As a mother of two differently abled children I live a life full of stress.
Studies have shown that Autism moms have stress levels comparable to combat soldiers. Check out the research!
For those who have special needs children this needs no explanation. We know. We live it everyday.
For those who don’t have a special needs child I will do the best I can to explain it to you.
My son is non-verbal. This means that he cannot tell me anything. He has an AAC device, his talker, and he can create sentences with it to get his basic wants and needs met, but he cannot have a full conversation with us. Even though my daughter is verbal, she cannot use her language functionally. So in some ways she is in the same boat as my son.
They cannot tell me how their day was, who they played with, or what they did. They cannot tell us if they have friends, if someone likes them, if someone was kind to them, if someone was mean to them. They cannot tell us what it is like to be them. To be smart, kind, and curious and to be unable to share that with others. To be unable to communicate. To be vulnerable.
So many of our kids are vulnerable.
Just watch the news. Here are a few incidents that happened just in the month of January.
Our children are vulnerable, we have to constantly fight for their services, and mommy guilt is intense. On the surface I might look like I’m not stressed, but on a daily basis these are a few things I worry about.
Are my children seeing the right doctors? Are my children getting the right therapies? Are my children safe at their schools? Are my children safe with my family members? Are my children safe with baby sitters?
Will my children ever communicate effectively? Will they run away, or wander off? Will my children be accepted by society? Will my children be able to care for themselves? Will they be able to live on their own? Will my children have friends? Will they get married? Will they be happy?
Stress is a constant in my life.
The search for stress relief is also a constant.
Last month I learned a wonderful new tool for stress relief called TRE. TRE stands for Tension, Stress and Trauma Release which was designed by Dr. David Berceli. TRE is a series of exercises you can do at home that activates a natural tremor release in your body. As we encounter stress in our lives our body unconsciously stores this stress. We store it: we don’t release it.
Have you ever seen a dog when it’s scared? What does it do? It shakes… it tremors. It releases the stress that it is feeling. It turns out that humans have the same stress releasing mechanism but over time we have consciously chosen to mute this response.
TRE is a series of 7 exercises that forces our body to tremor, releasing the stress we have unconsciously stored, and leaves us feeling more relaxed, calm, and energetic.
That is a lot of information and if are like me you might think… sure… sounds kind of hooky… not sure if this is for me. I implore you to try it. I did it for the first time this weekend and I have to say that I was amazed with the results.
In the beginning I said that I live a life of stress. I know that I do, but I hid it well. Even from myself. I don’t want to admit how stressed out I am. When I did this exercise I realized just how stressed I actually am.
I did this in a group setting and as we moved through the exercises I could feel my body start to tremor and by the end of the series I was laying on a yoga mat shaking… not just shaking but full on tremoring. I could feel this overwhelming sense of letting go, and then another unexpected thing happened. I started crying. Not in a sobbing, uncontrollable manner. But a soft cry of steady tears.
It made me realize how much I had been lying to myself. I put on my I’m okay face and I try to convince myself that I’m okay. I’m okay that both of my children have autism. I’m okay that I had to give up my career to help them. I’m okay that I have lost friends over this. I’m okay.
When really… I’m not.
I found through this experience that I’m not 100% okay. I mean look at what I experienced. Most other women in that room didn’t tremor, most weren’t shaking like me and not one other person cried. Clearly I’m not okay.
But that is okay. It’s good for me to recognize that I have more work to do to be okay. Over the past year I have come far to help myself. I started a company to help other mothers with stress and clearly I still need to continue to work on myself.
I know that I have more I need to do to center, ground, and de-stress myself.
And now I have one more tool in my tool box: TRE.
You can learn a little bit more at https://traumaprevention.com/what-is-tre/ . You can also watch a special needs mom go through the TRE steps here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQBUpMZajv8&list=PLlzWVmryxGOXYCvOdMV5UjiHqK3c5SYLf.
Please check it out for yourself, and I will start holding TRE session in AZ. If you are interested in attending please email at Michele@damesusa.com.