When your child has finally turned a corner in healing, what happens next is unexpected.
Often at first contact with an PANS/PANDAS case, the energy of the consult is intense as we collectively focus and work together to carefully map out the symptoms, drivers and obstacles of the child’s case. We prioritise the functional testing options to determine which tests are going to give us the most crucial information about how to navigate towards stability for the child. The joy and relief felt is immense, when parents experience the breakthrough moment and a corner is turned in the journey. The child’s mood, behaviour and symptoms begin to stabilise and parents feel empowered with their tool kit.
However, it comes as a surprise to some parents what happens next. As the child begins to stabilise, there is often a deep breath taken by all of us as an important milestone in healing is reached. Then comes a rough and difficult stage of the parent’s decompression of the nervous system, after a long slow burn of chronic stress comes to an end. It starts with the realisation that the nervous system has forgotten what “normal” is like. “Normal” feels uncomfortable. Then comes strong releases of emotion. They are uncomfortable and painful.
“Having lived with his behaviour for so long I forget it's not normal . For me the flare was what I always experienced , when he was saying he wanted to kill me and breaking plates.”
I actually can’t think of any other experience more traumatising than watching your child disappear before you in such a violent way and yet to most, sadly at this point in our culture, is invisible (missed or misdiagnosed). In no other experience, can I imagine where the maternal instinct is tested to the extreme limit. Knowing deeply something is going on with your child, only it being invisible (missed or misdiagnosed) to others.
I am in awe and admiration of the tenacious trust of the mother’s deep maternal instinct. It is that instinct, and the father’s trust in it, that as a species, after all this time throughout history, we are still here.
When the war is over, my hope is that you continue to trust in that power of maternal instinct that got you to this point of healing and getting your child back. Trust the experience of decompression. It is a natural process of the nervous system restoring to a healthy place. Nature is taking back what it intended. Homeostasis.
Take a deep breath, give yourself some space, let go of everything you’ve had to hold for a long time, utilise what Mother Nature offers, and trust your instinct to heal yourself.