Thursday, November 11, 2010

emotions run high sometimes

my kids last christmas from left to right: 5th grade noise maker, girl noisemaker, 3rd grade noise maker, and 1st grade noise maker (aka the loudest one)
well first off thank you so much for the wonderful lovely birthday wishes. yes, it was a good day. busy spent, mainly at the school with the book fair, and parent teacher conferences. we ended the day celebrating not only my birthday but for the first time ever all three boys getting A's and B's at school. that's a big deal. not for the third grader or the first grader but for my fifth grader who's worked his butt off trying to get back to what he was before the deployment.

as a family we went to dinner and as a family we are so happy to feel for what seems like such a long time, so much peace and happiness as a family unit. i love this feeling.
some of you have been here to read about (and some of you saw it first hand) that journey and know that it threw my 5th grader (and our family) into an emotional tail spin. i truly appreciate the wonderful elementary school who's been there with us from the darkest times where teachers and i cried over what to do...to now where teachers and i cry over how we're all so proud. that kid has a lot of mom's at that school. phew. no mushiness zone being crossed. sorry. i don't write about this kind of stuff that much anymore because it's really personal and raw with full of emotions. as the blog has gotten bigger i sometimes feel like i need to protect that raw emotion. but today i feel like lowering that "protective layer" for just a little bit because well, sometimes i feel like i have enough "balls" to put more of me out there than other days.
yesterday as i went to the kids' classes and we talked a little about how things were going i got the overwhelming strong conviction of what my role in this life is. a mother to the kids that were given me. i know i'm lucky and blessed to of had each and every single child i call my own. it's a miracle... that life thing...
i like to keep things light here, but for some strange reason i feel like opening up a little more than i have lately. i hope you take my raw emotions carefully.

my child was finally diagnosed with severe anxiety a few years ago. i say finally because for a while there we didn't know what to call it. our life was unbearable at times. i'm pretty sure i had permanent bruises on my knees from all the kneeling in prayer that i did at this time. i also had a lot of bruises on my soul and heart as i watched a wonderful little boy, go from a normal child, to a child with so many dark emotions, of sadness and extreme concern. he developed involuntary large motor tics that at times were so bad, doctors thought he might be having seizures. emotionally and physically you could just see the turmoil in his little body. life was a mess. i felt horrible for not knowing what to do, how to help him, or how to make it better. a lot of the times it felt like he blamed me for most of it. teachers were at a lost. he wouldn't do any work at school. and homework was a joke, he would just be so angry that i would try to make him do it.

he started hiding from teachers, and at church he would hide from his leaders, babysitters quit taking my calls, and he would "run away" from home on a weekly basis. all of this was unfolding as his dad was deployed over seas.

we saw doctors, we saw specialists, and we saw psychologists, and psychiatrists. he was misdiagnosed with so many different things, every week i would find something he could have going on. i just wanted a name so i could then find books and possibly shed some light and get some help. it took a year a half to finally decide on a diagnosis and to get medication that would help him.

and it's been a slow uphill climb since then.
he's been a trooper and we as a family have been able to try to be there, and help each other out with this emotional roller coaster we've been on. i do not think of this as one individual going through something alone, i think is as a family unit trying to mold and figure this thing out together. one thing is for sure he's touched his teacher's hearts. and without divulging too much, to embarrass anyone involved, i know i'm not the only one who worried, cared, and loved that boy so much that it brings tears to our eyes at the wonderful changes that we've seen these past two years. so yes it was a BIG deal as i went to the boys' classes and i spoke with each individual teacher on how they are doing. i got to walk away feeling very proud not because my kids got A's and B's but because of the journey that we've been through to this point. emotions ran high, and i walked away again remembering how lucky i am i call them mine.

i can honestly be grateful for the hard full of trial times because when you get to look back and say "man that was hell, but i'm so happy where we are today, and how it made us all better and how much we are appreciating this moment in time that much more."

i know my roller coaster ride as a mother is still in the works. but i think i'll keep going, even if i know there's still some stomach churning drops in my future, cause man when the ride is over, i want to say even though i was scared at times, it was one hell of a ride.

end super mushy moment that had to get out.

we'll talk soon

comments closed

51 comments:

Purple Quilter Queen said...

What a great post V. I'm so proud of that boy too and for you for sticking by him. That's what we do as mothers - that's our job. Well done. Jenn

Brenda said...

