to be strong. i want to just let myself crumble. i want to curl up into a ball and let the tears flow for however many hours or days they keep coming. i want to wallow in my feelings of uselessness and failure, my ppd and self-pity.

but i can’t. i have to be there for Zander and help him through this. i have another son who has issues of his own. and i have a husband that is going through all of this too, and who needs me there with him.

i just don’t know if i’m strong enough to do this.

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3 Comments

Filed under me me me, the monkey called Zander, welcome to the monkey house

3 responses to “i’m not strong enough

  1. a friend

    Hi, I came accross your post by mistake and was so moved by what i read that I took the liberty to post what you had said on what I’ve found to be by far the best parenting forum on the web (mothering.com) – some other mums having the same issues have already responded.

    I hope this helps both with the situation with your son and with some support for you.

    here’s the post:
    http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=9897440#post9897440

  2. Nora

    And here’s a contact message from someone at mothering.com which may be of use..

    Wow, it sounds pretty terrible what you and your son are going through, I have not had to deal with this personally but when I was training in child psychiatry in Cleveland Ohio, there was a pretty awesome feeding clinic at what was then called Health Hill Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital, now called the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Rehabilitation hospital. The lead psychologist was Dr. Cara Cuddy, I don’t know if she is still there, but I saw her work very intensively with 1 and 2 year olds who would not eat because they had always had feeding tubes, had oral aversions from autistic spectrum sensory defensiveness, OCD, and one little guy with straight out failure to thrive from neglect. She was not a “one approach fits all” kind of doc, if you are anywhere near Ohio and your primary care doc is as worried about DS’ eating and weight as you are, I’d give her my highest recommendation. Good luck, and you are strong enough to do this, whatever road you take.

  3. peter

    i”m sorry for what is happening..i think a lot of prayers will better the situation. If you are doing it now just do a little more of praying.

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