parenting: the possible diagnosis of a mental disorder

I've been debating on whether or not to press publish on this, and I guess today I am... I mean know I rarely talk about my deep down personal life, especially the bad parts, but today it's going to get real up in here.

Ever since I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a mom. I wanted the whole shebang- husband, kids, dog, and a white picket fence. I wanted the sense of being needed. I wanted to be called mommy. And once Lil Man was born, I knew my dream had come true.

And the first few years were great. Sure, I went through some battles with my depression, but I got it under control, and really loved being a mom. I loved it through the hard times of not being able to breast feed, of having to switch to soy formula, of potty training, of tantrums. 

I learned alot about parenting... but nothing could compare me of a possible pending diagnosis of ADHD or Aspergers. And I say pending, because I can see what is going on, but I have yet to go to the appointment for Lil Man (it's next week).

At first, I didn't want to see it. Sure he was a hyper lil kid, he got too excited about normal things, and couldn't sit still, but everyone, including the doctor at his four year check said that he was just high strung. But she did tell me that once Lil Man got into school, they might tell me that he was ADD or ADHD. I just shrugged off her concern, and went about my life, for the simple fact of knowing my kid and knowing that every kid in some way shape or form, has ADD or ADHD. In short, I was oblivious.

Then my mom started making comments about how Lil Man was like my brother. My brother who had had a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD Bipolar manic depressive at the age of 3. My brother who when he was in his teens, finally concluded that with everything else, he was also on the Autism Spectrum, and had Aspergers. I still didn't want to see it. Because, to me, having a diagnoses of any of those things, would put a target on my child's back. In school and in public. And no parent wants that. Ever. 

But I did start looking in to a Montessori school, and I was all gung ho for it... until I saw that it was going to cost me over a grand a month to send my kid there. And then that idea was shredded and the decision to send Lil Man to public school was final. 

But things didn't stop there. Once we got Ellie, Lil Man started not listening more. I would tell him multiple times to leave the dog alone, and to not be mean to her. And to pick up his toys, because she would chew them up. But nothing I said seemed to get through to him. Nothing anyone said seemed to get through to him. And it was aggravating. Needless to say, there was lots of time outs, because even thought I believe in spanking, I didn't think it warranted it. 

The kicker to all of this is when we were sitting at Chili's and our waitress asked when Lil Man was diagnosed, and I was all sorts of blindsided. I politely said that he hadn't been and was just a normal five year old. When she went on to say that her child had the same issues, I still denied that anything was wrong with my kid. Because admitting that there was, made me feel like it's my fault. Like I did something wrong.

I mean, maybe I should have seen everything coming, considering that they talk about how ADD and ADHD is inherited, and the fact that my brother, and my nephew have both been diagnosed. Maybe my child was screwed from the get go? Maybe I shouldn't have just turned a blind eye and embraced the fact that my child, the tiny human I grew inside of my body, was not normal.

Overall, I feel like I have failed as a parent. I feel like I should have stopped to think about what everything everyone was saying. I feel like maybe if I would have admitted there was something wrong, he would have gotten the help he so desperately needs. 

But the stigma still worries me. With kids that have physical disabilities,  you can see them with your own two eyes. You aren't oblivious to what is right in front of you. And other parents aren't either. In fact,  they encourage their kids to play with the disabled kid to make them feel like they belong. But with the kid that has the mental disabilities like ADD, ADHD,and Aspergers.... inclusion is hard. The child looks normal, but play is rough because they are awkward in social settings, don't pick up on clues, and are impulsive. Plus when your kid starts rattling off different repetitive things, other kids get scared. And so do the parents. They almost act like your child is HIV and their kids aren't vaccinated. 

I've gone though this type of stuff with my brother and as a parent, I am scared to death for my child. I'm scared that he won't be able to make friends, do well in school, or be somewhat normal. What ever skewed view of normal I have in my head anyways. 

I don't know what the future holds and maybe I'm just being a worry wort, but I'm praying for something like hope. And patience. Yes, definitely some patience... because I am seriously going to need it. 

*I know I may sound a little petty, cause the diagnosis hasn't come yet, and if/when it does, it's something that is small compared to birth defects and other worse things, and I apologize for that. I am grateful that Lil Man is physically healthy. 

Does your child have a diagnosed mental disorder? Or even a pending one? How did you deal?

Always say yes to the wine.

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