Finding Princess JF in Finding Nemo

It seems movies have a classic storyline where the beginning involves some tragedy that the characters must overcome within a 2 hour time slot. Well, as I tried to explain to Princess JL what was going on with her sister this was the only analogy I could come up with. It’s hard to explain to a 5 year old that something is wrong with her sister’s brain. After explaining the basic functions of the brain and comparing it to the PC unit of a computer {which she understands and has studied} she was a bit upset. I also needed her to understand that there is a light at the end of the tunnel… we just have to get there!

In the beginning of “Finding Nemo,” Marlin loses his wife and all of his children except one, Nemo. As the story progresses we follow Nemo as he goes to school the first day, gets scooped up and taken away, and watch in dismay as he dad tries desperately to catch the boat. Throughout the storyline, Marlin finds a friend, escapes sharks, gets through a sea of jelly fish, and rides and exits successfully a massive current. All the while, Marlin is carrying the answer to where he can find Nemo on a pair of goggles, “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.” Eventually, Marlin faces his fears and finds triumph when Nemo is finally able to make his way back to his dad in the ocean. We’ve all seen the movie… and the storyline is one played out tons of times.

Well, it was one of the best examples I could use to explain to Princess JL what we were going to go through for the next few days, months, years. Right now, I told her, we are in the beginning moments of our story. We are going through the rough time experienced in Nemo’s story… whereas we aren’t losing someone to such a tragedy {thank you, Jesus} but we are losing the Princess JF we have known for 7 years. We know that we will eventually get to the “end” of this particular movie in our lives and it will have a happy ending… but first we must get through the beginning and middle. I have a feeling it may not be the type of movie I particularly like to watch but I will have no choice but to keep watching this one.

I guess I must confess that we do not yet have an “official” diagnosis. We are not absolutely positive we are dealing with OCD, but, thus far, it has been our best “educated guess.” We have had calls in to 4 different doctors and are waiting for someone to call and offer us some advice as to where to go next. Our PCP is the only one to finally call back at the end of the day, but all he suggested was that we talk to her psychiatrist. Ummmm, yeah… we’ve tried that! It’s been quite an emotionally, physically draining time the past 2 days.

Whatever” it is with are dealing with totally manifested itself in an ugly way this past weekend. Sunday, as we were at church, Princess JF became very anxious about going to Sunday School. She said something bad was going to happen and she did not want to go in. When we told her she was going to be fine and that she had to go {trying to not enable her anxieties in any way} she became very irate. She kept running away from us and then turned to hitting the church building as well as SuperDad. She was yelling, stomping, and just completely out of control. We could not calm her down and SuperDad drove her home.

On the way home she insisted she needed out of the truck because it was going to explode. Once home she ran inside and hid underneath the kitchen table. She came out only to jump on a chair and then the table itself. SuperDad was able to calm her for a few minutes but then she bolted upstairs and started jumping on our bed. All the while she was hitting SuperDad and telling him it was all his fault, he was the devil, and he was not her father. This went on and on for almost an hour! The rest of the day continued in this manner… although not always quite as extreme. We were afraid to send her to school on Monday because we did not know if the behavior would continue. It did.

Princess JF had a meltdown first thing in the morning because I told her we could go for a walk, but it did not happen as quickly as she wanted. She kept yelling at me that I was a liar and that God didn’t like liars. She stomps her feet, points her finger, and never makes eye contact. She becomes a completely different person and I was so scared and hurt I had no response but to cry. Once she saw me crying she broke down too and began apologizing profusely. At lunch it happened again with SuperDad and he expressed anger with her “illness.” She again started crying and apologizing and had no recollection of what had just taken place. We are simply at a loss as to where to turn or what to do.

We do not know if it is the medication {we even called the pharmacist who said we would have seen a reaction within the first few days… we are entering week 5} or something else. She has even had some unexplained “bleeding” today… yet the doctors do not seem to warrant any of it as an emergency. If we do not hear from anyone by early morning I am more than tempted to take her in via the ER so that SOMEONE will have to help us. This is my daughter and I am beyond worried about what is going on and desperate for help!

SuperDad and I are tired and weary. Our other children are scared and confused. This has taken over our family and changed the dynamics of our family as we knew it. Although we understand that we will all have to make adjustments to help her get through this, and thus each play our own part in this movie, we are so ready for our “happily ever after.”

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10


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