Monday, June 15, 2009


Please notice the time of my post. Yes, it's very LATE and I'm very TIRED. I'm sorry if this get's too long for you. I'm okay if you stop here but, who knows, maybe this will inspire you. I hope so.

I'm going to share one of my personal challenges in hopes that it may help you to know that we are not alone in our trials. We have each other. We can lift each other and support each other in times of illness, sadness, grief, and pain. We can also share in the joyous moments, too.

I'm a firm believer that "We are the Creators of Our Own Happiness" which means when faced with adversity we can choose to be happy or choose to be miserable. This doesn't mean we can't be sad or mad but, we need to snap out of it as fast as we can and see the blessings in our lives and even ask for divine guidance and understanding. I'm grateful for the happiness, the faith, the love, the joy, the peace, the strength and the courage that comes to me through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My faith defines who I am and I'm a better person because of my beliefs.

So, here's what's been keeping me up LATE. . .

Kenna is having 3 baby teeth pulled (the teeth are hanging on tight) and she needs 2 fillings. She's going to be put out for the procedure. Read on and you will understand.

First off, my husband has anxiety and had his first anxiety attack when he was in his early 30's and his father has anxiety and coped with it by drinking. It consumed his life and he became an alcoholic (good news: he is now a recovered alcoholic). Even my husband's grandmother had anxiety. So you can see that anxiety is a part of my children's genetics. I don't think we realized that our kids would be affected by anxiety (most kids have fears) until our youngest was diagnosed two years ago with GAD also known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder and then I looked back and realized oh yes, all my kids have experienced different anxieties in their lives but it wasn't as debilitating as it's been for Kenna. It's too the point where she can't function at times.

Now that Kenna's a little older she usually copes pretty well but at times it turns into a full blown anxiety attack like tonight. She's deathly (ha ha) afraid of dying and so being put out for her dental procedure or flying in an airplane or getting lost or the fear of a car crash causes her extreme anxiety. Sometimes I get impatient and tell her to just STOP it and then we go into the let's manage your fear mode where we talk about it, that usually helps. Now that she's 10 years old she's really starting to recognize that she's different. She gets mad at herself and tells me she hates anxiety and wishes she didn't have it. My responsibility as her loving mother is to make sure she FACES her FEARS. That is one of the best things I can do for her. She's quite a dare devil which is really funny. She loves to ride horses, participate in gymnastics, softball, soccer, skiing and rock climbing too. She's very athletic so I keep her busy and focused on her talents.

It can be hard as a parent to see your kids suffer with any kind of debilitating circumstances whether physical or emotional. Often, I feel like it's a silent disability that many people don't understand and people can be very judgmental and critical. Most people have been pretty supportive but it makes it hard for her to function and she WORRIES (chronically) about everything, especially what people think about her. Often, I'm her voice of reason.

I remember at the end of 3rd grade her teacher was telling me how much she enjoyed Kenna and that she hoped that she would GROW OUT OF HER ANXIETY. I kind of laughed and corrected her by saying that she would never really GROW OUT OF IT but that she would learn how to better COPE with it and then it would seem like she had GROWN OUT OF IT!

It's very late now (2:37am) and I better get to bed. I'm sorry to ramble on a bit and I hope you don't mind my sharing but it will help you understand what keeps me from posting regularly on my blog. I really appreciate all of you that follow my blog and leave comments. I've had a great time visiting, emailing, and getting to know many of you.

I'm so grateful for all the love and support!

Thank You!


Barb said...

What an awesome wife and mom you are. For one, you have the kind of relationship with your daughter that she can talk to you about these anxieties. You understand and try to help her face her fears. I have sat back and watched a son dive deeper and deeper into despair, not knowing how to help him, only love and support(financially as well). My husband was great with the reasoning part, I am not good at that. Finally after a few years, he snapped out of is so hard as a parent to watch a child suffer, atleast, you know how to help her and she is young enough that you can help her reason and when she is on her own she will be able to manage these episodes successfully. So my hat is off to you. I know it is hard but you are doing an awesome job!!!!

Nuts To You! said...

I have struggled with worry all of my life. I imagine that if I had gone to a doctor for it, I probably would have been diagnosed with GAD. When I was in school, I used to have to take Dimatapp the night before the first day to even get to sleep that night. The winter before last I was part of a Bible study that went through a Beth Moore study called Breaking Free, and through it I learned better how to rely on God and not to worry (so much). I learned, and still am in the process of learning, to give everything over to God as soon as I start to worry about it. I don't know if I would have been able to grasp this concept when I was as young as your daughter, but really I think it is the only way to find peace. I just wanted to comment because this really resonated with me. I will be praying for her and for your husband and yourself to have wisdom in dealing with this. Fear can be a debilitating thing!


