THE END OF A CYCLE
I sit here breathing in a numb yet pensive feeling of relief. I sit in my body, feeling its on edge because it’s not entirely sure if the ordeal is over.
7 years ago my daughter K was born. It was like a slow and gradual anticipation filled trip up the first roller coaster hill and a 7 year fully blown roller coaster ride.
My writing of this is a bit sporadic and disjointed in places. It is a reflection of how I am feeling about it all in this moment. I can’t seem to bring much fluidity to my words. As I go back in my mind it still feels harsh in places, hard, difficult and disjointed. So please bare with me when reading through.
I had many things happen during this 7 year cycle. I journeyed ADHD with my eldest daughter, my own health issues, my spiritual and intuitive unfolding, my marriage breaking down, homeschooling, turbulent jobs and starting my own business, unstable and transient homes, and my youngest daughter’s journey, Miss K.
I won’t go into great detail about the other things or it may take years to finish writing this blog. But it provides context and shows the great many petals that had to unfold before I could reach my present destination – a place of rest and finality.
In the beginning
When I was pregnant with K I experienced chronic digestive pain. I have, in my own opinion, a pretty high pain threshold, but this landed me in the hospital where I was given morphine. I went to see a naturopath, I waited 4 hours to see her with my toddler in tow. It was an epic day and I remember feeling extremely frustrated with her but I was so depleted and didn’t know where else to go that I waited anyway.
She looked at my eyes, she said my body wasn’t producing enough bile (this is a clue to remember later for my very long mystery). She gave me hydrochloric acid to help resolve it. It did relieve it somewhat but felt like a bandaid on a stab wound.
When K was born she was large and healthy albeit a bit jaundice (another clue). We went home and enjoyed the bliss that comes with having a newborn. She had reflux (clue) which was the same as my eldest which meant expressing milk and then bottle feeding. Which for anyone who has done this is very time consuming. My nipples started to tear, it was bloody painful and stressful trying to keep my milk supply flowing. I lasted as long as I could up until 9 months.
Between 4 and 9 months K had 2 seizures. Both times I was by myself. They were the most terrifying things I have ever experienced. I wholeheartedly feel for parents who have this experience in their journey. I honestly thought she was dead. I watched her body go blue, her eyes roll in the back of her head and then she went limp. I remember running her little body down to our complex managers house because she was a cop so I assumed she had first aid training but she wasn’t home and I sat outside her door crying with my limp baby in my arms waiting for an ambulance but also trying to keep a cool and calm demeanour so my eldest daughter who was 2 at the time wasn’t afraid.
These seizures weren’t febrile. Which I spent half my time explaining to doctors. They were both times preceded by a rash (clue). The second time the rash was morphing and changing so I took her to the doctor who googled it and told me she had bed bugs 3 hours before she seized. Not a helpful diagnosis.
The hospital monitored her over night. A paediatrician watched her and said she was advanced for her age and couldn’t find anything physically or developmentally wrong.
The emotional turbulence and tantrums and an epic low
At 6 months my at the time husband noticed she was having tantrums. I didn’t believe it until I saw it for myself. She would get angry and start having what I could only describe as a tantrum. Which was the beginning of an extremely turbulent emotional ride.
These increased over time. Becoming more aggressive and could last hours. This was the worst time in my parenting journey. I was so at a loss as to how to help. I felt so angry when she cried and screamed because I wasn’t doing what she wanted. I was exhausted. She seemed hypervigilant as though she couldn’t rest. I remember screaming at them and projecting the depths of my despair, helplessness and loneliness. I hadn’t learnt self care, I had no one around for support. It was here that I started my suicide attempts. I couldn’t bare the thought of being an angry and aggressive mother. The love I feel for my girls supersedes any words I can conjure up. The best option I could think of for my kids at that time was to remove the person that was constantly angry and depressed from their life.
