Sunday, August 10, 2008

Anxiety Meter

I can usually tell how anxious Daughter is by how often she has to touch base with me and how close she is staying with me. Saturday morning, with a sinking feeling, I realized that her anxiety was very high. When I was in taking my shower, she came in to sit on the toilet and wait for me. When I came down to the bedroom to finish getting dressed, she was right next to me. When I came downstairs to finalize my plans for the graveside service, she pulled a footstool over next to my desk so she could be right next to me and watch what I was doing over my shoulder. I began giving her tasks to do so I wouldn’t feel suffocated.

I was now certain that Daughter was anxious. I also knew that she was probably not aware of her anxiety. I decided to encourage her to explore her feelings.

“I’m wondering if you’re feeling anxious about something.”


“Is there something you’re worrying about?”


“Maybe you’re stressed about something?”


“What is it that is stressing you?”

She had now decided that I was a complete idiot. “Granddad!”

“It is a worry when he is in the hospital. I talked to Uncle last night and he is going to go home today.” I tried to call his hospital room, but his phone was off the hook, which wasn’t unusual. I called Sister, who was to take him home. She didn’t pick up, so I left her a message. Daughter got up and wandered off. She stayed home and watched tv while I did the graveside. I was relieved she was no longer hovering, but pretty sure that there was more to her anxiety than Granddad.

After lunch, we headed out to do some shopping. I knew she had talked to Boyfriend in the morning and wanted him to cover over and hang out. At the last store, Daughter went off to check out the clothes while I picked up the last few groceries we needed. When I tracked her down in the fitting room, she was not happy. None of the clothes fit properly. She was simmering. By the time we headed out of the store, her life sucked and wasn’t worth living.

“I’m wondering if...”

“Don’t even mention his name! I’m going to scorch him.”

I never did mention his name, but we discussed Boyfriend’s words and actions were inconsistent as we drove home. He had promised to call her with his schedule when she talked to him in the morning. He never called. I have sensed that the romance is cooling, but yesterday had assured me they had talked everything out on Friday and they were fine. Except that on Saturday he’s not following through on his promises. Daughter desperately wants a boyfriend.

I suspect that until they get things resolved, I’m going to need to adjust to having Daughter hovering.

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