A Sea Story

The fiberglass hull crashed through the waves, chopping them with its hard chine. Wind blew the spray onto everything on the open deck: passengers, bags, and the Captain, as she ducked behind the pitiful windshield and gripped the steering wheel. Water ran down everywhere that wasn’t covered by her rain jacket, her glasses covered by salt water, obscuring her vision. Running nearly blind, she licked the salt from her lips, a taste she hadn’t tasted in far too long.

Sense memories flashing back to swimming in front of the cottage and water skiing between lobster buoys in her younger days. But this afternoon, she was trying to get her guys safely back to their little cove. What began as a fun adventure to check out a lighthouse she hadn’t seen since she was a child, turned into half a day of riding swells that with the afternoon’s increasing winds grew, making landfall on the island dangerously impossible, and the trip home more than soggy.

The ride out from the mooring area hadn’t been too bad, a little choppy, with land blocking most of the northwesterlies. Once the crew of three rounded the southern tip, reaching open ocean, their course took them across the mouth of a large river that was swallowing long, gentle swells. With 23 ft. of boat under them and over 200 horsepower to push them, they slowed down to a comfortable 4000 rpm and headed to the far side of the river, where off the neighboring peninsula lay a small island that rose just over 125 ft from the water. Atop her sat the second oldest lighthouse in the state, something the boy had wanted to see for a few years.

Seguin Island Light

Seguin Island Light, Maine

Because they were only in the area for a short vacation, they decided today would be the day to make it over there. As they made their way past rocky ledges and neared the light, waves crashed across rocks and across the tiny harbor. There was no safe harbor, so the small crew hung just off the lee of the island, in the calmest water the Captain could find. Swells lifted and lowered them about four to six feet as the wind continued to increase. They spent a short while holding position, having some lunch, and taking such pictures as they could, until it became obvious that they’d best head home.

Making way to return across the mouth of the river, the tide must have turned, because what had been long gentle swells were mounding up into shorter waves as wind and tide fought each other. The Captain had everything on deck secured, the hull pounding as it rode up the side of the wave and dove into the trough. She briefly considered altering course for a drier ride, tacking like a sailboat, but there was no course that would keep them dry and get them home, so she opted for the most direct route, slowing for safety. With the winds and seas, the boat was too small and too open. Waves drenched everyone and everything, the water running down the deck and out the well at the transom.

They finally reached the north side of the river, rounded the bend at another small lighthouse, and headed up the bay for home. By the time the Captain returned her crew of two to the dock, the only part of her that was still dry was about ten inches of her mid-section. She offloaded their bags at the dock with her guys and took the boat back to the mooring to put it to bed for the night. Before rowing the skiff back to the dock, she licked the salt off her glasses and found a few square inches of dry t-shirt to dry them off, as she used to do, back when she worked the local boats full-time.

Even though the trip wasn’t what they’d hoped, the Captain was glad to be back on the water, putting her rusty skills once again to task.

They now had a sea story that the whole family could share.

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Rain

Rain gently floats down in sheets of mist
Obscuring the distant view.

Rain drops plop from the sky
Splattering in puddles, watering all it lands on.

Huge droplets of water pour down
Drenching all who dare to venture out.

Water and frozen balls fall together
The balls bouncing and then melting.

Drip, drop, splish, splash
The water cycle begins again.

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Another Step In The Journey

You know how, when you’re deep in the middle of going through something, there are times you really want to reach out and connect? Times you need a friend to talk to or to vent to, or times you really just want to bounce ideas off someone? And then there are times you close ranks and are just going through it, not yet far enough along to be able to look back, because you haven’t popped out the other side yet?

Have you ever been in both places at the same time? Been going through one long, major thing that seems never-ending, yet something else pops up that becomes even more of a focus?

Yup. Right there. Going through an intense spiritual/physical/mental process that not too many people here in the US are even aware exists (Kundalini awakening). And to keep it interesting, no two people’s Kundalini awakening experience is the same, by along shot.

While my own internal world is being flipped on its head (in many very uncomfortable ways), and will continue to do so for likely several more months, or possibly longer (I have no real idea when this shit will be behind me), I am a mother. And in the past few years my son has some old challenges that, with puberty, have come to the forefront. Specifically, his anxiety. We’re far enough along in this little adventure that I can finally talk about it – a little bit.

