July 24, 2021 at 12:41 am #383361
I agree she didn’t know better. I have 2 older siblings and I’m the youngest. My older siblings are one year apart so they had each other for support. I am the youngest and my parents decided that when I was born they would parent me better and I was the closest to my mother. My siblings grew up afraid because my father was strict and would yell a lot. My father didn’t yell at me as much but I learned to stand up for myself because of it.
Honestly, I was given the most attention out of my siblings because I was the youngest and my parents wanted me to have a happy childhood.July 24, 2021 at 1:04 am #383362
I am the youngest and my parents decided that when I was born they would parent me better and I was the closest to my mother. My siblings grew up afraid because my father was strict and would yell a lot. My father didn’t yell at me as much but I learned to stand up for myself because of it.
I see. Well, it seems that their parenting better meant less emotional abuse (e.g. less yelling by your father), but not enough emotional support – resulting in emotional neglect. Emotional neglect is almost as equally damaging to the child. Of course, you weren’t completely neglected, you say you were close to your mom and were given the most attention out of your siblings. But your mother lacked certain key skills and wasn’t aware of the importance of child’s emotional health, and she didn’t react properly to your anxiety.
As far as your father, it’s good that he didn’t yell at you – probably that’s why you managed to stand up to that girl in the 6th grade, and tell her that she was rude (even though your mother advised you to ignore her, i.e. not to speak to her). But then, after expressing yourself, you ran away and cried – because it was a very stressful experience, you felt alone, and I guess there was nobody to soothe you afterwards.
You say you felt close to your mom. But I wonder if in situations like this, you still felt alone and helpless?July 24, 2021 at 12:04 pm #383381
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Yes. When I was having rough days with my depression and anxiety, I felt alone and helpless. Although I told my mother everything, she would support me and give me advice and understand my pain but it still felt lonely.</p>July 24, 2021 at 12:28 pm #383385
Yes. When I was having rough days with my depression and anxiety, I felt alone and helpless. Although I told my mother everything, she would support me and give me advice and understand my pain but it still felt lonely.
Right… she supported you in the sense that she didn’t condemn you for your anxiety, she didn’t blame you, yell at you, shame you, etc – which is great. But she also didn’t really help you – she let you skip school instead of talking to the teacher for example. As a result of confiding in her, you didn’t feel much better, and you weren’t better equipped to deal with your anxiety next time it happened. That’s why you felt alone and helpless… you were alone against the enemy called anxiety and nobody could help you. That’s pretty traumatic for a child…
But there are ways to repair the damage, so to speak. You can now create that safe container for yourself, and learn how to calm yourself down. There are many free videos on youtube on reducing stress and anxiety. I specially like the “Therapy in a Nutshell” channel – you may check it out if you’d like.
These are my suggestions for now – let me know what you think and how you feel about the things we’ve spoken about (possible causes of your anxiety) and possible help too…July 24, 2021 at 12:57 pm #383390
I’ve watched Therapy In A Nutshell and many other anxiety videos too! Do you have any book recommendations because I enjoy reading self help books.
I think dealing with my anxiety alone is very scary. I don’t know who to talk to about this and who to ask for help when needed. I just feel very tired because I thought my anxiety was getting better but I feel a little lost again. I react out of anger because deep down I’m sad and afraid. I feel alone when I have to reassure myself, it feels scary. Thank you for talking to me about this I greatly appreciate it. I’m just afraid because I feel like I’m alone.July 24, 2021 at 2:41 pm #383400
glad you’ve watched Therapy in a Nutshell! There’s a free course on her website, titled “Grounding skills for anxiety, stress and PTSD”. I am just watching it now 🙂
As for books, I can recommend “Running on Empty: Overcome your childhood’s emotional neglect”, by Jonice Webb.
I understand you feeling alone and scared when dealing with anxiety, because it brings you back into childhood when you too felt alone and scared. Do you have anybody who feels like a safe, soothing, calming, wise presence, that you can envision in your mind when your anxiety starts getting stronger? If there is no one in real life, perhaps a spiritual figure (I’ve described the Buddha, I guess 🙂 )
A support group would be great too. Unfortunately I don’t know any support groups for anxiety, but maybe you can look it up.
And keep posting here, if it helps you at least a little bit…
July 24, 2021 at 3:50 pm #383403
- This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by TeaK.
I don’t have anyone I can envision like that but when I feel anxious and afraid I like to think about my favourite animals. It makes me feel safer because I appreciate their beauty, love, and the fact that they are surviving too just like me.July 25, 2021 at 12:34 am #383409
do you also own an animal, or more of them? It makes sense you’d think of animals as soothing, because as children we all have our teddy bears and other stuffed animals. They are soft and fluffy are great for soothing and caressing. Perhaps you can buy a big teddy bear and hug him whenever you feel anxious thoughts coming up?
I think it would help a lot if you did some of those exercises for reducing anxiety, e.g. by Therapy in a Nutshell, at least till you’re waiting for counseling. Once you get a counselor, you won’t feel that alone and helpless anymore, and it will be easier. And as I said, perhaps try finding an online support group, if that’s something you’d feel comfortable with.July 25, 2021 at 1:07 am #383410
I would just like to add something regarding emotional neglect: it was unintentional emotional neglect by your mother. There are many well-intentioned parents who still make mistakes and don’t respond properly to the child’s emotional needs. This is what the book “Running on Empty” is about, so you might want to check it out.July 26, 2021 at 3:30 am #383458
I don’t own any pets but I am such an animal person, I have lots of stuffed animals and cartoon idol shows that I watch when I feel upset.
Thank you for all the suggestions I signed up for the free mental health courses and found many resources online as well as a support group.
I talked to my mother about this and she told me that it was unintentional because she did not know what anxiety even was until I had told her about it. I’m also reading the book you mentioned right now.
Thank you for responding and supporting me TeaK. I just have one question, do I need professional aid to manage my anxiety? By professional aid, I mean a therapist or counselor. Because when I had counseling at school, they would always tell me to go visit a therapist and once I did, it was too expensive and not beneficial for me. Do you think it’s possible for me to manage my anxiety by myself and without visiting a therapist?July 26, 2021 at 7:29 am #383461
you’re very welcome. It’s great to hear that you’ve signed up for free mental health courses and have found a support group. Also, that you’ve talked with your mother about it. It’s really good that you can be so open with your mother, and that she understands and supports you in getting help for yourself.
As for needing a counselor, if you had a bad experience with it, better don’t go to just anyone. First you may try self-help and participation in the support group, and you can see how you’re feeling. If you feel better and are managing to keep your anxiety in check, perhaps you don’t necessarily need a counselor. If you feel you need extra help, you may ask the people in your support group to recommend someone good, who won’t immediately prescribe medications, but will use other techniques (since you had a bad experience with medications).
So if I were you, I’d go step by step, see if I can help myself, and if not, then seek a professional – but someone who suits your needs.