OMG I can breathe…..it has been 10 years we have struggled through this….
it started with Night terrors for five years, no one in the house could truly get sleep right through dealing with a separation and threats of violence from their father……the only time anyone (her sisters got sleep) were the 2 months she would not sleep at all except for the random 30 minute to hour naps she would basically drop without warning and have.
every night Screaming through out the night like she was being murdered or worse….and the fear of being reported for something that just wasn’t happening (abuse) being kicked out of where we lived due to neighbors complaints and the desperation to find some way to deal with it. in the end we were waking her at 9 and putting her to bed at midnight because it was the only thing that worked. and it took us 2 years to figure that out and it wasn’t always guaranteed.
trying to function in such a routine while still trying to take care of 2 school aged kids who held a 7-7 routine. for years I felt like a zombie or the living dead.
oh and did I mention….no one else could handle her……there were fights at Creche….there were barmy’s at 3yo kinder there were times it simply was not safe to transport her in a car…..day’s their Father would call and say its not safe to drive her anywhere I will have to wait until she crashes and I will bring her home, and I would have to say likewise to him. no child restraint could contain her at those times she could wind down any window and open any door….you may say oh but all kids do that…what I have found all these years is no one comprehends the Scale of the challenge….duct tape an inch thick on the seat buckle would not contain this child….
at the age of 3 while attending a Psychiatrist visit for their step father, ONE which everyone was there because his psychiatrist specifically needed to speak to ME….and I couldn’t get in the door because she was bouncing off walls coffee tables magazines her sisters heads……and you get the picture….once it finally finished and we were able to leave we couldn’t even get 3 blocks through Richmond’s peak hour traffic before she started trying to literally throw herself out of a moving vehicle into oncoming traffic screaming she wanted to die. thankfully this car had central locking and child locks….and I SPAMMED THAT SHIT!…..he managed to pull over and that child lock Went ON…..and that electric window lock was locked and that child was duct taped into that seat and we set off on the 3 hour trip back home where we could keep her contained somewhere safe until it passed….5 hours…..that little tantrum lasted a solid 5 hours…..
the hardest thing was…none of this besides the night terrors was chronic….it would be lovely and peaceful and considered past and dealt with for 8 9 12 months….and BAM it would arrive again out of the blue and she would be bouncing for 2 months again
and then finally at 4yo kinder they sent her home one day saying your lovely articulate child no longer speaks english please take her to a speech therapist…….her sisters had needed a speech therapist but until then she never had…….we took her along and were told her Speech is still lovely she can form words properly and in full….she is just speaking at a mile a minute and so they are all running into each other make sure you ask her to slow down when talking….and then one day she was speaking properly again…..
we tried to take her to a Pediatrician…..to start recording a medical history for this world record of a handful child…..that no one seemed to understand just the level of the challenge she presented…..
he said she is fine there is nothing wrong with her….well yes today she is fine….but he refuses to record medical history he refused to function as a way to on an ongoing basis monitor her with regular assessments so that one day eventually we could figure out WTF was going on here…..
having to deal with DHS…..because the kids show signs of trauma….well no shit Sherlock their father is a controlling narcissist and we according to him exist to be available for his convenience to make him feel good as a father….he is sadistic he enjoys degrading and dehumanizing people, he loves you until he doesn’t and he wont hesitate to crush you in the course of telling you daily what a piece of shit you are …..which is why we crossed an entire country to be here with you today….every single DHS worker would look sideways at her and say ADHD….and I would say its not ADHD, you sure? I am sure….its not chronic…..
