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Teen binge eating, how to bring topic up with her dad?

liz9552's picture

I have a horrid SD14. Some may remember the horrible things she has done and some she still does. I am fully disengaged, that is the only way to keep my sanity. I have notice over the years her binge eating at night, usually sweets. Here lately however, it is huge amounts of food and some strange things, for example, whole bottles of bbq sauce. Today my BS6 had a sore throat and I had just bought a gallon of ice cream, when I went to make him some it was gone. I went in her room and it is empty, stuck in the back of her closet. I was floored at the amount of food wrappers and empty bottles in her room. Just a list of the items I found today, 2 bottles of bbq sauce, whole bag of chips, gallon of ice cream, whole bag of marshmallows, 4 chocolate bars, pgk of graham crackers, 5 empty bowls thrown in garbage can, cereal pieces all over floor, vanilla extract and a large container of peanut butter. All empty, and several things that I just bought in the last few days. Today is when I realize that this child has a huge problem. On top of all this, she eats as much as my H at meal time. I feel that I should speak out about this and bring it to her dads attention, but it has worked really well for me to leave it along and let him deal with her. So, I am asking for advice on what to do, say something or just keep my mouth shut. I believe she has serious mental problems and have voiced that before, and I also refuse to keep buying food that she just eats in one night. I have locked away sweets and things that I can in my room, but I cannot lock up the entire kitchen. Anyway, advice please!!!

bearcub25's picture

Deleted as you said you locked up sweets.

Is she full time? If not, you can just buy for the time she visits, or make multiple trips if she is there for many days (or make your DH go to store some) and then do your bulk shopping when she leave.

That is what I do. SS will eat anything with sugar in it in 1 nite. So I started just buying stuff for the weekend and then doing my big shopping when he leaves.

Indigo's picture

Since DH is not paying attention or seeming to give a flip, bring it up without shaming the youngster. Snap a photo, gather all empty, hidden food containers into a tub and give to DH. This isn't just a case of "Gee, I'm tired of wasting money," it's a case of some very deep emotional issues. This is not a poorly mannered/acting up thing. This is a loud shriek for help.

Don't kid yourself, your DH is likely one of the root issues there, so he needs to address it. If he is ignorant about teen depression, about teen eating disorders and ignorant about parenting, please get him in touch with some professionals.

Cover1W's picture

SD13 doesn't have a binge eating disorder but she eats junk all the time and leaves trash all over her room, stashed in dressers, under bed, on bed, etc. Dirty dishes/utensils/glasses/cups everywhere.

I walked DH through her room the first few times and while he was disgusted, he didn't do anything until a year later I announced I was through dealing with her room - any issues were 100% on him.

And her eating habits? I buy only 'real' food, little junk food. If she eats all the chips I bought for the house in two days, I no longer buy those chips. I buy only enough for the time they are with us (with DH's cash card). I stopped cooking special things for her, I stopped monitoring her food intake, DH is only now noticing and getting worried.

Since it's likely a more serious issue with your SD you should likely sit him down and go over what you found with binge-eating information in front of you both. The sister of a friend of mine has been bulimic since her teens and her teeth and hair are ruined, she usually looks exhausted. It's sad.

liz9552's picture

Thank you everyone. We have SD 24/7, her mother is not in the picture. I am really nervous about bringing up this with Husband, only because things have been so great with us, and honestly many times SD has gotten where she will not even come out of her room, because I believe she hates seeing us all get along and enjoying family time. That may be part of the problem and this is horrible to say but I do not want Dh to feel guilty or change the family dynamics all because she is having emotional issues about not making everyone's life miserable anymore. Stupid I know, but the crap we have dealt with from her is beyond normal and she cares about nothing. I know that sounds horrible but I just have to be honest with all of you, because god knows no one else would even begin to understand the feeling of being paranoid in your own home. I will not even leave a glass of water in the room with her in it and then come back and drink it, because I have caught her spitting in it before. When she gets in trouble her new excuse is that she did it because she hates me. It is sad and when her dad just says I do not care, nor does liz, its your problem not hers. She then starts to cry and act so upset, but honestly I believe she is really that upset, because I really do not care anymore. Oh my, this sounds horrible and I am so sorry for just venting like this, but I am so worried that I will hand back power to her, so to speak. And that I do not want, because I cannot go back to the way things were.

Indigo's picture

Why not just call your local CPS & turn the youngster over? She'd likely do better than she sounds as if she is doing in your home.

liz9552's picture

If it was left up to me I would, believe me. Her dad as even threatened her with a school for bad kids. You can judge if you want, but this is a terrible child. Her own grandmother will not watch her because the last time she was there she pushed her. She is mean down to her very bones, has no compassion at all towards no one. She has stored pee in her room to poor on my clothing, spit in my drinks, steal my things, is hateful to her brother to the point of bullying him, we get constant calls from school for bad behavior, one time because she stank so bad. Parents have called because of her bullying their kids, one parent called because she had wrote a nasty letter to her daughter and it was very nasty. Husband will tell her to do something and she will blatantly not do it. You could beat her and you still would get no results. She lies about any and everything. The list goes on and on, I promise you, this is not a normal child.

About a year ago, I came on here and heard about disengagement. I bought a book on it even, and I applied it. That is when her dad started really seeing things for himself. She missed her school bus one day, I take our 6 year old to school, I told her to go get in the car and I would take her, she stood in front of my car with her arms crossed and the meanest look you have ever seen on her face. I buckled our 6 yr old in, went back around the car to get in, all the while she is standing there. I leave with her standing there and called her dad to come and take her to school. When he got home that evening he addressed it and she told him that I said I would not take her to school, she told him that I just left her, that I said she will have to miss school. All huge lies right to my face. She is so good at trying to make me that bad guy, and I promise you that day she learned not to lie on me and not to disrespect me either. I told her that she was lying and that was not how it happened, she looked at me and smirked and said that I was a liar. I stood up to leave and she bowed up to me, and I promise it was the wrong time to do so, because one thing that pisses me off more than anything is for you to call me a liar. SD found herself on the floor with me on top of her daring her to ever put her hands on me again. We are the same size and I have never lost my temper like that, DH was floored because I don't even raise my voice, let alone physically put my hands on someone. That is when her dad really seen how much I have been taking from this child. I was going to leave, because I would have died of a heart attack. And I am not joking either, she would do things and make me so angry that I had to leave and sit and breathe in a bag just to catch my breathe. Also why her mom is not in her life, her mom is really tiny and SD bullys her to the point that there is huge bruises and marks. I have notes that she use to leave for me, that says she dreams of ways to kill me. So again, not a normal child, a child that needs help and that is the only real huge issue that her dad and I disagree on.

So, yes I would send her. Then I would not have to watch our 6 year old like a hawk, but after she learned that I was not her mother and grandmother, she has backed off with putting her hands on people in this house.

Evil3's picture

I agree with renewal 11-11 and Indigo. Snap a pick of where you found the evidence of your SD's binge and when you talk to your DH, show him the pic. I went through the same thing with my SD27 when she was younger as she was losing tons of weight while eating enough to feed an army. I knew she was doing something. Without the photo for "concrete evidence" I only got gaslighted and DH fiercely defended Poopsie Doodles like he always does. I got snapped at and told that I just can't relate because I'm jealous that I have to work so hard to retain my figure while my SD is lucky and can eat anything she wants and she lost weight because her metabolism changed. Yeah, right. Had I had a pic of the evidence, I think my DH would have been more likely to believe me. I think your DH won't be able to ignore the problem if he sees the empty BBQ bottles and ice-cream bucket. Those sound like alarming pieces of evidence to me. The drinking of vanilla extract is scary too, because people will do that for the alcohol content even if it's only a little. Be prepared for backlash though. Even if your DH accepts what you say, me might want to save face in respect to his Precious Poopsie and he'll shoot the messenger at first. In the end, know that you did the right thing and said something. There's a percentage of eating disordered people who ultimately die, so you will be doing the right thing by saying something to your DH.

liz9552's picture

Right now she is just chubby, she was really fat as a child, but she went through a growth spurt and slimmed down some because of it, now she is gaining the weight back and getting her fat rolls again. But I also quit fixing her plate and monitoring what she ate at supper time too. She weighs about 160 lbs right now, so not really heavy,just chubby, but if she continues to eat like that she will get huge. Besides one of the first things I did was research binge eating and it is a disorder with usually an underline issue. She has always been obsessed with food, eating huge amounts at any meal time. If she wakes up at noon, she will eat breakfast, then an hour later eat lunch, when her dad tells her that she just ate she will tell him that she didn't have lunch and when he is here he will not let her eat like that, but I say nothing. And she is not embarrassed by eating a lot in front of people either, we had a cookout this weekend and she had more food on her plate than 2 of the adult men, her grandmother said something along the lines of surely you are not going to eat all of that, and she said watch me, and she did and went back for seconds. So that really confuses me about the binge eating disorder, because usually they do not eat a lot in front of people then binge later in private.

TwoOfUs's picture

Oh man. The sounds just like my OSD from ages 12 or so to 18. She was evil, evil, evil. Sullen black rain cloud of a child who made me feel like I had to tiptoe around her, walking on eggshells in my own home. She was rude and mean to everyone, especially her siblings, as a way to control everything and everyone. I think she needed to hear the word "NO!" a few hundred more time before I came into her life.

DH finally started to wise up about a year into our marriage and impose some boundaries but it was too little, too late...and we had zero backup from BM who treated OSD like the fragile, protected golden child. We were told by BM that OSD was just "an old soul" (she was one of the most immature children I've ever met). We were also informed, when the child was 15, that "OSD knows what OSD needs" and, my personal favorite, that OSD just "had anxiety and liked for things to be 'her' way." Uh, yeah. We all like to have things our way. It's called being self-centered and controlling if it goes too far, though. Thank Dog she didn't live with us full-time and refused to come over for visitation the second she turned 18. I think DH trying to impose some order had a lot to do with this...and for that, at least, I am grateful. I know I sound over-the-top here, maybe, but this is a girl who literally, at 16, told her 13-year-old sister who had Cancer that she "shouldn't think she was special just because she had Cancer" and refused to hug her little sister after a successful surgery to remove her tumor, even though YSD was crying and asked her 3 times. Like I said...evil.

She had (has? She's 20.5 now, so I don't know anymore) an eating disorder as well. Bulimia. First, I started noticing food going missing or picked over in weird one of those giant bags of trail morning all the chocolate pieces, cashews, and almonds were missing. I was ticked because I was left with a bag of spit-riddled peanuts and raisins. DH tried to fix it by reconstituting the mix with a bag each of M&Ms, cashews, and almonds. I told him he was welcome to it...couldn't shake the image of her vomit-encrusted fingers rifling through the bag, picking out the good stuff. I also found weird wrappers and containers in her closet, under the bed, between the bed and the wall, in drawers, stuffed under the name it. But whenever we ate dinner as a family or went out to eat, she literally broke everything into tiny pieces with her hands and crumbled the pieces between her fingers the entire time, eating maybe a bite or two. I also found a Tumblr she created with really disturbing "THINSPO" images (Google it) and started noticing flecks of dried vomit around the shower drain. I had been noticing all these signs for several months, trying to figure out a way to broach the subject with DH who seemed totally oblivious...when BM called him all frantic worried that's OSD 'might' be bulimic and what were they going to do?!?! Uh. No Sh** Sherlock. You're the CP and it took you this long to notice?