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If there is ever a time when you feel scared, hopeless and helpless, it is when there is something wrong with your child and you don’t know what it is or how to fix it. This was the case when I wrote this. At the time, my daughter had been diagnosed with a mental disorder NOS. What this means is that they had no idea what was wrong with her other than she seemed to be delusional. I had worked for a mental health clinic a few years back, and so I was aware of the different mental disorders and their effect on people. To think that perhaps my youngest, my only daughter was succumbing to a mental illness, was something I could not bear.

The knot in my stomach
the fear of the unknown
feeds my hopelessness
I wander around
doing the things
I used to find joy in
now I do them
to keep busy.

~L. Mireles 23 May 2006

At some point I reconciled with myself, that there was nothing I could do. I thought about other families in the neighborhood, who had children that were developmentally challenged and would never lead a “normal” life…and so I thought, if they can do it, so must I, –I must learn to accept, as well as help my daughter in any way possible.

As time progressed, I watched her, learned what affected her, and did plenty of research.  What I found was that she was suffering from an anxiety disorder; that what she had experienced were full-blown panic attacks. I surmised that her delusions were coming from her anxiety and the anxiety was due in part to what our dysfunctional family was going through.

I am happy to report that she is now 19 years old, and even though she still suffers from anxiety, they aren’t even close to being as severe as they were in the beginning. She and I have learned to work through her issues, and in our new life, we have built a more tranquil environment, and as a result she is much happier now.