When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, less scary. – Fred Rogers.
Writing this wasn’t easy. I grew up in a home where talking about your feelings or any unnerving thoughts to a stranger or anyone for that matter were frowned upon. It wasn’t until my late twenties when I had that ah-ha moment regarding my feelings of worry, fear and uneasiness. How certain thoughts caused me to cry uncontrollably and the thought to just end it all so that I couldn’t feel the pain of my past and current shortcomings, not being good enough and being looked over was prevalent. I was nervous in my intent to seek help. Growing up, there was a huge stigma that Black people don’t seek therapy! I didn’t want anyone to think I was crazy nor did I want to be put on medication.
After the few sessions I had, I began to see a difference in my thought process and how I was feeling overall through the journaling I was asked to do. Flash forward some years to the birth of my first son. I was anxiety stricken and uneasy about the world into which I had just brought my child. I would consistently, like a nervous tic, check on my sleeping baby to ensure he was still breathing. I would feel uneasy about every stranger who would get too close and the list could go on and on. I knew how to get out of my head, I just wasn’t aware that I was in my head until my partner asked those three little words: “Are you okay?” It took about a year to set my mind right regarding my newfound postpartum anxiety.
My son is now three and has grown to be a clever, super funny, loud, silly boy with the spunk of the Energizer bunny who has my entire heart wrapped around his little finger. He brings a smile to everyone he encounters. You wouldn’t know from meeting him that, just like his mother, he too deals with anxiety. He does not yet have the complete vocabulary to describe what he is feeling but he all too often tells me that in his tummy he feels bad. He says these things when he does something he knew he shouldn’t do or when he’s not certain of something or someone. He is socially awkward in large groups and will do things that disrupt because of his anxiety.
A few months after my son graduated into the toddler class, I started getting reports about his behavior, his inability to follow instruction, his repetitive disruptiveness and other not-so-polite behavior. His father and I had been experiencing the terrible twos that seemed to transform him into a now three-nager. We were accustomed to some of the behavior issues the teachers were experiencing but things were spiraling. After about the second time of having to pick up my three-year-old early from daycare because of behavior issues, I began to search for family therapy, because surely, I was the cause of his behavior. Upon researching, I found the Lucy Daniels Center. I contacted LDC in November of 2019 to learn more and to see how they could offer support to me and my family. Shortly after contacting LDC, we arranged for my son to be observed at daycare. Their feedback was enlightening and gave us hope.
I was contacted by one of their licensed clinical social workers about starting therapy sessions, and we started our first session in March of this year.
Providing for my son is as important as us having a healthy balanced relationship. I not only care about his physical well-being but also about his mental well-being in regards to how he views himself, his peers, the world.
My son and I are currently continuing our sessions with LDC, as with so much change and stress during this pandemic, it has created a new set of challenges in our daily lives. So far, our experience with LCD has been a breath of fresh air as I feel both my son and I are getting somewhere. Our next session will consist of some play skills therapy and to see where we are during this stressful time. I anticipate our future sessions as my family and I work together with this amazing center and their awesome staff.
I was absolutely dumbfounded that this nonprofit offers so much help in many areas for children and their families. How come their name is not so widespread in my community? I wondered. How can I spread awareness of their good deeds? Well, even during this pandemic, the heart and good deeds of Lucy Daniels Center shines as they are currently offering up to four hours of free sessions of support through Lucy Listens in Wake County. Let the Lucy Daniels Center be a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen during this uneasy time or during other stress-related times. They offer hope!
~When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers