Okay, so when I was growing up we were all card toting members of the Clean Plate Cult. You ate what was on your plate until your plate was clean. However long it took, you sat at the table. My parents grew up with parents who had survived The Great Depression and I quite clearly recall my grandparents having a slice of bread at every meal. The function of that piece of bread being to wipe the plate after most of the food had been eaten. Then, they ate the bread. Not a speck of food was wasted. So I get that. I understand the history and background of the cult.
I also understand eating disorders. Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge eating and Obesity. I don't understand them very well but I know just enough to be certain that Genea is an eating disorder waiting to happen. Her obsessive need for control, her compulsion to manipulate her environment, her hyper vigilance and constant elevated stress level. I get it that eating disorders are not about the food. Every couple of months she will go through a spat where her behavior focuses on food. Asking for extra and not eating it. Refusing to eat, then stealing food later. Hoarding food, hiding food in the trash, binging, all the usual. Want to tell her she has to eat? She will, and then she will spontaneously vomit. She doesn't need to gag herself, stick fingers in her throat or anything. She will just sit there, and then *splat* she pukes. She will binge drink her water or milk so fast that it chokes her and gags her and her face turns red and she is still trying to force more liquid in while she is coughing and it is flying out the sides of her mouth and down her shirt. She is in absolute control of this, and if I give her a spoon to get her liquids with for one meal *poof* problem over. The Husband and I are to where we can tell when she is being a regular bratty fussy kid versus having a RAD attack, but we are not going to ask anyone else to figure out the difference.
Here is where I need help. We are going to visit grandparents who are proud high ranking officials in the Clean Plate Cult. They are incessant about it. When they are not actually physically trying to force food on my kids, they are talking about their food intake in front of them. I have hinted to them to quit. I have outright said, quit it. I have taken food out of the hand trying to feed my child and said STOP IT. The Husband has tried to explain orphanage related eating issues. Has tried to tell them we want our girls to learn to moderate their own food intake. That Genea is coming from different circumstances and we just cannot make food an issue with her. And we cannot make it an issue with Teena either. I have told them over and over, we want the girls to stop eating when they are ready and to be able to figure out for themselves when they are full. To listen to their bodies and moderate what they eat as to how hungry they are and then to know when to stop.
The kicker is, both of these people are overweight. One directly attributes her weight to being made to clean her plate as a kid. Now she freaks out about food being wasted etc etc. So it is not that they don't know, they just cannot seem to make themselves shut up. On and on and on about how much of this, how little of that, maybe we should give her this, we've never seen her eat an entire plate of food etc. "oh sweetie eat that little bitty bit of food for gramma" and "you make gramma sad when you don't eat your food" complete with a pouty face. I just cringe thinking about it.
So my last ditch effort is to send them some reading material ahead of our visit. Maybe if they see it in writing, writing done by professionals, maybe they will get it then. Because if they don't, I am going to have to supervise every. single. meal. and after that, I will have to insist that all my kids meals be had away from them, which the result of that is then I am making an issue out of their eating. Which is of course, NOT the point!
Here is where I need help. I can't seem to find any good comprehensive articles about trauma, orphanages and food problems. I don't need suggestions on how to tell them to piss off, since that hasn't worked either. I am looking for some basic information that connects all the dots, even if it is graphic. Maybe even better if it is graphic. We have Attachment Disorder, Failure to Thrive, Bipolar Disorder, Post- Trauma, and Post-institutionalization to pick from to start with.
For as much as I may get my nerves tap danced upon, these are two people that adore their grandchildren and would never in a million years want to hurt them in any way shape or form. They just don't understand and I need to MAKE them!!!
So please, if you know of anything I can print out or buy, leave me a link or let me know of a website or whatever. I will be SO eternally grateful!!!!!