Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Round and Round in Circles

Monday night we had a time of reading Bible stories and prayer. It was about right and wrong choices. Munchkin got really upset and ran to her room. I went to talk to her. She told me that she had done something really bad and it was making her tummy hurt. Apparently during outside water play, a friend went to the bathroom on the playground. Munchkin decided to do it too and peed on the chair in the corner. (when she was little we let her pee outside during the summer rather than go through the house dripping wet from the pool. And she knows her nephews pee outside too) Not a huge deal, in my opinion.

I talked with her about good and bad choices. Reassured her that I will always love her, always and forever, no matter what she does. We talked about how your conscience, that some people call the Holy Spirit, makes your tummy kind of hurt when you make a bad choice. Talked about making it right – apologizing, praying, making amends. She seemed great.

Tuesday it was back to work and school for everyone. Munchkin was upset going to school. (I figured it was the “had too much fun staying home yesterday” syndrome since she had stayed home sick the day before) When we got there, she was real clingy. She said she was upset about “what we talked about last night.” She felt like she needed to tell her teacher. So I helped and we talked with the teacher. Ms. A was great – thanked Munchkin for telling her and then gave her a hug. So all was well – or so I thought.

Last night Munchkin was acting out of sorts again though. As she went to bed, she was crying and wanted to talk to me. She insisted it be me. (she says Daddy “makes fun” and “teases” and would be mad – my thoughts on that are for another post)

We had forgotten to take her blanket into class, so she was using a school blanket at naptime. She picked a booger and wiped on “Ms. A’s blanket.” (it took everything I had in me not to just crack up laughing at this. She was so super serious) I told her that this wasn’t a bad thing necessarily – just really bad manners. It was kind of like farting – every body does it but you don’t talk about it (I was pretty proud of my analogy)– and you should definitely not wipe it on anything but a tissue. So off to sleep she went.

This morning she was upset and crying again. I figured it was her anxiety. She was almost hyperventilating and panting. She had done this two nights before too. I tried to get her to do some deep and slow breathing with me but she kept saying, “I can’t.” (this was the horrible part – watching her sit there unable to get her breath)

So we went on to school. Talked in the car and she said she felt better when I explained that she didn't have to tell Ms. A about this. I thought all was fine....until the call about 10 that she was "warm" and sleepy. She was warm and had a fever, but she was under the blankets too. I gave her some ibuprofen. She acted like she would get sick, but had been crying. Never did get sick. Did sleep more than normal. But also said the best thing about being sick was staying home.

So she napped off and on all afternoon. Did watch a bit of TV. Because of the "24 hour rule" she'll be out tomorrow. But I have told Daddy not to let her have fun - no outside play, no computer, very little TV.

So the Round and Round in Circles Part? It's the back and forth. I thought I handled the good-bad choices issue okay. And the first day. And the conversation with Ms. A. But then this morning was horrible. Was she sick? Was she not sick?

My mom was really put out when we were sick. She was not a nurturing woman. When we were older, she was really out of sorts due to missing work. She also felt we over-exaggerated everything. She never thought it was that bad and the mantra was "suck it up buttercup."

On the other hand, I don't want Munchkin to get into the habit, even innocently, of thinking it is fun to be sick because she gets lots of extra perks.

Then there was the anxiety. She was almost hyperventilating. I was trying to get her to breathe slowly, watching her look exactly like me during a panic attack. She kept saying, "I can't" It was awful. I hated seeing her like that, gasping and crying and wild-eyed.

Makes me wonder if some of my anxiety issues aren't genetic? And if that is the case, then I can't really blame all my issues on the abuse. So does that make them me my fault? Was it my genes that passed them on to Munchkin? Or has she seen my issues, despite my attempts to hide them, and is copying? If my anxiety and panic issues are not abuse related, then shouldn't I just get over them already?


Ethereal Highway said...

I don't believe panic disorders are genetic, unless I think of it as we ALL are genetically programmed for fight or flight for survival. Some things may be watched and learned, but I think that sort scenario is not likely to develop into 'disordered' proportions. Growing up can sometimes be anxiety provoking. If we handle it right and things go well, it blows over. Do your best, Enola. And I think you know very well where your own issues come from.

Kahless said...

I think you are being tough on yourself.

Marj aka Thriver said...

I don't really have any answers. I've had similar issues with my son. We just keep feeling our way through it.

But, I want to tell you this: you are such a good mother. I thought you handled it all very well with your munchkin.

Anonymous said...

I think you've done well, too. Even if you have non-abuse reasons for your own anxiety, you can't really keep all your various pieces of baggage separate. They all interact, don't you think?

I relate to the tough call about how to balance being nurturing with letting someone get away with stuff or take advantage. Praying balance and peace for you.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking the same thing as your other friends....

" are such a good mother. I thought you handled it all very well with your munchkin."

keep sharing your thoughts..and if it looks like you're getting too far off the beaten trail, we'll let you know...your friend DM

April_optimist said...

You're a terrific mother! I'm really impressed with how well you handled all of this.

School can be stressful for kids and maybe she has anxieties she hasn't been able to articulate. Meanwhile, you're showing her you love her, you believe in her and she can survive mishaps. I suspect you'll know if the time comes that you need to have a talk with her about going to school vs. staying home.

Anonymous said...

All mental health issues can be passed down to children. You are a great mother and if she has anxiety you help her deal with it very well.