Monday, April 12, 2010

You Don't Know My Kid (so STFU)

Warning: I'm kinda pissed. No one should take this post personally.

Scene One: Picking up a prescription for my little one's anti-depressant at the pharmacy.

Me: "Fiona's doctor called in a prescription, is it ready yet?"
Clerk, checking computer: "I can't give you that, the pharmacist won't allow it."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Clerk to pharmacist: "What's this about, it says "check age"?"
Pharmacist, looking at computer: "She's too young for that medication. Do you know why the doctor prescribed it?"
Me: "She's been on this medication for over 6 months now. She is under close supervision by a psychiatrist and a psychologist. Her psychiatrist prescribed this for her because IT HELPS HER."
Pharmacist: "Well I don't think it's appropriate to put a kid on anti-depressants."
Me: "Well her psychiatrist who is a specialist in childhood depression and anxiety does. "
Pharmacist: "Fine, we just want to make sure you know why this drug is being prescribed."

Scene Two: Our backyard. That dayFiona had been grounded for 2 days from TV for whining, talking back and screaming at me for hours on end...

Fiona, crying hysterically: "I' m sorry!"
Me, calmly: "I know you are sorry."
Fiona: "So I'm ungrounded?"
Me: "No, you are not ungrounded. You need to learn to respect what mama says."
Fiona: "But I said I'm sorry!"
Me: "I know."
Fiona, now sitting in my lap sobbing: "This is all my fault. It's all my fault. It's all my fault."
Me: "Fiona, you need to let this go now."
Fiona: "I can't! It's all my fault. You hate me now."
Me: "I do not hate you. I love you very much. I just don't like the way you are acting today."
Fiona: "No you don't, you hate me. Why don't you like me?"
Me: "I do like you, I just don't like your behavior."
Fiona: "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I want to kill myself."
Me: "Fiona, please don't think that. I love you so much. I would be so sad if something happened to you. Life is good, you have so many people who love you. Don't be so hard on yourself."
Fiona: "I can't stop thinking about it! It's all my fault!"

...This conversation goes on for another hour or so, until I stick her in the bath in a desperate attempt to distract her, which works (thank God). After her bath she had dinner and was finally calm enough to go to bed.

Scene Two was just one example of the ways in which my daughter is extreme in her emotions and behaviors. I could give you a dozen more, but frankly I don't feel like it. I've read books, talked to people, taken her to a variety of specialists and doctors and we've finally found a diagnosis that makes sense. That takes all her unique ways of being so raw to the world and helps her find ways to live without being so freaked out all the time. Therapy is a big part of this, but medication is a part as well. And that's OK. The meds that she is taking help her. They tame the wild beasts of her mental illness and they have given me back the joyous, energized, full-of-life child that I used to know before her disorders began to manifest themselves. I can't stress enough the ways in which my child has blossomed in the last 6 months or so, and it's all thanks to the help she is getting.

So why this post? Because people judge, and I'm sick of it. The pharmacist who doesn't approve of her medicine. The people who think we are crazy for sending her to therapy. The well meaning parents and educators and doctors who make the assertion that too many kids are put on drugs these days (which I do agree with, btw) and then take it too far and say that all kids on drugs don't need them. The strangers in parking lots, grocery stores and even schools who whisper and give unsolicited advice when viewing a tantrum. None of those people knows my child. None of them has the right to say what my kid does or does not need, how I should or should not parent her. All of them need to STFU.


Sara said...

Yes... they do.

leaner said...

I agree with you and Sara.

Lauren said...

That makes me furious.

Cassi said...

Well said! My heart breaks listening to all you've been through, but you're obviously a strong woman who's doing the right thing for her child. No matter what other people *think* they know.