Unchained by Sara Stansberry
I was losing her. Standing there, staring off, I knew. I knew I had nothing more to give - nothing left, my bag of tricks was totally empty.
You enter into this thing called motherhood and it's like a piece of you is now living outside of your body. There's a fierceness about it: to love, to protect. It's a fierceness that changes you forever - sometimes for the good. Hopefully, for the good. If you mess with me, I will deal with you, but if you mess with my kids, you very well might end up dead. I am not a violent person by nature, but this is where my instinctual mother's heart goes. Being a mother will absolutely bring you to your knees - over and over again.
No one tells you these dirty little secrets. To the world, it's all joys, and smiles and picnics and monogrammed smocking and big bows. Just ask Facebook.
The struggle with my oldest daughter, was not new. From the time she was born, I knew there was something different. If there is a test, we've taken it, if there is a therapy, we've done it. Preliminary findings reveal the probability of high functioning autism, and probably ADHD, some sort of anxiety disorder, and I'm assuming some other stuff as well. If you met her, you'd love her - she is an absolute delight. Beautiful on the inside and out, insanely intelligent, sweet, and kind. But she's quirky and impulsive and sometimes that makes it difficult for her on many levels. She views the world differently - oftentimes I can't reach her. Sometimes, I feel like I'm failing her. That's when the fierceness comes back to bite you in the ass. I"m not a big crier, but I cry about this. I cry about this a lot, actually.
But, like all families, you work with what you have and make the best of it. You deal. And we have, pretty well I might add, until about 18 months ago when it all stopped working. A steady series of discipline, consequences, meds, tutors, and mentors, were not mitigating the downward spiral I watched happening before my eyes. Grades plummeted as the drama and intensity in our home escalated. I wasn't seeing any signs that convinced me things were going to get better. I was seeing signs of things getting worse - much worse.
Something had to change. And to make that change, I would need to love her enough to let her go.
I found a school, one specializing in dealing with kids with similar issues on both an academic and holistic level. But this school was not in our area, it was 500 miles away. (The journey to find this place is a fascinating story, my life is actually full of fascinating stories, that I will begin to share in this blog). So, the day after my daughter's 16th birthday, we packed her up and moved her to a place where she can receive what she needs to find her sweet spot in life. A place that will hopefully, help her find her greatness. And I had to let her go for a season.
Then, the next day, I completely fell apart. This is the mother's heart. I will let you know how our journey progresses.
Here's to making it great!