Things Falling Into Place and Psychology
It has been two weeks of things falling into place. The first warehouse I toured turned out to be the one we needed. The lease was signed two days later. Business insurance looked to be complicated, but then it wasn’t. An appointment got cancelled in the middle of a busy day. I thought I’d have to spend time waiting around for a delivery truck, but the shipment of Tub of Happiness got held up in LA and won’t arrive until next week, which is far more convenient. The psychiatrist’s office had to reschedule Gleek’s appointment for several weeks later, which gave just enough time for the school year to settle in more. We have things to discuss. Then at church a conversation with Gleek’s youth leaders led to a recommendation for a therapist who does art therapy. Gleek’s first appointment is next week. I could continue the list. Last Spring was full of turmoil, road blocks, and struggles. During those struggles we laid lots of ground work and things are falling in to place now.
Today was the meeting with Gleek’s psychiatrist and next week is her first session with a new therapist. I feel very ambivalent about both of those things. There is a part of my brain that wants to argue about expense and effort. She’s doing really well right now. She’s mostly happy. She’s got straight As in school. Okay, I’d like to see her socializing more with people face to face instead of online, but surely we don’t need a therapist for that. These thoughts burble in my brain, trying to get traction. Yet I know that Gleek has lots of things to learn about how to handle her stresses and emotions. Things are good now because she’s not being challenged. She is not under stress. This means that now is the time to be working on things so that when the next stressful time hits, she has skills to manage it. It is logical. I’m pretty sure this is the right course, but I don’t want to do it. Therapy is hard. We have to face things instead of letting them slide. Surely I have enough projects going on without adding another one. Yet I can’t but think that so many of the other things are going so smoothly to make space for this and for things like this.
Gleek is not the only one with things to work through. Her struggles last Spring significantly undermined my confidence in my parenting. The attendant therapy sessions did not fix that, because over and over I was shown how things I was doing fed into and exacerbated Gleek’s stress. The biggest change that took place was in me. I shifted my management of things, set some new boundaries, and rearranged schedules. Then the troubles evaporated, which is good, but I wish I could feel like they went away because Gleek learned something rather than because I did. Of course if I was the one creating the problem, then maybe it isn’t laying in wait to ambush us. Maybe it is actually solved. Any time a child is in crisis, psychological experts look to parents as part of the solution. Unfortunately finding solutions also creates guilt, because I didn’t figure it out sooner. If only I’d been better. If only I was able to be consistent instead of letting the rules go blurry and putting them back later. If only, if only, if only. Those “if onlys” don’t help, but I have to see them and work through them in order to get rid of them.
The take away from the consultations this week is that Gleek needs more stress in her life. She needs the good kind of stress where she goes to an activity, tries new things, and meets new people. Gleek is happy about this prescription because she wants to take a gymnastics class. So I’ll add that to my list of things to set up. She’ll be less happy about the second half of the prescription, which is to limit her time spent in electronic worlds on the computer. She needs time to be bored and to find good ways to stop being bored. Fortunately adding fun activities will cause the second to happen very naturally.
The good news is that I don’t have to create an extensive plan and execute on it. I just need to figure out what comes next and do that. For tonight, it means putting kids to bed. Tomorrow I’ll be spending my morning work hours setting up utilities for the warehouse. After that I’ll be crafting the Kickstarter information or pounding my way through some book layout. The good news is that tomorrow is both Friday and the end of term, so the kids are all pretty much homework free for the weekend. Step by step we do all the things, working and guiding things so that they fall into place.
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