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Need a bit of support here!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Solange, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Going through a bit of a rough patch right now. I don't doubt at all that's it's TMS it's just the dealing with the symptoms which is getting me down.
    I'm pretty sure I know why I've had a bit of a relapse. My son started fencing last year, absolutely loves it and entered his first tournament this weekend. For some weeks I'd been feeling apprehensive about it as my son, who is 9, is not at all academic or sporty in any other way and is also on the autistic spectrum and struggles to fit in socially so this was all a big deal for him and I knew he might find it all hard to handle. In the end he did very well and won a medal which was great but of course, I was incredibly tense watching each and every fight during the day:confused: but had to put on relaxed face for him and also had a lot of standing about. Ouch! I'm paying for it now big time.
    He's got another tournament coming soon so how can I stop getting so tense, I did try to acknowledge the feelings along the way but there was really no possibility to express them at the time or for hours after.
    How can I speed my recovery and make sure it doesn't happen again?
    Guess I'm just seeking any positive words of sympathy/encouragement. Ok, so I'm feeling needy here;I admit it!
     
  2. gailnyc

    gailnyc Well known member

    This is a tough one. I think it's good enough for now that you are aware of the emotion that is causing your pain, even if circumstances prevent you from expressing it in the moment. When this happens to me I try to set aside some time as soon as I can to journal about it. I also try to figure out what it was about this particular feeling that upset me--some past issues that are still bothering me? Anyway, I sympathize. I hope you're feeling better soon.
     
  3. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    'It's good enough for now,' is a really helpful way of looking at things. I think I shall use that phrase and approach more often to stop stress building up in a situation that feels out of my control. Thanks for that.
     
  4. trypp

    trypp Peer Supporter

    That's great advice, gailnyc. You've already begun to think psychologically, Solange, which is a crucial first step. The question is how to resolve the underlying tension. It sounds like you are a very devoted and caring parent. I bet you do a great job of taking care of your son, but, given that you have TMS, I'm wondering if you take as good care of yourself.

    TMS theory often focuses on how we struggle to deal with intolerable emotions. Following up on what gailnyc wrote, maybe you want to explore where those emotions come from. Do you think that it might be the case that for you the intolerable emotion that leads to your repression is the feeling that you can't provide everything for your son that you would like to provide? Perhaps your TMS is using your anxiety to repress this emotion, to keep it out of awareness.

    Does that make any sense or am I drawing a blank here? I've never raised a child, so please forgive me if I speak out of turn.
     
  5. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Hi trypp,I have reflected on this issue and have realised that a large part of the tension is due to me feeling over-protective towards my son. I grew up in a family which was hugely critical and negative of just about everything and everyone and have made a conscious effort to not be that way with my son. My son is a lovely little boy who is fiercely loyal, hard-working and very caring to others but he can misjudge social situations quite badly, finds it hard to remember names and is very literal all of which can at times make him seem awkward or even rude. In addition to this he does a sort of 'hand flapping' thing when he is excited. I always feel like a coiled spring when I am out in a new situation with him as I don't want people to judge him negatively or pick on him for odd behaviour. Mostly, this is for his benefit but the more I think about it the more I realise that it is also because I think they may judge me too and I guess I want to be seen to be a good parent.I have a probably unrealistic high standard for myself in this respect and it is important for me to be as good as my own parents were bad. In short therefore, I felt a bit like we were both being showcased in an unfamiliar environment(stressful), he was being judged on his skills (also stressful). I was hoping he would not fall apart(very stressful) and I felt obliged to put on an encouraging, supportive face when I just wanted to be anywhere but there.
    I think I would like to provide him with the equivalent social ease that his peers have but of course, I can't do that and if I did, our lives might be easier but he would be different and not exactly the son I love and have now, the son who will give his own treat to a friend to cheer them up, the son who gets upset if another child cries, the son who held his dying granddad's hand and made him laugh in his last days etc. There's a lot of conflict there as you can see. I think I need to explore all that more!
     
    trypp likes this.
  6. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Solange,
    Your son sounds very much like a very special child in my own life and your description brought tears to my eyes. Your struggles and concerns also sound very similar to those that this wonderful little person's own parents have expressed. As I try to remind them, please, please remember that this wonderful little person did not develop this far this way all on his own. You are hugely responsible for all those wonderful qualities the child shows, take the credit, it's where it belongs. I would agree with Trypp that you are probably so focused on doing everything superhumanly possible to ensure your son has a wonderful childhood that caring for yourself is probably an afterthought, if it's a thought at all. I also don't have any children of my own, but I spend a lot of time around them and I spend quite a bit of time reading and learning about them so take this for what it's worth. Children, like animals, are very instinctive. They are completely emotional beings and they can sense feelings in their caregivers, even the ones the caregivers are trying to mask - from what I understand, those are actually the ones that can cause the child to have confusion with their own feelings because the "signals" are all mixed up. The analogy I read that seemed to describe it best was that of a person who is petrified of dogs trying to "appear" calm because they've heard dogs can sense fear. The dog is not fooled. Your child knows when something is "not quite right" for you. You might find it beneficial to both of you if you take a few moments and talk a little bit about what you're feeling with him at a level he can understand. When you feel your anxiety rising with the next tournament maybe just take a minute and explain it to him, something like "Mommy's a little bit nervous. This is an unfamiliar place and there is a lot of activity here and a lot of people. Let him know that being nervous is a completely normal feeling in the situation and it happens to everyone. It wouldn't surprise me at all if this wonderful little man doesn't say something in response that makes YOU feel better!

