Anxiety returns

Since my last post I’ve been feeling a lot of external stress regarding one of my children. He plays a sport and has been side lined since October due to an overuse injury. This is stressing me out more than it should and I’ve taken to having a couple of glasses of wine in the evenings (yes, on Monday and Tuesday which is totally against my current get-healthy plan).

We pay a lot of money for him to play in this premier league and I’m stressing out that he can’t play this spring. We’ve also paid over a $1,000 dollars for physical therapy and he’s still not been approved to play. The PT will not even let him participate in his school gym class. Now, I got an email that the coach has found a replacement while my son is injured. Son and Husband say that is normal and okay for the coach to do but I am upset and feeling frantic about it. That’s his spot on the team. We paid for it whether he plays or not. Now when he returns my son will have to earn his position all over again. Damn it, why am I so upset and feeling personally bothered when this entire issue isn’t even about me – except for the money.

I don’t want to bore anyone but I think the anxiety stems from my childhood. As the only girl with 3 brothers and a competitive dad I spent many years on the side lines and I did not like it. I felt second class and inferior. I think I may be reliving all that with my son on the bench this season.

I grew up in a competitive family where most everything was based around winning. Even our family Thanksgivings (American holiday) revolved around an annual family football game (American football). Since I was the only girl, I didn’t get to play as much as I would like to but my dad and brothers had a grand old-time. It wasn’t just football, they all ran track and field and played soccer (American style). I hated that I wasn’t up to par with them and I also didn’t have the competitiveness that everyone else had. I remember feeling bad if I beat an opponent in a track and field event. I also recall sitting on the side of the fields and being an observer. I hated that but I had no choice.

My son’s inability to be a leading player in his team for this season is killing me. I cannot believe how personally I’m taking it. After comparing it to familiar childhood feelings, I’m sure this is “post traumatic stress” rearing its ugly head.

Perhaps “post traumatic stress” is not a suitable word in this situation as I mean no disrespect to veterans and war heroes who have survived much more than my simple childhood. However, the force in which emotions are overcoming me remind me of painful issues in my childhood. To me,the experiences with sports and competition were traumatic because they have shaped my sense of trust, confidence, worthiness and self-esteem.  Basically, I learned I was not good enough to play and I was forced to sit and watch.  I do not want that for my son. 

I have to get back on the right path and stop drinking wine every night. It does not help me except for the few hours that my emotions are blotted out. I know this but changing my old patterns is so damn hard. 

I know my experiences are not that of my sons.  He says he doesn’t care about any of it.  I recognized it is totally my neurotic issue to work out.

4 responses to “Anxiety returns

  1. This is a great post.
    its such a great sign that you’ve identified the root of these feelings.
    my shrink says thats when you know you’re doing well.

  2. Sounds reasonable. I have similar feelings of inferiority and always trying to prove I’m not “just a girl”. I am also the only girl, and the youngest, so I was left out of the boys’ club most of my life, still am a bit

    • Exactly. Thanks for your empathy. Sometimes after I write something in a public way I feel more unsure than I would if it was in my private journal. But, the flipside is, I learn there are others who understand me when I often have felt mixed up and misunderstood. –Daylily

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