The Anxiety Monster

It’s Sunday afternoon. I wonder at what point during the afternoon and evening it becomes the end of one week, and the beginning of another? Sensible people will of course say “midnight, silly”, but if your life is anything like as ridiculous as mine, you start thinking about Monday morning at some point on Sunday night – mentally preparing for the week ahead.

We went out yesterday. Out out. We sunk a considerable amount of money into a family visit to Kew Gardens in London. The sun shone, Kew was amazing, and we thought we were having SUCH a good day. At some point in the afternoon – I don’t really remember the conversation – I wondered aloud about our eldest daughter going on her own to visit my cousin in California.

I wish I hadn’t said anything.

By the evening it was all she could think about, and by the late evening she had a full-on melt down about not having a job RIGHT NOW, and not having money in the bank RIGHT NOW, and that there was no way she would have enough money to go, and she would NEVER get a job, and, and, and…

I have absolutely no doubt this is her building obstacles in her mind that prevent her from going – it’s the anxiety monster unleashed.

She hasn’t left her room today, and after the meltdown last night isn’t talking to my other half either. There are birthday balloons and a sign still pinned up in the lounge – nobody has sat in there for the last two days.

Fingers crossed everybody gets over themselves soon. I might warn my cousin not to try and do a video call about the trip yet though. One anxiety attack at a time, thankyou very much.

3 thoughts on “The Anxiety Monster”

  1. Any mental instability has a way of shaping surrounding behaviors. Daughter melts down. Family tiptoes on eggshells. Completely understandable, but regrettable, nonetheless.

    In my ex-husband’s family, back in the 1930s, the eldest brother stopped to assist a motorist with a flat tire on New Year’s Eve. He was struck, and killed by a passing car. The family, which already had had it’s share of trauma, mourned. The most traumatized/bereaved insisted that it others join in their mourning. It never occurred to anyone, that they could take it as an opportunity to celebrate his good and shining spirit. In memory of the fallen, they never celebrated the New Year. In fact, it became an extended anniversary of mourning. Their children grew up, never celebrating. And their children.

    Now, I’m not a big fan of New Years. It always seemed like an opportunity to celebrate alcohol. But I’d never seen such a dark pall fall over a family. Decades after the loss, it continued. New Years Eve was a day of mourning. Decendants who’d never known him, joined in, some not even knowing the underlying “why” of it. One niece explained to me it was a cultural tradition–not knowing that it was a familial quirk. In this way, mental illness can be contagious.

    Be wary of tiptoeing around someone’s issues–that you don’t put them on a pedestal, to become a “thing” for them, and others. Accommodate, but never capitulate. Make it clear they are invited to join in the fun of regular living–and then go on, doing just that.

    Liked by 1 person

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