Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Reality and a 5 yr old daughter.

In January , '09 I enrolled R into preschool. Partly because I knew she needed some prepping before starting Kindergarten in the fall and partly because I needed the time to get things ready for J before he was born in Feb.

I had prayed about this alot and knew that R would need a special teacher for whenever the shock hit her. As God would have it, we found a very good teacher who was kinda dealing with almost the same kind of loss. The teacher had found out that her mom had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer but thankfully lived in the metroplex. The teacher was very patient with her and told me how R was doing in the classroom. Some days were great and she made some friends. Other days she was a little withdrawn and just cried for Donovan. On those days, the teacher would call me and tell me but we had agreed that we wouldn't take R out (since it was a half day) but that they wouldn't push her either. R graduated from preschool with flying colors and I was thankful for all the work the teachers had put in to helping her.

We got through the summer months somehow. Sadly, those months are mostly a blur of people who were willing to open their homes when we just needed to get away from the house. One week, we went to Lawton and I was able to do a Back to the Bible campaign which was exactly what I needed to do and put me on a spiritual cloud nine for several weeks after that. That week was both emotionally difficult and physically difficult.

I took both J and R with me since R didn't want to be left here with K and G and J was too young to be left here. So, we spend a week in a hotel and the kids did very well. I do remember that, up to that point, R was getting to where the nightmares were starting to bother her and that she didn't want to take any naps during the day either. On the first day of the campaign, she did take a nap (which was HUGE for her) and was able to make some new friends at the church building. Thankfully, my aunt and uncle also attended that congregation and they took care of J during the day. On the emotional level, this was not only tough for me but also for the many of the members at Northwest C of C.

I had met K and G on a Back to the Bible campaign when I was 16 and Northwest came to do a campaign then. I met Donovan 3 years later and we became good friends but nothing more than that. You know how crazy those teenage years can be right? Well, we weren't any different. Donovan was all about his black belt, video games, etc and I wasn't. Anywho, Donovan and his parents attended at Northwest when he was in elementary school so this campaign brought back memories for many of them. Needless to say, there were a lot of tears but in a good way. K and G had gone on every single campaign until this one and K admitted later that the thought of going back to Lawton was just tooo painful for them so, they didn't go.

In the fall, R started kindergarten and that was when the shock had worn off for her. She would wake up in the middle of the night screaming in terror and kept telling me that the monster was coming into her room to get her. She started crying at small things at the drop of the hat so I knew that it was time to do something.

At first, I started her in counseling (one on one). R is very shy around people she doesn't know (but give her about 10 min and she's your best buddy) and she didn't want to talk about Donovan or what happened that night. To this day, she still doesn't want to talk about that night and I don't push her about it. I have learned through all of this that children are blessed with the ability of shutting things out when it gets to be tooo much for them to deal with. Adults, on the other hand, tend to keep things in our head and not shut it out but rather rehash everything over, and over, and over again (not necessarily a healthy thing to do). The counseling seemed to help for a while but then R would want to run away from the building whenever she saw where we were going. And the counselor didn't allow me to be in the room with the two of them either so that backfired. R then started not being able to keep food down and was starting to show signs of a mental breakdown. So, I took her to her pediatrician to see what we could do. The MD suggested meds (which is something I didn't want to have R go through but was getting desperate in trying to help her). R took the meds for about 3 days and one afternoon, I found her sticking her fingers in her mouth and trying to make herself gag. When I asked her what she was doing, she just replied "I don't know". When I asked her why she was doing it, it was the same answer.

I then went to Dr. Walden (who had given me the neurotherapy sessions) to see if that could help R. Thankfully, they have a program for children. The child is hooked up to the neuro transmitters and their mind plays a video game that they see on the tv screen. Much like if they were playing a video game at home but without hand controls. We started going every week on Mondays and R started getting calmer and more at peace. I also found out that she was suffering from mini epileptic seizures which is what a body may do when under a huge amount of stress and emotional pain. Eventually, the seizures subsided and she didn't have night terrors anymore. She has gotten sick with some virus or another and that messes everything up for her emotionally because the virus is not only attacking the body but also the mind (I've learned).

Up until a few weeks ago, the sessions were done to help her be stable emotionally (and yes it's taken a little over a year to do this) and to be at peace within herself and start being a happy little girl again. Two weeks ago, the sessions started working on her memories of that night but only lasted for about 5 minutes (because that's all R could handle). These sessions have made R a little more emotional than before but it's good for her to get these out now rather than have them fester in her mind until she's a pre teen and able to put into words (a little better) what she's thinking and feeling. We still have a long ways to go yet but 5 minutes at a time and we'll get there. J will be a whole another ball game and questions when he gets older but, I will cross that bridge when we get there and when the kids are ready for that.

More to follow...

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