Aidan’s had a bit of anxiety for a long time now about sleeping – sleeping alone, sleeping at a friends, etc. We’ve tried everything and he’s slowly growing out of it and in the last few months done really well. Tho for the last few weeks, he’s had problems with sleep overs where he gets himself so worked up and anxious that he almost makes himself sick to his stomach.
That’s why I’m freakin a bit right now. There is a class trip that they make in groups from his Middle School to a camp up in North Jersey. It’s a lot of history and science, and hiking and cool camp stuff. It’s also a three day event. With other kids. In the same cabin. He’ll have to take showers, holy crap!
Seriously, the thing I am worried about is him sleeping away. I want him to do it. I’ve been trying to find ways of getting him to do this stuff without forcing him to do it which causes anxiety, which makes him sick to his stomach, which makes him freak, call me, and I go pick him up. I REALLY don’t want to go get him. No, it’s not the driving I mind, it’s the feelings he feels and talks about on the way home. He feels like he’s failing in some way to face his fear, and that he gives in too easily. So when he said he wanted to do this, I was not only surprised, but skeptical. Not wanting to quash any feelings of independence, we talked to his teachers, asked what was involved and worked out a gameplan with his therapist. He’s got things that he can use as tools to manage his anxiety and just curl up in his sleeping bag and crash. And I have a feeling he’s going to be exhausted and hopefully just crash.
His teachers have already said they will let him call if he asks to, but we’re going to try everything to discourage him coming home. Again, not that I wouldn’t drive across the country to get him if he needed me. Mostly because he asked to put himself in this situation, I really feel like I can’t go get him, that to do so would be setting him up to fail. So we’re going to be tough to a point, but if he’s really panicking, I’m in the car in a second.
So what I’m asking for is around 10pm tonight, light a candle, say a prayer, send energy to Aidan to help him through the first night. I know once he gets through it, he’ll be fine, but he needs to believe that, and in order to do it, he needs to get through it.