On the way home from the beach last week I had a great conversation with my best friend. She not only gets me as a person and knows me inside and out, but she herself is parenting a child with special needs and understands the joys and pains that go along with that. Amos has needs that are unique to his situation right now. Will he always be this way? No. Will he always need the extra love and attention? Probably not. Will he always try to push me away and see how far he can push my buttons? Gosh I sure hope not. But for now, he is my special needs little boy, who needs way more from momma than any of my other kids do.
While at the beach we had a great time. The kids played and I enjoyed myself mostly at night when all the kids were in bed and Debra and just relaxed, watched tv, chatted and got online. The thing with being away is that it's just that, you are away from your normal routine and your normal life and for kids like Amos that can spin him way out of control. Now for the most part, he did great. Really good. We had a few instances and I could see them coming a mile away and hopefully intercepted them fairly well as to avoid a major breakdown. Most of the hard times were first thing in the morning, when he was ready to go and well, mom was no quite ready to go. Lots of buttons being pushed then.
It was on that ride home that I talked to Amy and told her about these chest pains that I had been having previous to the trip and then during the trip. It was as if my chest was heavy and caving in. Of course, me being the hypocondriac that I am I immediately thought I was having a heart attach like my mom. Oh goodness, my brain can take me to some crazy places.
The more I talked about them though, the more I realized when the pain started and when it was worse. I twas always during an issue with Amos, right after one, or when I was literally just replaying them in my mind (which I do ALL the time to see if I did the right thing). She told me it might be anxiety.
What? Anxiety. For real.
Anyhow …. she told me that I should go and visit my doctor and he could probably get me on some medicine. Just the thought of that gave me chest pains! I just knew he would tell me that I needed to suck it up, get back to being a mom and remind me that I asked for all these kids so I needed to deal with it. I was certain that would be how it would go.
That weekend I went to my parents and had extra hands to help and that was great, but I was still feeling tired and overwhelmed and ready to be home in my house with my hubby to help me out. When we got home I started talked to Aaron about the conversation that Amy and I had and he was super supportive. Way more than I thought. You see for weeks, Aaron has looked at me and asked “what is wrong with you? you just don't seem yourself.” I never knew what to say, because I didn't yet know what was wrong, but I knew I just felt off.
The past 6 weeks and really past few months have been very hard on me. I've felt isolated b/c of us wanting to stay home so much with the kids. I've felt out of the loop since I haven't joined my mom's group since Amos arrived home. I've felt alone since most of my friends have fairly “normal” kids that don't do some of the stuff that Amos does to us. I've felt lots of guilt for getting frustrated with him for stuff that he can't help b/c he has been hurt so much in his lifetime. I've felt smothered by a son that wants to be at my feet ALL DAY LONG and then the feelings of guilt wash over me for feeling smothered by something that I wanted for so long and by someone that I love so much.
You see this ugly vicious cycle that I have gotten caught up in. Frustration. Guilt. Anger. Guilt. Frustration. Guilt. It's ugly. Nothing good about it.
Last week I made the call that I had been dreading forever. I called my doctor's office to schedule an appointment with him. The first time I called and they asked for the reason for my appointment I hung up. I mean what was I to say …. “Hi I am Jamie, I have four kids, one is a hurt child and does things that he doesn't really mean to do and by the end of each day I think I'm losing my mind and having chest pains.” I thought for sure she would tell me to stay seated and that they would be sending someone over soon with a little jacket for me to wear and my husband and kids could visit once a week. The loony bin is where I thought I was going, b/c some days that is how I felt.
I called Amy, told her I hung up and she told me to call back and she told me just what to say.
Okay trying again. This time I did it. I told them I was having some emotional issues I wanted to talk to him about. No more questions. Good. Appointment made.
That brings us to a week ago when Aaron, myself and two kids walked into our doctor's office to talk about my life. I was so nervous that I was having chest pains. I just knew he would tell me to pray more, read my bible more, get up earlier, take more vitamins, or something.