Pat said...

I am happy that Kenna has a mom who is so understanding with her as this is a REAL condition and not just a case of a child being able to simply STOP what she is feeling. I'm sure with your strength and way of handling situations, Kenna will learn coping skills that can carry her throughout life. Don't feel you bored any of us with this post, either, Kim. We quilting bloggers want to share hard times as well as good times with each never feel you can't "talk" to us here.

Kaye said...

Kim, you are a great Mom and a wonderful friend. I feel honored to be part of the wonderful world of blogging quilters. Aside from sharing ideas and showing our work we are able to bare our soul and that is so good to be able to do. Give your dtr a hug from all of her Nanas out here and please let us know how she does.

Di said...

Kim, a big hug from a total stranger here. You sound like such a lovely mum, and I'm sure Kenna will be OK as she is surrounded by so much prayer and love. Please tell her about all of us bloggers sending love her way.

Staci K. said...

I too suffer from GAD. My heart goes out to you and your family - I know what a horrible condition this can be, but with all of the love and support you are giving Kenna she will learn to cope and live a wonderful happy life!

Trisha said...

I am glad you shared that, Kim. Sometimes we just need to talk and have someone listen. I am glad Kenna has you to lead and guide her through this life. What a great Mom you are to help her with her challenges and teach her the best way to deal with them. I know your Heavenly Father will be there for you when you need him as this is a challenge for you too. Hang in there. You are an awesome lady.

Nedra said...

I add ditto to every comment above. Thank you for sharing what GAD is all about. I have heard of Anxiety disorders, but have never seen that name.
I understand the challenges of working with children with emotional disorders. So hard to diagnose. So hard to find a doctor who understands and can be helpful. If it were a broken leg or cancer, we would have an immediate team around us. Emotional disorders are just as real, only harder to understand and treat.
Kenna is fortunate to have you as her life long advocate. You have a great attitude! There is a GIFT in everything we face. This next generation is so bright and so capable. I know they will bring more light and knowledge into the treatment of these challenges.

Lori Holt said...

Hi Kim-
I was up late last night you well know because you were the first to comment!
Kim- Kenna is so beautiful inside and out - I know because you are her Mom and she has a Dad who also understands.
You tell Kenna it's OK to be different...she will learn to embrace it. Being different or sometimes having limitations brings out the best in other areas. I know that you are helping her to find those wonderful talents that only she has.
This is a gift from a loving Heavenly Father sometimes disguised as not so much fun but she will come to understand someday that being different is wonderful!!
Keep being a great Mom kim, don't ever think that you are alone!!!

Mimi said...

Oh, Kim...nothing hurt so much as when our children hurt.

You are a wise and wonderful mother...recognizing that your child has this issue and knowing how to help her deal with it. Way too many people would ask for a prescription and think that would take care of it, but that's not the answer - as you well know.

My prayers are with you and your family as you deal with Kenna's anxiety. Kenna sounds like a wonderful child, but that's no surprise. You are a wonderful woman and she has a great role model.

Thanks so much for sharing something so personal and so close to your heart.

Take care and get your rest, dear. Mothers need all the TLC they can muster!


Susan said...

Simply praying for Kenna and for you.

Jeanette said...

Sorry you and your family are dealing with this. I deal with anxiety, too, and it's hard to relate with if you've never experienced it.

Patchwork Penguin said...

My 15 year old is facing the same thing......... four wisdom teeth will be coming out at the end of the month. Thankfully, she had four baby teeth pulled when she was in 2nd grade so it will not be entirely new to her. However, I know she is a little nervous, though she won't tell me that.

Ask if you can hold her hand while she goes to sleep.... and be there when she wakes up. I know that helped Beth when she was little.

Hugs to you and to your family.


Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Kenna is a beautiful girl. These things are more problematic than most people understand. We have this issue at our house too, to a greater or lesser degree. One of mine is very very anxiety prone. We've tried to help her stop announcing to everyone in a screaming voice "I"m having a panic attack!" and then rushing out of the room. That seems to feed it. I told her "you wouldn't say to everyone at the top of your lungs 'I HAVE GAS' and run out of the room." This is an emotional issue like any physical issue. She has to learn to handle it. The proper thing is to excuse yourself in a calm way and go deal with it alone or ask for help instead of freaking out. It does no good to get hysterical. I think you are right. We have these feelings and problems but how we deal with them we do have control over. Poor Kenna, she's so little to have to deal with such a big problem.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Kim, you are so brave to share these things here. It is certainly a situation that many people do not understand. I have a sister in law who has panic attacks and when she does, they have to call the paramedics. I see that her daughter has a lot of fears, and now her little grandson also is fearful. It is a huge monster at times, but it is good that you can add balance to Kenna's life and help her through her anxiety. You are wise to teach Kenna to put her trust in Jesus Christ and perhaps in time she will be able to cope with her fears. She is such a lovely young girl, and she is blessed to have a loving caring Mom like you.

sewtakeahike said...

