I haven’t posted an update about Buddy in awhile. I haven’t posted in over a month actually. Some of you noticed I was missing, and I appreciate those of you who have reached out to me to check and see if everything was okay.
Here’s the truth: it wasn’t okay, but it is now. Buddy’s diagnosis was recently changed from Tourettes Syndrome to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Sensory Processing Disorder.
I had a hard time accepting the change. A neurological condition was okay in my mind… by a psychiatric condition was not. Even I fell trap to the stigma that psychiatric conditions hold. The day that I took him to see the specialist in Neuro Psych was scary. It was an expedited referral because his neurologist had indicated that she thought he might be schizophrenic. So, we weren’t seen within the warm, familiar and friendly walls of the children’t hospital… we were seen in the cold, sterile walls of the adult psychiatric hospital. We walked in and a few moments later the hospital went on lock down because of someone in the parking lot. I never did find out what happened. It was scary, and it was a world that I didn’t want my child to be a part of. Then the doctor told me that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is hereditary, and I knew that he probably got it from me. Pile on the MOM GUILT.
No, I don’t have OCD, but I have obsessive anxiety disorder. I’m treated for depression. PTSD. I look back to people in my family tree, and I see the signs of mental illness there. Unfortunately, a generation or two ago, people didn’t pursue treatment for mental health issues until it severely affected their quality of life. I recognize the signs though, and I can see it… through my family tree, and even my husbands.
It’s been a dark period for me, which was compounded by not taking the medication that I need to take, and not enrolling the therapy that has been prescribed for me. I didn’t want to be the cause of my son’s problems. The mom guilt that I live with every day over his birth was enough, wondering if it was something I did during my pregnancy that caused his brain abnormalities. Now, I’m told that his conditions have nothing to do with his brain abnormalities, and they are hereditary… likely coming from my side of the family. This created a lot of anger, frustration, fear, hopelessness for me.
Having gone through this period, I’m not afraid to say that I’m not better for it. This dark period didn’t bring about some enlightment, there was no event that shined a light on the solution to all of my problems, and my son still has OCD. I still have a handful of medications that I take every day so that I recognize myself when I look in the mirror. That’s ok. It’s okay not to be perfect. I know that God will give me more than I can bear, that is the truth. God will never give me more than HE can bear. In MOPS this week (Mother’s of Preschoolers – check one out in your area!) a sweet friend reminded me that sometimes we scale mountains to show other’s that it can be done. So, it’s okay to not be okay. Who want’s to be perfect anyway?