Doc came in and we small talked for a second (he's friends with Aaron and me with his wife – could be awkward, but a blessing this time) and then we got right to the point. Of course I started crying. Telling him that 4 months ago Story came home, 6 weeks ago Amos came home, a week later my mom had a heart attach, a week later she had another one and then we just have been doing life and it's been hard for me. Wow. I said it all and of course was crying. He was amazing and listened and Aaron chimed in when I tried to downplay something.
Then began one of the most wonderful doctor experiences I have ever had. First he told me that I needed to deal w/ my pride with this issue. The fact that I hadn't talk about this with my girls (band wives) was an issue of pride. He said I needed to get that right. He told me how important community is for me right now, and that I need to have women in my life praying for me and knowing my struggles so they can help and know how to pray. Then he talked to me about getting in the word more and making sure that it's a priority in my life. Honestly with four kids, I would say I'm in the word 4, maybe 5 days a week. He talked about my prayer life and how that needed to be.
Yeap all this with my OBGYN. You are jealous, aren't you!
Then we talked about medicine. He wasn't sure how we felt about medicine and I assured him that I was not opposed to it. I told him that I can't keep going like I am each day. I will lose it or collapse or both. He was completely understanding of my feelings and we talked about different things. He gave me 3 prescriptions. One for every day. One for sleeping and one for “oh my word it's the end of the world I need something now or I'll blow” – I'm hoping I don't ever need that one. 🙂
So there you go. I am a mom that was having a hard time. I talked about it with my husband. He supported me. I visited my doctor. He listened to me. He prayed over me the most sincere prayer I have had prayed over me in a very long time. He prescribed me some medicine to help me out.
I said it. I needed help.
I still need help.
I'm clinging to Jesus more than ever.
EXTREMELY well written, sincere and sweet. I love when mom’s are just plain honest!
Been there, still doing that. I was diagnosed with an Anxiety Disorder nearly a year ago. I am learning to let go of the things that I thought I had to control and keep in order. Lexapro has helped and counseling helped too. It is a scary place to be when you feel like you are losing it. Hang in there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and it is not a train!
You have been through so much in the last few months. I had a doctor too that told me the same things when I went through those same chest pains and found out they were anxiety. I just want you to know that it does go away. I have been anxiety free now for almost 5 years. Keep looking up and you will find rest in Him. What you are feeling is VERY common. VERY. No one ever told me that I may have a tough time bonding with my child and not the other way around. That caused me so much anxiety that could have been avoided had I known it was very common. Not fun to go through but again very common. I will be praying for you and for your body to allow itself to relax. I would always tell my doctor that I felt okay during the day but at night I would wake up in a panic and think I was having a heart attack too. He told me that its common to think you have control over what you are dealing with and feeling but at night when you are alseep your mind shuts down but your body reacts. I just want to give you hope that you are NOT alone and that the day will come where you no longer need that medicine and you can smile at what you went through!
You are just flat out awesome. Asking for help is one of the hardest things for me to do. You did what was best for you and your family AND you shared your story with us so that we can be inspired and unafraid.
Thank you. I’ll be praying for you.
Oh Jamie…beautifully spoken. I’m happy you have a doctor like that who can look beyond the “physical” and give you the shot of “spiritual” too. I also have an OB/GYN like that who will pray with me, cry with me and just love me. I’m blessed to call her “friend.” I’m praying that life will get better for you. Just know you are not alone…blessings to you.
I wrote a post a couple weeks ago that I thought might encourage you – http://inspiredtoaction.com/2010/02/if-youve-ever-felt-discouraged/
love you, friend.
Jamie it takes courage to make that first vist and even greater courage to share your story so honestly with others. You are in a great place. It is sad so many women feel they have to suffer in silence.
I’ve been where you are back in 1992. We had moved from VA to Austin leaving behind our first church family and friends. I was overwhelmed, alone, and confused. The BEST thing I did was getting the help I desperately needed. It was a season that I went through and emerged on the other side a much better & healthier person. I am thankful for that period in my life as I was able to understand God’s love and care for me. I also became a better wife and mother by taking care of myself.
Praying for you.
So thankful you got it ‘out’!!!! So thankful you have a great husband and doctor!! Thank you, Lord!!! Totally get ALL of this! Our transition w/ Jeremiah was so, so, so hard. And I felt SO much of what you are talking about here. So much.
Love you! Praying for you!
i just love you! i know we don’t know each other that well, but i love getting to know you through your posts. i so wish i could physically be in your space sometimes:) i appreciate your honesty and transparency. i deal with similar physical and emotional issues and it’s not because i’m running after 4 kids…i can’t imagine:) but i do think this crazy military life and the isolation and uncertainty of it is just too much for me sometimes. i appreciate you sharing your journey and how you work through things. it’s a big help to know other moms feel a little crazy from time to time:) thank you again for sharing your heart. i hope this new gameplan works and you feel much better soon!
btw, i am incredibly jealous about your caring doctor. you wouldn’t ever get that kind of treatment in the air force world:( so glad you have that great support!
I suffered this way as well. You did the same thing we did-went from 2 kids to 4 in a short matter of time. You do feel the guilt, you prayed desperately for these kids to be home and now they are and you are falling apart. Also, don’t ever let anyone tell you that there is not a ‘post partum’ type depression for adoption. I have studied Post Adoption depression, and it is real. Many Docs do not understand it, and mothers (and fathers) suffer in silence. I am glad you go the help you need, to help you be the mom you want to be!
I can relate to this SOOO much. I have also been having panic attacks (the chest thing) and I also saw my doctor about it. Also taking the meds, which are very helpful. I think my husband is very grateful for them!
I have been doing a study on the words Peter spoke about having a “living hope”……
My heart prays for the answers you need for you and Amos!
His grace and peace!
Much Love – Sheila
You rock and I’m so glad you were able to talk things out with your doctor and get the meds you need. Praying they bring you peace and relief. <3
That’s for inviting us into your world on sensitive topics. You’re definitely not the only one and this is so very helpful. Typically you only hear one side of the remedy, either Jesus or meds. Btw, that pic of you and your kiddos is amazing!
Crying in the middle of school…praying for you and sooo love you!
you are precious…just precious.
Love you, girl. As a mom who has fought depression for decades (crap. I’m old.) and occasionally anxiety too, let me just say, there is no shame in it. As the Indigo Girls say, It’s only life, after all.
Wiping tears because you hit at the very tender places of my heart. SO PROUD OF YOU. And once again you make me feel normal. I’m in the same boat you are. It’s been a much better boat since I got help too! Love you!
Jamie – all I want to say is girl you are awesome. What you are experience is very real – and very hard to deal with all at one time! I think the strongest thing a person can do and admit is that they need help…I respect you greatly for asking for it! I am praying that God will give you that extra special dose of whatever it is you need… and that the meds the doctor has given you will help you greatly! And that the support of your friends and our prayers will lift you daily!
I don’t know you, but I wish I could sit and have a cup of coffee with you ! I love your honesty and your authentic spirt to share with so many moms. You are not alone. What a gift your OBGYN is! I will be praying for you!
Thanks for the honest post. What an awesome OBGYN experience, and what a gift a supportive husband!
By the way, what a gorgeous picture (you and the kiddos!)
I’m glad you were able to get help from your doctor. I’ve had frequent chest pains related to anxiety for over a year and I have a history of OCD and anxiety, and my doctor just told me that all the anxiety and chest pains were normal and I needed to deal. I’m glad you’re able to get the help I can’t.
you are beautiful inside & out…thanks for being real. love you girl!
Jaime, big hugs, girl! Utilize all of the help you can! I know the period of staying home to bond is really challenging, when you want/need a break so badly, but are trying to promote attachment.
I’ll be praying for you that the Father meets all your needs in this season, even if it is through different means than usual.
Isaiah 40:11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
May you feel him leading you gently.
Jamie, I hope you realize how many ladies you have helped by sharing your story!