    I don't think your son could ask for or find a better parent than he has in you. From the description of that wonderful little boy, you are doing an incredible job! Of course you want to protect him from everything and it's a struggle to know that you can't. That might be one of the biggest struggles a parent faces. Focus on what you can do. You're already taking great care of him, if you take 1/2 as good of care of his Mommy you'll be giving him an incredible gift. Be kind to yourself Solange, treat you the way you treat your son and both of you will benefit. The real healing begins with the words "good enough"! Gail hit the nail on the head with her post.
     
    trypp likes this.
  7. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Thanks for your kind thoughts Leslie, they have made me feel a bit better already.
    By the way,I have a cat like yours, she adores my son and follows him round everywhere.
     
  8. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I'm glad I could help Solange. I actually haven't had the pleasure of knowing this kitty but he personifies all the "unrealistic expectations" I have or have had of life in general...black and white are very distinct with no gray and he's on high alert. He reminds me that black and white primarily exist with clear distinction only in the animal kingdom - life for us humans is mostly gray. High alert is justified in the animal kingdom where the threats to ones's existence are more likely to be real. Plus he's the perfect combination of cat and penguin (and very recently pointed out to me also meerkat) which are my favorite critters. My own lovable fuzzball is a big orange tabby who follows me everywhere like your cat. He's the sweetest little guy and he reminds me often that unconditional love is possible, it's just easier between humans and animals than humans and humans.
     
  9. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Boy, can I relate to wanting life to be different for my children than it was for me! They are 12 and 14 years old now and as hyper critical of myself as I tend to be, when I look at them it is hard for me to deny that I have done something right. I am also very protective and since my son is dyslexic and very much on the introverted side, he tends to be the focus of most of my concern. Since I am aware that they are the ones I would throw myself in front of a bus for, I have had to mentally train myself to react to what is, rather than my fearful projection. If they have a fever and cold, it does not necessarily mean swine flu, and if it is swine flu, that does not mean they are going to die. That is an extreme example. Early in the school year my son had trouble with his English teacher. He was convinced she was out to get him. He was so angry and disrespectful and it seemed very disproportionate to what she described in emails to me. She seemed like a caring teacher and my son's portrait of her was just the opposite. I am so protective that I normally take his side no matter what but in this case I told him he could not be disrespectful to her no matter how unfair he thought she was, and that he simply had to work it out somehow. This is very counter to how I have always been with him. It is probably not that unusual for a child to have trouble with a teacher but of course in my mind, it was my fault. I had done something wrong and that is why my son was struggling and having displaced anger issues. Or it was genetic and somehow that was my responsibility too. I simply told myself that this was silly and that I could not protect him from every unfair situation in life. By the end of the school year, this turned out to be his best class. He had many exams in which he made over 100(compared to low 70's at the beginning of the year) and she wrote me an email about how much he wowed the class on oral report. She said he had the class mesmerized. I thought "Am I dreaming? Is this the same kid?" He was very proud of himself and I was glad that I had been able to restrain my protectiveness enough to let him handle it. In your initial post you said your son "In the end did very well and won a medal which was great." I think it is really important when we are stressing about our children to remind ourselves that this stress comes from love. We are their greatest fans and we are so caught up in how they are and how they play this life game, that we loose a little perspective. We have the important pilars in place - love, support, attention and concern. Beyond that, I don't think we have much control, but I have found that more often than not, my anxiety and concern do not match what actually happens. And even if things do not go smoothly, that is not the end of the world. I don't mean to sound smug, because this is a daily exercise for me. My daughter has an ingrown toenail(seriously, she does) and I want to rush her off to the doctor. My husband thinks she is fine and just needs to soak it and put on some antibiotic cream. I am giving it some time but it is not easy for me! I'll let you know if we end up having to amputate her leg.
     
    trypp likes this.
  10. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Incredibly well put, Anne. I couldn't agree more. This is all so very true well beyond raising children. You all sound like wonderful parents and there is no doubt in my mind that those pillars are in place for all of your children. My guess would be that you're such attentive, concerned and loving parents that you rarely, if ever take any time to show yourselves that same level of love and attention. Please remember that you are also in need (and very much deserving) of those same pillars. You can give them to yourselves and when you can't you can undoubtedly find forum members here who will happily give them to you.

    I would agree, more often than not my anxiety and concern do not end up being reality. I think it's really important to focus that because the more times we have to admit that as truth, the less and less powerful the anxiety becomes. It looses it's grip on us and as it fades so often do our symptoms as well.
     
  11. trypp

    trypp Peer Supporter

    Leslie said it so perfectly:

    Interestingly, I relate to both you and your son. I can be socially awkward as well, and once even had a therapist ask me if I might have Asperger's syndrome, which would put me at the very mild end of the autism spectrum if it were true (I don't think it is). Life for people like us will always be harder, but it can still have great joy.

    I can also relate to the pressure that you put yourself under. Like you I had a critical upbringing and I push myself hard all of the time. I guess it's part of the type T (TMS) personality for many people.

    Anyway, thanks for posting. It made me think.
     
  12. Solange

    Solange Well known member

    Thanks Anne and trypp. I think anxiety goes hand in hand with parenthood and when that combines with a TMS personality it's like adding rocket fuel to a fire! It's very hard to escape a critical upbringing too, it's like there's always a little voice in your head saying whatever you are, whatever you do, it's not quite good enough. It's amazing, in a depressing sort of way, how these early negative experiences can still be dragging you down decades after the actual moments have passed.
     

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