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Overcoming Fear

One of the hardest parts of having a child with anxiety, is recognizing so much of yourself in them. When a therapist begins to kind of take apart your kid, and you hear the things you feared first hand, you have no choice but to take a hard look at yourself.


Take for example, social anxiety. Now I am more of an “I don’t give a F*#@! kind of gal for the most part, but there are certainly times when I very much do care what others think of me. Like, in an exercise class. Want to talk about fear? That is one of the worst for me. So it doesn’t surprise me that my daughter felt the same way trying out dance classes. We have since found a safe place for her to learn, but it hasn’t been without incident and tears.

Today, she is taking on something big. Big for her, big for any kid. She is taking a class where she will have to sing and dance, with someone she admires but with no other kids she knows. She is completely out of her element. But it’s a great opportunity for her, not just to learn and have fun (potentially) but also to prove to herself that she could do it. That she could walk into a room with no one she knew, and be the youngest kid by 5 years at least, and get up there and perform and show the world (or at least the people in the class) that she is awesome. That she has value and not because they say so, because that doesn’t really matter, but to herself, that she belongs in that room. That all the fears can dissipate. That she can overcome them. That she has an internal voice that can keep her calm and grounded and safe from the worries in her mind of what COULD happen, but probably won’t.

I write this as I wait for her. Before she walked in, we talked about what she can tell herself to calm her. She repeated them to me and smiled. She squeezed my hand, which I think was sort of a “thank you, mama”. I am thankful that she knows that I am here, as part of her team, to help her through.

This though, this is about her learning that she can do it on her own.

I hope that she will emerge in about an hour, having learned something about herself. If that is all she gets out of it, that will be enough because I believe that that voice in your head can be harsh, but it can also be beautiful and wise. I hope that she believes it too. Maybe not today, but someday soon.

Baby steps…baby steps…

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