The Short Version Long... of Panic Attacks... and our Journey.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by totoro, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    OK, Due to my long winded and own thread jacking ability! I WILL try hard to not drag this on... which is already happening!
    Of course we received the once a year snow here in Tucson!!! Who are these cruel Gods??? Actually it was beautiful.

    So on to my Mania... what does one do when she is not sleeping and is somewhere SUNNY and had not seen the sun for months.:crazy1: is being told all of these outrages things by the psychiatrist we had hoped could help our daughter... add to that our well meaning In-Laws... show up Saturday.
    It gets better, no real comment about K from mother in law... no real concept about any of this. Despite phone call after phone, "We want to help, we feel so helpless"etc...
    Then the first night, she is telling me about her Sister, how she is having these horrible anxiety attacks, is on medications, getting worse, not sleeping, doctor telling sis, she may have Mental Illness, needs to seek out more intense help. Sister calls mother in law the next day, Very upset and crying, tells her it has all hit her, the weight of it. The words, "Mental Illness"... my mother in law, says, "Oh God we all are Mentally Ill, deal with it"
    She says this to me... as I am sitting there, so Mentally Ill... and my K. I bit my tongue, and just sat there and smiled and thoughts raced through my mind... my family.
    Then we had an Apt. to go to and they were watching the girls, not watching the girls. K was wandering around, I was shaking I was so nervous... K was holding a salt shaker and just shaking salt onto the floor and into her hand...

    We are trying to leave and N disappears, I am looking for her, she is on the toilet, poop, trying to wipe herself... they have no clue.
    husband is yelling at me to just lighten up, everyone can tell I am tense, everyone can tell I am on edge... why can't I just let these things go? Why do i have to harp on everything???
    It has been a lot of little things as well... the we don't want you to do anything... yet who has made dinner every night? and they all have all have weird things, father in law, NO hot stuff, NO onions,garlic etc... Grandpa IL, Yes hot stuff, cater to his every whim, naps, drink at 5 sharp...
    So I am doing all of this. Both of the men are half deaf...
    The girls are on Sensory overload, does anyone care about that??? NO...
    But if I say anything I am being, well me. K is Difficult Child'ing her last medication... also on top of every thing else, it was started prior to the trip...
    and both of them keep getting into something in the yards... scratches all over, yet there they are climbing all over everything outside, yet if I say anything, well I am being manic and a B-i-tch...
    So we leave the girls in this wonderful care... husband is yelling at me to lighten up and that I am manic and I put everyone on edge, all of this true.
    But come on... I am trying so hard here and losing my mind. Oh and the guy in the other room sounds like a chain saw when he falls asleep!!! I get no peace...

    So, husband and I are in the car... going to find a gift for the people watching our house...he keeps yelling at me, about admitting I am manic and that I am the problem.
    I just start feeling this weight in my chest, it becomes so heavy, it is building into my ears. I can't breathe... it becomes so hard, I feel like I am slipping from reality... I start sobbing. I can't talk for the next 45 minutes, I just feel like I am not there... husband just keeps... on me won't leave me alone. we are sitting in a parking lot.
    Finally I just say "I am sorry"
    What else can I say? I am manic, most of this is my fault, I am trying so hard, I am trying to to help my family, but this woman is just, well so caustic... and even though she does love us, she is so the opposite of everything I believe I believe in... She says and does things that hurt me to the core... I try to explain what K is and she stops listening, I try to explain about my friend Weeping Willow and how sad it is making me, she interrupts and starts telling me a story that has nothing to do with any of it...
    I should let it all go. But this is my child, the person who wants to help and spend time with my child. She will not even start to try.
    I know let it go...
    But I have no family and I am trying for my husband, he needs them to be a part of the girls life. How do I do that?

    So then my husband and I sat and talked... took a long drive. We figured some stuff out and felt better.
    So in between this husband has a "Sign" he has been feeling this School that he read about is meant to be... he has waited in a line to put on a wait list for this charter school her for 7 hours in the snow!!! My husband never gets excited like this about anything, we have heard from people that it is the best school school in the area, and get this. We just happened to be here the week they are taking Apps. for the wait list... and we happened to find it... it is a Montessori and the only School that K did well at was the Montessori in Indiana... and N is doing awesome now at hers... this one has been around for 24 years... it has a pool!!!!