Thank you for being so candid about your son's anxiety. Especially on this Veterans Day when people are thinking of those who serve. My husband is deployed right now and he says the real heroes are the ones who have to stay at home and deal with all of the day to day things like school and sports with sometimes very little support. My oldest DD also suffers from anxiety issues and we've been very lucky that our school & church have been so supportive during this past year. Congratulations to your son, & your whole family, on his achievements. He truly has earned it :).

Pixie said...

that post could have been written about my son. thanks for sharing your story.

Kim's Treasures said...

Great post! Thank you! I finally was able to get my son to see a dr. last year for his emotional issues of anxiety and depression. It has brought a vast improvement...from failing a semester at college to getting A's and B's this semester. It was so hard on this mom with a son far away out of state and being an adult. It took a couple of years of convincing him to go to the dr.!

I'm glad you caught your son's early. When looking back, I can see signs now when my son was younger but they weren't severe.

Glad your family is doing better!!!

Kim

Amy R said...

I recently read a book called Saving Sammy. I think that is what it was called. I blogger had done a review on it and shared it. It was a story of a Mom on a similar journey. I think we all travel that road to one degree or another. Glad you have so many people around you to provide love and support. I'm most especially glad your other half is home now. Our military families pay such a high price for us and seem to be forgotten.

QuiltSwissy said...

We know that the real cost of deployment is the families. I can't tell you how much I do appreciate the men and women who serve. Frank's brother was career Army (vietnam), Frank was Air Force, brother (Vietnam) and grandfather (WWI) were Marines, Dad and Uncles and F-I-L were Army WWII.

Thankfully they all came home. Some were deeply changed.

We owe a lot to these men and their families.

glen

curtandjenb said...

The most wonderfully written post I've read in a LONG time Vanessa! You are simply amazing...

mascanlon said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post Vanessa. It takes so much courage to be open and real. Congratulations to your family and friends for providing all the support and love needed and to your son for all his courage to keep working through the storm, childhood is not easy these days. And most of all thank you and your family again for the service and sacrifice that keep us all safe.

Kirsten said...

My husband is deployed right now. I've been crying for the past two days, realizing the sacrifices WE are making for our country. My 4 yr old seems to be doing okay, not as good as she used to be, but thankfully not terribly either. My heart reaches out to you. How amazing it must be to see your children grow and overcome trials. I cannot wait until I can look back and be able to see the growth we have done, we are still in the midst of it, but we are inching closer to the time that our daddy comes home.

Katie K. said...

Your words and story have touched my heart. I can't imagine the journey your family has been on, but I praise God that He has been there with you the whole time. I am not a mother, I'm not even married...but I do teach Sunday School at my church. I want to thank you for reminding me of the opportunity I have each week to pour into the lives of these amazing little people who are still forming. Thank you for the parent's side of the story and the encouragement to be that help to the families I come in contact with. God bless you and your BEAUTIFUL family!

Carolynn said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal and touching story.....amazing kid, amazing Mom, amazing family!
Bless you!!!!

Suzanne said...

What a great post, and thanks for sharing something so personal. I always appreciate it when others do because it makes me feel more comfortable sharing personal things in my life...and when I do that it's like a load taken off my shoulders.

kodie said...

so happy for you! i feel like i can relate a little to your emotions right now because my little family has just been through a momentous time in our lives. my otherwise healthy-as-a-horse husband became seriously ill recently. after we were told he most likely had leukemia, the doctors finally realized he had a very serious and destructive vegetation of bacteria growing in his heart. it has been a 3 month long process of hospitalization, home health visits, and finally open heart surgery. it has really sucked at times, but it has really put everything in perspective. i think the most amazing thing we have experienced (like you!) is overwhelming support from friends, family and even strangers. it makes me feel like this world might not be that bad of a place after all.

Simply EC said...

Its interesting that you wrote about this today because I wrote a post today about growing up with severe anxiety. My husband and I watched Phoebe in Wonderland, which I highly recommend because it is about just that kind of situation with children and it dug up all these emotions I hadn't thought about for awhile. I'm so glad your family has found something that works for him. Go Mom!

Kori said...

We watched American Tale yesterday and I asked my kids if they liked it. My youngest said, "yeah, but not the sad parts." I told him I liked it all. He said, "Even the sad parts?" I told him that the sad parts make the happy parts even happier. Yup. Such is life.

Anonymous said...

anxiety. an enemy. it almost lost us our home. his job. and our marriage. i am so grateful for prayer and medication. (and remembered covenants made.) thank you for sharing. it hit close to home. we all grow from trials, and even though we don't like them, we are grateful for the chance to become stronger and more committed. (now, off to fix my smudged makeup)

Fay said...