Anxiety took my son down just under two years ago, necessitating pulling him out of school. When I took him out of school, I naïvely thought he’d bounce back and could do his school work online using a public school online option, or perhaps follow a curriculum much like what he’d been doing, just doing it at home instead of at school.

My first step was having him see a doctor who not only has medical training, but who is also intuitive and who has healing skills.

We followed a strict diet and used supplements for over a year. And they helped his body heal some physical things that had gotten out of whack. And my son had some energy healing work done on him.

The form of education we went with was very different from what his public school education had looked like. We deschooled and unschooled, having experiences and talking about what was learned. We learned to see life’s learning moments at every turn, working with a private school whose students all learn independently, at home.

During my son’s summer break over a year ago, I took him to see a very talented energy healer, one who has helped me a lot. However, with my son now being a teenager, and being able to feel other people’s energy as invasive, it’s become too uncomfortable for him to have other healers work on his energy field; manipulating it. So he won’t allow healers to work on him right now.

This fall, with specific requirements around my son’s education having changed (because he’s now in ninth grade), the way I’m handing his education looks and feels more like regular school. With that, the anxiety has been rolling back in with grand form.

The fall was a time of trying to cope with my own extreme challenges, while trying to teach my son, watching his anxiety melt his brain on a daily basis. I had to deal with my own fears of not giving my son a good enough education. And figure out how to teach someone who has learning disabilities, attention challenges, sensory processing issues, who is a teenager, and who is my own son. Who is a teenager! Whose brain melts down every time he even thinks about having to do school work.

Plainly, the past few months have been far from easy or relaxing. What’s the word for it? Oh yeah. A fucking nightmare time of practicing extreme patience.

I understand that anxiety is all about unconscious fears becoming activated when triggered. My son has huge triggers around having to do school work, and as fear and anxiety rises in him, his brain’s higher cognitive functions shut down. A part of him believes he’s about to die, and his brain reacts in kind. When he’s in this state, he can only do so much learning; so school work has been going very slowly.

Something about the hormones of puberty have made his anxiety ten times worse than it was when he was younger. And because I can’t turn back time or shut off his hormones, we deal with what’s here.

Most people, once they even understand that their child has a mental health issue that significantly impacts an area of their life that can’t be avoided, would seek out medical advice, that would land them in a psychiatrist’s office. And if I didn’t know what I know, that’s where we’d already have gone.

But I have experience with mental health issues, and I also know the power of energy healing. I know the benefits, and the limitations of head meds and talk therapy. And I know psych drugs all come with side effects. I’m also keenly aware of the cost of head meds, and the limitations that health insurance plans can put on which ones they’ll cover, and how much they’ll cover. And that’s even if a person has health insurance.

Back when my son was in elementary school, was struggling mightily, and according to their tests, didn’t qualify for an Individualized Education Plan, I had him evaluated by a neuropsychologist. She diagnosed him with ADHD, dyslexia and anxiety, on top of his pre-existing diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder. According to her report, the only way we could help our son be able to do better in school, was to put him on medication to improve his ability to focus.

He was ten. No mother wants to put their child on a daily medication that will change their brain, but like a dutiful mother, I took my son to his doctor, who prescribed medication after medication, changing the dose and monitoring my son’s behavior. I wanted it to help him. I knew that other kids benefitted from it, so it might help my kid too.

What happened was seeing that my son, who always struggled to do his homework after school, soon completely fell apart. Any and all self-control he could muster to comply with the wishes of others, was gone. His ability to pay attention in class wasn’t enhanced one little bit. And the side effects of these medications soon brought my son to the brink of suicide. Three medications. A nightmare.

Needless to say, my son, who is now a six-foot tall teenager, has less than no desire to see if medication can help him.

Modern medicine has no idea why my son couldn’t pay attention in school. It could only diagnose that he struggled mightily to stay focused on his teacher, and lots of things just didn’t compute. Based on a few things my son recently mentioned, I think it actually has more to do with his having dyslexia and not catching on to what was being taught, and then feeling overwhelmed and giving up. At the same time, he’s so intuitive that he can feel everyone’s emotions around him. Can you imagine being a child in a classroom of 25 – 30 kids, feeling all their emotions, trying to pay attention to a teacher who is inauthentic (his two worst years), and you don’t understand what they’re teaching, but you’re too shut down to ask for help because you’ve already gotten the message loud and clear that life is easier if you just shut up and sit still?