    Another thing, we think we found a new psychiatrist!!! #5!!! I went to my list serve that I am on!!! and told them the story!!! right away... I got a bunch of people telling me how mad they were, but I got one psychiatrist from JBRF and CABF here in town!!! and she said OF COURSE she BELIEVES in Early Onset Bi-Polar (EOBP)!!! we made and APT for April... so we have to come back... but oh well....
    the other thing is, the other day I recommended a book, "Mommy, I'm still in here: Raising Children with Bi-Polar Disorder."
    [ame=""] Mommy, I'm Still in Here: Raising Children with Bi-polar Disorder: Books: Kate McClaughlin[/ame]
    And on my same list serve, the Author came on and was talking about her book, and she gave her info... she lives here!!! So I e-mailed her and asked her what it was like living here with a child and what her ideas were and what we were doing etc... She is on tour in NYC... She wrote me back, very excited, and said she will write me when she gets done with her book tour but is super excited to talk!!!
    We also found a an Education Consultant who may have a house to rent, and another person with a house to rent ...

    SO all in all We may have found: A great School, good reviews for a psychiatrist, someone who knows about BiPolar (BP) in the area, education consultant, few leads on houses...
    and a really good feel... and I walked 2 feet away from a bobcat tonight and he walked with us... husband pushed me out of the way. The bobcat walked across the street from us and just followed...

    Our journey has been very strange... tiring. But I think good. I am recovering, and I think K is going to be OK...

    I am sorry. this is long. We go home Saturday to start the next step... the inlaws... ?who knows
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    No wonder you are manic! I'd be stressed, to say the least. At least most things are starting to move forward. Perhaps you should try reciting the Serenity Prayer when it comes to your in-laws. I doubt they'll get it any time soon, although they do love the girls.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am so sorry that things were hard with your in-laws. I hope that you can, in time, find a way to let mother in law's caustic nature just roll off your back. It is REALLY hard to do though.

    I think you made a lot of progress this visit - with all the things falling into place. Montessori schools are wonderful, in my opinion. My difficult child was in a school starting to become accredited as a Montessori when he 1st went into daycare. It was an amazing experience. I think both girls would bloom and grow there.

    I think touching base with the author is wonderful. And finding a new psychiatrist who believes in bipolar (isn't this kind of like believing in chocolate - it just is), and an educational advocate, and poss some homes, so much progress.

    It must be so hard to be manic and thrust into that situation. And I KNOW it is hard to leave your kids in a situation where the adults are not able?? willing?? going to focus on them at least enough so you can feel safe about them, well, as a MOM it is terribly bad feeling.

    Maybe your husband was feeling a lot of pressure from his mom and dad?? Soemtimes we don't know what our in-laws are saying to our spouses when we are not there. Or the backstory of what they say when we are there. I think maybe this is something to talk to husband about?? If his mom was that rude/mean/witchy to YOU, how was she to HIM?? Again, been there done that with the in-laws.

    At least you have had a lot of testing done. This can be taken to any psychiatrist. Or other specialist. Have you already requested records?

    Not sure how you take info from doctor to doctor, but if you don't have it organized, there is a Parent Report outline in the General Archives Forum. It is on the last page, very bottom. Personally, it made a big difference when I walked into IEP's, new docs, old docs, whoever with my 3 ring binder, my report, and copies of whatever info I wanted to share (whole thing with docs, much less with schools). I even had a picture of son on front cover AND on each the beginning of each section. So the whomever never forgot who MY Gift from God was.

    Anyway, you are probably already organized, but it might help.

    Sending hugs and hopes for less cycling for mommy and K, and for N and husband to settle back into the routine for a while.


    ps. Happy Valentines day!
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    OMG! :highvoltage:

    I'm on sensory overload just from reading the post. No wonder you're flipping out. Talk about mega stress!

    Only thing I can't think of to say is for you to be polite to extended family, and kind, but when it comes to special needs......Hey, I'm guessing these grandpas have wives, right? Let them do the catering or they can eat out. Trying to figure out how to cook for several different people with different dietary needs is too much for one person.

    As for the rest......take deeeeeeeep breaths and let it go. When it really starts to get to you tell yourself over and over that they love the kids.

    My mother in law is truely wonderful. But she didn't get the whole difficult child thing. My kids were angels at her house. (thanks to me, and their adoration for her) Took her YEARS to see the obvious. I think it finally hit her that Travis is a difficult child when at 18 he wanted a toy for xmas that was suited for a MUCH younger child. lol But she bought it for him anyway.

