My Journey

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My Journey...     

 "What is asked of us as parents is sometimes more than we would expect of any person. That is as it should be; for as parents we have been given the wonderful challenge of growing as human beings while at the same time giving the highest service possible."
          -Franklin Kane, Parents as People

My homeschooling journey began when we moved to a small town and decided to give our children a Waldorf Education. With no Waldorf school available to us I chose to homeschool using a Waldorf curriculum.

I stepped down this road timidly, wondering if I could do this and for how long.

My daughter was just 7 at the time but she had been a handful for years, since before she was two. We had been down the list of alternative therapies, I had blamed myself for her problems, and after our move I quickly reached the end of my rope.

We made an appointment with a psychiatrist and jumped into mainstream medicine kicking and screaming!

My daughter was quickly diagnosed as bipolar. Of course, we were devastated and my grief stretched over many weeks. I think I cried for at least 3 weeks straight.

I logged onto CABF (Childhood and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation) and joined a support group.

I researched the web for help. Luckily we found a great therapist who has been able to help our entire family.

Five psychiatrists and many medicaction trials later, my daughter has been only fairly stable.

The in between times have been difficult. Sometimes I thought I wouldn't make it. Many days I wanted to pack my bags and leave. Some days I lost it, many days I lost it.

Now my journey takes a new twist and turn, one I never expected it to take.

My daughter is going into residential treatment July 6th. She will likely be there for 2 years. She will be a long, long way away and won't be able to visit at home. We will be seeing her monthly and can talk on the phone daily if we want. It's breaking my heart but I am beginning to realize how her birth mother was able to place her for truly have to think of your child first and not your pain and loss. I'm doing what is best for my daughter, hard as it might be for all of us.

This is a big change for us. My son will be almost like an only child! We will not be fighting all day. Perhaps I will have some energy at the end of the day. Homeschooling just one child will be easier. I look forward to having time to be a real mom to my son, but I dread the pain and agony that we will all go through without my daughter.

All the homeschooling, trips to the doctor and the therapist are what have kept my daughter from going away sooner and from ending up in a psychiatric hospital. I don't regret a moment of all that I have done. I don't regret anything and I look forward to her return to our family where we can all share joy daily with each other.

But, please, journey isn't over yet and never will be.

WOW! It's been 8 months since my daughter went to residential treatment. She is doing well there and we are doing well at home. It's hard to have her gone, and some times it's a relief for all of us to not be fighting and struggling. She is getting such wonderful help and doing so well. I am so proud of her.

I'm still homeschooling my son. It's been an interesting year. I expected that I would be full of energy and ready to roll, but I've struggled more than I expected. I guess I have had some depression I didn't recognize and just needed more time to recover and regroup than I thought. And as time goes on my daughter's care requires more of me than I expected. Weekly therapist phone meetings, monthly staff conference calls, almost daily phone calls with my daughter, and monthly visits to see her. The good thing is I am able to remain so involved in her care. I like that, but I try to not let it consume me now. I let it go when I'm not dealing with something direct, as best I can.


Want to see my family? Click Here!



When I struggle I try too hard
When I try I can't break through
To feel the love and caring that abound.

Just look around
See the flowers, the plants, the birds,
Feel my skin, my legs, my feet
I am still here yet not connected
That's sad and hard to imagine as anything but to be rejected.

Can I let go, can I "give in"?
When my days are disconnected to no end?
Can I relax and have some fun...can I enjoy
These precious gifts God has given?

If I try to give up the struggle what will I find?
Fear that I'm doing it all wrong
Fear that I can't do it right
Fear that my family doesn't really want me
Fear that I will be ashamed, and rightly so
Fear that I have become my mother...oh, NO!!!

If I relax and let go I might feel free
Light hearted and happy
I might miss a chance to discipline
I might have more messes to clean up
I might have to do more myself but with less "lessons".

If I give up the struggle I think I will find
A mother that is loved and worshiped and kind
A wife that can let be
A woman that is free

--Karen Petz



Click Here for a Complete Timeline of our Experience with Bipolar Disorder.


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Last updated: 08/31/06.