Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Beginning

Thirteen years ago God blessed us with a beautiful baby girl with blue eyes and strawberry blond hair. We named her McKenzie Alyse and she was our pride and joy-still is! However, never in our wildest dreams did we think we would have the journey we have had for the last five plus years. In the beginning she was a good baby. It was not until she could move and talk did we realize that we had a big challenge. We thought we had a strong willed child. From challenging everything mom and dad said no to to climbing all over tables at restaurants, and everything in between, we definitely had our hands full. We thought stronger discipline was the answer, but that did the exact opposite. She would get more mad and more bad behavior would result from it. Screaming, throwing fits, disrespectful talk; she once threw a dining room chair at me. She has put holes in her walls, a hole in her door, and even broke our car window shield because she kicked it so hard out of anger. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

She was first diagnosed in fourth grade with ADHD and anxiety with obsessive features. This was when we started with meds. Her ADHD medicine seemed to work at first, but soon it got worse again. She also had terrible anxiety and would not sleep well. There was a time when I would wake up every morning to find her on my bedroom floor asleep, and this was in the fifth/sixth grade. She almost seems to love to annoy members of her family, but yet, she gets easily annoyed by the littlest thing. If her sister is singing in the car, she freaks out. She is also very defiant-ODD-which I have come to realize that this is because her brain feels so out of control all of the time, she looks for something to control which is her saying No all of the time. She is very obsessive and some of the doctors have said she is OCD too. We recently have been told she could even possibly be bipolar. She has what I call emotional break downs as well as rages. The emotional break downs are usually 30-45 minutes of non stop crying with threats of ending her life. The rages are screaming, ugly nasty talk, blocking me, cornering me, even pushing and hitting me. She also at times threatens to hurt her sister when she is raging. Tori is very scared of her. We have tried everything we can think of to prevent them, stop them, or even try to ignore them. We have been to two pediatricians one specializing in mental illness, one center here in Scottsdale, four psychiatrists, and two therapists. Nobody seems to be able to get her meds. right or even get a right diagnosis for her. Howeever, they all agree that one, she is very complex, and two, she has to have the right medication before she can get therapy or it will not work. It is extremely frustrating to say the least. The hardest thing is when she cries and asks, "Why did God make me like this?" and says, "I do not want to be like this; it is so hard. " She wants help and we want to get it for her. We did have a period of time for about four weeks when the right combo of meds. worked and she was my little girl again. I remember even saying "Welcome back!" I'll never forget what she said to me when I asked her if she felt any different. She said, "Mommy, I do not feel any different but my heart feels so much better!" I want that back for her more than anything. I want that for our family especially for the other two.
This fall we sent her to a therapeutic boarding school after things just couldn't get any worse. We had peace in our home for 42 days. She was not angry for being there. She actually wanted to be there because she wanted to get better. In fact, when I left her there, she said Mommy, don't make me cry-I'll be fine, I am going to have fun!" She was so brave. After her being there for 31 days we got the awful call at 3:00 on Nov.11 that said the school was closing due to financial reasons. We were devastated and so was she. She told her therapist there "I thought I would be well before I went home and I thought I was going to get well here." We do not understand what God is doing or why this happened the way it did. McKenzie is having the hardest time understanding and accepting. We do know that God is sovereign and He never makes a mistake. He works everything out for good for those who love him-(from Romans). He has a plan for her as well as for us. We are working to find another placement for her and hope to find that place by Jan. 1. In the mean time we are back to dealing with all of the issues that mental illness brings about. We are trusting and praying. If you are reading this, we would love your prayers too. This is the beginning of our story. It has not ended yet. I will keep writing. I hope you will keep reading, and if you know of anyone who could benefit from reading this, please share. Thanks.


  1. This whole post describes our daughter, and the early years. If you go back to my earliest posts I recount how we first thought something wasn't right with her. Our stories are very similar! We have a lot of physical scars on our house too. Her sisters have actual scars, which is harder. This is a cruel disorder. I hate it.

  2. Yes, I know. I have read so many of your posts and sometimes I have cried! I so understand where you were coming from. God really led me to you and I am so thankful. I know I told you before but it is so helpful to have someone who understands and has walked in almost the same shoes! Okay, one more time, thank you!

  3. Thanks for sharing your heart, both on your blog and at Bible study this morning.