Last night after N's visit with his therapist, I took him shopping. We went to Old Navy, which seems to be where he usually finds clothes that he likes. I was trying to take advantage of it being just the two of us (and having a few hours to spend).
N had identified several shirts on their website that he liked. He has been begging me for several weeks now to go buy them. So, we immediately found those shirts (all available in his size) and headed to the dressing room. There he tried on each of the shirts and then tossed them away as he became more upset, physical and agitated. He ranted about being too fat, the shirts don't look good on me, this is the worst time of the day to go shopping, etc. At one point, he slumped down to the corner of the dressing room with tears in his eyes. He was so angry and sad and so anorexic!
My mother's instinct had already told me that clothes weren't the answer to his morning problems. I've seen it happen over and over. He latches onto a shirt and then the anorexia eventually convinces him that he looks fat in it. So that shirt is then thrown into the growing pile in his closet and he begins the search for another.
He was desperate, though, to find some new shirts. He combed the store a second and a third time. He didn't like anything and everything made him look fat. Then he asked about pants. We found a pair in the style he wears in his size, but it wasn't what he wanted. [He wants the new style of skin-tight pegged pants that some guys are wearing now. He wants to look as skinny as possible. I'm so glad that they didn't offer that style in boy's sizes.] At this point, I could tell it was time to leave. As N became more desperate, he also became more physical. He'll get right in my face, put his hands on my shoulders and all but shout in my face. He was being disrespectful and things were just spiralling fast. I let him know that we were leaving and headed to the parking lot. He ultimately followed me, but wouldn't talk all the way home.
While we were in the store, he continued to say that I wasn't going to bring him shopping again. So, he HAD to find clothes. I think this fueled his desperation. But he was right. I'll think twice before I take him shopping for clothes again.