Anxiety in Childhood.

D starts preschool next week.

Holy shit. My kid starts preschool next week!

I’m really excited for him to meet new friends and have some fun with kids his own age. He has literally spent every single day of his life with either his parents or grandparents.  That’s awesome for our bank account and I realize what a luxury it is that I’ve been able to have D with me 3 days a week and that we have grandparents living close by and at a stage in their lives where they are retired and/or working in the school systems and have summers off to hang out with my kid.

 

The downside to this is that D doesn’t really have a lot of experience interacting with kids his own age on a regular basis.

I mean, he goes places and plays with kids, but he isn’t going to daycare with a built in friend system.

Social interaction is one of the main reasons we are sending D to preschool. I don’t think he needs the academic portion, but he does need to spend time with kids his own age and learn how to share damn my broken vagina and my inability to get pregnant with a sibling… follow a set schedule and get in the groove for kindergarten next year.  And I have to admit that I’m looking forward to 6 hours a week for just me…

 

 

As the first day draws closer, D is getting very obviously anxious. Each day he tells me more and more frequently that he’s scared and doesn’t want to go anymore.  When I ask him what he’s afraid of, he can’t give me a specific reason. Which as the reigning Queen of Anxiety, I totally understand.  The preschool we chose, we picked because it’s in a place (the church I grew up in) he knows and it’s literally across the street from where my dad and his girlfriend… live.  He’s been in the church multiple times and we drive past every time we go to visit Papa.

I don’t know what to do to help him.  There’s an open house tomorrow where he will meet the teacher,  see the classroom and see all the fun and exciting new things and toys. I’m hoping that will help a lot.

If I’m being honest, what I’m afraid of is D having to deal with anxiety and the stigma attached with that forever. And I’m desperately afraid he gets that from me. Anxiety is not anything I would wish on anyone. Especially my four year old child.

 

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The Anxiety Monster

The Anxiety Monster has my entire being in an absolute choke hold.

I tend to retreat and fold in to myself in an attempt to keep Anxiety at bay. It’s a hell of a lot easier and way less scary to pretend everything is okay and ‘normal’.

Anxiety has been ramping up to rear it’s ugly head for a while now.

I thought I had things under control after the last time Anxiety came around in June. When my parents’ divorce was finally final. I had closure after four and a half years of separation, the last year of which had been a less than amicable back and forth in mediation.

It was the end of an era and one I was glad to see. There was no more wondering. No more back and forth. No more are they or aren’t they going to ever get divorced.

It was done.

It was handled.

It was final.

Beast tamed.

And it was wonderful.

Then came August.

B was suddenly laid off from his job of 8 years.

We went from a mostly-comfortable 1 and a half income family to a half income family. Holy shit.

We had a few days to find, pay for and secure health insurance.

An absolute must for B’s epilepsy medications that run a few hundred dollars a month with insurance.

How in the hello were we going to afford to pay our mortgage and keep food on the table after our Oh Shit fund ran out on my two days a week at work?

Short answer, we weren’t.

B put in applications at any and every place he could think of and landed a job through a temp agency driving a forklift. From 6pm-4:30am four days a week.

It was an amazing relief to have some sort of income coming in, but there are no guarantees that this will turn in to something permanent. But now I am tasked with keeping an almost 3 year old subdued during the day so Daddy can sleep. Lack of sleep is a HUGE trigger for B’s seizures. Cue extra stress. I am also the sole care provider for our son at the moment. B comes home from work, eats, takes a shower and goes to bed. He can usually sleep until 3-4p which doesn’t leave him much time with D Or me for that matter… and I’m usually asleep when he comes home in the morning. Come 5 o’clock he’s getting ready for work and out the door. I’m the one responsible for getting D dinner, playing with him until bath or bed time and getting him to sleep. Once he’s down for the night, I’m done. I check out. There is nothing left in the tank emotionally. I just can’t anymore. It’s exhausting keeping up with D and pretending like Mommy’s insides aren’t a complete cluster you-know-what. I’m tired of going to bed alone. I’m tired of feeling alone period.

I have to give B major props.

My husband is one of the most hard working men I know. He could have rolled over and given up, but he didn’t. He did anything and everything he could to provide for his family. That isn’t exactly the example of a husband and father I had and it blows me away.

