Our second child Valerie was born in the summer of 2005, a strong, beautiful, healthy little girl. She was a bit of a fussy baby, that grew to be an unusually irritable toddler. She was miserable, and everyone around her knew it. We would go to the play area at the mall and instead of playing with the other kids, she would grab onto my leg and hide her face. I vividly remember driving down the freeway in our dark blue minivan. Many times Valerie would kick the back of my driver’s seat for miles, as hard as she could, and scream, “I just want to die!”
As a mother, I felt like a complete failure. What had I done, or not done that would cause her to feel like this? And yet at the same time she had an older sister and a younger brother raised in the same house, with the same parents …and they appeared to be perfectly happy. I was always looking for answers, something that could help her. I read endlessly online, anything relating to health and wellness. I took her to a local doctor. It took four nurses holding her down to draw her blood, the test results came back normal. But nothing felt normal in our home. As we all know, when one member of the family is not okay, the whole family is not okay.