Hope this helps someone by telling our story.
In December, my son had a full blown panic attack. It lasted for 40 minutes in two waves, 20 minutes each. It was so scary, the thought of not knowing what was going through your child’s mind, and why.
Comforting him seemed near impossible. He is his worst critic.
I realize he has been through a lot in the last year: switching schools, changing his day to day routine, losing his friends and family. I feel in December, it all came to a head. Once he released his feelings that had built up, he was relieved, his face relaxed and worries seemed to dissipate.
It all started with tears, inconsolable tears. When I finally assured him no matter what he told me, everything was going to be fine, he tried to explain to me what’s been bottled up inside him. He asked that his imagination be removed. (Believe me, I’ve explained that your imagination is one of the best traits you could have!!)
He was so distracted all the time, trying to focus ALL the time. He simply couldn’t handle it anymore. He said he didn’t feel he made a difference in this world, and that maybe the world would be a better place without him. I was floored. For the child who has held me together by faith time and time again, was explaining to me that HE did not serve a purpose not only to God but to the world!
I’m summing this up a bit. Honestly, as a mom, I experienced an overwhelming calmness. My ears were as open as they can be be, my heart was accepting any words he had to say. I just lingered in the moment with strengths I did not know I had, just to be there truly for him. God truly guided us. We prayed after a very long time, after a session of just being a mom and a son unplugged. I love him so much and I am so thankful that he knows he can openly communicate and let his emotions show to me. He is also seeing a therapist approximately 15 times a year. I feel it has helped but you never know when the pot of emotions will boil over.
My son started having phobias this year. He thinks people are going to jump out at him, almost paranoia. He’s afraid to take a shower, or close the shower curtain and bathroom doors. The internet is a powerful thing. One day, I googled, fear of shower. After a very serious panic attack, I calmed him down. He felt so comforted knowing that he was not alone! He read a few stories about adults, not just kids, having the same fear and how they can take baby steps towards conquering it! Again, I saw his expression change and the release of anxiety melt away. What a beautiful thing.
My son has suffered much smaller panic attacks. Sometimes he is overwhelmed and I find him crying because of the pressure he puts on himself. He knows that I will understand and that it is okay to be a kid! I constantly remind him… you are only 10!!! God loves you and you are supposed to make mistakes, have too much fun and are allowed to be your silly self!!! Life’s too short! Take a break when you need. Be honest with yourself and know when to ask for help!
I feel the same way sometimes.
We daily, bring out the positive in our overactive imaginations. I’ve shown him how I’ve coped with constant random thoughts popping into my head. You have to embrace what God has given you.
It simply is an amazing thing!
We’ve had to discuss the seriousness of his term “not wanting to be on this earth anymore.” There has been two occurrences this year where his anxiety escalated to this point. He understands he will have to be under a doctors immediate care if he ever truly feels like he would want to hurt himself, even in the slightest way.
As a parent I feel completely blessed to have the ability to understand my child. This may not have always been the case. I’m sure other parents feel frustrated when they cannot figure out what’s going on inside their child’s head. My advice is have patience. Let the child know you love them and accept them no matter what is going on in there head, or for what they’ve done. Easy to say, but as these attacks and phobias continue, Alex and I get better at finding a solution quicker.
If you want to thank Melanie for sharing her story, you can do so on our private Facebook Group HERE. Share a story of your own and feel free to ask a question!