The kid is a week away from starting 2nd grade. That in and of itself is enough to tug at my heartstrings. But some big changes are happening for her this year - brand new school building, her bestie isn't going to be in her same class and............she's riding the bus to and from school for the first time.
I don't think I'm ready for it. I know SHE is ready for it even though she tends to favor me in the realm of caution and anxiety. She's the last pick up and the first drop off. I'm so nervous for her but not because I don't think SHE can handle it. It's causing me to react all flashbacky (you like how I'm smart enough to totally make up my own words? I'm awesome.) and the anxiety I'm feeling is mostly linked to my brain dumping ME into that situation. And the ED LOVES to find scenarios in which I'm too incapable to handle what's happening....even if they're completely fabricated and not at all about me.
It's a similar feeling to what I feel when anything 9/11 comes up. I really and truly believe I have some PTSD from watching it all 10 days ago. It hit something within my OCD that just paralyzed me. The compulsion to force myself to watch every minute of coverage so that anyone who died would have a witness. I sat there like it was my job and that if I missed anything people would die for nothing.
No pressue, huh? Oy.
When they talk about a nation being changed, I feel the weight of that. I feel like that was a defining moment for my emotional capabilities and the amount of fear and sadness and terror I felt triggered a huge downward spiral and a huge surge in my ED's power. It found the biggest opening it could and grabbed on. I felt so helpless and incapable in the days of watching the coverage and so scared. ED jumped in and reaffirmed that over and over and over. It's when I first started having panic attacks. It's when I started the behavior of always needing to know how I'd escape a room reemerged having been under control since I put it away as a small child. My brain drew up escape plans from cities, places I'd go to be safe. ED was having an emotional buffet.
So here we are on the precipice of the kiddo's new adventure into the unknown and the anniversary of 9/11. How I choose to handle it is going to make a difference. The world doesn't depend on it like I have long told myself, but my emotional health does. I'll be honest and say in this moment I've never been happier to not have cable TV. That's going to be a huge help in cutting down on the compulsion to watch the coverage of that day over and over as I have every 9/11 for the past 10 years. I know what I feel about it, I've bourne witness to the tragedy, now I need to close that wound and move past it.
As for my baby getting on the school bus, I'm going to do what so many other Moms do out there - I'm going to smile and talk excitedly about how fun the bus will be and I'm going to let her experience it for herself. It's hard to let go of that little slice of your own soul walking around in a 7 year old's body but it needs the freedom to make its own way. She's safe. She's capable. She's ready.
Just like me.