I am writing a book.
I haven’t been really terribly open about it as it started as a personal project. As such things tend to however, this project had other plans for me than I had for it.
Now nearly done, I have a publisher and am working on rewrites, additions and other minutiae.
It’s about ANXIETY. It’s called The Courage Key.
You will hear more about this in the coming weeks and months as it is slated to be launched into the world in about March of 2019.
That’s not what I am blogging about today, but it makes a lovely start to what I sat down to tell you.
If you have been following me for a while, you know I have son who has struggled for his entire life with anger, impulsiveness, conflict, and all the things that come along with them.
It’s been a rough go on all of us.
We recently got him properly assessed which was an absolute game changer. It helped me to see that for so long all of the adults in his life were working to change him to fit the container of the world. He said many many times that his life sucked, and I would respond with empathy, and offer a flip. I have very little patience for people who play the victim and refuse to see how their life is actually beautiful and magical, filled with abundance.
When I was finally handed his psych profile, what I realized is that for him, his life DOES suck. His whole life the adults around him, with the best of intentions, have been working to mold him to fit the container they thought he ought to fit into. The one that was easier for them to provide, as they knew how to do it. Imagine living a life where you felt like you were fundamentally wrong. That who you are is not acceptable and that your struggles are not real. It broke my heart more than a little bit.
I don’t have a round peg that just refuses to fit into a round hole. I have a triangle peg, and a triangle peg does not fit into a round hole.
This whole time what we needed was to create a container to fit the kid, and not the other way around.
I knew the WHAT – what he was like, what he struggled with, what problems it caused, what his habits were.
I tried a thousand HOW’S – everything I could think of, but nothing really worked.
It was the WHY that was the magic key. Knowing WHY he is who he is, how his brain is built changed EVERYTHING. I can now work with mastery and skill on creating a container at home, and work with his team to create a container at school that will fit this child.
See, I knew he was brilliant, and I knew he had so much going for him. It was just that his apparent pessimism and anger always got in the way. He never performed on tests or in school the way I knew he was capable of. Knowing WHY, and applying it made something magical happen this week.
On his first accommodated math test, he came home with a mark of 89%.
This was his true potential reflected in his world. I am not going to lie to you, and I didn’t lie to him. I am and always have been a marks nerd. To get an A on anything was #goals for me for my whole academic life. It drove me, and I frequently earned them. However, what is even more meaningful in this mark for me is how it made him FEEL.
He said, after some prodding, that he felt like he had won all the first prizes.
He is 12, and getting here has been a long, hard road filled with yelling, tears, fights, sadness, depression, struggle, confusion, despair and hopelessness. I have searched for 10 years for answers, resources, professionals and support. Finally, FINALLY some light has broken through.
It was a small, fleeting moment, but it was a HUGE way marker on our path. We are finally finding the light.
How does this relate to anxiety?
It was only after I read his profile that I realized that all the anger he has displayed for his whole life is because he has been in constant fight or flight mode, and this kid will choose FIGHT every time. This is a great quality, but a terrible result of a life where he felt like he was wrong at every level.
The tide is beginning to turn, and what’s possible is beginning to happen.
We fought for it. We fought each other, the system, ourselves…for a decade.
But we didn’t give up.
I don’t give up.
Neither does he.
And we are beginning to see the light.
This moment, this tiny fleeting moment, made a decade of struggle worth it. I have a feeling that more moments like this are coming, now that we are working to create a container to fit my beautiful triangle peg young man.
There is always hope, even when the night seems darkest. Never give up. Never surrender.