Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Worries of This Mom

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 Mother - that was the bank where we deposited all our hurts and worries.
~T. DeWitt Talmage

I am not sure where to even begin...

...but I really think I need to get my thoughts written out.

I think Aaron has begun his own grieving process. I am not sure when it began, maybe it began a while back... but he is really struggling with some things right now.
I am so worried about Aaron and my thoughts are filled each day with what I can do as his mother to help him through what he is going through. I have been prayerful about this and I am doing what I feel is right from day to day for my sweet boy.

He is going through such an emotional struggle right now.

For the past couple of months, Aaron has struggled to go to school. Of course, there were a couple of times when he was legitimately sick and I didn't think he should be at school, but other times he stayed home because he was beside himself and was begging to stay home.

There have been times in the past couple of months where he would be sobbing as he was trying to go to sleep, so I would come in to see what was wrong and he would beg and plead to be able to stay home from school. He even keeps begging me to homeschool him. I seriously began to consider it today.

When I have asked him why he doesn't want to go to school, he says that it is too long and that he misses me and wants to just be with me. He has always told me in the past when there is something going on at school that is hard for him and I know it is nothing that is happening at school that is the problem. It is all emotional stress for him.

Once I do get him to school, there have been many times he has called me in the middle of the day to come and pick him up because he is crying and he is embarrassed that he is crying. It happened again today.

I thought after the new year, things would get better. I even made him a deal (bribery) that if he goes to school every day in any given week, I will buy him a happy meal right after school on that Friday, AND I will rent him a Redbox movie to watch that day. That worked for exactly two weeks.

Today, he started crying as I approached the school to drop him off. He begged to stay home. I had to be firm with him and make him get out of the car and go into the school. It tore me apart making him get out of the car when he was crying. Then he called from the school today and said he was not feeling well. When I came to pick him up, he let me know that it is the same problem, but that he tells them that he is not feeling well because it is too embarrassing to tell them the real reason he wants to call me. I brought him home and got him started on the school work that his teacher sent home today and as he sat there, he asked me if he could stay home tomorrow. I told him he had to go to school and he broke down sobbing and couldn't bear the thought. So, I held him on my lap until he cried himself to sleep.

He went through this last year, on a smaller scale, starting around the anniversary of his dad's death and continuing for a little while. But last year, he seemed to come out of it a lot quicker and was not quite as emotional as he is this year. It started this year again around the anniversary of Aaron's death.

I knew there would come a time in his life when he would go through his own grieving process... for the first 4 years of his life, he was the happiest kid I have ever known and didn't have a care in the world. Then he started going through phases of worrying about me dying, or himself dying, or his body not working right, or parts of his body stopping working altogether, or his head falling off, or his eyeballs falling out, etc, etc, etc. I remember a time when he ran to me in complete and total panic, hardly being able to speak, and anxiously said that his heart had stopped beeping. He couldn't feel his heart beat, so he thought it had stopped. The panic I still remember on his face makes me cry even now. He would ask me, sometimes every few seconds, if his eyeball was still there. He would ask me questions about his body working right or falling apart every few minutes of every day for several months. All I could do was reassure him and wait it out. I finally did ask my Dad to give him a Priesthood blessing. He still continued those worries for a while after, but eventually grew out of those worries.

He is still one of the happiest kids on earth here at home... until he thinks about school the next day, then he gets really quiet and usually starts to cry and begs to stay home.

He has become worried again that I am going to die. He asks me questions like: Will you still be alive when you are a grandma? Will you still be alive when you are a great grandma? As soon as he asks a question where my answer is unsure, he gets really sad... so then I have to reassure him that I am going to live for a long time.

Since that time, he has had worries about me dying and those worries come and go. For the past 6 years since his dad passed away, I have often wondered if his grieving would begin around the age of 8, when he would be getting baptized, and at a time when his dad should be very involved with the special occasion. I wondered if I would know how to help him through his grieving process once it began. I try so hard to keep his life worry free, but this poor kid has experienced something that no kid should have to experience... the death of a parent.

It breaks my heart watching him grow up wanting so much to have a dad and brothers and sisters, but not having those things in his life. But, I try to give him joy in his life even though I am all he has for an immediate family. He is very attached to me, as you can imagine. I think he worries that he will have no one if I were to die, so he worries about spending time with me. He even asked if we can wake up early tomorrow before school so that he and I can spend some time together before he has to get ready to go to school. When he is worrying so much, I try to comfort him and make him feel safe and secure in his life... and he seems to always comes out of these cycles eventually, but this time it is lasting longer and it is more intense.

Kids should not have to endure these types of worries... this poor kid.

I have asked him several times in the past couple of months if he wants a Priesthood blessing and he has said no every time. It is not something I would force, so I have just waited. Tonight, when he called me in the bedroom and was sobbing, he said that he doesn't want to be like this... so I asked him again if he wants a blessing. He said yes this time. My Dad gave him a beautiful blessing and I am very hopeful that he will begin to feel peace and comfort in his life again.

I love Aaron at every stage of life no matter what... but I want my 8 year old son to be carefree... and the happiest kid on earth. He deserves to be worry free for many more years to come.
I will keep praying for that.

I love my Aaron.

Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed.
~Linda Wooten

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girlsmama said...

What an agonizing struggle for both of you. If you haven't yet, I'd speak with his teacher an principle. He might benefit from meeting with the school psychologist. It sounds like a delayed onset of separation anxiety. My heart breaks for you and Aaron. I pray that you'll both come through this struggle stronger.

Mindy said...

I agree with girlsmama (Jessica). My first thought was just to homeschool him, but I almost wonder if that would confirm that he should be afraid and make things worse? It is terribly hard to be a parent sometimes... there are many times where I simply just don't know what to do to help a kid through something, and I can't do anything but plead for divine help. I hope that you and Aaron find a solution, and that he will start feeling better. Love you!

Kristi said...

Terrible. He has a set of worries that most kids don't even think about. We love him and hope his priesthood blessing will give him comfort.

browniemom said...

My son went through a similar thing. It was the first day of kindergarten when his father suddenly passed. He was great in kindergarten, probably not realizing the loss. In first grade he would do the same thing. For months, I went to school with him every day and sat in the back. If I even went in the hall for a moment, he would bolt. I worked with my pediatrician, their therapist, and medicine, to finally get him to go to school by himself. Fortunately, the teacher was very understanding. It is gut wrenching!! Lots of tears for both! You are a great mother, whatever you choose to do will be the best.

Tawnie said...

Sad Leslie.
My aunt is a child play therapist for LDS family services and she is amazing. You should have him try that. It would do wonders for him. Pray about it.
Love you and Aaron.