This fall, seeing clearly that my son’s issues with anxiety need to be addressed, and after a few months of my own personal hell subsiding enough that I could function somewhat again, I had a chat with the boy to explain to him about this brain condition he’s got going on.

I told him it’s not his fault, and there is a big component of it that’s beyond his control. But at the same time, it’s affecting his life enough that it’s time to be addressed. I gave him the choice of seeing his doctor, going the route of trying some medications again, or seeing my hypnotherapist. He chose working with my hypnotherapist.

It’s definitely a more challenging way to go at the moment, but if he can work with her, the changes he can create for himself can be life changing.

So far, the visits have been an exercise in patience, in noticing subtle progress, and in commitment. It will take time and persistence. More than I realized when the idea occurred to me in the first place.

It didn’t occur to me that merely sitting with his eyes closed, being asked to picture things in his mind, would set him off. But of course. He’s doing something that’s not really his idea in the first place, with a person he doesn’t know, fearing the unknown at every turn. Trigger, trigger, trigger! So much of life is and has been uncomfortable to traumatizing for my son, simply because he’s such an extraordinarily sensitive being.

I didn’t even think that a big part of this process would be learning to trust a stranger, and would be learning to trust in something he’s never done before and doesn’t even understand. But he’s doing it. Baby step by baby step. He’s getting there.

My prayers lately have been for patience. And to keep the faith.

I know how amazingly powerful the processes my hypnotherapist uses can be, from my own experiences. And I want that for my son. I know that the process can reverse effects of trauma, and can deactivate unconscious emotional triggers.

It’s hard to watch my child turn into a shadow of himself day after day. And as much as possible, I keep my focus on the potential of what hypnotherapy can do for him. I try so hard to keep my eyes on that prize, and not let fear, doom and gloom take over. Which is exceptionally challenging with my own mind being rewired, going through its own process.

For now, plan B (meds) is still in my back pocket. If and when we need to go there, I’ll pull it out. But we’re not there yet. Not by a long shot.

Posted in Energy Therapy, Hypnosis, Kundalini, Mental Health, The Voyage | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Winter In The Pacific Northwest

Our winters here in the Pacific Northwest are very mild, compared to the ones I grew up with in New England. Temperatures often hover in the forties, and skies are usually cloudy with drizzle, rain showers, or rain. Not seeing much of the sun for about 4-5 months a year can get tough, but today, a bald eagle flying into the yard pulled me out into the wet. I thought it landed in a massive fir tree, but as I ventured out to the back forty, and carefully walked around the tree, there was no sign of the raptor.

Eagles are a common sight this time of year, flying a few hundred feet up, occasionally circling as they look for their next meal. I captured this one yesterday, as it sat drying its wings.

eagle drying wings

Today didn’t yield any eagle photos, but because this is such a wet and shaded area, moss and lichen abound. Here’s a photo of one of my favorite fence posts. The barbed wired used to corral cows, when the field next door was used for grazing many years ago.

barbed wire post

Last week, driving home one day, I stopped at the shores of a nearby lake and was mesmerized by some clouds that were so low they touched the water.

fishing in fogwinter lake

Photography has always been and will always be one of my joys in life.

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Thoughts

Washing dishes, mindlessly,
Thoughts swirl through my head.

Pushing the vacuum and wiping up dirt,
Thoughts swirl through my head.

Soaking in the tub
And washing up in the shower,
Thoughts swirl through my head.

Mowing the yard, around and around
In circles, watching blades of grass,
Thoughts swirl through my head.

Driving down long stretches
Of easy highway,
Thoughts swirl through my head.

Ideas pop in and jump
From though to thought,
From idea to idea.

Sometimes in a straight line
And other times in rambling, winding paths
That go on far too long.

It’s fun when the ideas
Are wanted and welcome.
Solutions and creative expansion.

And not so much
When they’re fear-filled rambling.
Old wiring dissolving, leaving.

Eventually, time passes
And the fear beings to leave.

The rambling changes from
Endless rabbit holes,
Into more discreet and pointed pathways.

One day at a time,
One moment at a time,
My thoughts shift and change,
Until the old familiar rambling returns.

