I can never seem to tell if Caroline is lying or telling the truth these days. My biggest frustration with her right now is feeling like I can't trust her when she swears that I can. Then the evidence will sometimes show that she was telling the truth, or that she was outright lying, about a 50-50 chance right now. Argh! It isn't that our other kids don't ever lie, it is just that deception with Caroline seems to happen a lot and I know this is part of bipolar disorder, but when she is wanting more freedoms, being trustworthy is crucial. She just received an invitation to a sleep-over for the lacrosse team this Saturday, but we will likely not allow her to sleepover, only to stay late that evening. Missing sleep for her is a hugely bad idea, always resulting in manic behavior both that night and later. She will protest, but the risk of her embarrassing herself so early in the season is not one we relish right now, nor should she!
We have completed the private school application for this university model school for the fall, but I am very doubtful they will accept her, especially since they do ask about previous school dismissals (in the fourth grade) and also make you sign a waiver stating that your child has no learning disabilities, past or present IEPs, etc. Well, that kind of takes her out of the running right there, but my husband seems to be optimistic still. I say we come up with Plan B for the fall starting now. She has been so resistant to our direction all year that homeschooling her may just not work for her as much as we want it to. I am worried that without the rigors of a classroom she may not be able to handle college. Most homeschooled kids do great in college, but she is just such an under-achiever academically. She is super smart but doesn't put out the level of work that she could. Again, for other teachers, she will rise above, still not a straight A student or anything like that, but for us, she gives us the bare minimum required.
And then what to do about Jane and Mae. Jane wants to continue to be homeschooled, which is fine as she is my over-achiever, but Mae, who also wants to be homeschooled, not so much. I hate all of this indecision! Blah! Blah! And the weather isn't cooperating either, cold, rainy, and I am truly longing for warm sunshine right now to chase away the winter blues!
We are also trying to obtain a car for our oldest daughter, despite eight months of unemployment and dwindling savings. She needs a car, that all there is to it, and so my husband has been looking at used reliable cars. His three month job starts at the end of April so this will help our finances, but April 25th seems like a long way off. We find ourselves arguing about money a lot more than we ever have. The decline in housing prices isn't helping our outlook either, as a house in our neighborhood very similar to ours just went on the market for about $40,000 less than what we were hoping to sell ours for if we were to move this summer or fall. Bummer! We would still make a profit, but not a very big one now.
God is in control. But life is very, very challenging for us right now. I want to be on the other side of all of this, where my husband has a "permanent" job (nothing is permanent now anymore) and my daughter has her own car, our kitchen is fixed from the stupid water damage, we are finally able to save for the future again rather than chunking down our IRAs, and where we are living in a place we would feel comfortable sending our kids to the public schools instead of doing the private school dance every spring. So much I am waiting for, it is easy to be impatient and mad. "Let us run the race with endurance..." Hebrews 12:1.
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.