We took Amy to therapy this morning. And when I came back from dropping her at school I had a really unsettled feeling. I couldn’t get anything done. I had this weird feeling that wasn’t sadness, but un-comfortableness in my own skin. I felt unable to concentrate on any of the jobs I needed to get done. And then I felt cross and annoyed with myself. This resulted in a search through the house for chocolate and some indulgent telly watching, which is not ideal, didn’t really help and made me feel worse.
I worry about Amy’s therapy sessions. I worry about how she must be feeling before we get there and then I worry about her going into school in the afternoon. (She prefers to go back to school, to do PE and see her friends, rather than missing a whole day and worrying all night about her peers asking where she had been). I worry the night before about whether she will get to sleep that night, will she wake up really early in the morning or will she be so anxious in the morning that she will become argumentative and I will lose my rag with her! Ironically this results in a poor night sleep for me and the subsequent irritableness of a tired parent.
When I think about this now, I have to say she is generally not too bad. She is more on edge than normal but this usually presents in more childish behaviour or being a bit clingy. The days where she used to be really controlling and quarrelsome before therapy seem to have disappeared. So I have to wonder, if the problem is me and not her.
I attempted therapy or counselling sessions of my own three times. Each time I gave up after about 3 sessions, largely due to the anxiety this brought up in me. I have my own issues with grief, low self-worth and perfectionism and I desperately don’t want to pass these on to my children. I actually feel quite hypocritical that I make Amy attend sessions but couldn’t manage to go myself. I make lots of excuses, mainly, that I don’t want to feel overwhelmed by feelings and be unable to cope when I have other responsibilities in life.
But Amy is doing well. She appears to be making progress on her goals and although she would not choose to go to therapy she uses it well (after a bit of avoidant behaviour – can’t fault her there!). No matter how hard it is for me to listen to her feelings of and trauma experiences. I know these are far worse than anything that I’ve ever been through. She is so brave. Maybe I need to take inspiration from her and try again.
And what about getting back to normal on a Monday afternoon? Well maybe I should plan to do something away from the house to stop me getting cross with myself. Maybe I need to let myself off the hook, to acknowledge that it is hard for me too. That although Amy benefits from getting back into routine as quickly as possible, maybe I don’t. My daughter’s resilience and bravery are so inspiring. I need to find a better way to spend afternoons after therapy too.
Do any of you guys go to therapy sessions? How do you find it? What do you do afterwards?