Or maybe it was closer to 4:00 am. I am having more trouble sleeping lately because of my husband's unemployment situation, the big withdrawals from our 401K to pay the bills, and the prospect of moving all the way across country if this job materializes in CA. My husband and I are quite anxious about the near future, not that we are afraid to leap into a new experience, but just scared about the weightiness of all of these decisions and challenges.
But what I was musing about the most was the fact that I can be such a harsh judge of people. I have been frustrated with the lack of response to my request for help with Caroline, but really, when I think about it, I often see rejection where there isn't any. Instead of assuming the best in people, I assume the worst, very frequently. I project onto others my own insecurities surrounding my bipolar daughter and think that everyone is judging me or my child. Funny how we do this. I realized I just need to let go of assumption and anger, and instead embrace grace and forgiveness. I wonder how many friends I have pushed away because I either project genuine need and they are made uncomfortable by that, or have I have pushed them away because they sense I am judging them if they don't come to my aid. Probably there exists a bit of both.
The thought of being in need or looking like I am in need is actually abhorrent to me. I resist asking for help until I am undone. I want to be superwoman and do it all by myself. I want to be perceived as competent and in control. The people who know me best know this. I don't want to be needy or to project neediness. Only on this blog do I express my heartfelt needs without fear of what others think. I am actually quite fearful of what my friends think. I know I am because of how insecure I often feel around them. Isn't that weird? The people we should feel the most relaxed around are often the ones who unearth the most unease in us, that they will see our flaws and reject us.
But God never rejects us. He sees our flaws, our insecurities, our anger and unforgiveness, and He still opens His arms to us ready to embrace and forgive and accept. I need to be reminded of this daily.
Thank you for reading. You always encourage me with your own stories.
About our Daughter
I am mother to four wonderful daughters, ages 13, 15, 17 and 19, 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. She is in the very challenging teen years, and she is attempting a big public high school for the first time. In spite of the trials, she enjoys lacrosse, running, 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.