It’s The End Of The Year As We Know It…

The last week or so my FB page has been filled with photos of friends children. Kids with smiling faces as they eagerly look toward days filled with swimming, playing, and then onto another school year and another grade. No longer will they say, “I’m a second grader”, but they will proudly tell people, “I’m in the third grade now!”

I see photos of older kids, decked out in graduation cap and gown, leaving the care free days of high school and by extension, childhood behind. Older kids with a summer ahead to prepare for college, trade school, military service or to enter the work force full time. My screen is full of so many rays of hope, so many dreams of the future held in the hearts of parents and children alike. I am happy for them all. I am…I am.

The end of this school year has no meaning for Pickles. While 2 years ago she was reading, writing, and doing math well ahead of her grade level, she has now lost 2 full years of school being in and out of psychiatric units and residential treatment centers. Two full academic calendar years and many more years in her own inner ability to do more than the low end of 1st grade work. She can write her name still, all be it the readability depends on the day and the level of her psychos in that moment. The majority of her letters and her numbers are written backwards and anywhere and everywhere on the page. It all depends on where “they” think she should write.

Reading? No. Pickles can now barely read the simplest of words; and that’s on her best day when her “ghost friends” are hiding deep in the recesses of her mind. My daughter who should be looking ahead to the 3rd grade, spent 30 minutes in “time” (read: isolation) yesterday drawing about her behaviors that landed her there because she can’t write about them. Because she can’t but barely write the simplest of 2 or 3 letter words.

Pickles is so smart. Anyone who has met her and talked to her will tell you how she is bright and engaging. That’s what makes looking at all those young smiling faces rip my heart out and bring me to tears tonight. While Pickles talked about her first real off campus activity at her new residential treatment center, I choked on tears. While Pickles told me over and over again the same story about her day, all the while pausing as if to listen to something other than me on the other end of the phone, I held back tears. As she hesitated when I asked how she was feeling, happy, or tired or something else…when she hesitated as if to listen to someone other than me before quickly saying she didn’t want to talk about it, I held back the tears. I held back the tears when I said that it was ok if she didn’t want to tell me, and I held back tears when the reply to that was given in a hushed little voice:

“Mommy I can’t tell you, they’ll know I talked about them.”

When I asked her who she was talking about the reply given in an even quieter voice was:

“The moons!! They keep watching me all the time! And they don’t like it when I talk about how I feel because it makes them mad. They will make me die!”

As the gravity of those words sunk into my heart like hot, molten lead into a smithy’s cauldron, I choked on my tears so as not to let my little girl hear them in my voice.

While all the while, all I could think about were last days of school, summer swim parties, and family vacations under a warm sun. And the end of my world as I ever could have known it.



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About picklesprincess

I'm older than I'd like to be, and most days I feel even older than that. I enjoy about the same things as most of you. I read as much as I can, I spend my free time with my daughter and my dog when I'm not teaching or writing. This blog is written in hopes of sharing what a neurobiological illness (mental illness) does to the life of a young child and her family. And to educate people about what it means to love a child, another human being unconditionally.
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5 Responses to It’s The End Of The Year As We Know It…

  1. Tami Dalrymple says:

    Oh Kirsten, this post rips my heart out as well! I am so very sorry you have to endure such sadness and pain with your baby girl. You know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers, and that you can always, ALWAYS call when you need too! Hang in there, and continue to be the awesomest, most strongest mother I know! XOXO

  2. Karen says:

    Kirsten, in tears now myself, my heart breaks for both of you. As one of those that posted the very pictures you describe, I can totally feel your pain through your words. You are an amazing and awesome mother fighting to keep your daughter in our world. Your little girl is beautiful and incredibly smart. I love watching the animation just oozing from her as she talks. I am hopeful for you both that the right medication will be found and she will once again be home with you. (hugs)

  3. motherscurse says:

    Hopefully they will soon find a med combo that works for Pickles and make all the ghost friends be silent. Or at least be talking only to each other and be “locked up in a tree” as my Winter currently has. I keep praying for you both as this is not a life. This is an existence. I love you both. And yes, Pickles is such a bright and happy child despite everything she survives daily, I can attest to that.

  4. M. Wiseman says:

    The disease is a time thief.

  5. Sometimes (well, a lot) I sit and think of all I’ve put my mother through. And as I read this, I could see it all from her side, and it broke my heart.

    I improved. Hopefully Pickles will as well, bless her. And bless you.

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