"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Monday, 3 January 2011

For the record....

Between Xmas and New year has been one of the quietest times I can remember.
We visited my parents one day and Alan and I went off to Carlisle to spend his Xmas money on some much needed clothes.Emily spent the whole afternoon at my Mums,playing and baking.They all had a lovely time.We came back with a new wardrobe of clothes for Al, plus some other goodies.
Apart from that we have been at home.Long lie ins, lazy days, Wii playing, drawing, walking, playing Bratz, watching films and eating the remnants of the chocolates and cakes:-)

I had intended to invite people round, but as each day went by I just felt we needed time to ourselves and decided to leave the invites for another day.In no time at all the holidays are over and people are going back to school/work.

This quiet spell has meant I have had time to work through some things.

As this blog is primarily a record of our life I like to make sure I document everything.I don't always have the time or inclination to do that as each thing occurs but I do like to record it at some point.It gives a wider picture to anyone reading and helps me to put things into perspective.
 Alan has been suffering from Eczema and his arms have flared up over the last month or so meaning he has had little relief  from the itching and consequently very little sleep.He is being treated by a homeopath and also taking supplements to treat it naturally but needed more immediate relief.He managed to go to the doctors and got some medication to help and the last couple of nights has even managed some sleep:-) Once it is under control again he will be looking at possible triggers and continuing with the holistic approach.

For the last four or five months I have found my M.E symptoms have been more evident ,on top of menopausal symptoms.I had enjoyed being more active and doing all the things I dreamed of doing for so long.It is so hard to have a good, healthy period of time and then relapse ( sometimes for no apparent reason ) into poor health. I try to be positive and change the way I think and it has been this that has helped me through from the very dark days. In hindsight I should have listened to my body and taken a break sooner. Instead of looking at it as a backward step to the horrible place I was in for so long, I should have seen at it as simply a time to catch my breath before moving on again.

Alongside our ailments, Milly has been having a very hard time - I have asked her if she minds me writing this and she said it was ok - she has been very anxious about many things.The one causing the most problems, has been her anxiety about going out anywhere and not being able to find a toilet if she needs to go.
This is not a new thing for her,it has been with her since she was very young and we can remember many holidays where we spent an inordinate amount of time visiting loo's:-) Back then -  it wasn't a case of her worrying about going to the loo and being able to find one - she would *need* to go many times.The record was a cafe in France when I think we visited the loo 9 times during a meal!

I have documented here before that we have tailored our holidays (after discussion with Em,who actually does like to go on Holiday - just doesn't want to be away too long! ) to a shorter mid week break, within a three hour journey time,to alleviate her anxiety/dislike of being away from home.
 There are some that would say not to pander to these feelings, many would not even see them as valid.We take a different view and over the years we have lived with and helped her overcome many of her fears.There have been times when she has carried a huge rucksack everywhere she went ( in the house and outside) full of all her special things - in case of a fire.That has lasted for weeks at a time but once it was for months that the rucksack went everywhere with her .

Over time the anxiety levels declined and she had been managing to go on journeys without any anxiety at all - even requesting trips,most notably London (will blog about that trip later, maybe just pictures but really want to log it on here!)

For some reason ( my own thoughts are that she has gone through a growth spurt - emotional and physical and her insecurities have resurfaced and are manifesting in a slightly different way) the anxiety has taken over.

There have been times she has wanted to go somewhere but she needs to know there is a loo there and if it is a new place she needs to find the loo straight away.We have had many tears if we have had to go on a journey and long conversations about the options to help her.
Unfortunately the timing for our much anticipated London trip coincided with the increase in her anxiety levels.We got through the trip having a had great time, I had to be incredibly patient, ( managed that 99% of the time) talking her through her fears - and inventive, finding many ways to access loo's around London at a moments notice! Managed to see the University College Hospital - which we probably wouldn't have noticed if we hadn't needed to find a loo in double quick time! It was a shame because we didn't spend as much time with Collen and Jerry as I would have liked - we really had to take each day moment by moment and have the flexibility to change plans if needed.

 She is happiest at home listening to her story tapes,playing and drawing, ideally she would not go out at all.

We have taken things slowly ( we have talked things through with her and talked about the steps she feels comfortable doing) she is now going on short walks round the village with us, ( she is still very nervous before going and we go through any concerns she has before we set off and help her to see the solutions) as we walk and talk the distance gets longer without her realising ( she is always in control of when we turn back ) we are up to about 45 minutes now.She will go on short car journeys to the Cinema etc but gets anxious if we are held up in traffic - she is ok as long as we are moving.If we need to go places that are going to take a long time we arrange it so she doesn't have to go.

In my mind a child who is happy and healthy but prefers to be at home, without the anxiety when going out is a different scenario to a child who is scared to go out and runs the risk of each trip becoming harder to do if small steps are not taken to help them move on.It has been wearing and upsetting and so worrying .

I always find that these things become more and more difficult when I stop listening to my heart and do what I know is right for us and in line with the way we want to Parent. I am not a perfect parent - far from it on some days! When I am in balance I am confident in our choices and I am not swayed by the opinion of others, not quite so easy when at a low ebb:-(  Everything becomes difficult and I step back into a more authoritarian style of parenting and loose connection with Emily and what is our natural flow.

It is easy to see why we have had such a slump in energy!

Ah well, lesson learned! It has taken time to get to the right head space and we have needed this time at home to recoup.

Life has been challenging over the last three months or so.It has been so easy to be dragged down and stuck in negative thoughts.This last week, having time to relax and to reflect has put things into perspective.

The reality is we have had a great 2010, many, many positive memories to look back on.We have a wonderful life with many wonderful people surrounding us.

Over the last two days I have felt my head clearing and have been bubblier - feeling much more positive and looking forward to the year ahead.I know the steps I can take to help get back in balance.We have some way to go to help Emily through this difficult time but I am confident we will do it and come through stronger than ever:-)

Life is good.
Onwards and upwards!
Happy New Year! :-)


Michelle said...

the transition from summer to winter is hard. past the shortest day now :-). xx

Sam said...

We have all had flare ups of Exczema in the last week or so - I wondered if it was somehow related to the constant changes in temperature, but then I think everything is to do with that ;-)

I hope you give yourself lots of rest and time to get back to your healthy(er) state. I struggle with the same, and I know how hard it is to stop doing too much - or how easy it is to ignore the warning voices in my head.

It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job of helping Milly work through her anxieties. Buzz has similar difficulties - for instance he used to panic everytime the traffic lights turned red, incase we were trapped there. Now he's usually able to trust they'll turn green. Step by step we just keep going.

Best wishes for a wonder-filled 2011.

Heart Rockin Mama said...

It makes me so so happy to read about parents taking their child's feelings so seriously. I already knew this about you, but it is still so so good to know there are people like you out there.
I am sorry things have been difficult. We go through periods like that, as well. We, like you, come out stronger as a family.
Thinking of you and hoping you all find some relief.

Lynn said...

Thank you so much for your comments! This blog is a funny thing - well not the blog exactly but the process:-))I sit down to write and work through stuff, with no expectation that anyone will comment but to find you had taken the time this morning meant a great deal. I cried which is testament to how emotional I am and how much I have been keeping it in.Your words help:-) xxxxx

Colleen said...

Lucky Milly to have such kind parents. :) I think it's really nice that you are so considerate of her anxiety. You've probably already thought of this but I wonder if learning more about how the bladder works, etc. would help. I know it's a long shot but you never know...