It’s been a while since you and I fell out. Today you made me angry even though I was not your target. You see, my daughter is six and she has Autism. It makes her day-to-day life extremely hard at times as she attempts to navigate a crazy world and find her place in it. It’s not helpful when you come along and add to the mounting stress she feels. I know you often tag along with your friend Autism. You seem to be closely connected.Some days there just isn’t enough planning in the world, and anxiety seems to grab her regardless.Click To Tweet
We had a lovely play date arranged with some close friends in a park we often visit. The school holidays throw her out of her comfort zone but she copes really well with planning. It should have been a lovely day. Plan we did, prompt we did, talk it through loads and off we went. Some days there just isn’t enough planning in the world and you just seem to grab her regardless. My beautiful girl was crying, screaming and kicking the seat in the car. She hit her little brother, she threw the stuff she could get hold of. She refused to get out of the car and so we sat there, her crying and her brother unsure whilst I decided on the next step for all concerned. You had her Anxiety. You were winning.
I wanted to yell and scream at you, Anxiety. I really did. I wanted to rip you out of my daughter and stamp on you a million times for what you do to her. I wanted to swear at you and boy did I have some select words just for you. I wanted to cry, truth be told, because I am exhausted, overwhelmed and often feel out of my depth trying to do what is best for her. Trying, as a parent, to make her world as easy and understandable as I can whilst at the same time keeping her safe. I have to think with/about/for her 24/7 and when you decide to stop by, it’s a hundred times worse because she becomes flighty. She’s likely to run at any given chance and with her lack of danger awareness, it’s scary.
Instead I wish to thank you, Anxiety because every time something like this happens, it makes me a stronger parent, ready to face you the next time you decide to gatecrash our lives. You know what else? With my help (and maybe a little stubborn attitude) she got out of the car. She had a few moments on the floor waving and kicking her arms in the air and I let her. Why? Because she was releasing you. She was angry at the feelings she was having. Deep down she wanted to see her friends, to go on the swings, to eat the picnic we took with us. After she started to calm I bent down and gave her a choice – go play or go home. I was calm and fair, she knew either would be OK with me and do you know what? She chose to play and after a few more minutes calming, she had a great time. It was a lovely day after all. You may be a pain in the backside, Anxiety and believe me when I say I HATE you, I really mean it.I wish to thank you, Anxiety because every time something like this happens, it makes me a stronger parent.Click To Tweet
Thank you for attempting to take my daughter down today, you have shown me even at the age of six she isn’t going to let you win. She made a choice to put you to one side, remind you that you don’t get to rule her life. She was able to release her feelings safely inside my car and make a decision to keep going. I would say better luck next time but that just suggests I offer you seat on our next day out so instead I will bid you farewell for today and we will no doubt see you when we see you. We will be ready for you every time.
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