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!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Feeling Like a Failure

Do you ever feel like a failure as a mom?  I am struggling with those feelings this week.  I have been sick for 10 days, and sick enough that I have spent a lot of time in bed, doing nothing, or sitting in front of the T.V. doing nothing.  The house is a mess, the laundry backed up, the fridge was beginning to stink, my papers had exploded everywhere in the kitchen because I started a project and then got sick and couldn't finish.  My kids are frustrated with the mess, even though they help to create it, but my husband is a gem.  I am so glad the kids do their own laundry.  At least that isn't my responsibility. And I did get Caroline to thoroughly clean her room this weekend, which was huge as her room looked like a bomb had gone off in it.

But I think my struggle is deeper than the chaos of the last 10 days.  I sense a lot of disappointment from my younger two, over a lot of things.  Some of it is false expectations that they need to get over, some is legitimate over having a bipolar sister who takes so much attention, but some of it is disappointment with me as their mom.  I haven't always kept my promises.  I have made promises I never should have made.  I have been too harsh at times, and not strict enough at others.  I really wished for the perfect home life for my kids.  And of course perfection is a myth, but I find myself still longing for something I can't have.  

I am thankful that I know God is faithful, when we are faithless.   I know the truth, it is just that sometimes my feelings loom larger.  I just want to be over being sick, and I want to get through the paperwork involved in buying this house we are renting, oh, and doing our taxes, and getting organized enough before school gets out May 28th that the summer won't feel so overwhelming.  

At least Caroline is stable.  I have to say that every day to remind myself of all the blessings that come out of that one thing.


marythemom said...

We all go through stages like this. I have to remind myself that my neurotypical kids are stronger, better people for this experience. They see that I'm human, and I "get to" role model how to handle conflict, dealing with adversity, getting them and their siblings what they need, taking care of myself... all very important lessons.

It's all much easier when you're not sick, and I definitely am sending you hugs and prayers, but remember they're learning how to handle this from you. I know you'll choose joy! ;)


Mama Bear said...

I can so relate to those feelings. Thankfully God can give us strength when we are weak. I hope you feel it soon!

Anonymous said...

I am the mother of a daughter who was diagnosed bipolar, yet refused to continue treatment and meds. We've been through 2 suicide attempts and more crises than I can count.

As of now, she is 22 and pregnant. The father is an abusive man who pushed her down the stairs and kicked her out. She is now at a shelter.

This has all taken its toll on me as well, and as a believer, there are times that it feels even God and my faith can't get me through.

After years of a bad marriage, losing my house, and now being alone, yet self-supporting, I drag through the days...from one crisis to the next with my daughter.

I believe this all has purpose and God is completely in control, but there is still a heavy weight that I can't seem to get off my shoulders.

Megan said...

Anonymous, thank you for posting here. I wish I could give you a big hug and take some of this burden off of your shoulders too. You are not alone, but I know that sometimes it can really, really feel like it. I am so sorry that your daughter has been resistant to treatment. I will pray that her pregnancy will open her eyes to her deep need to do what is right for her and her child.

Katie said...

Yes. Daily. Yesterday was a great example of that for me. :) I wish I had some great wisdom to offer but my brain is shot right now. Just know you are in good company - we all feel that way at times. Just know that in our weakness He is strong.

One of my favorite quotes ever comes from my favorite book ever, Anne of Green Gables - "tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it." I know I will make mistakes every day, but it's comforting to fall asleep at night knowing I can wipe the slate clean and start all over the next day. :) sending hugs your way!

Heather A said...

So happy to see you online again-- just stumbled onto your new blog.
I'm Heather in Atlanta -- it's been a while, we got to a point where we almost went to Meridell. I will be in touch!

Tarsha Gunn said...

I to am a mother of a 8 year daughter and 20 year old son with bioplarism. Sometimes I don't know if I'm coming or going. I'm not sure what's worse knowing as much about BP as I do or the people who just chose not to understand but always want to offer you their advice. If I didn't know the Lord sometimesI feel like I would really lose it.

Caryn said...

I feel like a failure on a regular basis.....it has been really bad lately.....and then this weekend, while searching for some additional info on special needs camps, I came across your blog. I don't know how I never saw it before. I started at the beginning and read your life like a book, crying at parts, but always feeling like I wasn't alone in my frustrations as a mom.

Our challenges started at birth, but were recognizably different at the age of 3. My now 13 year old son was misdiagnosed multiple times (Autism, Asperger's, ADHD), and was just diagnosed with bi-polar after a hospitalization after the stress of a big move to the Atlanta area overwhelmed him(he also has sensory issues, OCD tendancies and an extreme anxiety disorder). He is fairly stable on meds now, but we are going through the same school motions as you and I fear he won't make it to 8th grade.

Thank you for being brave enough to write all of the things I am feeling.

Megan said...

Thank you for writing, Caryn and Tarsha. I am glad you found this blog and can share your own struggles here as well. Nothing is easy or "fair" with these kids. Every time I think I am finally going to have time to breathe, her disorder gets in the way. But God is faithful and carries us through. Sometimes we don't feel it or see it until we are on the other side.

Tarsha Gunn said...

Thank you Megan for giving us a place where we can a place to relate it really helps to know we're not alone