Tonight, there are multiple tabs open on the laptop. All waiting for me to click on and read through the daunting information contained. Medical journals, blogs, research, help. Some are referrals, some I managed to find on my own. Right now it feels like I'm gasping for air. And these are my oxygen mask.
Increasingly, it's become obvious that our daughter's anxiety is far greater than "Oh, she's just shy," or "She's such a little worrier." And it's become equally obvious that we are unequipped to deal with it on our own.
This week has been one of the more trying ones on the books so far. Morning, afternoon, and night time meltdowns. Then, we finally figure out that there have been bathroom accidents while at school and she hasn't told anyone. Not full wetting of clothes, but enough to cause discomfort and further her anxiety throughout the day.
Classmates mocking her for the gap caused by her missing two top teeth. Something she was so joyful over. Now her 1st grade yearbook picture has her with a half smile so the gap won't show.
She was, just this week, notified she was identified for the gifted program due to her high aptitude in math. She's crazy smart! The middle of the week, she came home in tears.
They were making fun of me because I'm smart. They said it was stupid to like math.
Oh, sweet girl. I didn't realize it was possible for the mean kids to continue breaking my heart this far out of elementary school.
A few months ago the tears were because she wore her beloved Spiderman shirt.
They kept saying girls can't like Spiderman.
That one, at least, had a happy outcome. She's made the best of friends with another girl in her class who loves Batman.
She no longer wears her favorite winter hat because there are children who knock it off of her on the playground.
I know we cannot be the only family left teaching kindness. But there are days when it certainly feels like it.
I don't want to go to school! What if I have another bad day?
But what if you have an amazing day?
It doesn't go that way for me.
Last night when she was adamant about not going to her dance class, I felt myself slowly accepting that her anxiety levels are above the normal for a wee 7 year old girl. Even a high spirited, crazy brilliant one.
Some of her stories, once we talked them over with her teacher, end up being built up in her anxious mind to more than they are in reality. Others? Her's is the true account. The first, however, gives us a clearer picture of the power of her anxiety. And her own powerlessness to not let it control her.
So, I find myself reaching out to experts and other knowledgeable sources. Sorting through my own anxiety issues, I'm poorly equipped to help her. Even now, however, I'm hesitant to talk to anyone about my own fears for my daughter. Fearful of the lack of concern. Fearful of the eyerolls and lack of support.
She'll grow out of it. Stop hovering. Every child goes through stuff.
But she's not every child. She's my child.