I guess I should have seen it coming, but really – I didn’t.
My little girl was born into a family who loves her. A small family, but a family. When she was 3, literally 3 days after she turned 3, her grandmother passed away and her close-by and near family was reduced to mom, dad and a grandpa. But she was and is still very loved. She then began Japanese kindergarten in the hope she would learn the language quickly as all other kids I always heard about – “with full immersion they just pick it up”. Well, this girl didn’t that easily. The first year went by okay, but when the 2nd year began she just… couldn’t cope. Perhaps the teachers grew weary and tired of her not understanding what they said. She had little or no trouble with the friends in her class. The teacher informed us that “she had many kids to watch”, e.g. I really can’t be bothered with your child and it’s not my fault she hasn’t picked up the language. My girl grew sad and weary and it wasn’t long before the tears began to roll… fast forward to the night she broke down and begged me never to take her back. That was when she revealed to me how the teacher treated her and another child who had some learning difficulty. Shaking their arms, asking questions they couldn’t answer, demanding they say something they couldn’t say… all due to language problem and I suppose teachers whom more eagerly followed the rule book rather than care for each child. We pulled her out that very night and she never went back.
Being home with mommy helped her in the sense that she was relieved from the stress of being forced into a kindergarten 5 hours pr. day where she hated being. But being home brought other issues, such as watching mommy being so tired she couldn’t cope with things. It was during this time Japan and Kanto region had a lot of food issues and an upper limit of radiation in foods at 500 bg. pr. kilo. That’s 5 times higher than today. The stress of entertaining a 4 year old and the guilt of not seeing the disaster of the kindergarten sooner – it just all brought me all the way down, so what my girl was watching was not a mom who cared and played and talked and taught and learned to cope. It was a mom who slept 2 hours at night, who prepared food and then ate in front of the tv but not together, who took several naps during a day and basically… wasn’t really a mom. The best I could man myself up to was to bring her to the indoor soft play area where employees would be supervising and playing with the kids. I had to be there… but thankfully only in physical form. As much as I regret it, I didn’t get help in time and there are many sights I wish I would have spared my daughter of! She grew clingy to me because I could never give her enough. It took far too long before I got the needed help.
Once I began getting back on my feet we began to make plans to move. My girl had to start school, but since she couldn’t be in the Japanese system, we had to relocate and get her into an international school. We moved within a year from the time the disaster struck Japan, but back then it felt like forever. I knew we had to move, but I hated the idea. I loved the town we lived in. I loved the smell of the ocean, the convenience of things and the familiar doctor and dentist whom I could trust and all the friends… etc… But there was no choice and thus, the move became a reality.
My girl started in an international kindergarten and though she had teary eyes the first 2 days, she loved it. Because she loved it, I began to relax. Because I began to relax, she loved it more.
But the damage was done. She was sensitive to especially teachers mood and classmates and the atmosphere. Halfway through her time there, the school moved 2 blocks to a new and better place. She began getting nervous. But thankfully the teachers were the same and the kids too, so – it was just a different place. Still, she continued telling me she liked the old place much better. One time a teacher lost patience with the child sitting next to my girl, and “slammed” the hand to the table. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t intended to harm anyone’s heart or ears, but my girl got so scared of this particular teacher that she cried for several months every morning at drop off. They talked and she said it was fine, but she still cried. Not until she left the kindergarten did the two of them manage to rebuild the trust.
Starting grade 1 in a new school was nerve-wrecking. Perhaps for both of us, but I really love the school and was kind of counting on my girl sensing that so she would feel safe. And I do think she does… But new beginnings are hard for her and we went through several cycles of “making friends”, “learning school life” and “missing kindergarten” hardships. One day a teacher raised her voice and scared the living daylights out of my girl. It was never intended to scare her and perhaps it wasn’t even directed at my girl and maybe, this is just the teachers way of expressing herself… Either way, the fear of authorities is deeply engraved in my daughters mind. The teacher did a wonderful job re-connecting with my girl and they ended up being friends again. However, all through grade 1 my girl has displayed a number of pains which can only be explained by psychosomatic symptoms.
And then… my daughter crashed!
I’m not sure if anything in particular happened, just that the psychosomatic symptoms got increasingly worse over a short period of time and it wore me down and out. On my knees praying and asking God to take over and deal with this… Meanwhile, my girl got scarlet fever and for some reason that seemed to be an onset of a number of illnesses. She got fevers that came and went for no reason. She got nausea on/off, stomach pains, headaches, coughs that wouldn’t go away etc. I took her to the local doctor whom, due to the scarlet fever got nervous about several more severe deceases. He did blood work and took an x-ray and she was cleared on all.
But the symptoms hasn’t decreased. It’s with mixed feelings that I received the “she is medically fine”. I’m happy because of course that means nothing serious is wrong. But I’m also fully aware that if it’s not medical then it’s mental. And dealing with something mental is often far more complicated than dealing with physical illnesses. Not worse, just more complicated.
I am praying that God will deliver her from the grip of whatever demon is hunting her down. I pray for the Lord to provide a Christian child psychologist/counselor in our area (and they do not grow on trees here in Tokyo!) with a great reputation and with a low fee… We are rapidly running out of money.
I know I can trust Him with my girl. He died for me and rose again, so I know… I also know that He will provide the right counselor for my girl at the right time. So I am patiently waiting and praying for His hand to move.
I am at His feet!