Frightened Child can become an Anxious Adult
One of my favorite videos on the Tweetheart page is Fiona Flicker coming to talk to Dee Dee the Chickadee about fear. I included the story because I remember as a ten year old, my brother's death filled me with tremendous fear.
I remember wondering, "Will I die too?" While I knew about death, I had never experienced it. It was abstract, kind of like, the moon. I knew it was there, in the night sky, but I could not imagine anything about it.
Mike died from phlebitis and from the moment he died until I became a mature adult, which was approximately yesterday, I would look at my legs and wonder if one is swollen, red or in pain. I became hyper aware of health concerns and I knew that something awful could go terribly wrong at any moment.
Maybe it's crazy but it was during that time, that being in a crowded venue made me anxious to the point of distraction. I was at a summer baseball game with my cousins and I wasn't involved in the game as much as I was wondering if I had a medical event, if the paramedics could get to me in time. I was quiet and they wondered, "What's Terry's problem?" I was sure no one else was wondering about ambulance access.
It bears repeating: Children are wonderful observers and terrible interpreters. As a kid, I overheard conversations about "Missed diagnosis" and "Medical mismanagement." I never said anything to anyone but I ruminated on the potential cataclysmic possibilities. And I knew that I could be next.
Now my role is as a trusted adult loving and supporting children during times of tragedy and loss, I am reminded about the word "fear." They might not say it, they might not want to upset anyone but the chronic stomach ache and the discomfort during routine events, especially those that are "supposed" to be fun, may be unexpressed fear.
I encourage you to spend some time with Fiona and Dee Dee on video number six. If a child won't talk about their own fear, they might talk to you about Fiona's. The purpose of The Healing Chickadee is to spark conversation and connect on a deeper level. I wish you and your family serenity and joy.