She started having anxiety attacks again in West Virginia.
The obsessive fears. This time of stopping breathing, heart stopping, breast cancer, appendicitis, meningitis? What are these things Mommy?What if it happens to me? What if I stop breathing in the middle of the night? Mommy, I cannot make the worries stop and I’m so tired of it.
It’s a changing set of worries that evolve into something else until we can work through the explanations to an understanding. There have been a lot of books, counselors, teachers and a lot of reassurance.
She didn’t want to go to the beach with her father and her grandmother. She had the opportunity at a four-day trip to a place she loves with a father she only occasionally sees. She was too worried about being away from home, being away from Mommy, being uncomfortable.
I didn’t push. We talked about what could or would happen. I left it to her. No, still not going. No, still don’t want to be away from home overnight.
Her sister was packed, ready to go Monday morning. I was preparing for work and ten minutes out from leaving. I walked upstairs to brush my teeth and said, “Ems, where are you I haven’t seen you?”
She was in her room. Her bag was on her bed. She was grabbing things and throwing them in. “I’ve decided I want to go”. So we packed her bag and she talked about this and that and the other she was going to do. She could hardly contain her enthusiasm.
My heart I thought would burst at her bravery. She had conquered the fear. For another child that might not seem like much. For Em’s it’s a big deal.
She called last night. She had been to the beach. Grandmom had helped her drive the golf cart. They went to dinner. She was still excited.
My big brave girl.