Wednesday, June 27, 2012

He Did It

I have mentioned my anxiety issues a couple of times on the blog (if you missed it, click here and here) but haven't ever mentioned my Middle Man.  While going through my therapy (yep, still going, and I always will, without a doubt), my therapist said that since I have anxiety, there is a high chance one of my children will as well.  The signs that she began to mention described my Middle Man to a T.  Terrible sleep habits, tantrums before school and at the dentist, crying at birthday parties, and basically, constant fears about so many things.  I always say things happen for a reason and I truly believe that my anxiety became unbearable, simply to push me to get help and allow me to open my eyes to what my son was dealing with.  I think otherwise, I would have completely overlooked it and would have just thought he was my "difficult one".

After speaking to a number of doctors, my hubby and I were referred to a therapist who deals specifically with children who have high anxiety.  At our first meeting with him, he actually mentioned that is it rare that he sees 4 year olds as most times, parents do not notice the problem until about 7 or 8 (again, thank goodness I had my own issues and could see it in him).  Because of his age, he felt that the only "therapy" we could really give our Middle Man was to force him to face his fears and help him realize that they were not so scary after all.  This meant allowing him to completely freak out (a.k.a tantrums, crying, screaming, etc.) and never remove him from the situation, so that he realized that once he calmed down, it was not so scary.  Let me say this.  It is REALLY hard being the parent that has a child freaking out and you do nothing, immediately calling upon opinions by other parents that 1. they are so happy that is not how their child acts and 2. how can those parents just sit there like this while he behaves this way?  I know we shouldn't think about what other people think but sometimes it is hard.

Regardless of the judgement, we both committed to doing this and over the past few weeks it has started to make such a difference.  Here are just a few examples.

1. After crying at his first few games of baseball (which mind you, he was SO excited to play), by the end of the season he played all innings and walked away having the time of this life.

2. After 4 years of not getting his teeth cleaned at the dentist, he officially sat through a cleaning this week.  He was extremely hesitant at first but thanks to patience from the office, he did it.  I could not believe it.

3. After coming to our room every single night for as long as I can remember, we began bringing him back to his room each time he came in, talking through what is scaring him and left him to fall back asleep.  The first night we were awake from 12:30am to 4:15am.  Last night, he only came in twice and immediately went back to sleep both times.

These small steps may seem like nothing to some but the confidence that I am seeing in him is incredible.  It is definitely going to be a hard road for both him and us as I know for every step forward there are sometimes steps backward.  That is okay though.  Because every time I see him accomplish something that he was afraid of, the smile on his face is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.


  1. Good for you for sticking to your guns. Who cares what people think, all that matters is that your little guy is overcoming his fears.

  2. Major Leagues here he comes...Proud of both of you!


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