The End of Panic Attacks!

I wish I could say all panic attacks and incidences of the girls biting themselves are forever and ever a thing of the past. But in the last couple of months, the healing process seems to be picking up steam, and as it has the girls have become more and more like normal outside children whose primary reaction to adverse situations is no longer panic or self injury.

Here are just two recent examples. At the beginning of September we took a two-week vacation to Orlando and did all the Disney parks, Universal parks and Discovery Cove and Sea World. Amy has come so far in the healing journey that this vacation she quickly raised her hand anytime they asked for audience participants, and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios she got to be part of the Indiana Jones attraction. She had a great time and fully participated in all the crowd scenes while I sat in the bleachers nearly in tears of joy remembering that only a year earlier my girls were nearly housebound because of their fear of all strangers.

And for her part, though Alleylieu found the thronging crowds at all the theme parks difficult, only once did we have to leave something because she felt uncomfortable: that was at a restaurant that was tightly packed with people and exceedingly noisy. This was a far cry from the girl who just this spring would regularly look around us in the local Walmart (even when it wasn’t busy) with panic in her eyes because she was out with me in a public place.

Then just last Friday my girls were driving home from a visit to their parents. It’s a 2-hour drive. While I was talking on the phone with Amy, a car nearly side swiped them on I75. She and Karen seamlessly changed positions. They slammed on the breaks and moved over the best they could. Things went flying inside the car, but there was no collision. Karen told me what happened, and then Amy popped back out and began frantically talking with me. I calmed her down and tried to talk her through it. She told me her heart was beating rapidly, but whose wouldn’t be?

Then when they got home, Amy called me to tell me they had another frightening incident right before they got home. A deer jumped out, hit the car immediately in front of them. That car spun around (at 65mph) and nearly hit my girls, but again they were safe. And yet after both of these near accidents my girls continued to function. They didn’t shut down. They didn’t freak out. They were scared, but so would any normal adult be. Yesterday their theophostic facilitator continued to help them talk these incidents through as I have since they happened, and both girls said they are doing much better.

So are panic attacks and the desire to self injure a thing of the past? Probably not, but I’ve noticed a change in the 3 main insider girls lately. They are now reacting to adverse and scary things more and more like a normal outside child.  They can now distinguish between the real and the imaginary (like tv, movies and theme park attractions). And when something real happens, they come to me immediately, just like a normal child would, and I help them process the event and talk it through.

We are definitely not done with this healing journey, but each day I seem to see more and more indicators that the trauma of the past is losing its grip on these girls, and they are running to the goal of freedom and healing.

Blessings.

Sam, I Am.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. undercoverdid
    Oct 09, 2010 @ 16:48:47

    Woohoo for progress 🙂 That is awesome 🙂

    Reply

  2. bunchofpeople
    May 15, 2011 @ 01:27:47

    That sounds like a lot of progress. I can feel my insider littles bouncing up and down at the idea of going to disneyland or having kid fun, but they’re still so shy. I’d really like to learn to let them out to have fun, but I worry so much about the impression they will make. We’re all still so scared inside. We don’t want to be, but it’s near the beginning of our journey still. We have a long way to go.
    -Hats

    Reply

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