Here is an interesting thing. Like each of us here, we go through some pretty rough stuff with difficult child. There is the usual overwhelming emotional reaction, and the coming back into balance, the PTSD feelings ~ all the things we all go through. So, here is what happened, yesterday. I went shopping for a Homecoming dance dress for 14 year old granddaughter who lives four hours away. We left it to the last minute, hoping difficult child and the girl's father would have both the pleasure and the frustration of that parenting experience. Truly, that first dress, that first time your little girl walks out of the fitting room as a woman ~ all that goes into that first real dress experience is something to cherish. Well, Friday night, granddaughter and I decided we had best do something now, as dance is next Friday. Okay. So, that's all backstory. Here is the reason for this post: So, I go to buy a dress. Find a Jessica McClintock at Plato's Closet ~ perfect, so perfect. But...I don't try it on. Says 3-4. Should be good. Get home. Try to put it on to send picture to granddaughter. CAN'T GET IT ZIPPED. Very small size 4. So, there is stress #1. Back to the mall, today. Find another dress. Beautiful, red dress ~ just stunning. Get home and find granddaughter has FB me ~ anything but red, Grandma. Whatever. Too late, now. Dress has been given to difficult child to bring to granddaughter when she goes home, tomorrow. She can always exchange or whatever. Here is the thing: I found myself going through a version of the same kind of intense emotional storm as I did last weekend when difficult child was...er, visiting the psychiatric unit. Interesting that this should be so. My emotions don't seem to know the difference between a real, unresolvable, life-changing crisis and an easily resolvable problem with a 14 year old's Homecoming dress. So maybe...there is never a need for the kind of reaction I fall into. It is so interesting that I fly into the same, total caretaking mode I do when difficult child is being beat or threatened or is homeless or in ICU or psychiatric unit as I do over...a dress. Somewhere, there is an automatic switch that turns on at the first sign of trouble. And it never shuts off. It eases away from panic mode, or it keys me up altogether and exhausts me. And I got kicked into that same mindset over...a dress. So, I am thinking about that. Cedar And here's the thing. That mindset did not help me, with the dress situation. It hasn't helped me yet, in the difficult child-crisis situation. So...of what value are those emotions? When I can't even distinguish between the panic brought on by a serious situation and a Homecoming dress? I must have been helpless too many times. I am going to try to learn a different emotional response altogether. This must be PTSD, right? Hear a car backfire and react as though it was a gunshot. Find yourself in a position where things are not falling immediately into place and BOOM. It is an interesting thing, to understand this about myself. Maybe there is a way to do this without succumbing to the emotional thing?