I told you the story of my son and his OCD. Now, I thought I would share a story about my daughter. My kids have sure had their struggles!
The day Becky was born, she was a screamer. She was fine if I held her, but if anyone else picked her up she would scream the entire time. The nurses thought it was hysterical and would bring other nurses into my room to show them. Becky would be fine in my arms, but every single time would scream if anyone else took her. But, when they handed her back to me, the crying shut off. Our bond was that strong from day one.
It quickly became not so funny when a year later, I became very ill and couldn’t care for her for a couple of days. She wouldn’t eat or sleep. All she did was cry. And, it was her own father trying to take care of her. I had to feed her no matter how sick I was. I was so scared of giving her the flu, but that was the only way she would eat.
By age five, it was apparent that she was having real issues with people. I exposed her to other environments all of the time, but it never helped. I tried day care and she would cry the entire day. I finally took her to a doctor and was told she was just shy and would get over it once she was in school.
School was a nightmare. The teachers had to pull her off me every single morning, which her screaming as if they were killing her. She would sit silently and not interact much at all with the kids or teachers. She was okay in Kindergarten once she got past her fear of leaving me, but from first grade on it was terrible! They had her meet with the school psychologist many times over the next few years and I had many, many school meetings. At a fifth grade parent-teacher conference, the teachers informed me that she was failing everything. I already knew that. We worked hard at home and made progress, but in school she cried off and on all day and was terrified. She could only read very simple words, such as “the”, “and” and “to”. It is very hard to do school at the fifth grade level when you can’t read! At that point, the psychologist told me she had a type of short term memory problem. It was actually impossible for her to retain enough information long enough to process it and have it sent to long-term memory. So, when given a set of instructions, she would remember the first part, or the middle and last part, but some of it was not getting through. He told me that she needed special help to learn. I had been fighting for her to get that help for years! They tested her and she tested ONE point above the cut-off to get help.
I took her out of school and taught her at home. By the end of that summer, she was reading such books as “The Lord of the Rings”. She still to this day loves to read. She still needs to get her GED, but she is working on it. Math and science are really holding her back. It’s hard when your brain drops a lot of the information and you have to keep starting over from the beginning to learn something!
She was also diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder. Even now, at 26, she is extremely shy and very nervous around people. She has worked part-time as a nanny for a very nice family for two years now, and the kids adore her. She is wonderful at the job! We have known these people for six years now, and Beck still gets tongue-tied and nervous when talking to them. But, around kids she is confident, loving, and a wonderful teacher.
I have had one doctor say anxiety disorders do not run in families, and I have had another say they do. I have OCD, and so does my son. I’m positive my father did, even though it was not diagnosed. My sister is bipolar and my daughter has social anxiety. So, yeah, I think it is heredity.
So, Becky, I love you and respect you so much! You have gone through a lot already. But, I know things will get better and better as you gain confidence. Everyone in the entire world has some kind of issue or another, and a story to tell. Nobody is alone even though sometimes it feels that way. Keep pushing forward and try to only look back when absolutely necessary! You’ve got this!