I’m asked, “What is one thing that people don’t know about you?” I’m sure you have been as well. It’s a question asked while playing board games and I love digging deep to try to find something creative that no one around the game table would know about me…….which is tricky when you’ve been married for 27 years and he’s playing too!
Putting lightness aside for a moment and I promise, (myself mostly), it will be for just a moment. One thing that most people for certain do not know about me is how difficult it is to raise a special needs adoptive daughter, (she came to us when she was 11 years old), and who also struggles with mental health issues.
Today our precious daughter is in her low, or depressed state of what has been diagnosed as bi-polar. There is usually several days of lowness before the big “dip” Try as we do to prevent, de-trigger & avoid the “dip,” alas it comes……brutally, painfully…… for her, my husband and me.
Yes, brighter days follow this intense time….yet, the pain involved is fatiguing and leaves an arrow in my heart.
Some of my close friends will ask me, “What does it look like during this time?” See, like most parents of special needs/mental health children, we tend to cover, to hide behind closed doors, to certainly not expose the ‘ugliness’ of our daughter’s behavior at this time. We suffer in silence. When I do open up and share (just a little), I am met with astonished looks as one would never know I was dealing with such trauma in my life…..and on a regular basis.
Everyone is unique and each family that deals with a loved one suffering in this way will have their own story to tell. I am simply opening up mine. During this low time we can expect the following: irrational thinking and behavior, violent outbursts in word and action, destruction of property, barricading herself in her room often going 3 days without showing herself (this has included no food and using a bucket for bathroom purposes). Maybe you can see why I don’t share this……until now.
Why now? There are days I feel trapped, in my own home, in myself. Not sure where to turn to for freedom from this seeming prison state. Of course I have measures in place, support systems such as respite, mental health team, psychiatrist, art therapy, etc. I am my daughter’s greatest advocate. Still…..it feels hopeless at times.
However, two years ago, I fell trap to keeping silent and found myself stuck, immobile, isolated, filled with pain and fear of today and the future. I refuse to get stuck again. Communicating and facing my pain and fear has permitted me to come out of my own self inflicted prison and I’ll never go back there…..ever again!
This too shall pass. The brighter days are ahead. The sun begins to peek through my daughter’s mind and suddenly there is a shift, movement, the change has come. She will come forth, often with little memory of the intensity of what just took place.
Have you ever gotten stuck? I have shared how I did and one way I got ‘unstuck’ was I had my brain profile done and used this awareness to bring understanding which brought me clarity which led to me getting my power back……it can happen to you too, I believe!
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