The story of us

I wish we could say that we are a normal family. But After all what is normal?

 

We live in a small town in northeastern Ohio. We have two wonderful and amazing daughters. Maddy is well into her tween years and looking forward to being a teenager. Morgan is 10; and they are both so sweet and patient.

 

We lived in silence for so many years; because honestly we didn't know how to begin to explain what was going on with us. Some of it is pretty unbelievable. We didn't know if we would be accepted by our family. And we kept in a very small circle of friends that knew everything.

 

But then last year; I got very angry when someone said "you are the worst mother to let her act that way." I thought to myself how dare you; judge me. As I laid in bed that night; my mind really started going. Morgan is getting judged 24/7; how does she handle it at her young age? I am the worst mother because I am not being honest with anyone about her whole story. And I am telling both of our babies don't tell anyone "what Morgan has." Like she should be ashamed? How dare I? Michael and I went around and around I wanted to go public in a huge way. Both of us were terrified. What were people going to say or think? Finally we met with a social media expert in September os 2014 and I got his take on it; and he said "Go For it." Thus, the birth of Team Morgan Ohio on Facebook began. Where I began publicily documenting our days atleast twice a day but trying to keep it as updated as possible. So people could get the true story; our truth; Morgan's secret. Morgan has an invisible disability. Morgan has a mental illness. Morgan has schizophrenia.

 

Morgan and Maddy were angry at first and then I explained to them that Team Morgan was going to try to spread awarenss and that we need help. Mommy and Daddy aren't smart enough to make a cure for this; so we need to get you ready for the world and the world ready for you. And just maybe we can meet with other families who are like us. Morgan started asking me how many would like her page. And when we got to 200 hundred we were amazed. Now under a year later we are over 2000 likes. And growing.

 

Michael and I neither one think that people realize how much you have to change your way of thinking and doing things to make it work around here. All the sacrifices that need to happen to keep Morgan successful and stable. We try to express to everyone via the Facebook page what it was like to get called into your daughters physicians office and being told that if you want to keep her at home; you need to stop working because she needs 24 hour care. We also try to communicate how hard it was to face reality we had to give up our home and look for a whole different place to live because we couldn't afford our house anymore with my income gone. And watch our car being towed away.

 

Instead of getting Morgan up ready for school in the morning; I get her up to take 15 medications in the morning and our routine of doctor and therapy appointments plus school. Morgan attends emotional therapy with Christine and is treated by her Nurse Practicioner Kathy Royer at 4 Kid Help. On top of those appointments she attends occupational therapy; and also speech therapy weekly. Morgan also sees her gastroenterologist bi-weekly because the schizophrenia as well as the medication she takes to treat her symptoms plays havic with her digestive system. Before Dr. Collins Morgan would be in the hospital with painful bowel obstructions and horrific pain.

 

Maddy to be able to handle everything that she sees she attends emotional therapy at the same practice where Morgan goes. Just imagine being Madison? How the hell does she explain what her sister goes through and what Morgan sometimes has put her through. Not to mention we are moved because "my mom said we have too."

 

We have went from being able to say yes to everything that Maddy and Morgan wanted to saying we can't afford groceries. But we have done this all to save our daughter. And so far its working so none of us ever complain we just roll with it.

 

Do we wish things were different? Absolutely. We wish that Morgan never had to suffer on adaily basis the way she does. And that Maddy could be more carefree and not have to worry if her sister is going to be sane when she gets home from school.

 

What are we doing now? We go to our appointments and we are adjusting to the new place. I believe our mourning is over the most part for the old house. Although the kids and us neither one can even go back in that neighborhood. Both Michael and I will feel better when someone else buys it and moves in.

 

Are we angry? There was a time that I was very angry with God and trying to understand why this disease even exists. But now; I have accepted it. And know that for Morgan's sake and our sanity we have to be positive and be supportive of the folks who are working everyday to make a difference and ending the stigma of mental illness.

 

Our goal? To end the stigma of mental illness for all. And have our children and other children be accepted and not judged.

"We will go to the end of the Earth for our daughters. Because that is what you do when you are a parent you put your needs on the back burner and love your kids."

-- Michael

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