She’s Back!

My daughter is home again. The circle is complete again, the circuit is closed again, the sun shines brighter, my life lays softer on my shoulders because she brings me so much light!
It’s actually been just over a week since she’s been back from camp. I haven’t written sooner because I’ve wanted to just focus on her.
She was very happy to be home, a different kind of happy from last year when she’d only spent a week at camp. Then, when I picked her up it was hugs and happiness, yes, but there was also her wishing she could stay longer, begging me to try and get her two weeks at camp this year.
So we were able to get her a two week stay.
During this past school year my daughter began seeing a counselor at school after a few emotional outbursts in class. Mary has always been very sensitive. She never understood what we call good natured ribbing. She’d take things people said to her very seriously, feeling targeted when other kids were just, well, kidding around, not meaning to hurt.
And she was just awkward in many social situations. I put most of it down to her being an only child but I wondered if maybe there wasn’t something else going on.
Then I got a call one day from her counselor asking if I’d ever thought that Mary might have Asperger’s, a mild form of autism and I said yes, I had.
The counselor went on to explain that many of Mary’s behaviours, including walking on her toes, were typical of children with Asperger’s.
She suggested we try to get an official diagnosis. We’re still on a wait list. But for me, having the counselor back up something I’d believed for a while is enough for me to start trying to see things the way my daughter sees them so that I can anticipate and better understand how she may react to any given situation.
So when I picked her up from camp and we were in the car driving home I knew that she had been well cared for and had enjoyed her time at camp, but she was near the end of her ability to cope with it all.
I had been thinking she might want to go to camp for three weeks next year, but we’ve found out that two weeks is the limit for her to be away from home. It felt good to be able to understand her this way, to be able to give her my full attention and understanding and support.
Then we got home and it was all, “Jeepers I’m glad you’re home!”
And, “I’m glad I’m home too!”
And, “I sure love you!”
And, “I sure love you too!”
And movies and junk food and just settling happily back into our old routine.
Whew! I made it!

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Kathryne Miller

I am a single mom living with Bipolar 2/hypomania. I don't get the extreme manic bouts if Bipolar 1 but I do get the crushing depression. Lots of that. My disease has affected my life since I was a child. I had my first major breakdown on the air at a Toronto radio station many years ago and I still suffer the effects of that event today. My hope for this blog is that it will shine a little light on a disease that has left too many people lost in the dark for too long - some willing to die rather than talk about what is happening inside their heads. I want to share my story of living with Bipolar 2 in order to promote understanding and dialogue.

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