It's never simple, is it? N had, really, a great week. Yesterday, though, it became very apparent that it had all really been smoke and mirrors. He had been struggling almost as much -- but had been hiding it from us. We want him to have good days -- days where he feels good about himself. But we don't want him to hold it all in either. When you are judging behaviors by outward manifestation, how can you possibly know what he is really thinking/feeling?
I took him to pick out his earned funkey. I made the mistake of offering him the cash instead. The choice was paralyzing! He spent an hour obsessing and crying. I finally had to make the decision for him. Then he was so ridden with guilt. He went on and on about how we shouldn't have to do all of this for him -- that we shouldn't have to give him rewards (and insisted that he wouldn't take them). The evening just dissolved from there. He spent most of the afternoon curled up on his bed. He wouldn't do his homework. He wouldn't eat his afternoon snack. By the time we hit family night he was a wreck.
I tried not to make N make any decisions, so I made the call for our activity. N had really wanted cookies earlier, so I decided we would make cookies and then each add our own combinantion of chips. N really wanted to help cook, but wasn't done with his homework so I started the dough. By the time I was done, N was crying and screaming. T took him to his room and they spent about an hour talking before N was calm.
We found out several things:
1) N has still been counting calories. He has been using the cookbooks to find out the calories. The reason my dough-making was so paralyzing was because I doubled the recipe and was planning to change the size of my cookies (thus he could not figure out the amount of calories in each cookie).
2) He has been restricting his calories during the morning/day so he can have more at night.
3) He has not been listening to his body and has never really felt full.
4) He is so down on himself because we are having to do so much to help him. T helped him understand that when anyone is sick, we take them to the doctor and get medicine and do whatever we need to do to help them get better. Hopefully, that helped him understand -- but he is so completely riddled with guilt.
On a different note. Our Bishop contacted T yesterday wanting to talk about our "oldest son." So T contacted him. N's primary teacher had contacted the Bishop, concerned about N -- thinking he might have an eating disorder. The Bishop told him that he was pretty sure that N was too young. Bishop was very surprised when T confirmed that N did indeed have an eating disorder. This morning I contacted N's primary teacher. I let him know how glad we were that he was concerned about N enough to contact the Bishop. [At various points, we've also been contacted by N's scout leader and his school teacher.] I also gave him some basic instructions:
1) Give N authentic praise.
2) Let N choose to NOT have treats. Don't let the boys make a big deal about this.
3) Change the subject when the boys start calling people fat or skinny or whatever.
4) When they teach the "Word of Wisdom" call me -- so I can prep them not to label foods good and bad. And then they can use the word "healthy" carefully.
We've really tried to keep things under wraps -- not because it is secret -- but because N needs to work out things on his own terms without everyone in the community looking over his shoulder. However, the list of those who know just grows. I'm not sure how much we can contain it.
We went to a local corn maze for a delayed FHE activity on Tuesday night. N had fish and chips for dinner as part of this outing. Afterwards, N had scouts. He put on his scout shirt and flipped out. I spent 20 minutes convincing him that he looked great (he even took me to his room and showed me in his mirror how he looked "fat"). I finally got him to go -- just to discover that scouts had been cancelled.