About our Daughter

I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 17, 19, 21, and 23, and wife to the greatest husband on earth. God has given us a special child to raise one who was diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder at the age of seven, though she showed signs of it from the age of fifteen months. She also has ADHD, Sensory Integration Disorder (sensory seeking), Dyslexia, and Non-Verbal Learning Disorder-NOS, all typical comorbidities for a bipolar child. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running (finished her first marathon in October of 2014!), and reading and writing her own books. I will share with you the many joys and sorrows we have faced and will face in the future with the hope that you may find better understanding about this mental illness caused by both chemical and structural abnormalities in the brain. I desire that you will be encouraged by this blog if you are also dealing with a bipolar child. Thank you for reading and sharing in our journey.

How Did You Know She Was Bipolar So Young?

I wrote a long explanation of how we came to this bipolar diagnosis in a child so young under my post of March 19th of 2009. If your child or a child you know bears similarities, please seek out a good psychiatrist and don't wait for "things to get better." Often they will simply get worse, and the longer a child is unmedicated, the more damage their brain can accrue. Early diagnoses and treatment are key to providing these children with a chance at a successful life later as a teen and an adult.
Never change, start or stop a medication without the approval of your child's physician!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Schooling Undecided, Church Issues

Well, just when you think you know what you are doing, things change. We are now quite unsure that we want to send Caroline back to the school she has been at all year. The kid is just so lonely. If the two new girls don't come back, like we are hearing they aren't, then it will be her and the boys again. Adolescence is hard enough, but going through it with not a single friend is awful. We are now wondering if academics alone is a reason to keep a kid at a school where she has no friends. Probably not. She is retreating to her room every day after school, spending hours just writing her novel (90 typed pages now), living in the world she has created for these characters. Not healthy. Creative yes, but not engaging in reality.

We have similar problems at church, with there being a very small group of girls to choose from. Increasingly I wonder if we should find a new church where she can start fresh. She feels rejected by the other handful of middle school girls because of her past mistakes while manic. We tried another church before, but the church we switched to didn't meet everyone else's needs (too far away, too big, didn't like the sermons or music.) But to see her suffering, refusing to go to church, Sunday School, anything because of her feelings of alienation is really hard. Adolescents form a lot of opinions about spiritual things early and she is at a critical point in her life regarding her relationship with God. We are in a difficult place. Please pray for direction, clarity, wisdom. We love our church, our pastor, our friends, but when does your child's needs take precedence over your own? Are we being selfish if there is another church where she would thrive? I hate these kind of decisions because you feel like there is no perfect choice that will satisfy everyone.

8 comments:

Amy said...

Megan-two years ago when Kenzie entered into junior high we too had a similar problem. There was no junior high program on Sunday morning for her-only on wed. night. We tried having her come to service with us but that was a disaster-too over her head and she became very distracting for us. Anyway, we decided to make a change for her. We loved our church but we believed she was at that critical age like you were talking about. Well, we have been at our new church for over a year now and love it. At first it was hard but God has rewarded us immensely at this new church. I am now so glad we moved just because of her. Hope this helps but remember to listen to the Holy Spirit-you have to do what is best for your family. God Bless-Amy

Meg said...

I wish the best for you all on the school front and the church front. We are in the process of changing churches as well for a number of reasons, including going to a smaller church and getting a better youth group for our son.

Taz's Mama said...

i totally understand. we had to leave our church recently that we loved because of Taz. it's a small church and so they don't have enough staff to divide the sunday school kids by age. so all the kids under 5 are in the same room. they get a teenager or an older person to basically sit there and babysit while the kids free play with baby toys. well, for Taz that just doesn't work. he's bored and he's the oldest kid there. every week he was standing at the door screaming and crying to go home. and every sunday morning it was hell trying to get him there cause he hated it. i asked the pastor if there was anything he could do. everyone kept telling us to just bring some of Taz's toys for him to play with. but for a BP kid an hour and a half of unstructured time is just too much. now we found a new church with an excellent kids program. Taz still doesn't like to go but at least there's a classroom with kids his age and they do lots of fun activities. so i think he'll get used to it.

and if i can just add my two cents from my sunday school/youth group experience. i went to a large upper class church where the girls my age were very snotty and cliquey. i came from a broken home without money to buy brand name clothes and was completely ostracized and even made fun of. the youth pastors knew about it and didn't do anything. it really did a lot of damage to me emotionally and spiritually. i'm not trying to pursuade you or make you feel bad. you know how vulnerable girls are at that age. just giving you an insiders view. fortunately i did get back on track spiritually but it took a long time. i still have negative feelings about that church and those girls (even though they are probably much different now). my mom kept forcing me to go to youth group even though i hated it and didn't fit in. she kept telling me i wasn't trying hard enough. after high school i rebelled against church and God. it took me years to forgive and find my way back to God. i think friends are so important.

domandkat said...

What about that big church across Granby from ya'll?

Church for us is difficult these days for other reasons known to you. I am a launch team memeber of a church plant that I don't think I'd go to twice if I were visiting. YUCK! What do you do with that?

Megan said...

Kathryn, I think I'd find another church too. Maybe we should start one together! :)

Megan said...

Amy, thanks for the encouragement. If we left our church, our friends would be upset with us I think, but mostly because we are so tight knit. But I do want
Caroline to feel like she belongs on Sundays.

Megan said...

Thanks for the comments, Meg and Taz's Mama. I know we have to really look at this problem and make a decision.

licoriceroot said...

My son who is 14 actually goes to a different church than we do. We're Catholic, but he prefers a youth program at a Methodist church, so we go to our and he goes to his - he goes Sunday nights and Wednesday nights and with us Sunday mornings. It has worked well for the past year.