Emotions, Therapy and Navigating the Tough Road In Between

This weekend has by far been one of my toughest ones with Michael so far. He is exhibiting more anxiety related behaviors from deliberately not listening, cooperating, then crying and getting overwhelmed in the day to day transitions of life. Everything is scaring him that isn’t play, everything is hard that is work, and he is frazzled. I am not far behind. I have been taking good care of myself though. I’m back to daily yoga, meditation, exercise, and am reaching out as I tell other Moms to do, to friends, to family, to the wonderful women on my Facebook Special Needs Parents Groups. And thank God for all of them. They are helping me navigate the tough road that is being a parent to a special or exceptional child. Other than yesterday, I’ve been holding up well, And even yesterday when Michael and I had a huge fight because I had just diffused too many tantrums, behaviors etc., I knew that things would get better once I turned inward, asked God and the universe for support, and then remembered to turn outward to my community.

I’m far from perfect. That’s ok. I make and made mistakes. That’s ok. When Michael apologized after our big fight for what he said and did, I hugged him back and apologized too. Yes, I had a right to be hurt when he said mean things, screamed and wasn’t cooperating, but I had temporarily forgotten in our fight that I was not alone. Michael’s Dad would help, my friends and community would help, and even at church I had people supporting me when things were rough. Most importantly, though I am an anxiety battler myself and have recovered my self esteem and sense of worth after therapy and much self introspection, my child did not have that advantage yet. He had resources that he could turn to to , and we needed to explore that. Therapy was the balm I needed to heal, and I needed to start looking into it for Michael. He was showing me what he was capable of doing, which was so much, but lately he kept asking me for help with anger and following rules.

“Mommy, I need your help. I don’t know what to do. I say those words to get them out. I don’t know what to do.” He was genuinely lost. He was reaching out and I was too focused on behavior management at first, to see that this was his cry for help with his anxiety. I don’t know where I’d be without prayer, yoga and meditation, but it was when I went into therapy that my life changed. Michael needed new tools to learn how to regroup, and I needed to learn those tools too, to be the best Mom I could be to the best little boy.

Exceptional Moms, how often have you felt you didn’t measure up to what your kids needed? How many times did you give yourselves a break for being human and making mistakes? I’m learning that as Michael is a work in progress, so am I. I’m also learning that when I’m challenged by his behavior, the universe and God never let me down. I have my community of Mom friends who get it and know where to go once I am am calm. You will too when you remember you are not alone, and that you still are your child’s best advocate and your own. Until next time.

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