11-Year-Olds Have Meltdowns Too: Navigating the Storms of Childhood

Here we find ourselves, my eleven-year-old daughter, and I, in the midst of a storm of emotions. She’s hurling words I can’t put into writing, aimed at both my husband and me. She’s sprawled on the floor, her fingernails tracing lines on her arms, tears flowing uncontrollably, and her breath is coming in rapid gasps.

“This is not okay,” my husband says. “We should stop.” I assure him no; it’s okay and remind him this is where we see a central nervous system disability, the thing that others don’t see, the thing she masks hardest.

It’s been a relentlessly stressful two weeks, culminating in an overwhelming fight-or-flight response, pushing her to breaking point.

How did we arrive here, and more importantly, how did we then navigate our way out of this turbulent sea of emotions?

Our journey began when my daughter’s hamster and two beloved cats passed away during a six-week adventure in Bali. Just when the heartache...

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