Three out of the four children who live with us have some form of mental health concern and the lucky other one has two severe learning disabilities. Just with that quick introduction most of you will already understand the fights we have fought and the stories we could tell. We have certainly been on our fair rollercoaster rides and still are, to be honest.
As I mentioned we have six children, the two oldest are my husband's stepchildren and they have flown the coop as one would say, growing up so fast and becoming independent. Though I have never had to parent them as such they know that we are always here to help them in any way and I am proud to say they call home when things get tricky.
We then have the four that live with us of who I will introduce to you as they feature in our blog and reading about them will certainly help you understand why we started this site. We have Mr 15 years, he officially has ADHD, dyspraxia, general anxiety disorder (controlled now with intense cognitive behavioral therapy), and joint hypermobility. He is quirky and knows it and is proud of who he is.
Miss 13 years follows next, she is the one on an intensive mental health journey and it is mainly because of her that I have started this site. She has the label of (if you want to call them labels) of anxiety disorder and PTSD.
Miss 12 is the next in line, and in reality, is the most 'normal' (whatever normal is) child. She has from time to time suffered from anxiety and we have got her support with this however having just turned 12 life is pretty sweet when you a strong-willed, girly girl who mostly find fun in the world.
Came up in the rear but never last is Mr 11, he like Mr 15 is very quirky also. Over time Mr 15 has taught Mr11 to embrace quirky and to be proud of who he is. Mr 11 has very severe dyslexia and struggles at school, and then to add on top dyspraxia which adds on the social aspect too.
We have been through the mental health system three times now, Miss 12 was a breeze, that could be because we didn't have to get the district youth mental health team on board. It was a simple referral to a couple of groups and she worked through it.
Not the case for the other two!! I won't dwell on our experience with Mr 15 as that journey started 10 years ago (when he was 5) and end when he was 12. Thankfully we came out the other side (even if sometimes I wonder how we did).
It is Miss 13 that has brought us back into the youth mental health system and it is mostly our journey and experiences we share in our blog. Nothing about this journey has been successful or pleasant. The sad part is that 2 years in and we are no closer to any answers or support.
DH (darling husband) and I spend a lot of our days dealing with situations, appointments, meetings, emails and phone calls trying to get the best outcome for Miss 13. It can be a lonely road, and there are many moments in the day we struggle. But I know there are others out there struggling too. I hope this website can help someone else know they are not alone too.
We hope that others will share their stories so we can truly discover that we are all not alone.