And so our house is a mess. I don’t feel like I can do loud housekeeping things while either one of the boys are sleeping. And frankly, I don’t want to do it.

Today, shit is hitting the fan. Anxiety Monster is front and center. I feel like I’m vibrating and I can’t get on top of it.

My sister is getting married, which is wonderful, amazing news! I am so incredibly excited for her I can hardly stand it.

But my father has no idea.

It’s no secret that Daughter #3 wants nothing to do with our dad. That’s her choice, it’s her relationship and I’m not in her shoes. I can’t tell her how to feel or what she should or shouldn’t do when it comes to our Dad. If only that were reciprocated…

Someone incredibly important to her is walking down aisle.

Someone our father vehemently dislikes. He was present when Dad was asked to leave/kicked out and I don’t think my father will ever forgive him for that, which isn’t fair. This man was looking out for my mother, my sisters and me. He is a loving, caring man and we are all lucky to have him in our lives. He stepped up to show all of us fatherly love when we weren’t getting it from our own dad. I will always love him for that.

My father has no idea and I almost spilled the beans today when he was over for our Monday coffee time.

Daughter 3 getting married isn’t my news to share. It’s hers. If and when she chooses to let him know.

It’s only a matter of time until he hears it from her or someone else. Frankly, I’m astounded that he hasn’t heard it through the grapevine. Every time he comes over I brace myself for him asking if what he heard is true.

I have experience in this. When Daughter #4 was graduating from high school, she didn’t want Dad to know. I told her and our Mom that I wasn’t going to tell him where and when the graduation ceremony was, but if asked I wasn’t going to lie to him.

Daughter 3 getting married is life-altering. In the best way possible.

And Dad doesn’t know.

I have a ticking time bomb of information.

I’m desperately afraid it’s going to blow up in my face. I’m terrified that my father is going to hold it against me that I knew and didn’t tell him. That I knew who was walking his daughter down the aisle and I haven’t warned him it’s coming.

I’m terrified he’s going to hold it against me and it will damage our relationship. He is scary good at holding grudges.

It’s not my news to share.

But it’s eating me up inside.

I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t.

It’s all feeding the Anxiety Monster and I really wish it wasn’t.

I’m purging all the feels into this post in an attempt to keep the monster at bay. I’ve deep cleaned my living room in an attempt to deep clean my brain and my heart. I have big plans for cleaning the kitchen to keep my brain and body occupied so I don’t have to think or feel.

I will make it through today and I’ll eventually come out the other side.

But right now.

In this moment.

The Anxiety Monster is winning.

Gee…I never thought of that.

I’ve been on a bit of a social media hiatus.

There’s some crap going on in the family. I tweeted about how I was having all the feels, how it surprised me that I was having the feels and that I just needed to vent. And it bit me in the a-dollar-dollar.

Having all the feels and not feeling like I can talk to anyone without paying them to listen to me has seriously set my anxiety through the roof.

Sarcasm is my first language and my coping mechanism.

I can’t control my anxiety, but I can usually control my sarcasm. when my filter is working…

Trust me. I SO wish I could control the anxiety right now.

B and I are going on an anniversary getaway long weekend in a few weeks and I’m trying to figure out logistics for Man Cub.
We are extremely lucky to have all four grandparents locally.
But trying to figure things out with my habitually late, last minute family is driving me nucking futs. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. I absolutely adore then and would be beyond lost without them.
But no one can push my buttons and drive me crazy like they can.

During MIL’s birthday lunch today our little vacay was brought up and MIL was naturally curious when Man Cub was going to be at her house. I told her I didn’t know and that I was working on it.
I wasn’t trying to be a beach. I really wasn’t, but my frustration must have been obvious.

As we were outside saying our goodbyes she kind of pulled me aside and said it was no big deal to her when Man Cub was at her house.
Then it happened.
She told me not to worry about it.
And I reacted.
Poorly.

I believe “Gee, I never thought of that. Just don’t worry about it. Problem solved!” was my exact response.

If I could just not think/worry about some of the shit going on right now, I would. Trust me. I wish it was that farking simple. I really do.

I’m sure things will eventually, last minute, work themselves out and all will be well.
But until then?
Please, for the love of dear, sweet baby Jesus, don’t tell me to just not think/worry about it.
Anxiety+Girl