One of my greatest sources of anxiety when it comes to my me and my kids is when I recognize some of myself in them. It’s bad enough that coming from a gene pool with a much higher likelihood of autoimmune issues has me turning every childhood tummy ache or growing pain into an undiagnosed debilitating disease. My family’s long and colorful history of addiction and psychiatric issues have me full covered on the mental front as well.
Right now, it’s Son that has me blogging in to the wee hours as opposed to doing some much overdue sleeping. Daughter is in counseling, but also doing quite well right now. She is finishing up summer classes and working full-time. Not to say she is issue free psychically, just that stuff is in check at the moment, and not slated to interrupt her everyday routine.
Son, however, has been illustrating signs of depression and anxiety all summer long. He doesn’t believe in himself, has major difficulties reading social cues, doom and gloom philosophy and whenever there is even the slightest issue within his social scene he has almost shown some agoraphobic tendencies.
These are not completely new things for him to exhibit. Many of his IEP services at school deal with these very things but since he’s been home for the summer it’s been up to Husband and I alone to weather each episode or symptom as it crops up.
Husband is in denial about quite a bit of what Son struggles with. Hell, he’s in denial about MY psychiatric issues and I’m 2 clicks from the loony bin some days.
So I’m left to obsess over how best to parent him myself. Which is really not a good thing given the current black cloud over my own psyche. It’s like having Eeyore responsible for Piglet’s mental well-being.
I’m scared for my little guy. It hurts most when he is sad. When he starts to cry at night, and he feels so hopeless and can’t sleep, what the hell am I supposed to do?
I am conflicted many times myself with these episodes. Part of me often feels like sobbing myself, like when he was upset about the fact of Sister and Niece returning to Texas on Wednesday. I hate that Sister lives this far away. I hate that, due to the distance between us, I am just meeting and bonding with Niece now, at nearly 3 months old, and that after she leaves on Wednesday, the next time I will see her is when she is nearly 15 months!
I want to be her Tia, Tia that she knows and runs to and asks for, not just the big lady she will be re-introduced to each year.
But just as I feel myself tearing up when Son struggles emotionally, I can also feel a dangerously dark impatience. Especially if it’s the 3rd or 4th time we’ve dealt with this wave of sadness past bedtime.
Again, what the hell am I supposed to do? I am barely qualifying at keeping myself out of the bughouse, how do I properly parent my little guy?