So, no secret that 2013 was a rough year for me and the hard lasted until March 2014. Most of it had to do with mental health and physical health issues. (depression, anxiety, panic attacks, C Diff infection, whooping cough, with accompanying doctors, psychiatrists, and therapy) Things have been better since March. Worlds better. Let the heavens rejoice, better. Yet I’ve discovered that all the challenging things set up some emotional landmines for later. Now that school has started, I keep stepping on them.
It goes like this:
Child expresses a resistance to a homework assignment. I am suddenly mired in the memory of hours-long homework confrontations. For a moment I’m convinced that we are doomed and the next months will be uniformly miserable.
Child has a fight with a friend which reaches the physical altercation stage. I know it is driven by stress and anxiety in both kids. They fight because they both have similar issues and neither one wants to back down. I come away from the discussion/apology very afraid that the stresses which drove this confrontation will then poison the entire school year and we’ll be back to panic attacks at school again.
Child calls home because he’s not feeling well. I am suddenly angry and ready to cry. It is only the second week of school and we’ve barely had time to catch our stride yet we’re already going to have to play catch up.
The reality is that the child did the homework after only a little grousing, the arguement was resolved and then forgotten, and a single day of missed classes is fairly easy to catch up.
In each case my emotional reaction to the event is far out of proportion to the event itself. There are a dozen more examples that have happened in the last week. It feels like I’m jumping to duck and cover at any noise. I’m twitchy and it is annoying. Yet I can feel that a few months of stability will even it out. I really want those months of stability and I don’t know if I get them. The mix we’ve got of mental health issues, business stresses, and school, may just mean a bumpy ride for quite a while to come. Until then, I try to flinch less often and recover quickly when I do.