I hate you. I do.
I hate the years you made B struggle. I hate what you are doing to my friend’s child. I hate what you are doing to Jilly’s good friend. I hate that you are burdening their families.
You need to stop now.
I hate that you leave financial debt and lost friendships in your wake. I hate that you create blindness in society rather than understanding.
I hate that you’ve caused a few family members to decide that their friendship is contingent on my silence.
I hate that you caused a friend who had written a note thanking me for being one of the “kindest, most sincere people she knows” to drop our friendship within a year when B got sick because I felt the need to advocate for him.
I hate you for creating the view society has of me. I hate you for looking like other disorders so that it is hard for children to get treated. I hate the time I spent worrying, being angry, feeling bitter, feeling anxious, fearing the future . . . because of you.
PANDAS/PANS, I loathe you. I do.
However, unfortunately for you, you did not destroy me, my child, or our family.
Because of you, PANDAS/PANS, I’ve learned the importance of forgiveness. I’ve learned that it is necessary that I practice it every day. It’s hard . . . HARD, but necessary.
I’ve learned that I have to be an advocate. No more people pleasing. I am a wimp by nature. You taught me that I need to be courageous. I found a voice I didn’t know I could possess. You taught me to stand up for our family, for other families, and for my child.
I’ve learned to take the health of our family into our own hands. I’ve learned how to build health with food. I’ve learned to question every medication and supplement. I’ve learned to ask the right questions of our physicians.
I’ve learned to cherish people. I’ve learned empathy for paths I may not understand. I’ve learned to set aside my bias and listen. I’ve learned that ‘comfortable’ doesn’t mean ‘right.’ I’ve truly learned to love in situations where I might not have before.
I’ve learned what it is like to lean on my Heavenly Father. I’ve learned that the joy of the Lord truly is my strength. Now I know what that old Sunday school song means. I’ve learned that when I cry out to Him, He really is listening. I’ve learned to listen to His voice. I learned to follow when He guides us to roads less traveled. I’ve learned that He is always with us. We were never alone. He held B in his hands.
You, PANDAS/PANS, lose.
Honeybee and her husband of twelve years have two children. Now that her son is nearly recovered from PANDAS/PANS, Honeybee’s passion is walking other parents through the diagnosis, so their children will have the same opportunity to heal that her son had.