I had a moment when I no longer felt love for my kids. It pains me to say that because I dedicate myself to being there for them and holding them in the most loving and nurturing way possible. Its my unconditional love for them and strong bond we have that tells me to keep going and not give up. But it happened. It didn’t resent them or feel anger or animosity I just couldn’t for the life of me find any love in my body towards them. It’s because of this it felt easy to try to leave. When I look back I see now how my being went into a place of self preservation though I didn’t recognise this at the time. I was so depleted by giving and giving that I had nothing left to give.
I must admit that for the majority my ex worked and felt to me to be hardly there, but he would always be there when I needed him, every time. He would come back and relieve me of the kids regardless of what was happening at work so I could go and breakdown and lose my mind which definitely added to the breaking down of our marriage. This is and was so greatly appreciated.
The broken sleep
By the time K was 3 she was constantly waking in the night screaming in pain from her knee. She was restless and never seemed to get restful sleep (neither did the parents) which added to her meltdowns during the day. Which would be on and off ALL day.
The days were a battle. The kids would play for a bit then fight. My youngest would meltdown and my oldest who is very empathic would become sad for the grief of her sister.
We started seeing a chiropractor for the knee pain which seemed to help somewhat. The screaming knee pain temporarily went only to reveal the obstructive sleep apnoea.
I started researching ideas to help with her sleep apnoea. I really didn’t want to remove her tonsils. I had had mine out and my world changed after I did. I remember telling my mum that I couldn’t sing anymore because it caused a tension in my throat and I was so sad for this loss. I wanted to do what I could to avoid this for K.
I am pretty sure I went to get 3 or 4 referrals for K to see an ear, nose, throat Dr. Every time I couldn’t bring myself to go there because I knew they would take them out. She had extremely enlarged tonsils. Mega sized ones. I am so grateful the ex supported my feels on leaving them in. They do serve a purpose after all, being the first line of defence to our immune system. K would get sick very easily and I couldn’t imagine her with an even more weakened immune system.
We ended up seeing an integrative Chiro in Newcastle who was great. He tested her for deficiencies and started her on homeopathic treatments. These seemed to help somewhat. Though as she got older her meltdowns became more and more intense.
I didn’t know how to hold her. I was learning positive parenting communication, I followed and learnt from The Whole Brain Child trying to implement their techniques. As well as watching all the amazing mums I was surrounded by who all implemented positive communication and a democratic environment. They all to my eyes did this so beautifully and with so much love.
I reached the pits of despair. My eldest was going through her own journey, I didn’t know how to hold her either and meet her needs. She would cross physical boundaries annoying K and my ex and I would defend her which created a rift between my self and ex husband. Between feeling incapable and lost with what to do with the kids and my marriage starting to enter a place of toxicity, I touched the darkest places within myself.
I reached out to another more local integrative chiro who worked with me to help both my daughters. She ran a scan on K which returned information that she was completely overloaded with viruses. It was crazy just how many were running through her system. She refused to take any of the natural viral supplements which made helping her body very, very difficult.
She was developing into an extremely shy, clingy and anxious kid (unless she was at home where she was strong, rambunctious, demanding and forthright). I tried her at kindy but she refused to partake in the activities and over about 6 weeks wouldn’t go at all.
Once the marriage ended life became drastically easier. Without the arguments and emotional relationship toil, I could breath better, I think we both could. As a slight digression, most people I have told feel sorry that our marriage broke down. I often feel so confused by this reaction as it was the greatest blessing we both received. We are both of us so much better and stronger for it. Remaining together became detrimental to our wellbeing and the kids. Separating gave me the opportunity to focus better on the kids.
We moved out and amazingly we moved to a place that was across the road from a Clayfield therapist. I started the girls on this mode of therapy to assist with anything that may have presented from the separation (which luckily enough it didn’t, but this story is a whole other post) and to help K with whatever she was dealing with in her internal world.
At the same time she went to a learning hub called Alithia that completely supported her. They would guide her through her anxiousness, and allow her to take her dog who made her feel better and over time and with lots of help and support she eventually started to be able to talk to people at Alithia.
She still had her physical symptoms however. She was super prone to getting ticks, she would often get 3 x more than my eldest or myself which meant more toxins in her body. She was regularly wetting the bed, sometimes twice a night. She was restless, unsettled, defiant and extremely difficult. It felt like walking on eggshells, constantly bracing myself for another 1 – 2 hour long meltdown.
