Summer Guest Post #5 by Heather of Wearing Some1 Else's Shoes
"Sometimes you just want to cry." my 13 year old Mikayla said this to me this morning when I was doing my morning chores. I can't imagine how she must feel. Hormones are surfacing for her. Plus Mikayla was diagnosed with the last year with bipolar and mild Asperger’s. Being a teenage girl is hard enough especially with body changes and your period starting and now she has to understand her moods aren't the cause, but her bipolar and her awkwardness is her Asperger’s. We don't use the word normal in this house since no one on this planet is. But most of all since my beautiful child is struggling to find normal I will not put a bar up for her to not be able to reach it. I couldn't reach normalcy if I wanted, after all I am a mother of three kids. 13, 3, 7 months. Mikayla, My 13 year old is the brightest star in my sky. That is what I tell her and that is the truth. She lights my world up. After she was diagnosed it was as if someone turned a light switch on and I wasn't in the dark anymore I now understood why she was the way she was as a child. She wouldn't talk to anyone without me going up to them and making them her friend.
She had no imaginative play. She would not try to learn how to do things like ride a bike or roller-skate. She just learned how to ride a bike last year. She smiles at awkward moments and laughs inappropriately. She doesn't understand jokes. She has hygiene issues. She would have outbursts that were extreme over something so small. I never really focused on all of these things till I had my middle child. They are very much different as children are but this is different.
My middle child, Emerald, has an extremely active imagination which makes me giggle when she is playing. Emerald is 3 and is fearless. Whereas Mikayla is afraid of everything and has to be forced to try new things. I am not comparing children only giving a reference so you can see how I started to notice a difference in her. I knew throughout her childhood that there was something going but could never put my finger on it. Until last year in October when she told me she had a plan to kill herself, this was after she had a screaming fit for hours. I immediately took this serious and called hospitals to get her accessed. I had to wait a few days and then she was accessed and put in inpatient. I did not like that hospital but I had no choice since other hospitals were full to capacity.
She was then evaluated and had testing to confirm their diagnosis of Bipolar and then she was put on medication. For a while it was good and things were back to the way they were before. (She has a counselor who comes to the house twice a week and does intensive therapy with her to make sure she doesn’t have suicidal tendencies, self-harm or homicidal thoughts).( I know I probably scared you with homicidal thoughts, but she was planning my death last year and had been extremely aggressive with me on a number of occasions.) Then June during counseling she tells her counselor and myself that she attempted suicide and trying choking herself. I was terrified. It was during the day when I was home doing my chores. We took that seriously and she was put into inpatient again. This time to a better hospital and they upped her medication, re-evaluated her and diagnosed her with Bipolar again plus mild Asperger’s. They helped her out so much in the two weeks she was there plus they did two weeks of outpatient to teach her skills like how to stop negative thoughts. I loved how much she was learning and how excited she was about it. It has been a hard time for her and our family but it is getting easier. And we have a great team working with us.
I am very happy that we found the light in the dark tunnel so that we could communicate better and understand her more. I am so grateful for her. She is a great artist and a loving child. It makes me sad that she is having a day where she wants to cry. But I know that is her bipolar and sometimes she just feels that way. After talking with her she feels better.