♥                                                            

Going through a Kundalini awakening process is a process of ascension. And as plainly as I can describe it, it’s a process of a person’s awareness opening up, increasing, as they healing things in their life. It’s a process of a person’s lens of perception changing, and then changing further, and further.

As it’s been happening, I notice more and more in life overall, without becoming emotionally upended. It’s being able to walk through life without judging people or events as good or bad, because I can see life through everyone’s eyes.

It’s being an incredible and at times beyond challenging experience that is very literally rewiring my thoughts, my brain, my consciousness, my body. Everything.

 

Posted in Kundalini, Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Journey of Life… Continues

Back in June of 2010, when I began this blog, it was a place to write out my thoughts, to get a bit of clarity and share things I’d found to be helpful. At the time, I was a mother to a seven year old, very energetic son, and raising him was my #1 function in life. That, and taking photos as a diversion to life’s stressors.

I thought this blog would be a place to share what I’d been learning about raising a child with “issues”; what worked and what didn’t, with regard to parenting tactics and therapies. And I figured it could be a place to share a few sea stories from my fourteen year journey of boating to shipping.

I’ve learned that as we go through life, we make plans and have expectations, and you know what they say about making plans in life – we plan, and God laughs.

We think we know what will come, when the reality is often very different. And if you live long enough, you’ll have many more experiences than you ever dreamed of. Some good, and some, not so much.

It’s what we don’t expect and don’t plan for, that can make life richer than we ever imagine. It’s when life becomes unfamiliar and uncomfortable, yet we muddle our way through, wading through the muck and the mire, waiting out the storms, taking tiny steps, until we can see the sun again, when we can breathe easy again, that we can look back through new eyes.

And during the seven and a half years since I began this blog, my life has brought surprises beyond anything I ever imagined or knew about. It’s brought challenges, heartache, pain that I’d never knew I could survive, joy and love that I didn’t know I was capable of, and experiences most people wouldn’t believe. I know I wouldn’t if I hadn’t experienced them myself.

For me, a few things about this blog have never changed. It has always been and still is a place I write to process things in my life, to clarify things, to sift out the chaff and share the golden wheat.

And it’s a place where people who resonate with my writing (or photos) gather to dip into the well. A place for kindred spirits to commune and share. This is the dish I’ve brought to the potluck dinner, and if you like it, feel free to have more. Taste what you like, drink your fill, and enjoy.

Thank you all for hanging out here from time to time, and for sharing your thoughts and comments.

Here’s to the continuation of the journey, both expected and unexpected, in 2018.

May your cycle of life begin and end in love. And may your heart be your guide.

ocean sunrise copyrighted photo

Sunrise on the coast of Maine.

 

Posted in inspiration, The Voyage | Tagged , | 12 Comments

A Sliver

My moods have been all over the place lately. But I feel like home base is a feeling of hope and faith. The belief that everything will be ok in the end, no matter what. It’s really, really challenging at times to find this place, especially lately. But what I’m learning about myself is, it doesn’t take much to swing me back in the direction of hope.

Sometimes all it takes is a tiny little sliver of light. Just a crack will do. That tiny opening allows hope to pour back in. Today, after feeling the depths of despair, a sliver of light appeared. Just a small crack. But light nonetheless.

I’ll take it.

 

sun peaking up

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2017 Wrap Up

As 2017 winds down, looking back to the beginning of the year, we put a new president into the White House, one whom I (and many others) would soon recognize as having a personality disorder. My son was busy unschooling, and I was working on healing a cranky gallbladder using every tool in my arsenal. Little did I know that uncovering why my gallbladder was having trouble, would lead to a spontaneous Kundalini awakening of the first order.

The thing about life is, sometimes your personal plate becomes so full that you can’t see much beyond it. That’s what happened when I took my son out of school last year. It was all hands on deck focusing on helping my son. And because I understand the amazing power of energy healing, that was the route we went.

As long as life allowed us to let my son be himself and do his thing, we did. And that rolled into the first half of 2017.

With our new president creating news-worthy statements and actions almost daily, triggering America constantly into fear and outrage, most of the country has been wrapped up in news stories like it hasn’t been since I don’t know when. It’s been a year of discomfort for much of the American public. And a year of people being moved into action, pushing for change.

It’s also been a year of change me, personally. One of the effects of having Kundalini energy active in me is, lots of change, like it or not. It’s been a roller coaster ride of healing like no other, creating significant changes in my consciousness, brain, and body.