having to warn the preschools and kinders and schools she attended that YES there will be times she will not be able to function in a group, PLEASE do not confront her about it and ORDER her to participate. simply leave her doing what she is doing and get the class started on what they are doing and I guarantee that she will join you in under 5 minutes….and next thing I knew the barmy’s stopped….no more complaints of her DECKING the boy who sat on her and bit her on her back, she is an ANGEL….she is a WHAT?! are we talking about the same child here? the one who literally puts holes in plaster board in her room Draws in permanent Marker over EVERYTHING in sight, does triple back flips off trampolines and lands in the Veggie Patch Straddling pumpkins? and all her sisters are worried about is the pumpkins…..the one whose father during his incredibly rare visits with them will literally bring her back from 2 towns over because come hell or high water in no uncertain terms will she not drink the cup of Coke he brought for her with her meals at McDonalds the child who has to be well behaved for 2 months straight before her grandmother (a woman who literally Flies interstate to babysit 2 Autistic Grandchildren for her other daughter because no one else can handle them) will include her in the invitation to go on their annual camping trip?! ANGEL?
At the age of 8 while I was volunteering in a local op shop for a half day she literally left the house without telling her step father or sisters where she was going and walked across the entire town crossing 2 major roads AND the rail line phone calls left and right if she went missing she was usually at her friends house. Nope not there well if she isn’t there where else could she be…and I looked up to see her walking brazenly in the front door of the Op Shop and coming straight for me. She wanted mum no if’s but’s or maybe’s and no one would be telling her otherwise. There was no screaming or outburst just single bloody mindedness.
anyway long story short……it was peaceful for about 2 years through grade 4 and 5 until midyear……while I was sitting in a psychology consult with my 14 yo dealing with a callous poorly timed statement their father made (he told her she was responsible for everything that had gone wrong in his life a week before he handed himself into police for production of child pornography) and the resulting psychological break down with disassociation acute anxiety hallucinations you know the whole box and dice…..
I started receiving notifications from Facebook and SMS from my youngest who had just arrived home from school… she had taken photos of my pigsty of a kitchen and posted them to facebook tagging me in them…the kitchen of course looks like a bomb has hit it with the devastation of their Morning onslaught still evident throughout the kitchen…….
by now after 3 years of therapy we have a good relationship with my 14 yo’s psych thank god she was seeing her before he dumped that package on her….
so I kept her updated by SMS on what was happening at home once I got home……she has locked us out of the kitchen……she has let us in the kitchen and she has literally (11yo) scrubbed it from top to bottom it is immaculate and she is bouncing up and down saying what an awesome day today EVERYTHING IS AWESOME…..and every week we would update….YEP she is still bouncing she insisted on doing all her sisters chores this week…..yep she is still bouncing although she has started having barmy’s with her sisters…YES SHE IS STILL BOUNCING SHE LUNGED AND TRIED TO ATTACK HER BEST FRIEND TODAY! 13yo caught her in a bear hug mid lunge she saw it coming! I think we need your help!….
and then begun triage and assessment……
All I did was step into the room and say….and this is Jac…..and the psychologist just watched her occasionally asking questions and struggled not to laugh hysterically at the sheer scale of what we had managed to keep such a huge secret for Soooooo long as she bounced off every surface in the room and decorated the white board with massive intricate art work four times over entirely cleaning the massive white board between in the space of 20 minutes ……….
she is about to be a Case Study for Prepubescent bipolar disorder…..
even if I had been successful in trying to get her help earlier we were told she would have likely been thrown at the ADHD label and simply none of the treatments work…..
her’s is ACUTE….the scale of her Mania tops the charts…she spends a large portion of her week simply wandering between her friends houses….those who still allow her to visit being GPS tracked……because….well wandering is a normal part of Mania…..
I know where to find her….
The Treatment has Worked…..the Diagnosis is Confirmed. the Lamitrogine has brought her back down to a functional level without the need of sedatives which she had been on for 3 months and the attack happened IN SPITE of her being HEAVILY sedated for a child of her size at the time…..Sedation was Acheiving 3-5 hours sleep a night where as without it she would have 0 and instead randomly fall asleep once or twice a day for an hour if we were lucky…..
her Specialists are jumping up and down giggling like ecstatic school girls……they have found one of the rarest of the Rarest presentations of Bipolar Disorder……they have found a Holy Grail on which to do a case study….