Clarabelle has been working through a lot of anxiety and stress. I waver between a broken heart and wanting to scream at her. The first few weeks of school she was doing great, maybe even better than great. At that time Pix was the focus of concern. We were trying to get Pix through her days at Kindergarten. Once we got Pix settled, confirmed that Sprite has been doing great with preschool, Clarabelle started to go downhill. Hours of crying at night, more crying in the morning. She worried about doing her homework wrong, doing badly on a test, forgetting something important. She was a wreck.
All of these emotions came on slowly and I found myself doing the dance that we do. I talk way more than I should, while CB explains every reason why my solutions to her problem aren’t good enough. “It’s OK if you don’t get a perfect score on your test, as long as you try.” Rebuttal, “But the problem is….” This is CB’s most favorite phrase, ever. “The problem is….” You know what the problem is? THE PROBLEM IS… anxiety sucks. Depression can bite the big one. The fact that my 9 year old deals with this on a daily basis? I can’t put into words.
This is where I gather all my strength, patience, wisdom, anything that can get me through, and deal with it. My first plan of attack was patient understanding. This didn’t work out very well. I think that CB needed a warrior and she ended up with a cream puff. I was too rational, too calm. I just wasn’t getting it. Then I got tough. I let CB have a good cry, then looked her straight in the eye and said, “You’re better than this!! You are so much more than these tears, this fear. You are mine and I we don’t go down crying.” Then I growled at her. and she laughed.
Clarabelle is still working through all of these emotions and coming to me for hugs when she needs them, but I’m starting to sense an emerging confidence. She isn’t folding as quickly. I see her starting to rationalize her feelings more. When she comes to me with her fears, she starts talking herself out of her feelings instead of explaining why they are valid. The problem is…less. Less is so much more.
*A gift from my dear friend, Bethany. I look at this vase all day long and remind myself to Be Happy.