You are the Real Deal! I am so thankful that God brought you into my life! It still amazes me the way God orchestrates EVERY step of our lives. God knew when Kyle gave me a CD to give to Kent of Spur 58, God knew when you sat in my living room to interview for teaching at LCT, God knew when Cayden was born and I fell so deeply in love with him, God knew when Deacon made my heart fill with joy and love–that–Sarah would come into our home, that Story then Amos would come into your home. I truly believe, that if I hadn’t been listening to all that you have been saying for all these years, I might not be where I am right now. I thought that God had placed us together so that I could help you with Cayden and Deacon while you were away from your family. Now I see that God had so much more in store. You and your friends have been my “long distance” support in taking care of a hurt child. I believe that because of my mercy giftedness, I would have taken in Sarah. I do not believe that I would have known how to handle it all. NOT that I do it as well as I want to, but I have the strength to press on. There were so many times I thought I couldn’t do it, I wanted to give up, but you gave me the extra encouragement to go on. Sometimes it was through a conversation, sometimes just a thought of something you have said at one time or even blogged at one time. I know that all the steps that we have gone through together have taken us closer to the Father. I am excited to see the future.
You are REAL. I am just one of the many who are following God a little bit closer because of the life you are living. Don’t let the things people say, get you down. Your transparency allows others to not feel alone. It is true-there is strength in numbers!Through that, we have the courage to pour our hearts out to God and He walks beside us and gives us oppourtunities to be used by Him. What a privelege! Thank you for being “you”. I love you and thank God for the friendship he has given us.
Oh girl. Wish I could hug you. Thanks for sharing. THIS is real. Praying for you!!
Beautiful Picture of you and your kids!
Beautiful words that are brave and honest!
Thank you for sharing this and for your beautiful spirit. Praying for your family and for all of your hearts and for sweet little Amos to be able to let go of that pain and struggle from his past.
I needed thjs today, Jamie. Hmmmm, maybe it’s time I had a talk with my husband….
Three years ago…right about this time actually…Isaac (our first boy) had been buried for 3 months and the world came crashing down. I couldn’t figure it out. I had done so well. I had answered a huge call God had on my life, why all of a sudden…? I was certain everyone would think I was weak, stupid, over-emotional…how could I be transparent and ask for help…I was standing in my bedroom and my very best friend was on the end of the line and she said “you have two other people in that house that depend on you, you don’t get to tank, go get help NOW” and I did. I called my obgyn who is amazing, got drugs, then promptly went into counseling where I experienced EMDR for the first time. The outcome was amazing, I think…as I’m writing this now…I didn’t want to diminish what God had done by being vulnerable to the reality that I wouldn’t get to hold my baby for a very long time…I wanted to have dealt with it perfectly…so I didn’t grieve after he was buried. I thought I had grieved enough before…I didn’t give myself a chance to digest the truth.
help is good…good friends that tell you to get help is even better…and having husbands that truly desire for us to be ok is so amazing.
So glad to be part of God’s family where you can meet in some obscure place (like a blog) and still be real. Praying for you.
Jamie I have struggled with Hope and Faith being home. I feel guilty a lot because sometimes I don’t like them. Don’t get me wrong I love them very much but I miss my family the way it was. We are all missing our family the way it was. However we can’t imagine the girls not being with us either. It has been 8 weeks since they have been home and we have finally begun to feel a little settled. I wasn’t spending time with the Lord because I was so busy. I missed my realtionship with God because I was so close to him for the last two-plus years. I have turned that around and I am now doing better. I am already on anxiety meds. I’ll be praying for you. I just wanted you to know that your not alone with these feelings your having. Love ya, Kristy Kuenzi
I have so been there— and I am here now to say that it *DOES* get better (for most, most of the time). When our boys came home we went from being a fancy-free couple to being a family of four (with twin Haitian baby boys suffering all sorts of things). I felt like my world was upside down… and I felt TOTALLY ALONE and isolated and alienated. So much I could say here, but I the most important is just this: seriously, it DOES get better. It will get easier and you will look back on this someday and be so grateful that you did the tough work NOW so that you can relax more and enjoy more LATER. You are not alone. You are loved and prayed for and thought of.
