Neither of my kids ever showed signs of having anxiety, but since the new school year began in September, they’ve been complaining to me that they’re having bouts of anxiety attacks. I’m a pretty pragmatic Mom, but I’m also compassionate. However, part of me thinks that maybe they are having anxiety due to the aftermath of the divorce and the unfolding of our new chapter (including their seeing narcissism in their dad and his family) and yet, part of me thinks that they are not doing their work and therefore get an anxiety attack because they’re not prepared at school.
Either way, it’s a mystery to me as I’ve never been diagnosed with anxiety, even though I’ve experienced it because it’s a human response to stress. I’m not all zen-like all the time either, but I can’t seem to wrap my head around their insistence that they want to see a doctor for their anxiety. And it’s both of my kids who are away at college which seems odd to me. I know this has been a hard year for them emotionally. Surprisingly, it’s been more difficult than when we first split up, when we had to sell our home and when we moved to a rental. You’d think it would get easier as time passed – what’s that saying? Time heals all wounds? So what’s this about when the wounds seem to be opening up suddenly again even deeper than before and showing themselves with panic attacks and depression-like symptoms?
I’m not being a brat. Honestly. I know I may sound harsh and cold but believe me, I’m not. I’m sympathetically listening to them venting daily. I’m gently advising and nudging them to maybe be prepared more than not so that their anxiety doesn’t escalate. I’m trying to be respectful and understanding to how they’re feeling all the while standing firm but kind with the reminders to do their work. And yes, when they get home for holiday break, they will both be going to see the doctor to ease their minds and mine.
Single parenting is hard. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you haven’t already experienced or don’t already know. Divorce is hard on us all in varying degrees all at different times. Divorce strips us down to the bare bones in order to build us up again, piece by piece. I wish my kids didn’t have this aftermath in their lives.