So when a mum gets in touch with me it is often because she does not know which way to turn to get help for their son, or daughter. Very often the medical route has been exhausted, with no explained cause for symptoms or behaviour and often offering limited solutions.
It’s hard for any mum, including me, to try and decide what would be the best way forward, and then, in some cases to try and encourage their child to give it a go. There needs to be a level of trust, and faith in that person.
I get that, I’m a mum too and I consider all options very carefully to make sure I am making the best possible choice for my children. This is even harder when you are not sure of the process, or the outcome.
So in this case, when this mum got in touch about her daughter who was having breathing issues which had no medical reason, but appeared to be related to a pattern of behaviour, and exacerbated by anxiety, I knew she was taking a real leap of faith in asking me to help. I always feel privileged when another parent asks me to support their child, because I know that this is sometimes a difficult step, to admit that you don’t have all the answers.
My commitment and support always starts at the first meet up, where I focus on making sure that I understand, and can provide an explanation on what is going on and why. It has got to be the young person, and the parents decision to feel comfortable being supported by me. In this case there was a roller coaster of emotions, being at secondary school, feeling self conscious in certain situations, experiencing difficulties with friendships and generally just feeling really overloaded.
This was all completely understandable, and totally normal in the early teenage years,
But it was the ‘symptoms’ which were holding this lovely girl back. The worries about what would happen if she couldn’t breath, the uncertainty of knowing what was happening and why which was resulting in her withdrawing from things she had previously loved just to reduce the likelihood of the symptom she feared, appearing.
And this is so common.
We restructure our lives to avoid what we most fear, and in the process stop doing what we love.
So, beyond the breathing issue we started to work on confidence, and focus, and help to reduce the anxiety which had built up over time.
And the fear started to reduce. Not because we were focusing on it, but specifically because we weren’t focusing on it.
And this lovely girl got some time to rest, and recuperate whilst being supported to understand her behaviours, that they were a normal reaction to the situation she found herself in.
And once she understood that she could let go, she built up trust in me to help her, and so did her mum.
I don’t expect anyone to believe what I can do straight away. It’s a journey, that we work through together, sometimes with unexpected and amazing results and always with positive movement forward.
I am looking to address the immediate issue whilst building up and providing tools for supporting in the future. And this is what I did.
And the result, a young person who was able to start enjoying doing what she loved, and feeling proud of herself for her achievements.
And a mum who could understand and appreciate her daughters strengths and know that by taking a leap of faith by asking me for help, she had given both of them skills to help now and in the future.
Love Clare x