Having a child with anxiety is as horrible as it sounds. You never know when it will strike, you never know what will trigger her to fall to the ground unable to move, unable to think or connect. You can never predict what will cause her heart to start racing and for her brain to sink into a place that doesn’t have the ability to hear your words of calming. Want to know what’s even worse? When your kid is also autistic and has trouble with communication and auditory processing issues. It takes longer for her brain to hear what is being said and to process into something that makes sense, and then even if it makes sense, it’s hard for her to explain why/what/who/where is the problem. Sometimes the only thing she can say to me is “I’m scared of everything.” Can you imagine feeling like that? Can you fathom what it feels like to not be able to explain to someone who loves you more than life itself why you can’t breathe, why your head is fuzzy and spinning and why your stomach is aching and in knots? You can’t? Well count yourself damn lucky because it fucking blows.
Others will see her being obstinate, or see you as an infective parent, but you know the truth. You know that it’s not about the shirt, it’s not about the missing pony. It’s probably not about anything that’s even happened in the past 2 hours. It’s been building forever.
Her baseline anxiety has been climbing for months (nay, years)but it’s peaking lately, resulting in many days of missed school, lots of tears and LOTS of watching My Little Pony.
She’s afraid to go upstairs or downstairs alone, she’s terrified of rooms that are dark, every shadow is a ghost, every piece of dust a spider, everything is scary. EVERYTHING. IS. SCARY.
Two weeks ago I had to hold her down while someone she had never met pulled her pants down while someone else gave her a shot in her leg while she screamed that I was a monster. You know what? I felt like one. Boom, anxiety increase.
Then her school had a lockdown drill where they had to hide under their desks in silence. Boom, anxiety increase.
Then the next day they had an assembly on disaster preparedness. To hear her talk of it, you would assume there was a horribly graphic and violent video, but there was not. But all she can talk about is houses on fire and rooms filling with water from floods and earthquakes. Boom, anxiety overload.
And so here we are, another day of school missed (which is good because today was a fire drill), another day of too much MLP and minimal play/interaction and probably not eating much. Before you tell me that I should put my foot down and make her do school work or house work and not have ‘fun’ on her ‘day off’, just fuck off. She’s not skipping school because she's screwing around, her brain is at war with itself, and she's just trying to survive. We have been trying new things every few months trying to combat this demon in her mind and are still coming up empty handed.
Thankfully we haven't exhausted the options for anxiety, and thankfully science still is allowed to exist because that is what we hope will lead my poor kid out of her daily stress. Only time will tell.