I know this probably sounds like a really crappy thing to say, but my kids' anxieties are wearing me the hell out. Even though they're all thrilled to be back home in Pennsylvania, they're still adjusting to new classrooms, new teachers, new routines.
There's also the added dimension of the loss of their grandfather. Although all four kids are deeply affected by my father-in-law's death, the Peanut Butter Kid has been the most emotional, crying at random times and worrying about me and the Professor. One day last week, she lost it right before we left for school. She pulled it together, but then broke down again as we got to school. It was a rough morning.
Cookie in particular has been struggling with day-to-day anxiety, so we're looking at setting up a 504 Plan at school for this. It would provide her teachers with some tools to help keep her calm and learning during the day, and give Cookie the security of knowing that everybody's on board with the plan. Even without a formal plan in place, though, her teachers have been amazingly supportive and helpful.
Regardless, I took her to school sobbing on Friday. She broke down when she realized that one side of a homework paper hadn't been done. (The horror ... the horror.)
While we're working on her issues at home, and starting back into therapy this week, the whole situation is exhausting. Something about watching my daughter suffer with the same anxieties I have struggled with just tears my heart up. It's a multi-faceted pain: as her mom, I feel the pain she feels; as a person with a history of mental illness, it dredges up my own dark times past.
I don't know that there's any remedy for this, or if there should be. I'm glad that I can help Cookie talk about anxiety by genuinely empathizing with her. And I'm not a social worker or counselor who needs to keep professional distance.
I'm her mom. By definition, I think, that means I'm going to be affected by her emotions in a multitude of ways. Sometimes it will be elating; sometimes it will wear me the heck out.