Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What a Way to Say Hello

Which is worse: having a child in physical pain and not being able to help? Or having a child in emotional pain and not being able to help?  Honestly, I don't know the answer.  At least if a child is in physical pain, it's more obvious.  It's easier for a child to describe, and easier for a parent to understand.  But having my child look at me and say, "Maybe I just don't fit into this world."... My heart is breaking for her. 

Two weeks ago my 8 year old Little Miss had a meltdown of monumental proportion.  Then last week she had another one.  But these weren't "I'm not getting my way so I'm going to scream bloody murder until you give me what I want" meltdowns.  She was howling in emotional pain like she just needed to get it all out or she'd explode.  I've never heard such a sound come out of an eight year old.  At the time I told her I'd talk to her doctor about it.  She begged me to take her to a therapist.  But then I changed my mind and thought, no this is just a behavioral issue that we have to deal with.  We're being too easy on her.  We're letting her walk all over us. 

Today, it's so strange because so many things just dropped like puzzle pieces into place.  I was having a conversation directly after school with my friend A who mentioned, somewhat offhand, ADD.  I said, yeah, I've looked at that before and she doesn't meet all the criteria.  Fast-forward to at home after school and I tell my SIL, L, about the conversation I had with A.  Now, L has had her own dealings with children and both medical issues and psychological issues.  She and I have talked about LM's behavior and the problems she's been having at school with spelling.  And because she is one of my very best friends, and because I know she loves my kid almost as much as I do, I was not at all offended when she said, "There's no harm in getting her a neuropsych exam.  Even if you don't come out with a diagnosis, you might get some insight into how her mind works and that will give you more information and you may be able to help her better."

Fast forward again to homework time.  Homework is never easy in this house.  We're always telling LM to quit fidgeting.  We're always remarking about how she's distracted by lint.  She's got this "I need to be perfect" complex going and it's absolutely killing her.  So, during homework, she starts giving me attitude.  I send her into the next room to calm herself.  She comes back a few minutes later, still sporting the 'tude.  So I asked her, "Do you enjoy being angry all the time?"  At which point, she just starts bawling. 

She tell me that she doesn't want to be angry all the time but that she has this pain.  I say, what pain?  She said she can't describe it but how it makes her heart hurt all the time.  (And no, she's not having chest pains.  She's talking emotional pain.)  So I ask her to tell me about the pain.  She tells me that she doesn't want to be angry all the time.  She doesn't want to yell at her friends.  And she doesn't want to hurt all time.  And then she says, "Maybe I just don't fit into this world."  At this point, of course, I'm trying desperately not to bawl.  Then, to make it worse, she asks, "Do you think it will ever get better, Mama?"

These are not questions an 8 year old should have to ask.  I have always said she reminds me of a teenager.  But really, this was too much!  It was like she was 15, hormonal, pms'd out and asking me that.  But the emotional pain was killing me.  So, I put in a call to her doc.  Hopefully she'll get back to me tomorrow.  This time, I'm not changing my mind.  My kid can't keep going through this.  She needs help.  And I need help to help her. 

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