A Field Trip and a Momma Melt Down

I’ve spent her whole life protecting her! I’ve nursed every cold, sat by her side and curled up with her in hospital rooms. I’ve encouraged her when she felt nervous or shy and watched her exceed the limits people have put on her.  I’ve raised her to be kind, respectful, loving and She’s a great kid, with a good heart.   Now she’s getting older and I’m having such a hard time with letting go.  She’s ready for the independence and I know I have to give it to her, but nobody told me it would be so damn hard!

Today she went on her first big field trip, at her new school, without Erich or myself.  I knew she was a little bit nervous, but excited and I didn’t want her to see my anxiety.  We got dressed and she ate a little breakfast.  I brushed her hair and helped her put it up into a ponytail. We talked about the rules and before I knew it she was out the door and on her way to school.

The door closed and I could feel my nerves churning.  My anxiety began to rise and fall like a rollercoaster and I couldn’t breath.  My tear ducts and gag reflexes unleashed on me like a tidal wave.  I was in a full-blown panic attack.  Funnily enough, my head and thoughts were clear… I know she can do this, I need to let her do this, she’s fine, you’re fine, etc… but my body was unleashing all the physical challenges that makes an anxiety attack the unpleasant experience it is.

I knew I couldn’t go into work like this… The tears were rolling down my face, I was an emotional wreck to say the least.  So I called work to let them know I’d be late and headed over to see the one person I knew would get it, the one person who has seen me through all my ups and downs,  someone who has been through it all with me and my three siblings, my mum.

I walked into her house and she could tell right away something wasn’t right.  She looked concerned as she rose to greet me and asked what was wrong?  I unloaded on her and a big smile spread across her face as she opened her arms and said “now you know how I felt those years you were in Italy!”  When I was little my father had taken me for what was supposed to be a two-week vacation, but  ended up being a two-year custody battle for my mum, a story for another time.  She gave me the biggest of hugs and made me giggle cry.  She made me a cup of tea, we talked about everything, she told me about experiences she’d had raising us and we laughed and cried together.  After a few more hugs  I was ready to head to work.

One of the many great thing about Meg’s new school is they kept me updated all day through text messages and even sent me a few pictures.  They told me I could call anytime to check on her, which gives a mom like me such comfort.  I’m please to say I didn’t call, but I did respond to a few texts they sent me.

I couldn’t wait to pick Meg up and hear all about her day and how much fun she had. She was excited to show me the prank snake she purchased with her tickets she won playing video games.  She especially liked a simulation snowboarding game and my heart swelled with joy when she told me she liked being independent, but would like to go back again with her daddy and I to try the bumper boats.  She’s gaining her independence, but she’s still my little girl and I think I will hold onto that for a little while longer. Till next time…

PS If you’re a mom who sometimes finds it hard to let go, don’t appologize for it.  It’s normal and sometimes it’s harder when your child has a disorder they deal with.  I can tell you Epilepsy has been a long hard road for us, with lots of ups and downs.  As long as you recognize and give them the independence they crave and you prepare them for the real world you’re doing a great job! x

When Panic Strikes…

“You’re fine Kirsten just ignore it” I keep repeating in my head as a  feeling of fear comes over me and I start to tremble from the inside out. 

 “You’re watching  Narnia, Prince Caspian.  You’re not thinking about anything, don’t be ridiculous you’re not having a panic attack!  You have nothing to panic about WTF?”

 My husband is sleeping beside me unaware of the mental struggle I’ve been having with myself for the past hour.  The trembling is teetering on a fine line and I know if I give in I’ll start to shake uncontrollably, but I can’t get passed the fear.

 “Breathe Kirsten, just breathe”  I think if I can do that I’ll be okay.

 “Did the nurse say to count on the breaths in or breaths out?  Oh fuck I don’t remember”.  Panic is setting in, I can hear myself  breathing out, thr0ugh pursed lips, like a tire slowly letting out air. 

“Crap am I hyperventilating?  Not good, not good at all,  get it together Kirsten”. 

I’ve only had  this type of panic attack a handful of time in the 10 years I’ve lived with Anxiety, but it doesn’t lessen how scary they are or how  much I hate them.  They come out of nowhere and it feels like my whole central nervous system has gone haywire.   I tremble and shake like a drug addict going through withdrawals.

“Maybe just maybe I can fight this thing”.  I keep telling myself.  ” You’ve been through this numerous times before, it hasn’t killed you yet, nothing to fear”. 

I’m nervous but I feel angry ” Come on you bastard is this all you’ve got?” 

A flash thought “oh shit maybe I shouldn’t of said that, shouldn’t taunt it.”

I can hear my thought process start to change.  The fear wont let up and the shaking is getting stronger, I feel myself giving in to the fear. 

I get up and my whole body feels sluggish, every step I take feels like I’ve just pulled my foot free from mud, my body’s exhausted.  I know I need to take something, but I don’t want to.  I should be able to get myself under control.  Tears start to stream down my face. 

I’ve had friends and one family member be very cruel about my anxiety.  At first I really let it beat me up and get me down.  Now I realize they used my anxiety as a way to make themselves feel superior, kick me when I’m down so to speak and that they didn’t care about me or have my best interest at heart.  That doesn’t mean their betrayal didn’t hurt!

 I wake my husband who sits up and rubs my back until the shaking subsides.  It takes about 20 minutes for the medicine to work.  In my head I’m beating myself up for not being able to get my nerves under control.  My thoughts vary from “What the hell’s wrong with you?” to “Will this ever go away?”

My husband falls back asleep once he sees me starting to relax.   What he doesn’t see is my disappointment.  I’m feeling  defeated, empty, and exhausted.