There were many highs and lows in this next year. We moved twice in a short period, out of our current place because of turbulence, into my exes and not long after that back out into another friends place. Which was the reprieve needed for all of us.
The girls lived with their best friends, I lived with one of mine. It was 10 months of mostly bliss. Though the meltdowns and lack of sleep were still there, having support around us made the world of difference.
The lowest of lows
K’s meltdowns started to take a turn not long after we left, removing the distractions of constant friends and playing. They reached a whole new low. She would become her usual violent aggressive self, then dip into a place of such sadness that she started asking me to punch or kill her. She said she wanted to die when she hit these low troughs. It was awful. Holding my baby in my arms while my eldest is off crying because she can’t stand the turbulence of K’s meltdowns and having my baby beg me to kill her. This is the hardest part I have faced in parenting. Keeping a soothing and gentle demeanour while you are screaming and grieving inside. Though for anyone reading this and struggling, I can say it gets easier over time.
I was at a loss by here. I had to do something. But what? I had already explored diet, Dr’s, sleep apnoea, behaviour, therapy, chiros.. My intuition said to go to a therapist. So I booked her in to the only one available (after calling 10 places) which was an hours drive, was only offering Clayfield therapy and was $150 a session. It’s fascinating how things flow. My intuition was also saying to come at this from the physical. Look at her body. So I booked her into a ridiculously expensive integrative Dr who was 4 hours away from us, though luckily would consult via Zoom.
I was told during her previous Clayfields that the toy bear they use represents the father and the duck represents the mother. The morning of her session she excitedly told me she was going to choose the bear and the lion. I intuitively knew the lion represented herself and was quietly curious to learn what would unfold in her session. Which was this:
She ended up choosing the lion and the duck. The lion was very very angry and mean to the duck. The lion would hit the duck and the duck would have to say stop! In a strong voice. The lion was very mean. It then got stepped on by a giant and buried in the mud. The lion was sick so the duck brought it some medicine and it became nicer. The duck and the lion became the best of friends forever after that.
I tear up writing that. I balled as she told me. Luckily she relayed this story while I was driving so I could mask my tears. The lion was sick. She was sick. That was why she was the way she was. No other reason.
It is here that I will say I sense a lot of similarities between my half sister and K during their younger years. My half sister was very difficult and would use similar disconnected language such as no one likes me. I could sense the people around K forming resentment and dislike towards the qualities she had in her nature. You did have to really look some days to feel and see her light, but it is and was always there. K would say, “Mum I think you are the only person who really loves me”. She could sense how people felt towards her though no one ever directly said anything to her (other than her sister). My half sister’s life from what I heard and saw (as I am no longer apart of it) was extremely difficult, touching some very dark places. Something no mother would want for their child. It was a future I definitely did not want for K.
The integrative Dr was a godsend. After hearing the words “inflammation in the brain can cause her to have that depressive behaviour and language” I was overjoyed. I had an answer. Her story was true, she really was sick.
When we moved into our next place, waiting for us was the Medical Medium’s (MM’s) book Liver Rescue.
It explained how problems with the liver can create low bile (me during my pregnancy), turbulent emotions, skin conditions such as rashes, bile production, how neurotoxins from viruses can cause inflammation, restless sleeping, compromised immune function and pretty much every symptom K presented with.
I started following MM’s protocol. We cut out eggs (we were already, DF, GF and RSF), soy, canola oil, pork and lamb from her diet. We reserved fats (nuts, oils, seeds and meat) until after lunch. I increased wild blueberries, pitaya and liver supporting foods. I purchased all the recommended supplements (such as a very specific type of B12 and Zinc) and we started on them.
Within a month the meltdowns decreased. She stopped reaching her very low points and started to be able to self regulate her tough emotions when they came. She became happier within herself. The fights between the girls decreased somewhat. Her eczema covered arms faded back to normal skin and chronic meltdowns over itchy skin faded.
