Painfully shy

Ever wondered who being painfully shy was painful for?

I have the answer.

Little “Johnny” arrived on Thursday afternoon while I was at work. In the few hours before I got home from work “Johnny” managed about half a dozen words to MM. Mostly he was treated to head nods and shakes. When I got home, all of MM’s good work was undone and “Johnny” went back to no words at all.

Friday morning and it’s clear little “Johnny” is not a morning person. Not only have his words disappeared, but now he is back to so shy he can’t even shake or nod his head. I kept trying to engage him. Asking questions, giving him choices, and by the time we were on our way to school I had a “yes” for weetbix for breakfast and a “Strawberry” for his choice of milk with breakfast.

So quiet, so shy. It’s so painful trying to have a conversation. Such hard work. And travelling in the car….wow….so silent. We’re used to kids where you can’t get a word in edgewise and now, a little man who can’t get a word out.

I took him to school and while we were waiting outside his class for it to open a little girl called to him and asked him to go and sit with her on the bench. His response, to snuggle closer to me and try to hide. The poor little girl looked pained that he didn’t want to sit next to her.

“Johnny” doesn’t seem to be concerned by his shyness, but I feel pain when he’s not speaking. This poor little man has some speech issues for which he is getting help, but mostly it’s his shyness.

Is he scared to speak because he doesn’t want to be made fun of for all the words he can’t say right?

Is he scared to speak because he doesn’t like being corrected?

Is he scared to speak because of past trauma/neglect?

This afternoon after school he started to speak more, until MM got home from work, and then it was a step backwards. MM had to go out, and that left “Johnny” and I to chat over dinner and we did. We made some good progress and his speech isn’t as bad as I thought it would be once he gets going.

I’m worried about tomorrow. MM will be here, and I’m sure that when “Johnny” gets to spend some more time with him he will come out of his shell, but later in the day “Kelly” is coming for respite as well and I fear the little man will clam up again.

We were hoping to take him to the farm on Sunday, but a new place and two new people, how will he cope?

Will the fun of exploring and seeing the animals outweigh any stress he might feel in a strange place?

Does he feel stressed or is it just me that feels stressed and pained by his shyness?

Why is it that his painful shyness seems to cause me the pain?

 

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