    But she adores my kids. And I'm lucky because in 25 yrs she's never once criticized my parenting.

    It's great that so much good came from so much chaos. I hope it continues for you.

    So? Is it time for them to go home yet?? lol

  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Oh my gosh, T. I think I forgot to breathe just reading your post. So much in such a small amount of time. I would have been coming out of my skin. I think you handled it wonderfully.

    I know the experience with psychiatrist4 has been incredibly frustrating, but it looks like some good really came of it. With the info on psychiatrist5, the author, the school, the homes. You made some really good contacts and got some really good info.

    Family is just, well, family. If they're going to get it, they're going to and if they're not, they're not. They love the kids and the rest can just roll right off your back. Easier said than done, especially in an already high stress situation, but it will come eventually. You have bigger fish to fry.

    I would have loved to see the bobcat. How cool is that?
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Oh Sweetie. I am so sorry.

    Like it has already been said, I almost got manic just reading the post. You have a ton on your plate. It may sound trite, but I do see progress. S-L-O-W progress, but progress. I wish there was something I could do to help you.

    Hugs and kisses form Chicago.
  7. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member


    i am so sorry that it is all so stressful. Personally in reading what you wrote, I think that maybe the stress of it all got to you--as it would to any of us. I am not sure it is your mental health that is at fault. It just sounds over the top stressful. It is so hard for people to understand what having a mentally ill child is like.

    But things seem to be looking up for you for the future, which you so deserve and need. Just getting through the week or so without anyone ending up in the hospital from a nervous breakdown seems to me to count as successful.

    You will get it figured out, and I remain hopeful that there are some medications that will work for your daughter. Things can turn around so much with the right medications. My own family life is so much better than it was a few years ago.

    Anyway, I feel like I havent said anything new or useful here, I just don't want you to beat yourself up.

    I found myself wishing so much you could get away for a few days with your husband and do something relaxing. That's part of hte problem of our kids--there really is no one to leave them with many times so that we get the breaks we need.

    Anyway, I hope the sun continues to shine for you.

  8. Star*

    Star* call 911


    ((((((((HUGE HUGS))))) and earplugs. OMG my Dad could inhale forcefully the wallpaper off the walls. We went camping one time and people 2 campsites away banged on our camper door asking my Mother to please do something about my Dad's snoring. As children we thought this was hysterical - no one in our house ever slept when Dad did.

    You know - right this second you are in a strange environment. Just because these people are Jeff's family - doesn't mean you are supposed to have kinship and know them immediately - getting to know any new environment and people is hard and THAT is if you have NO other outside stressors. You have to sit down for a minute and think about all what you and Jeff and K and N have been through in the last month. You've gone through a tremendous lot and sure you have added stress of worrying about your board family - and OF COURSE someone should sit down with you and say "Gosh Toto - I am so sorry for your friend, I am so sorry for you." and you aren't getting that.

    It would seem your mother in law's way of dealing with all of this is to ignore it. Personally I wouldn't hold it against her - she's at an age where all her kids are grown and gone, her husband is in her home, sounds like either her dad or his dad lives there and by your own account his chainsaw nose and demanding dietary catering issues are a problem for her too. If it bothers you for 2 weeks - imagine living with him. I don't think your mother in law doesn't care - she just can't deal with anymore of anyone else's problems right now. AND TOO -and probably the largest factor - most people in her age group were brought up in a generation where the word MENTAL ILLNESS or even the thought of one of HER decendents having a 'quirk' is an direct reflection on her. (We know it may not be, but again - you aren't considering the generation she grew up in).

    As far as Jeff - yelling. Well - the way I see it - he can't complain to his Mom - or his Dad - and he's been stuck in their house, with their rules, and their quirks and dealing with a manic wife and 2 kids who are out of sorts and he doesn't have anyone to unload on either. TRUE it would have been better for him to go scream at a tree, and telling you in a manic state to get over it - well again, better to scream at a tree or find a way through therapy to vent would have done more good than boxing you in a car and pointing out all your faults. I don't think he meant to be ugly Toto - I think he just is out of his element and had no one else - unloaded on you and knew you'd take it. When you aren't manic - you need to set the boundaries on fair fighting so it doesn't happen again.

