• Allison Garner


Lately, I have been finding myself being much more sensitive to claustrophobia. Normally, I don't panic unless I am in a cave underground (i.e. the ones in Chilton, WI) or during an MRI. As I found myself panicking in situations that didn't used to trigger my claustrophobia, I wondered about the sudden increase in these types of instances. After a session with my coach to specifically uncover the cause of the increase, I discovered that I feel trapped. I am primed to take off in many areas of my life, but I always have an eye on my daughter. See, she suffers from major and severe depression, and I believe my vigilance and worry somehow benefit her. I also believe that a good mother worries. Instead of being present and allowing myself to enjoy the lovely moments in my life, I keep part of myself cognizant of the impending doom. As her condition worsens, which it is currently, my claustrophobia gets worse. I now see that this is related to my feeling trapped. The cage I've created for myself is that if my daughter doesn't get better, then I am a failure as a mother. That's a heavy thought about something over which I have no control. So I've been paying close attention to my beliefs about my capabilities as a mother, and I had an interesting event occur. My daughter, who attends a therapeutic boarding school, has a therapist she works with closely. My daughter has been relapsing into old, dysfunctional patterns, so her therapist called me last week. She appeared desperate for help, as my daughter was not responding well to the approaches she was trying. It's almost like the therapist was asking me to be the mother that my daughter needed at that moment. How fortuitous that I was questioning whether I was a good enough mother when I received a call to be exactly the mother my daughter needed. My daughter did need me. I was enough. It was such a relief and it shifted the way I see myself as a mother. I'm wondering if there will be a decrease in the instances of claustrophobia as I allow myself to truly believe I am enough.

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