Commonly, a healing session has a side effect of temporary tiredness, that resolves within a few days at most, and a person can also experience temporary soreness and irritability. The exponential and chronic energy shifts of Kundalini energy has left me tired to exhausted, very emotional, achy, with periods of releasing mountains of fear, anger, or sadness.

The second half of 2017 has been months of extreme in many ways, rocketing healing into massively uncomfortable overdrive.

Miserable side effects aside, strings that pluck reactivity in me are dissolving. Fears of every kind are dissolving. Old threads of anger, shame, sadness, jealousy, and frustration are dissolving, changing the very fabric of my consciousness, my psyche, my mind.

Lately, I haven’t felt much like myself at all – not integrated within myself. But I know I will in time, because the feeling visits from time to time.

For my son, a change in schooling style this past fall brought back the fact that he lives with anxiety, in grand form. Extremely uncomfortable panic attacks have impacted his ability to learn. Giving him time to find ways to cope with his anxiety have finally made it very clear that it’s time to do something different to help the anxiety shift, and we’re venturing down that road now. As with all things, it will take time to sort it out.

With 2017 being a year of massive upheaval and peeling away of things that no longer work for both me, my son, and the country I live in, it’s been a messy and uncomfortable process, as big change usually is. It’s been an internal process for me, and very much an external process for the country.

Looking forward to 2018, when it comes to the US, know that life with a narcissist is constantly filled with drama because they struggle tremendously with any sort of connection to their true authentic selves. Because there is so little heart connection to themselves, life chronically triggers them into childish behavior including blatant lying, constantly bringing up past hurts, and language that is not the complex language of an adult, but becomes very simple and repetitive. Becoming triggered reverts their persona instantly to the age when they became disconnected in childhood. So, they look like an adult, but often act like a child who pouts and throws tantrums when they don’t get their way.

The world of politics will continue to be very uncomfortable in 2018, as people who have been silent are finding their voices, raising them in protest. And as some people who believed the campaign lies of our president become more and more disillusioned.

Over the course of this next year, my own personal process will continue as it needs. I’m pretty much along for the ride, using every tool I own to get through. It will be interesting to see where life has me a year from now. Hopefully, with more energy and connection within myself.

As 2018 rolls out, one thing I know for sure is, as scary and hard as change can feel, things always eventually work out to some sort of new normalcy.

Despite what our linear brain likes to have us believe, life is one big cycle with all sorts of smaller cycles within. When you’re being squeezed, know it won’t be forever. When you’re having trouble breathing, hang on. And when you don’t think you can make it another minute, have faith that this too shall pass.

Fair winds and following seas to 2017. Here’s to clarity in 2018.

 

 

 

Posted in Holistic Healing, inspiration, Kundalini | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Christmas Memories and Healing

Christmas is approaching, with the big day less than a week away. It’s a time of excitement and festivity, filled with the spirit of giving. Peace on earth and good will toward men, and all that. I’ve always looked forward to Christmas time, and especially so after I had my son. There’s nothing quite like spending Christmas looking through the eyes of a child.

The feelings of joy and wonderment have been tampered down for me by memories of the day my mother chose to leave this world. December 24, 2012, my mother’s plan to end her suffering and join my father, who passed away ten months earlier, was successful. She took her life.

As much as it was a shock to get the call of my mother’s death, it was a double shock to find out it was by suicide. Mom was bipolar, and during her later years, finding medications that worked for her, became more and more of a challenge.

Over the years since Mom’s death, I’ve come to terms with how she left the world, and I’ve been working on healing from the challenges of our relationship when she was alive.

Each Christmas season, I’m reminded of my mother’s passing, and this year, feelings of sadness, regret, and anger are gone. Last spring, while I was doing some very intense healing work, during a meditative time, I had an epiphany and was able to see my mother in a new light. I understood her mental illness, and I understood why she would verbally attack me when she was manic.

I understood it all at a very deep level and was able to bring my mother into my heart in a way I’d never been able to do before, in the process letting go of the rest of the pain I carried from our relationship. It lifted, like a balloon, accompanied by a cleansing torrent of tears. Since then, I’ve had more epiphanies that let me see my mother in a completely different light, allowing still more healing. Allowing my heart to open to my mother in ways it never could when she was alive.