Yours in the struggle,
and your honesty
ps- here’s a good read I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME (but it isn’t) The truth about perfectionism, inadequacy and power by Brene Brown
Thank you for posting this! I am still waiting to bring our daughter home from Haiti and this is sooooo good for me to read in preparation for reality. You are doing a great service for all of us and the children by being honest.
I’m a little behind on reading your blog so I’m sitting here this morning catching up. Thank you so much for your honesty. I’m so glad you wrote this post. It reminded me that I still need to be praying just as fervently for you guys now as I was about Story and Amos coming home. And now I know more specifically what to pray for. Thanks for that, I know it’s difficult to put yourself out there and I appreciate that you do, especially since I do feel led to adopt in the future, so it’s good to know both the ups and downs of it.
I am catching up on a few blogs this weekend, and just saw this – oh, Jamie. . . . what a monumental season of experiences you have been through! I could not imagine the stress – obviously, so much has been great – finally getting your children home, your mom recovering well, having such a great circle of supporting friends. I am just so proud of you for getting help – for recognizing that you needed some, and then for sharing it. So brave. So transparent. and so helpful to all those moms out there wondering what to do in their own situations. You teach, and you do it in such a non-threatening way. You are wise beyond your years. And i just love your heart. I’m praying for God to strengthen you in this area of your life, and to bring you His supernatural peace. I sure do love you.
thank you for writing this. we are due for a chat.
YOU ARE AWESOME!! I fought getting help for 3 1/2 years!! Finally went a few weeks ago and I’m finally seeing the joy in motherhood again! It is so hard finding anyone who understands our kids. Our little girl is so out of control during “outings” that we just don’t go. I’m a social person so it’s really hard not doing the things I love.
We also got help for her. She is on meds now and what a huge difference we have seen in her. She is a happier, more secure person. She can focus on something long enough to enjoy it! We still have some really horrible days but there are also some really awesome days too.
Please, don’t let Satan win the battle by convincing you to feel quilt over your feelings. There were days when I truly wanted to get in my car and drive away! Those days rarely happen now.
You inspire me! Keep at it, friend! And know even though we have only met once, I am praying for you and with you!
opps… that should be guilt, not quilt!
Oh, sweet Jamie… Praying for you and your sweet Amos (+family)! Thank you for sharing your heart!
I don’t have time to regularly read blogs, so I catch the ones I enjoy in spurts – just now catching up on yours. I always love your posts: so fresh, so real, so from the heart. You know all of this, but you are not alone in this journey of adoptive parenting, and anyone who doesn’t support you or who critically blogs about you elsewhere either is in denial themselves or hasn’t walked a mile in many of our shoes. Praying for you and thinking of you ~ sure wish I could see you for a hug on my Nashville visits!
Oh… I have so been there. I am so glad you have a doctor who understands grace and was there to challenge AND help you!
Thank you for your courage and bravery in sharing this part of your story. I can be so afraid to admit struggle or weakness, so I often meditate on His grace being sufficient for me. Boasting gladly in my weaknesses seems so counter-intuitive. You do just that in this post so beautifully, grace-filled, Jesus-focused. And, you’re right. I’m jealous of your doctor. 😉
You rock for posting this. We – the female Christian community – need to support each other through the ups and downs of life instead of labeling certain things as “the-absolute-worst-thing” or saying we’re not praying enough or that anytime life gets interrupted it’s something to hide or be ashamed about. God knows our pain. He knows our struggles and he doesn’t want us to hide them – from him or those we love! I wish more women would speak out about this issue so we could take it from being something to be ashamed of to something we need to love each other through.
I can’t tell you how much I needed to come across this today. I will be calling my doctor today to get some help. Thank you!
You are amazing!!! I have three babes 16, 11, and 10. I suffered for years in silence and I had to finally listen to my husband and got great help. Thank you
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