We had another appointment with the Dr. to discuss test results. There was an overload of candida, low b6 and low Vit C. He recommended to continue with the MM diet as that was clearly working. I researched MM’s recommendations for Candida which he says is caused by Streptococcus in the system. Yes! This causes UTI’s which K gets ALL the time and swollen tonsils.
So I reached out to our local homeopath and started K on Strep fighting herbs and drops. I introduced Rosehip tea which is crazy high in Vit C and amazing for UTI’s according to MM.
We also have K on a Myobrace which is a dental mouth guard to create more space in her mouth and train her to breath through her nose.
This journey is not all doom and gloom. Surprisingly it is a great blessing. And although it takes a mammoth effort to call up doing it all again in my body, I would. I would for this outcome.
K has taught me things no one else could. It was my love for her, my deep desire to be a loving mum that pushed me to learn non reactivity. That pushed me to patiently and lovingly hold space while she was telling me she hated me and was hitting me. To observe my emotions rather than react to every single one of them. To feel my body whilst still holding a loving vibration.
She taught me how essential self care is. If I become depleted I start becoming a person I don’t want to be. I have become oh so very good at knowing when I need to take time for myself and feeling motivated to action it as I know all too well what the consequences are.
She has reiterated to me to never give up. Even when no one else seems to believe you, or care or want to help. To stand true to my intuition that there is something deeper and bigger going on. To listen to my body. To trust in the wisdom of life.
I learnt that everything could be healed. There were moments when I did something I thought could never be undone. But time after time between the work I did with myself to heal my own guilt and shame and the work I did with the kids to heal our relationship they showed me that it actually brings us closer together. I still get it wrong now, I still have moments of depletion but every time I go back to them and apologise and explain it’s not them, it’s me. And every time we bounce back. I’ve actually noticed it makes it easier for them too, after they have a moment of outburst or anger, they always come and apologise or work through it and that’s how we as a unit practice our unconditional love and feel emotionally safe together. We actively work together to practice holding loving space.
K taught me to never lose hope. When it felt like it would never end I would hold on to hope for dear life. Countless nights I would stay up as long as I could just praying for answers, for help and for healing. Following the breadcrumbs regardless of how endless they felt.
I am sure there are many more beautiful gifts we have received from this journey but my mind can simply not call them up right now. It has been a blessing, that I can say with certainty.
The beginning of the end
She is now attending school, making friends, talking to people she doesn’t know so well, barely wetting the bed. Sleeping peacefully, solidly and almost all the way through the night. She is grounded, creative, plays well with her sister and by herself. Hardly ever getting upset (and if she does its 20 minutes at most and fixed with a cuddle). She is now what I deem to be in the normal ranges of child normality.
And now I find myself in the surreal sensation of being able to step into my own life. After so many years of being wholeheartedly dedicated to finding answers and solutions, it has come to an end.
After reaching the end I had this dream:
K was trapped. She was locked in a glass experiment room. She was sad and flat. I fought the people who had her trapped. I used all my strength and busted her out of the glass cage she was in. We were both free but K, she started to fly. She spread her wings and she soared.
K’s future timeline now feels full, happy and peaceful.
In K’s dreams, she often has recurring nightmares of me dying. She is very clingy to me and often can’t go long being away from me. I always passed these nightmares off as being contributed to how I was when she was very young. I was repeatedly at deaths door, one foot out and begging for the mercy of release.
But now at the end, I look back and remember all the dreams I had of K. The nightmares of her dying. Always in water and I couldn’t save her. My mind was so consumed by getting through what I was faced with that I never saw what I can see now. How this whole experience has been my act of saving her. I do truly believe I have lost her in a few previous lives. And now we are together, best friends and closely joined at the heart. Just like the lion and the duck.
A huge and wholehearted thank you to everyone who has been apart of mine and K’s journey. To the 3 different Chiros we worked with, the 2 different clayfield therapists, the alternative healers, the homeopaths, the Dr’s, the integrative Dr in Byron, Spirit, Medical Medium, my friends and family. You all played a role in getting us to where we are now. Though words can’t adequately express it, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Miss K and I in our blissful time of reprieve. Learning about the body where she made her own stethoscope