What I saw as narcissism, was the little girl in her, terrified of being found out that she was poor and uncultured. The little girl acting out, needing so very badly to be worthy and rich. When her mania tweaked her perception of reality, the independent streak she saw in me became as intolerable for her as her own independent streak had been for her own mother. And she had to squash it. The little girl within Mom became triggered, and she’d lash out at me with her tongue.

Today, I have a lot of compassion for the woman who once created tremendous fear and disconnection in me. And indeed, compassion for others who walk in her shoes: people living with mental illness and other life challenges brought on by brain chemistry that isn’t “normal”.

It’s been a long road to get here, and it would have been a lot longer if it weren’t for discovering Energy Healing. Instead of carrying around fear, sadness, and pain from the past, Energy Healing has freed me up to live in the present, remembering that as much as there were many challenging moments during my relationship with my mother, I no longer carry the energy from them.

Only the love lives on.

 

One day, when it’s my time to leave this earth plane, it will be very interesting to reconnect with Mom, to see our lives together from yet a different perspective. I have a feeling that after this life, I won’t be in a hurry to come back any time soon.

Posted in Holistic Healing, Spirituality, The Voyage | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Anxiety is Real

We all get nervous or feel anxious about something at some point. And when we do, our bodies have a physiological reaction. Our hearts beat faster, pupils constrict, focus narrows, our digestion slows, and chemicals are released in our brains and bodies that allow us to run faster, be stronger, and think quicker. Our survival instinct kicks in.

In some cases, this fight or flight response is so intense, that when we’re in a situation that we can’t escape, the perceived fear response becomes overwhelming, and we believe we’re about to die, when we’re not.

As a child, lots of situations would make me nervous or anxious. But it wasn’t until my last semester of college that I had an honest to goodness panic attack. One day, sitting in class, all of a sudden, it felt like my heart stopped beating. I waited to feel it beat again, and nothing. The longer I didn’t feel it beat, the more I was sure I was about to die. My field of vision narrowed, and before I was about to pass out, I felt my heart pounding in my chest, and came out of it.

It was terrifying. Especially because it happened again and again. I had no clue what was happening, and thought I had something wrong with my brain.

Long story short, after visiting the student health center and having a neuro consult, I was put on an antidepressant. It made my head fuzzy and hard to think. Not what I wanted when I was spending my days trying to learn and pass tests. After about a month or so of a foggy and fuzzy brain, I decided to stop the medication. I honestly don’t think it helped with the panic attacks, but I realized that all I had to do was wait them out, and they’d pass. They finally left after I graduated and made some difficult life choices that I hadn’t want to make.

I didn’t think too much about anxiety and panic until I had a child and he was in elementary school. By the time he was in second grade, he begged me to stay home. He had headaches and stomachaches, and absolutely dreaded the idea of having to go to school.

Note Little Man wrote a few years back when his anxiety was at full tilt. He felt sick and really wanted to stay home.

Detective Mom kicked into gear, trying to figure out what was causing so much distress in my child. I knew he had Sensory Processing Disorder, so I deduced that while he was sedentary in a classroom, he wasn’t getting enough physical movement to help his brain work properly, so I arranged to have him sit on a big exercise ball instead of a chair, and we experimented with having him wear weighted vests.

Riding the school bus became an issue. Over the years I talked with the bus drivers. Some were better than others about making changes or helping out. By the time my son was in the later grades of elementary school, it was just easier for the both of us if I drove him to school.

Every school year, I’d start with great optimism, meeting with my son’s teacher to help her understand him. And every year I’d learn more and more about my son, having him diagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD, and anxiety when he was ten. After exhausting other means to address my son’s challenges of being able to focus when he was in school, we decided to give ADHD medication a try, and my son tried medication after medication.

When we reached a therapeutic dose of the first short acting medication, I was helping my son do a worksheet after school one day, and he became frustrated, his brain froze up, and he lost control of his bladder. He was ten. Two days later, I realized the medication wasn’t helping, and in fact, was hurting. After less than a week on a different medication, my son became suicidal. We switched to a different class of medication, and after one pill that scrambled my son’s head so badly that he spent half the day crying because he didn’t feel like himself, he wouldn’t take another pill. And I didn’t force him. None of the medications had a desired effect of helping him be able to focus and pay attention at school. All of them had intolerable side effects.

