Joyful Anguish

There comes days when you don’t know whether to jump for joy or collapse in anguish for your child. Today was one of those days. I don’t know how to make life easier for her, but when she has days like this it’s a reminder of who she is, how she’s grown and how hard it can be for her to ask for help.

Today, Em came home halfway through the day with a “mental health” excuse from me. After lunch today she asked to call me and then asked to see her psych ASAP as she’s really struggling. She was bordering on a meltdown and felt it. She didn’t want to stay because she was afraid of losing it completely and hurting someone. She’s never lost it outside of a fight or flight mode to that degree. However, she was seeing warning signs and really didn’t see herself coming down. In talking to her teacher, I decided to err on the side of caution. I did give Em some guidelines reminding her that this is not an everyday solution but a onetime deal for her. I granted her request.

 It’s a huge step. It’s a sad one to see her go through this but a huge one for her to recognize and try to find solutions and know that there are people to help her. Anguish and joy are permeating my thoughts all at the same time. She has never asked to see her psych. I don’t know that she has ever really talked to her that I can remember. And to ask knowing that she has an appointment is even bigger still. While she wants to see her ASAP, her appointment is Wednesday and I can’t move it up. I just hope she can keep. We’ve had a rare amount of tears from her tonight, all over homework.

So Wednesday, I really hope she speaks up at her appointment. Either way, I’m proud of the steps she used today for self advocating and awareness. It really drained her too. She came home from school ate a little bit and then she was out like a light upstairs. She slept for several hours. It could be anxiety OR allergies triggering her escalation or both. We’ll have a LONG talk with the psych at the appointment. It’s sad she still has days like this.

What was even sadder, she felt guilty for coming home. She felt like she should have pushed herself harder to get through the day. She felt like she was “running away” from her “problems” instead of “dealing” with them. I had to explain to her that sometimes the best way to deal with a “perceived problem” is to step back, regroup and attempt it again.

She then tried to work on her homework. She struggled through as much of it as she could. Trying so hard to get it done and not fall behind. I heard the panic in her voice. I saw the fear in her eyes. I read the desperation to just understand it in her body language and what she was saying. She is so afraid of disappointing her teachers she bawled her eyes out and started to escalate again. I finally fought her off the math book and took it away. It’s not even the common core math. She walked away and sat on the steps with her head in her hands full of anxiety and tears. She acknowledged my reason for making her walk away. We talked about that conversation from earlier too about how this is the time to step back. She can ask for help tomorrow. And in the meantime, I emailed her resource/special ed teacher and hope we can get some concerns and anxiety triggers resolved.

But today, today was a day that I will remember. It’s one of the first times she’s taken a leap and followed through to this degree. Granted we have some regression but it’s regression in her coping but progress in her self-awareness. I’m calling it a leap, that huge step to admit she needs help and can’t do it. While it makes me sad, I’m also very happy because she recognizes it.

I hope tomorrow is a better day for her. We’ll take it one day at a time, like we always do.

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