There Are Times...

There are times...I find a problem area one of my children is dealing with cropping up in myself, and I am faced with the discomfort of being acutely aware of how difficult it is to ask my child to overcome something that still bites me in the ass.

I don't like this frisson of anxiety that can twist my gut into pretzels, nor the reality that my thoughts can border on compulsive. I don't care for the fact that I can turn a problem over and over and over in my head until the pointlessness of the exercise is abundantly clear and yet onwards I continue. It's exhausting.

And to see this same tendency exhibited by one of my children makes the whole thing all the more exhausting. How can I tell her to surmount the tendency if I can not?

It forces me to re-examine the tendencies, the issues, from another angle, to consider how I would ask her to change, to alter course, and perhaps, finally, in the need to provide my child with those tools, I will arm myself with them as well. And off I go to chew on that and work to solve this riddle so that my girl will have a better tool box.


Life in the House That Asperger Built said...

Oh totally let me know if you get those tools, because I've got such a need for them at my house! I keep trying to blog the issue, but I can't get it to come out in a way that makes any sense whatsoever. So please PLEASE let me know if you get those tools.


sharon said...

I hear you. Like LitHTAB, I can't find the words to clearly articulate the thoughts that swirl around in my busy mind about this yet. At least having that link allows for greater compassion and understanding when it comes to my kids.

Anonymous said...

I run into that often - asking my son to change something that I do myself. Definitely keeps me on my toes.

And yes please do share the tools you find. I'm sure we will all want our own set!

Anonymous said...

I find that in myself too, and my kids are "NT" to ask them to breack a habit i have myself seems hypocritical.

farmwifetwo said...

The reason I didn't sleep well a couple of nights ago was b/c of something silly. I made a phone call in the morning and.... slept just fine last night :)

How do I deal with the unending anxiety in my eldest... I push, and push hard. At times I discipline it... "No, I will NOT discuss it any longer". At times I simply go with the flow... like Tues night it was easier to drive to the Scout leaders house than sit and have them meltdown since at 7pm when we got to the church nobody was there yet. I try to figure out what is the actual problem and address it not the anxiety. I have also been known to medicate it. Age 6 to 8.5 it was risperdal. Last May/June was melatonin to sleep and the school worked hard to keep the anxiety down as well. Figure out what was causing it, deal with the issue quickly and making certain he knew it was dealt with.

Biggest one is that IMO they need to trust you. He knows the secretary and the LST will deal with things ASAP at the school. His last couple of years teachers will too. He knows if there is a problem I will fix it. Once fixed I will no longer discuss it.

When he was smaller I got accused of being cruel when he got hurt. If I did the "poor child" thing he'd get very anxious. If I did the "let's see it, let's clean it and put some cream on it" deal with it quickly and efficiently... he was fine.

So far it's working for us. Puberty is coming... should shirts be chewed once more, sleeping vanish again... we'll do something else.

eaucoin said...

At least you're not telling your child to just relax. If you figure out the tools, make a list, I'll buy it and so will a lot of other people.
Another angle that I wonder how other people handle: When you have a child who has your traits times two, how do you handle the increased scrutiny this brings from your husband. When he says: "You two really don't like... And you know that he is lumping you together in a way that makes you part of the problem.

Diane said...

I do this a lot with going over and over something and not being able to let go. Part of that is necessary in order for me to be able to fully process some things, but it can get to the point where it becomes unhealthy. And the accompanying anxiety is not at all good for me, even though I believe it's my mind's attempt to protect me in some way - just gone a bit overboard.

My kid can go there, too, but he's not female, and he has ADHD stuff going on, so I can usually redirect him even if he's having trouble re-directing himself. Teaching him to redirect himself is a lot more challenging, and I still don't know how much capacity he will ultimately demonstrate for doing that.

Not that you asked, and this may sound completely lame, but one of my tools for this particular problem, rather than trying to work directly against the obsessing (which can serve a purpose up to a point), is to set some type of time limit on it. Past such and such time on the clock or timer, I force myself to get up and get involved with something else that requires genuine attention for a specific length of time and isn't compatible with this train of thought. Then if it's still on my mind later, I can repeat the process.

Practicing shifting my thoughts, even for a brief period, at least stops the runaway train and the escalation of the anxiety. It doesn't fix it, but it limits how far it goes. And it gives me some practice at directing my own thoughts, which is a skill that requires lots of practice, like any other skill.

KWombles said...

Thank you, all. I'd meant to get back to this thread sooner, but got sidetracked.

I appreciate your comments and thoughts on how to address this.

Diane, that doesn't sound lame at all. Many of the things I do involve busy hands but still leave lots of internally free time. Grading students papers, prepping to teach or write a post, those work pretty good as distractions. Once my mind is freed, I'm right back at it, chewing away. :-)