A year ago I did a blog post about how I suffer from anxiety and not ADHD as I have been told all my life. That post can be found here. I have since sorted my shit out and have been meds free since February this year. It wasn’t easy but I had to learn to manage my anxiety without the help of medication by doing various different things when I start to feel anxious. This has helped me a lot. If you read the previous post you will see that the reason I found all this out in the first place is because I took my eldest to go see a child psychologist. This saved both me and my marriage. For more about my anxiety and how it affected my wedding week click here included is also some information about how/who I am.
Now back to the present…
Note there will be some self blame in the post below and I might say things like i am a horrible parent. This is not me looking for validation that I am not but just expressing how I feel.
Wait go, make yourself a cup of coffee and come back…
Two weeks ago Monday I asked my mom to take the girls to morning care because I had to go into the office early. Amandalynn usually does not go to morning care, but when I need to be at the office early I drop her there and it has never been a problem. On that morning my mom phoned when she got the office and said that A lost is here marbles that morning. When they turned the corner to stop at morning care A apparently noticed that the school field was empty and started to cry. finally my mother got out of her why she is crying and she said that she is late for school and the bell must have rang already because the field is empty. the more my mother tried to explain to her that school only starts in an hour and that she must go the school with the moring care children, the more she lost it. Eventually she went into the school and after the morning care teacher told her that it is way too early to go to school and that she will make sure that she is on time she sort of calmed down.
This broke my heart. At the age of 9 to be so stressed about being late for school and not believe the adults in your life that you are not.
[sidenote: she has been late for school 3 times in her 3 year school career this is not something we make a habit of so there isn’t really any cause for this kind of behaviour]
I immediately called the child psychologist and made her another appointment. He could see us the Wednesday morning at 08:00. I told them that I suspected that my child suffers from anxiety and it would either be that something is wrong that is causing it or she is just like her mother and her mind is chemically imbalanced. My mind obviously started working overtime and I figured that if it is anxiety dropping her off at school 2 hours late after her appointment might just make things worst. I called her class teacher (on monday 2 days before appointment) and told her what is going on I asked her to tell A the next morning that I called, that she is going to the doctor and that she is going to be late but it is ok and she will keep the work that she missed for her to do during break or for homework.
That same evening I told A that I made an appointment at the dr for her and why, I also told her that I have phoned her teacher and she is fine with everything. She came home the Tuesday afternoon and told me that when she got to school that morning her teacher pulled her aside told her that I called and that everything is ok. That calmed my nervous a little.
Wednesday morning we headed to the dr and I could see Amandalynn was a little stressed and before we went in I told her that depending on how she feels when we are done, she can either go to school or she can spend the morning with me at work. I figured my child is already anxious and even if her teacher is ok with her coming late, coming late might just make her feel more anxious.
I had a 20min chat with the dr about why i made the appointment, why I needed her to see him. He asked more questions and the more he talked the more I realised that my child does suffer from anxiety. Amandalynn spent 30 minutes with him and when he called me back in I could see on his face something was wrong.
The first thing he asked me is how long has this eye twitching been going on – at that moment I realised that I never told him about it and she must have sat there the entire session twitching. He said that she does suffer form anxiety and the fact that it is showing physically (the eye thing) means that it is bad. I felt like breaking down and sobbing like a fucking baby.
How the fuck did I miss this? She has been for every test you can image before she went to school and for most of them she went twice. I have always had this fear that my child will have the same crappy school experience that I did because no one was able to identify if something was wrong and if they did they were not able to identify it correctly. I have been so on the ball with this and here the dr is telling me that it is SO FUCKING bad. Even typing this is making tears roll down my face.
He told me that he wants to make an appointment with a psychiatrist for her but she will only get an appointment in about 3 months, which will give us time to learn to manage her anxiety by her going to see him weekly. He will also request a report from her school to assess the situation there and if the 3 months roll past and there is no change we will need to look into medication, he will first start her on natural medication before we go the chemical route.
Again I feel like a terrible mother even though I know that I am not. I am doing research on Anxiety in Children, looking for tips on how I as a parent can help her without trying to fix things for her.
Tonight she had her second visit with the psychologist and Hannes and I have our visit with him to learn how to manage her anxiety. He did give us “homework” in the form of articles that he wrote and posted on his website to go read and make notes for question we might have in preparation for the appointment. Those 2 articles can be found here and here. Will update you on how this went soonest.
For those of you who do not suffer from anxiety and have never dealt with someone that has anxiety, here are some things not to say to that person:
Does your child suffer from anxiety? How do you manage their anxiety? I need tips people or books or any kind of help you can give me please.
Just a reminder, for the month of September I will be working with Unilever SA on their #brightfuture campaign to
CHANGING SOUTH AFRICA ONE TREE AT A TIME
Creating life-giving oxygen, providing shelter and playing a vital part of our ecosystem, trees are undeniably crucial to our existence. Yet, we are losing the forests that are so important to us. It’s time for people of South Africa to come together to help us change this.