It has been a year. One year ago, i was sitting on a couch crying my eyes out. It’s been one year since we received 7yo’s unofficial diagnosis, as well as her official one. One year ago we were sitting at a licensed therapist office as she was explaining that our child is barely holding it together. It was one year ago when she told us, that our then seven-year old has symptoms of clinical depression and OCD tendencies.
It wasn’t long after that first meeting that we received her official diagnosis of MTHFR. A genetic mutation that can cause depression and a laundry list of other things. I would love to tell you that this past year has been easy, but it hasn’t. I would love to tell you that we have arrived and all is right in the world and that would be equally true and untrue.
It has been a year of learning patience ( I am still working on this one), understanding and challenges that I never thought we would face as parents this early in the game. When your child has a physical illness, it’s for the most part simple. you know what to do. They have a fever, you give Tylenol. Step throat? we got meds to fix that. But OCD and Depression, well… that’s not so easy.
For this entire year, we have visited the therapist every two weeks without fail. We have tried journaling, and other techniques. WE have made a lot of progress, but still ways to go. She has went from having a complete flat affect to showing facial expressions and excitement. She continues to open up to me a little more every day. Whether it be friendship troubles or a sibling spat, she is starting to feel comfortable talking to me about those things. She doesn’t always push me away when I try to comfort her now. Before, she would scream and push me away if I came near her when she was upset. It is awful to feel like there is nothing you can do to help your child.
My favorite progress so far is her ability to show her excitement. To have true facial expressions. It was completely heartbreaking to see my 7yo never show excitement. Slightly less than a year ago, I began to write the following :
Depression on my seven-year old is riding the merry-go-round and never smiling. Imagine going round and round on that shiny horse and feeling nothing. When most kids are smiling and laughing, mine is flat. No expression, just hollow inside.
Depression in a seven-year old is never wanting to play outside. It is choosing to isolate yourself, even in your own family. It is sitting in the hallway and reading versus playing in the living room with your siblings.
This year, I pray for continued progress. For my daughter to better understand feelings and emotions. I pray more than anything for my daughter to tell me she loves me. Something she has said only a handful of times in her life. She simply does not understand emotions and seems unsure of what she feels.
This road will never be easy. It will be hard, it will be painful. It is parenting.
Trust in my unfailing love .. I am in control – Jesus Always