    As far as moving - Are you BOTH (you and J) sure that this is the absolute best move? What are his thoughts about living there with his parents? Do you forsee that down the road you will be the caregiver for his family and feel trapped at this point? Something I think is really biting at you and I don't know what it is. Does J understand the "rules of the move" as far as each persons role in what chores will be expected of them?

    Maybe NOW is a good time to sit with J and really examine IF you want this move. Family can be a blessing and/or a strain on a marriage. Do you think having or being around the family is a plus or do you have a future fear that you're going to have added work in taking care of them too? Not that you don't love them but considering the girls - and yourself - this isn't going to be able to be an option. And maybe in defense of J's parents - maybe I'm all wrong - maybe THEY are at an impasse in their lives where they like how things are, they are coasting into being seniors - and now your family has been there two weeks giving them a taste of what your's and Jeff's life is like and they don't like it at ALL! They weren't prepared for it and don't want to be? Never that they don't love the girls - but even MY mom wouldn't babysit - I think once in Dudes 17 years - she watched him at her convenience. That's fine - I didn't have a child to make her a babysitter. No regrets.

    Give today - the time you need to figure out when you and Jeff can get away without the stress of that house, the girls, finding a home if you are going to stay get the home you want - you and I talked about dreams - are those not coming to fruition? Could that be a stressful thing? Sure - But you need to talk to J - let him know how you feel.

    Right now you're just under too much stress to make any good decision. Two weeks of living with a human lumber mill will do that to anyone with sensory issues. And WHY are you cooking all the time? For staying there? If it's something you WANT to do - fine. If not - you need to talk to your mother in law and work out a schedule. I know you are a phenominal cook - but Jeeze lousie - you ain't chef Puck. Get out of domestica for a while - even Chuckie Cheese once a week would be a welcome (but barfy) relief. :tongue:

    Hugs To you -
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am so sorry for the LOOOOONG post. But I had no one to talk to, except you all.
    And you are who I wanted to talk to!!!

    Anyway, yes I have a great Folder! I actually went to retrieve it from the UofA Yesterday, they tried to act like it was theirs... UM NO... it has K's Picture on the front, video, parent report, and all of the our evaluations, assessments and tons of info from every psychiatrist etc, even a little picture on the back of how K feels when she is going to the psychiatrist...

    Yes mother in law and father in law are taking care of her Daddy. He lives down the the street from them in N Indiana. SO they do not live here in Tucson!!! HEE HEE... They will only be visiting, once in a while...
    SO the support will be, not very often, just when they come to visit, and I think we will all calm down once we get used to it???
    husband's brother will be supportive as well, we love him!!! He is super easy going...
    We are thinking of support as in a community, and the things that are around us... the resources that we are so lacking in North Idaho... So far everyone we talk to says that it is a great place for support, even the Author, wrote me back and said the place we are looking into is wonderful as far as schools and support!!! Everything!!!
    The educational consultant said today that she feels this place is far and above most other places, she is from Chicago... she feels the Schools could get a little better... but are trying!!! She is an Advocate and has been a Principal and an educator...

    I am pretty excited. Once again thanks you guys...
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad you sound happier this evening. :)
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Toto -

    Weeeeeeel see there???? (LOL)

    So we get to throw you a house warming party soon? Or is it a farm warming par-tay? mmmooooo

  12. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I'm sorry you had to go through all this i really am. it's such a hard and confusing journey to be on most of the time. don't ever beat yourself up i'm completely insane we all can be at times the pressure gets to you it's inevitable. if i had to deal with in laws while dealing with this let's just say ummm i would of kicked them out with-their no garlic and no onions etc. lol you are a nicer person than i :)

    anyway sounds like its' been hell and back but it sounds like you got some really great stuff out of it and that's what counts in the end. a school, a new doctor, wow!!!

    ok wishing you guys a safe trip home. some peace and quiet.

    Jen :)
  13. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    You sound stronger - more positive this evening. Can I say "rested"? Reading your first post I was on sensory overload. And I'm half deaf!

    I'm glad that you & husband figured you needed the time alone to talk & work things out. This type of trip is stressful enough - add in a your children & your level of stress trying to maintain......I'd have been over the edge way before you.

    Keep us updated - this all sounds so very promising. For the entire family. As beautiful as Idaho can be isolating - almost intimidating.

    Take care!