Ok, so now that we have our heads around DD's most recent anxiety surge, it is time to help her try to understand what has been going on. She has been through two weeks of not being able to focus on her work very well, and feeling very uncomfortable in her own skin at school. She has been, according to the head of school, coming into school, and sitting by her cubby until she is literally lead by hand into the classroom. To hear DD tell it, she has been physically carried into the classroom. But the head says no, she either verbally requests that she walk into the room, or she takes her by the hand and leads her in. In any event, she has been avoiding the classroom altogether until she is made to go. Ugh. So now she is feeling embarrassed, and is "afraid" to simply do as expected, and walk in the room.
As usual, on the way to school, I tried to pep-talk her into making some better decisions for herself. I reminded her that by continuing to sit aside, she is drawing a lot of extra attention to herself, something she claims she does not want. By walking in to the classroom as expected, she may draw five seconds of attention on herself, and then things will just move on. That five seconds has her paralyzed. I hope she faced it this morning.
The problem is that she is now starting to feel physically better, but she has created quite a situation around herself in the mean time. At school, she has behaved out of the norm, and has caused those around her to react differently to her. At home she has behaved out of the norm, and has caused us to react differently to her also. We are getting back to normal, and are not thrown too much by recent events. (Ok, we were thrown quite a bit, but we're recovering!) At school, this is all new to them, and DD knows it, and feels very, very awkward, now that she's ready for things to return to normal. Only she can do that, and she does not like to be her own motivation! She prefers to be "forced" to move in the "right" direction. This somehow comes more easily to her than making a good decision for herself. Odd. But true.
Anyhow, I attempted to communicate some of this to the head of school by email yesterday. I tried to explain that DD would like to try coming in to the room, but wants to know that no one will say anything to her if she does. Head of school did not understand what I was asking at all, and asked if I wanted her to let DD sit in front of her cubby all day without asking her to come in to the room. NOOOoooooo!!!! Shoot! I was trying to be helpful by letting her know that DD wants to get back to the normal routine, but wants reassurance that no one will make a big deal about it. It can be very hard to communicate meaning and feeling by email. Anyhow, that sucked, but I think after several emails back and forth she semi-understands what I am saying. Not completely, as she plans no to talk with DD but to use picture cards (sighs) but anyhow.................
My fingers are crossed that she got brave this morning and got into that classroom. I told her that she can choose between an entire day of discomfort, or a minute of discomfort this morning, and a normal day. What will she do?
Just an added note, DD is sleeping much better at night these days. She is getting over the cold for one thing, and the white noise of the vaporizer (and the humidity, too) are helping a great deal.
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