Pre-anxiety and the mama bear

May 7, 2014 § 1 Comment

Yes it’s a real thing pre-anxiety (ok I just made it up but it’s real to me)! – I am having anxiety about the anxiety that I know I will be having in a couple weeks at Arianna’s IEP meeting. It’s a transition year so it’s an involved IEP this year with all new players.

Yes my anxiety is ramping up already because I need to start preparing. I have some outside support this year so that is a huge help but I still need to make sure I think of all the details and how the transition may affect my daughter. I need to think of everything from how will she manage a combination lock , changing clothes in a locker room for gym class to the dreaded “puberty” movie. These were all on my list of concerns for my son but it’s just different with her – there needs to be fail-safes set up everywhere for everything in a new environment with all new adults.

The anxiety also comes because of the anticipation – it’s always stressful, it’s always a unpleasant experience. I always leave feeling drained, frustrated and sad. Just the thought of all this makes me anxious!!

All of this feels like preparation for battle. I prepare my ammunition to advocate for my daughter (which means figuring out what it is I think she needs and how that translate into school). I prepare my armor – my emotional armor. Believe me, I can’t go in without it. If I let my emotional guard down for one second I will “lose it” one way or another (shouting, crying). I have never lost it totally – I’ve come close, I have teetered, but never gone over.

Typically there is tension in the room before I walk in. I always imagine the thoughts the “team” is having about me and seldom do I think they are thinking “good for her advocating for her kid”. I mostly believe they are thinking “here we go again” and I always imagine they are thinking some other unkind words – I’ll leave those words up to your imagination.

But the truth is “I’m good”! I’ve got this! I sit in these meetings weekly pretty much. I know how they go. It doesn’t change the worrying, the anticipation or the preparation. It doesn’t change that the “mama bear” in me is always lurking right under the surface and believe me you don’t want to mess with the mama bear who has been preparing for this “battle” for months already.

In the end I am hopeful that maybe this year will be different. Maybe this year, there will be understanding and peace.

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