Thursday, June 16, 2011


Okay, so the end of the school year sucks. It is constant going and coming and parents are stretched thin trying to balance one event after another. BUT...I finally have time to sit down and catch you up...before I head out to my son's 5th grade graduation dance. *see what I mean*

Bren has seen the psychiatrist twice now and things are good. No, I guess I can allow myself to say things are GREAT. I always under report so that I don't get too excited and then fall so hard when something does happen. Bren is making great strides. Do we have a day here and there? Yes, there isn't a fast and easy cure. But those days are fewer and farther between than before.

Why? Partly because so many of you prayed and fasted for Bren, and partly because Bren and her doctor are a perfect match. Paula just knows everything to say to help Bren open up. And boy did she open up! She said things that I had NO idea she was thinking and feeling. And as a mother, hearing her inner most fears, my heart wrenched unlike anything I'd ever felt before. She knows the fears are in her head and impossible, but they still feel real. And because they aren't real, I can't fix them, I can't take them away, and I can't save her from them, and quite frankly that is a really helpless place to be as a mother. But even more, that is a terrible thing to feel as a beautiful and intelligent, and wonderful little girl.

Progress is a good thing. And we'll keep trudging through this until we save our daughter, and Bren controls her life rather than her brain and thoughts controlling her. This is about Bren reclaiming the life she's my job to get her there.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You know that feeling you get when something just feels right?

That's the feeling I had today when I met with Bren's psychiatrist for the first time. She was fantastic! And on the very FIRST visit, with her asking me history questions, we think we nailed down the two events that sparked Bren's slow progress to where she is now with her Anxiety build up.

When Bren was born, she was smurf blue and didn't breathe for quite a while. I had to have an emergency c-section due to her being so stressed and in danger. Upon hearing this, Ms. Paula explained that there is ongoing research about the brain retaining information even when the person does not remember. She explained that Bren's brain could have registered and stored a "fight" memory from that stressful birth and was waiting for some trauma to unlock it.

The trauma, we discovered through talking, happened during the birth of my 3 child. Bren had her first anxiety attack after that and refused to spend the night with family members she used to LOVE to stay with. Apparently, when I went into the hospital for the 4 days to have Jase, I had asked the Grandparents if they would please allow Bren and Mase the opportunity to sleep at their own house in their own beds so that there would be stability while Mom was having a new baby. I found out after Jase was born that Bren and Mase stayed all 4 days away from their own home and at another set of grandparents. I wasn't mad, just remember wishing that our wishes had been respected because Bren really needed to learn to sleep in her own bed more and we didn't want her to feel as though we shipped her off while we brought in her baby sister. I also felt like that stability was important. Perhaps that was the Holy Ghost trying to whisper a warning. But after we all returned home, Bren had her first panic attack when my brother came to pick her up to spend the night (several weeks later) with his own kids. She refused to go with him and it got worse from there.

Ms. Paula explained that while no harm was meant to Bren in keeping her while we were in the hospital, she was a child that woke up several times at night even at 4 with bad dreams and would crawl into bed with us. At anyone else's house, she didn't get that privilege, and spending 4 days away from Mom for the first time, in a house that was not her own, and knowing that her mom was in the hospital, could have been the trauma that sparked her brain to begin reacting to stressful situations. Because literally, after that time, it took Bren up until 2 years ago to be comfortable spending the night at someone's house, and even now it has to be someone she REALLY knows or she won't do it.

It wasn't anyone's fault, it's just that the brain could have retained that stressful memory from birth and that traumatic situation could have set it off. It made total and complete sense to me because that was the first time I remember Bren freaking out and clawing her way out of my brother's car to get to me, and she would cry and beg me to not make her spend the night away from home even at her grandparent's or cousin's houses.

So I guess by the time this initial meeting was over, I felt like we had a good grasp on the the orientation of it all. Now we just need to control it.