Lost in the Details of an Anxious Mind

It was evening and the boys were put to bed.  My husband read to them, and I rubbed backs and tucked them in.  We were catching a piece of Trump's Apprentice, when the younger complained from the top of the stairs, "Joey shot a rubberband at me when I was sleeping!!"  I made my way up, feeling frustrated, but knowing this is my boy, his anxiety is ramping up and we are all feeling it, at home and at school. He has been getting lost in details, overly critical, details preventing him from seeing the big picture when he makes a poor choice, details getting in the way of taking responsibility. . . He has made so much progress curbing his comments and taking ownership for his mistakes, it seems out of character now for these things to pop out again.

He is a preteen, and will be changing schools next year, we don't know which one for sure, but a huge change in any case, and his anxiety comes out in his ability to get along with. . . everyone.  Plus, he is a preteen, ugh, need I say more?  He has been disrespectful, which led to the meeting this week.  I pictured him at the meeting hands shaking, he tried to hide it with slumped poster and attitude eyes, but words simply weren't there for him.  I know this because I have experienced it.  I know people don't understand how a bright, otherwise very verbal person, could suddenly not have words, but it happens to me still, so I know.

So, I tucked the youngest back in with hugs and kisses, and sat down on the bed of the oldest.  I told him "I know it has been hard, the meeting, the talks. . .but everything will be ok.  We love you, me and Dad both, and we are here to help you." I rubbed his back with pressured strokes, to try and settle him down and told him,  "We will help you over the bumps"  and then jokingly, "but could you try to steer around a few of them?"  He said, "Feels more like mountains, can't really go around mountains." I told him, "I want you to close your eyes and picture the mountains shrinking."  and true to form, he said, "What kind of mountains are they?  Oceanic subduction? continental subduction? or fault line?"  I gave him a hug and said, "You pick." and "promise to picture the mountains shrinking."