There were too many days when my son couldn’t handle going to school, and by the time he hit sixth grade, he missed about a quarter of the school year. My demanding he get in the car and walk into his school, created a child who was no only 100% resistant to school, but it tore me up inside. I can’t tell you the number of days I’d have to force him into the car, and after I dropped him off, I’d sit in the parking lot at school, bawling.

In seventh grade, my son hit his breaking point. Going to school became so intolerable that non-existence was preferable. In other words, if I’d kept pushing and pushing him, it very likely would have ended up with him becoming so self-destructive that he probably would have ended his life. Either very intentionally or unintentionally. But it would have ended. When life hurts, people either act out or internalize their pain. My son has always internalized things.

In February of seventh grade, my son complained about not feeling well. It took almost a month, but the truth finally came out that he couldn’t handle one more day in school. He had shut down mentally, having chronic and debilitating panic attacks. His anxiety had grown into a monster that ate him alive.

At that point, I could have put him into a mental hospital, have him medicated, and put him back into school. (The wait to see a pediatric psychiatrist in my area is six months). After the ADHD meds trial, both my son and I wanted to save that option for last.

I made the decision to take my son out of school and work with an intuitive naturopathic doctor. Another reason why I didn’t jump at the chance to medicate my son was, I’d thought that after a week or so of being out of school, my son would relax and would be able to do school work at home. But it was not so. He was shut down for a few months. Slowly, over time, I began to get my son back. His body and mind began to heal.

After spending the rest of his seventh grade focusing on healing and unschooling, at the end of the school year in June, I took him across country to a talented healer who’d worked on him when he was little.

The fall of his eight grade, my son started working with a friend of ours who tutors. I had her work on him with math because I knew this was an area of challenge for him. Despite knowing her and being comfortable with her, he lasted four sessions. Anxiety kicked in and took him down.

Since we took our son out of school, every intervention we’ve used has helped somewhat, but this fall, when our homeschooling shifted it’s format to look and feel more like regular school again (because my son is fulfilling more specific educational requirements this year) it became evident that my son is still extremely affected by anxiety.

The good news is, much of the day, he functions much like any other teenager. But when he and I sit down together so I can teach him, his anxiety becomes triggered. When I call him to do school work, he’s triggered. Some days, he can hold it together long enough to plow through a subject or two. On a bad day, he’s completely shut down and can’t do any work with me at all. Sunday nights, his sleep goes to pot in anticipation of having to do school work the next morning.

This past fall, I’ve been dealing with my own stuff (an extreme Kundalini awakening), often exhausted or unable to think clearly, so my ability to do something about my son’s anxiety has been put on hold. Over the past few weeks, my ability to function at the most basic level has improved enough that I see quite clearly that my son’s anxiety when it come to academics isn’t going away. And this is holding him back.

I’ve talked with my son about anxiety, and as much as he doesn’t have the perspective that an adult has on the need to do school work, and doesn’t clearly see the affect anxiety has on his life overall and the implications it might have on his future, he understands it’s really uncomfortable when it hits. And it shows up five days a week.

As much as I understand very clearly that anxiety is a very real thing, and it’s effects range from making a person feel very uncomfortable in certain situations, to completely shutting a person down, I sometimes come across well-meaning people who are clueless. (Like a few of my son’s former teachers).

If I share that my son sometimes can’t do his school work, they think he’s being willful or obstinate, and they throw in their two cents. They’ve never experienced having their brain lie to them to the extent that they feel like they’re going to die, when they’re not. They’ve never been so traumatized by an everyday occurrence that thinking about it makes them want to die, vomit, or loosens their stools, sending them running for a bathroom. They have no clue and it’s really annoying.

Having anxiety is a very real thing. For me, panic attacks were thankfully short-lived, passing after several months and a life change. For my son, unfortunately, the triggers that bring on his panic attacks are things he can’t escape from.

Because of that, I’ve recently given him a few options to create change for himself. One thing I’ve learned in the world of healing is, if I can’t change a situation outside myself that becomes intolerable, the one thing left to change is me. Lucky for my son, there’s an option out there he’s hesitantly willing to explore before medication. Fingers crossed that it goes well this week as he dips his toe in the waters of change.

Posted in Energy Therapy, Holistic Healing, Mental Health, Sensory Processing Disorder, The Voyage | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments