I shared awhile ago about the issues my kiddo has been having, so I thought I’d post an update. (Really, I’d like to be drinking a bottle of wine but since I rarely have wine, I’ll use you guys to vent to instead!)
If you missed the original post about his anxieties and the severity of them, you can check that out here: Child Anxiety
So, he had some sessions with his school guidance counselor, but it was no help. I’ve been unimpressed by the counselor, to say the least. He didn’t see Jayden two times a week like I asked; he didn’t see him on the same day each week, like I asked; it took me asking multiple times before he gave me a copy of the testing they did; I got little to no communication from him. I could go on, but I won’t. So it was decided that he couldn’t provide Jayden with the help he needed. In his words “this is way over my head, and he really needs help.” Ugh.
Thanks to a fabulous dear friend of mine, who is a social worker, she was able to refer me to an office who specializes in child issues (divorce adjustment, anxiety, etc). There was about a month or so long wait, but we finally had the first appointment. I brought my very long list of things Jayden stresses about (sickness, airplanes, death, to name a few). I really liked the social worker, and Jayden seemed to as well. She wants to see him every two weeks. First they will work on the easiest issue, which is his aversion to straws (drinking out of or touching them). She says this will be the easiest to overcome and it will help show him that he CAN overcome.
His self confidence was another thing we discussed. He has asked HUNDREDS of times, why he is “here”. He has low self esteem, doesn’t believe in himself, and often worries about silly things like his teeth being too big (yes, that was actually something he worried about at one point). He is also always worried about making other people sad by his decisions. The counselor said this is common, he is worrying about so much, and this basically has his brain so bogged down with stress, that he can’t think positive things. So, I’m really hoping we are on the right track.
That all being said, this past week has been brutal! Being sick is a huge anxiety, and can literally cause him to go into a panic attack. Insert fever, cough, flu test, strep test, with a diagnosis of croup. Bleh! The poor kid sounds horrible, coughing and coughing and coughing. He was sent home early today from school because he was feeling so crappy. When I went to pick him up, these are the questions I was bombarded with:
-why can’t I feel my hands?
-why are my legs shaking?
-why do I feel dizzy?
-am I going to throw up?
-why can’t I just go to Heaven, so I don’t have to feel like this?
-can I talk to Miss Chrissy (social worker)?
-why do I feel like this?
All the while, he is walking and talking fine. This would be a panic attack, Jayden-style. He feels crappy, and then gets himself so worked up that he ends up feeling 10x worse. These questions continued for about 30 mins, until I threatened to take his kindle away for a week. (Counselor suggestion-don’t try to explain, don’t answer “what if” type questions, give a consequence and stick to it!)
Hearing your child ask if they can go to Heaven is gut-wrenching. It brings tears to my eyes every time he says it. Although I know he doesn’t truly understand the impact of that thought, it is still heartbreaking to hear. I am trying my hardest to raise him into a smart, funny, giving, loving boy, who knows his place in the world and does something great with it. To hear him even think that he shouldn’t be alive, I can’t explain the sadness that it puts in my heart. It is something I worry about now, every day.
A lot of people say things like “well he’ll see he got through the situation and then he’ll be ok”…but that isn’t how anxiety works. Having a “bad” situation happen (whether it is getting sick, or whatever is considered bad to him), only shows him that he was right for worrying about it in the first place. He is not able to see the positive.
If I could make him feel brave, see the good, understand how lovely he is, trust me, I would have done so by now. But I can’t.