My daughter is still struggling with anxiety after the loss of our youngest to SIDS this year. We've had a rough, rough year. Somedays, like today for instance, it's so rough I'm not sure I can do anything at all. --We all feel so helpless sometimes as we watch her. Thank you for your post. I'm so grateful to know that there are others out there who have watched their sweet kiddos come out on the bright side. Our prayers and happy thoughts are with you. ; )

traceyjay said...

well, you've got me crying over here!

Prayers going up for your whole family. Sometimes we really are tender little souls... thank you for your tenacity! (and honesty)

Amanda Joy said...

This post was awesome. I am so glad that he is doing better and that you were able to get him help at a young age. Having family members with severe anxiety, I know it can be rough, especially when they went through childhood and didn't get diagnosed until they were adults. It is defintely a rollercoaster ride, but the great days out weight the good days, that certainly outweigh the bad:)

LeAnn said...

thanks for sharing your emotional experience. Being a mom is definitely not easy in and of itself but throw in a deployment and major behavioral issues with no answers.... The bitter definitely makes the sweet sweeter.

I'm getting ready to have a baby two weeks after my dh deploys with the Navy. Don't be surprised if you receive any desperate emails from me.

<3

Sare said...

Your kids are so lucky to have you for a mom. thanks for sharing those words

Kaye Prince said...

This is such a wonderful post Vanessa, thank you for sharing it with us! Hugs!

Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top said...

God bless your husband for serving our country. And God bless you for being such a wonderful mommy. I'm glad you were able to help for your son and woo hoo on the As and Bs. That's awesome!

gramma/mom said...

Thank you for baring your heart--it not helps the barer but usually others as well! I too have kids with "issues" and wanted to share with you about two of said kidlings who also had anxiety issues which were much improved when we discovered that one suffers from gluten-intolerance and one who is allergic to wheat...both of which can create a whole gamut of problems seemingly unrelated to just intestines...I share this because you never know when it might hit the nail on the head... If this sounds at all like something you are interested in finding more about...feel free to email, etc. (We hail from SLO-town :)...) PS love your blog--you're adorable!

DJ Rose said...

Thanks for sharing. I just spent an hour with my special boy when everything had crashed down on him. He was diagnosed with autism at 4 and at 6 with a dairy allergy. With the dairy gone he is so amazing, but we still have struggles--since he lived his major developmental years being so sick.

I've been feeling frustrated and overwhelmed the last few weeks with him, thank you for reminding me that it will get better.

You are truly lucky to have people that love him. We are struggling with leaders who would rather him not show up.

Again, thanks for sharing. Its great to know we're not alone.
DJ

vivi said...

hi v
you're a great woman

being a mother is always a big challenge, but I wouldn't change a thing of the story with my Olivia

and your boy..he is a brave boy!!
thanks for sharing
take care

Andi @ Jane of all crafts said...

This post spoke to me for so many reasons. I myself suffer from anxiety and depression so my heart goes out to your son. I'm happy to hear that a lot of progress has been made and that you and your family have found peace again.

Today was a scary day for me as a mother, my youngest had a febrile seizure in the car and to be honest I thought we were losing her. We spent 4 hours in the ER and we are still rattled by the experience. And like you said, even though it was hell we are thankful to be here today and are reminded how blessed we are to have each other.

pamela said...

I know it took a lot to share this journey that your family has been going through. All I can say is thank you and I am sure that this helped somebody else out there.

Katrine said...

Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this post! I know how hard it is to share such tender thoughts and feelings. My son also suffers from anxiety. It can be overwhelming. It is also difficult because of the behavior others see is not recognizable as anxiety. As a mother it can be overwhelming as you try to help your suffering child. It feels so good to know I'm not alone! I know of no other mother who is doing the best they can to help their anxiety filled child. Thank you for sharing!

Julie said...

I got way too teary eyed for already knowing the story. I am so glad he is once again the happy boy he was always meant to be! And i'm glad you made it too!

Noni said...

Wow as a mom can you really ask for a better gift! I'm so excited for you and for your little man okay he might not be too little. As awful as it is to hear such tough stories it helps strengthen me for my own little challenges. And scary what the future might still hold.

Anonymous said...

I have been an anxiety sufferer from about age 3 that I can remember and I am now 37. At that time, anxiety was not even an issue that was talked about much less diagnosed in children.

I was always a very bright student and high achiever, however, I never felt that I would be able to accomplish anything due to my anxiety.