Very well put Kim! You have helped me to better see through the eyes of patients that are anxious for their dental appointments and I am very grateful for that! I am a dental hygienist and try to help my patients through the visit as much as I can, but sometimes get impatient and have thoughts like "just get over it already"! You've helped me to see that the patients that have extreme anxiety are even more frustrated with themselves than I could be and I need to have grace ALWAYS with them. Thank-you SO much for taking the time to write this post!

Purple Quilter Queen said...

My daughter is the same way. Especially at the dentist. We too recently had a trip to the dentist where Miss Emma had to have 6 (yes you read right) BABY teeth pulled. She is a grinder and it was prohibiting the adult teeth from coming down, so off we went and they had to put her under too. And she has roots the size of Rhode Island! Luckily, when it was all said and done, she was ok. I think alot of it for her is the fear of the unknown and once she's in there and the drugs are administed of course, she's fine. It helps too that they don't let me go back with her. I think she feels like she can let loose a little more when Mom is there and having me not go back with her helps her act a little more like a big girl.(she's almost 8- though we've been struggling with the dental issues for about 3 years now) Sorry for the long comment, but you are doing great - Hope Kenna has a great summer. Keep her busy and help her excel and the other stuff and eventually she will be able to cope. Jenn

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Kenna is adorable and has an awesome mother!

Amy said...

I have only been reading your blog for a short time. I have PMDD. premenstrual dysphoric disorder wich can make anxiety really bad for a few days.. I meant the type thats makes you almost have to drag yourself to check the mail.but I have used Natural Calm it is good for anxiety and ADD,ADHD, something about the magnesium.Natural Calm is powder drink, you drink like tea, it helps me,and my son who sometimes gets real hyper. one thing that also helps is an understanding person,in my case my husband. and in your daughters case,her mother.
things will get better. how else do we find out new things but to talk to others?I will pray for you and your daughter.

Lori said...

Kim, I too have a husband with anxiety and an 18 year old son with it, both are on medication which helps. It gets pretty frustrating for those of us on the outside, but at least you know whats going on and sounds like you are a great mom. Hang in there and have faith that you can help your family when they need you.

Thimbleanna said...

Boy, I'm so sorry to hear this Kim. Kenna is adorable and I'm sure you've been a big help to her -- what would she do without such a wonderful mother? I see a lot of anxiety issues on hubby's side of the family -- not to the debilitating point, but to where they get really cross and negative about everything. It's really hard to live with. With your help I'm sure Kenna will learn some good coping skills.

iappearjiggy said...

Kim, Thanks for speaking out. It is essential for our well being as sisters, mothers, daughters, and children of God who loves us that we know that we are all in this life together. When we reach out and speak our truth and hearts, we strengthen our bonds one with another, and we release those who feel isolated from their self imposed prison, showing the way to freedom! Anxiety and peace cannot co-exist, I honor your commitment to her and to the world as a bringer of peace. Namaste.

Kelly O. said...

I also deal with anxiety issues. Most often things are fine but when I am pregnant--WhoA! It rears it's ugly head.
Poor Kenna. I've been there. I'm a dental assistant and so I know the fears children have in the dental chair. Good for you both for supporting her in this.

Pretty Things said...

I hope all went well!

I have major anxiety (take meds for it when it hits) and this year Zack had them in Kindergarten. I felt horrible, like I'd given it to him or something. And then the school nurse said she sees it ALL the time and that things just are what they are, and to just be calm and supportive to him when it happens. It never happens at home, and with his amazing Kindergarten teacher and the school nurse working together, it got to where he didn't have them anymore.

Not that I think he won't ever have one again.

She's already light years ahead, you know -- she has a caring mom!

Lola....L..O..L..A....lo--oh--luh! said...

It is great to realize that we are all really in the same boat!
I have GAD, and have 1 daughter diagnosed with it too. I am seeing signs of it in a few of my kiddos too.
I wish that, when I was Kenna's age, I had known what I had and had understanding parents.
She'll do fine as she learns good coping skills at a young age.
Thanks for bravely sharing with us!