Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sell Crazy Someplace else, We're All Stocked Up Here.

This is probably going to be a long post.  A VERY long post.  Consider yourself warned.

I feel like I need to start by stating firmly and clearly (even though it goes without saying) that I love my daughter with every fiber of my being.  I'd lay down my life for her.  Lord knows we went through hell and high water to conceive her and bring her safely into the world, and from the moment she took her first breath, she has been the center of my world.

And as much as I love my child - or rather because I love my child so very much - I have to admit when there are problems.  If you've read this blog for any length of time - you know that we struggle with raising this child.  Constantly.  And we have given every excuse in the book as to why she is the way she is.  She's tired.  She doesn't disengage well.  She doesn't transition well.  She's so bright that she's constantly thinking of other things so she can't focus.  She's off schedule and she craves routine.  She's getting sick.  Give us a chance and we'll come up with an excuse.

I guess that's a normal parental response - looking for a reason why your kid is so out of control - any reason that might in any way explain their behavior. 

Until eventually, the behavior problems start to stack up - the odd things your child does start to stand out more and more - and you realize there might be something more to the story.

We reached our breaking point this morning.  Anna has been off - extremely off.  And no amount of excuses can excuse the behavior.  It's the same old junk we've dealt with since she was 18 months old and began to exert her opinion - but amplified.  And now - instead of just screaming at us when she thinks she's right and we're obviously wrong - she completely falls apart. 

Deonne turned the t.v. off this morning so that Anna could focus and (gasp) eat her breakfast so she'd have energy for a fun filled day at Monkey Joes for camp.  You'd have thought he pulled her fingernails out with a pair of pliers. 

Complete dissolution.  Screaming.  Sobbing.  Purple lips.  Slobber.  Big tears.  Snot flying.  And wailing.  Oh, the wailing.  And when we tried to calmly ask her what she was so upset about - there was no response.  Just more screaming and crying.  And sadly, the only thing to do when she gets like that is to scream back - scare her into stopping and listening.

And this isn't atypical. Every time we're around our child (as in mornings, evenings, and weekends) the above is pretty much what happens.  Something sets her off.  She dissolves.  Or, she'll blatantly ignore us when we're talking to her - prompting us to lose our patience - and thus our temper - resulting in more screaming.

There's more shouting and screaming and tears in this house than an episode of Real Housewives New Jersey.  And I'm only half-kidding.

So I called 'uncle.'  I made the appointment.  Called the pediatrician.  Took her in.  And heard what I expected to hear - but didn't quite know how to hear.  He thinks Anna needs some help.  He knows her history - and has been there through the last five years of trying to temper her and help us get her on track.  He sympathized with me when I said 'I realize all kids are disobedient by nature - but this isn't normal.  It's affecting our family.'  Thankfully he didn't think it was something like autism or aspergers - but did admit that there could be something in her 'hard wiring' that is making her like she is.  And the recommendation?  A child psychologist.  He's referring her to one now.

I was okay when I heard all of this - until he looked me in the eye and said 'this isn't your fault - you didn't do anything wrong' and that it's a normal reaction for parents to feel guilty.  At that - I tried really hard not to let the tears fall that started brimming.  Unsuccessfully, I might add.

So long story short - my daughter, my child, may have something wrong with her.  Yeah - I know - an emotional disorder isn't something 'wrong' - but that's what it feels like right now - and this is my blog - so if I want to write it - I will.  And before you tell me 'don't worry' and 'it'll be fine' - I'll respectfully ask you not to.  Because that may be true - but right now it doesn't feel that way.  Right now I'm scared.  And worried.  And frightened.  And I think it's okay to feel that way. 

And in all honesty, there's select few people I can hear that from and actually believe it.  One is my mother....the person I desperately want to talk to about this, but impossibly can't.  Now is one of those completely unfair and unfortunate times when I want to stamp my feet, shake my fists, and scream 'I want my mommy!!!'  She's the only one who has been able to talk me off the proverbial edge for the better part of my life.  I miss her.  Which totally exacerbates the issue at hand.

So we wait for the referral - as we completely trust our doctor.  He unequivocally stated that if he were in our shoes - if this was his child - he would go to this psychologist to see 1) if there is a problem and 2) how to fix it.

I suppose there is some relief in that - knowing once and for all if there really is some emotional/behavioral/neurological issue with my daughter.  But ignorance is also bliss.  Bliss indeed.

It's a hard place to be - on one hand, I support the decision to see what is going on from someone who is professionally trained to do so.  On the other, after reading all of that John Rosemond stuff that effectively poo-poo's child psychology as complete psycho-babble, I wonder if this is the right step.  And coupled with all of this - I'm frightened to find out what the recommendation will be.  To medicate my kid?  I don't want to kill her spirit - just get her to listen and obey and get a better handle on her emotions.

This is one of those things they don't tell you about when they place that tiny bundle in your arms for the first time. 

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