In 5th grade I was having panic attacks about high school graduation; I never went to any of my school dances or social events even though I was always asked; I even got into college, but I didn't think I could graduate because I was going to have to give a 30 minute oral dissertation in my capstone course.

In my mid-20s I came to a point where one day I just could not leave the house! For 3 weeks I barely ate, showered, or talked to another human being and I was trying to figure out a way to plan my life where I wouldn't have to be a burden to my family but I could also do everything from home so I would no longer have to leave the house.

I got myself into therapy and tried exercising, yoga, journaling, herbal remedies, meditation, and anything else that was mentioned in late night informercials. In the end, the correct solution for me ended up being medication. I began my medication around age 30 and I literally feel like a different person. It felt like I was a diabetic who was trying to think my way out of needing insulin.

Anyway, my whole point in commenting was just to say how glad I am for your family that you guys figured out so early how to help your son. I'm sure as a mother it's heartbreaking to see him go through this, but he's got so much to look forward to just as a consequence of his condition being recognized now.

Good luck to you all!

Patchwork and Play said...

Thank you for you wonderful story of survival and triumph! Just remember - what doesn't kill us makes us stronger! Hugs

beth lehman said...

Thanks V for keeping it real and honest. How proud you must be of your boy!

Diane said...

Happy you are now on the other side of this, looking back rather than in to the storm. Nothing hurts a mom like having her kids hurt and not know ing how to fix it.

Sandy said...

Thank you for sharing such personal times about your darling family...real and honest! Sometimes we read blogs and think "wow what a wonderful life she has...no problems". It is refreshing to know that we all have these things going on in our home...so happy that your son is progressing and happy again.

Missy said...

Magnificently put. Couldn't have said it better if I tried. of course, I haven't been the THE trials you have but I have my own. Being a parent is a wonderful blessing. And like you said, I am glad a trial is over but so happy where we are now because of it.
Congrats to the boys for such awesome grades.

patsy said...

Thank you for sharing.
My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with conversion disorder (seizures caused by anxiety- well- theres more to it that that..) after many many doctors visits & tests then more tests.
oh gosh- it's so hard.
Thank you - Thank you- to your husband & your family for all your sacrafice on behalf of this country that we all love.

Congrats on getting better! On dealing with anxiety & sharing it! SO MANY PEOPLE suffer with anxiety- bless you for sharing. It will help more people than you could ever imagine :)

shana said...

thanks so much. your post was an encouragement to me as we are dealing with what sounds like a very similar situation with our 6th grader lately (and it's been building for some time, but it recently pretty out of control, in my opinion). i'm going in to see our pediatrician next week as a starting point and hopefully we can get our sweet, happy boy back soon!
blessings,
shana

IHeartQuilting said...

What a beautiful family you have! Thank you for sharing, and best wishes for continued happiness!

Merry Made Quilts said...

Cue one homonal mommy bawling in front of the computer over the bravery of another! Congrats in every way!

The Allen Family said...

well said! my husband has anxiety and it was so hard for him when he was little too. thank goodness for sweet mamas like you! i'm sure you're precious boy will make turn into the man of some girls dreams, just like my man did :)

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Oh V - they are all so lucky to have you as their Mom! Been here since way back when praying for and encouraging you.

momto2wasd said...

I'm glad your son is doing so well, and your family is doing well.

bethanndodd said...

Sometimes you just have to let it all out. You and your family will be at the top of that hill in no time :)

Deb said...

being honest is great. Loads of us live the rollercoaster, really we do. It's not fun at all, but even less fun if in all areas of your life you put on your happy face. It's nice to let the guards down sometimes, and nice for the rest of us who also are screwing on the happy faces every morning {sigh}
Fantastic that you get to celebrate some great progress. Enjoy the moment!!!!!
Hugs
deb xx

Skip and Faun said...

Looks like you're not alone... How wonderful that you were able to put your feelings so perfectly to words that are able to help so many reading it.
I, too, am so happy for the successes you have seen! You have a beautiful family (one that I hope to photograph in this lifetime!) haha! You are surrounded by people that love you and yours.... that includes me. :o)

Heather at Happy Chippy Junk said...

Oooo I love that you are human..but crafty!! Way to make lemon aid!!

russandkatie said...

I loved reading that!

Jessica Munk said...

You're amazing. I am so happy for you and your family! Thank you for sharing.

eamylove said...

Great to hear your son is coming out strong in his struggles, as are all of you. We can all relate on some level.

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