Monday, November 14, 2011

Finding Morgan's Smile

We have what most would consider a stable family. I am very much in love with Doug and as far as I can tell he is pretty crazy about me. We live in a wonderful neighborhood, having great family support and our kids are afforded many comforts do the degree of possibly being pretty spoiled. So all things considered I expected all of my children to be happy, healthy and successful running off to school each day with perfect confidence.  Imagine my confusion when several of my kids started struggling with being happy and fitting in.  There seemed to be a pattern of loss of self esteem and difficulty getting along with the family.  There seemed to be a fight most mornings just to get them to school.  After reading and studying and seeing a really great doctor we realized that the kids that were struggling each had their own version of anxiety disorder. When Morgan started struggling with going to school we already had dealt with similar symptoms but it seemed with each day hers seemed to intensify.  It got to the point that I would have to take her into school and leave her kicking and crying with the principal or have the school counselor meet us in front of the school to make sure she didn't chase my car as I drove away.  Medication definitely helped, which we knew it should, but Morgan's anxiety has always seemed so much more extreme.  Our amazing doctor, Dr. Samantha Bostrom, recommended a counselor for Morgan but we were somewhat reluctant having visited a couple therapists in the past and not having a great experience with either. Then a friend recommended a man they had seen for their son and we decided to give him a try. Best decision ever!
From the moment we met Dr. Ken I knew he was a good fit for Morgan but I was cautiously optimistic because I really wanted her to come away from her visits feeling like she had tools that she could use to overcome her fears.  In the past our attempts with other therapists had been so awkward and seemingly useless as we spent half the time retelling the same information and the other half feeling like they just didn't understand exactly what we were dealing with. From the get-go Dr. Ken has been on the same page and perhaps a page ahead of us, providing Morgan with real life methods of dealing with her fears and connecting with her because he understands her. She not only comes away each visit feeling like she is reconnecting with her best friend but also feeling validated and armed with her next challenge to overcome the next obstacle. I come away feeling like I'm not the worst mom ever and I'm given tools and explanations that I desperately need.
I wouldn't say that things are completely better, it's definitely a journey, but I can say that my daughter is happy a lot more of the time and she gets up and ready for school with a smile most days.  Most of all, she understands herself a lot better and knows that she can be in control of her fears instead of them controlling her.  What an amazing blessing Dr. Ken has been in our lives and I think will continue to be in Morgan's because of the impact he has had on this sweet girl.

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