Hello, my name is Aimee and I am from Manchester. My daughter suffered from anxiety from the age of 7 to the age of 21. Her anxiety prevented me from living my own life really. I was constantly on guard and ready to be needed as I so often was by Mollie. I wouldn’t go on night outs very often and if I did all I would constantly be thinking was whether she was ok. I never really left the house when she was in as she always needed to be near me, seek reassurance from me. Her 'safe place' was at home but that had to be with me so I was very tied and did very little other than be with Mollie.
Mollie’s anxiety symptoms were very varied, they changed all the time and whichever one she was suffering with at any one time it would terrified her that much that she'd wish for the previous fear to come back. Yet, when it undoubtedly would, she would long for the other one. Her main and most debilitating symptoms I would say was when she went through a long phase, well over a year, of her anxiety making her believe she was gay. She isn’t gay and she always knew she wasn’t yet her anxiety was telling her that she was. This meant that she couldn’t go anywhere and look at a woman, her anxiety told her 'if you look at that woman you are gay' so she'd walk around with her head down, if she actually went out to be in that situation at all which often she just wouldn’t.
We were once in a coffee shop and she must have simply looked at the waitress in her eyes and that was it, she just bolted out of that cafe and started to walk home. I had to chase her and just leave the rest of the family at the table. It was never easy for Mollie to explain what had happened and what had made her panic. I was asking all the time for her to tell me what happened to make her scared or make her run away. After time she would eventually tell me but was hysterically, crying as she did so as she simply could not understand why her mind was telling her these things. I had no clue either, it was a very dark time with no answers.
Another of her symptoms was an overwhelming fear of fainting. She was convinced on a daily basis that this was going to be the day she fainted so her life had to be meticulously planned out to try to make sure that didn’t happen. Showers and baths could not be too hot, the bathroom door had to be left unlocked in case she did faint so someone could get in to help her. Her bag was filled with snacks all the time as she couldn’t allow herself to get hungry, as she believed if she did she would faint. She avoided going far very from home in case what she believed to be the inevitable happened.
For a very long time she couldn’t let anyone touch her nose, getting too close to her was out of the question, no hugs, not playing around with her little brother or our dogs as the risk of her nose getting knocked was too high. If her nose was knocked her anxiety told her it would definitely bleed and if that happened she would definitely faint.
It affected me and my family because for a long time Mollie felt ashamed of these thoughts, certainly the being gay one as she thought people would just assume she was gay and couldn’t tell anyone that this simply wasn’t the case. She was being bullied by the thoughts that were forcing her to believe something that simply was not true. I was the only one who knew, and because of that, others that loved her felt confused and I had no answers for them as I had none myself.
Mollie isn’t my only child, she has a younger brother and I know that he didn’t get anywhere near the attention he should have from me, I felt I had very little left to give. So much of me was all about Mollie that I know I didn’t give him the same attention, how could I when so much of me was taken up by Mollie and her needs? I now realise that anxiety is manipulative, I felt forced into a role I really shouldn’t have needed to play. My daughter was 21, an adult, yet her behaviour because of course of anxiety, made her never behave like one so I never treated her as one. I felt I had an adult child who had never grown up.
I took Mollie to many professionals to try to help her over the years, our GP originally who referred her to the children’s mental health team. She had CBT therapy courses on about four separate occasions; she went to hospitals and saw psychiatrists and psychologists. She was put on anti-depressants and anti-psychotic medication but nothing ever made a deference. If anything, it made it worse because the feeling in her of 'what is wrong with me' 'why am I different' was never answered. It just strengthened her fears of there being something unfixable that was wrong with her and that she would never ever get well.
"The second we left she was like a different person"
I found out about The Linden Method on Facebook. Id seen a video testimonial from Linda Robson speaking about her son and I was just blown away with how similar her life was to mine and how her sons life was so like my daughters. We attended the four day Anxiety Recovery Retreat and it was amazing to see how she embraced her time there and the changes she felt certain she would implement when we left.
The second we left she was like a different person. She was so self-assured and there was a confidence that came from within her. It no longer needed to come from an outside source or a need for someone or something to help her. She told everyone about her plans and what she was going to be doing. She was reassuring us that she was ok and that nobody needed to pussy foot around her anymore or be scared of what they said around her because she was just fine, more than fine!
"Anxiety is a crafty bugger and it has many different guises but once you learn that all of your symptoms are down to one thing - anxiety, you have the chance to be free too"
Since following The Linden Method Mollie’s need for reassurance has all but gone, she is able to go out now without any fears. She can travel in cars and has booked a holiday abroad, the thought of getting on a plane is something that was just beyond her imagination before, in fact she booked and paid in full for 2 holidays prior to the retreat that she lost all the money on because she just couldn’t have gotten on the plane.
She does not need to check her nose to see if it is bleeding 70 times a day, she’s no longer scared of fainting. She is just a happy young woman living a normal 21 year olds life with her boyfriend and friends and its such a pleasure to see.
I didn’t think twice about saying yes when I was asked to be an Ambassador for TLM. I regret that we didn’t find it sooner and I think if more people know about it and have the answer more people will realise that they can be free from anxiety.
If I can help even one person realise this, then its so worthwhile doing it. All the staff at The Linden Centre are amazing, so calm and understanding, there is nothing they’ve not heard before so you don’t ever need to feel silly or different or worse than anyone else there. There is no judgement, just care and support and I am honoured to be a part of the wider TLM family and try to help others they way they helped my daughter and me.
Anxiety is a crafty bugger and it has many different guises but once you learn that all of your symptoms are down to one thing - anxiety, you have the chance to be free too.
I am an not an Anxiety Disorder Recovery Specialist, so I cannot provide recovery support or guidance to clients.
If you are interested in starting your journey to recovery and want to ask a question, you can get in touch with The Linden Centre by using the form below.
that you can quickly become the person you were born to be.
Hi, my name is Beth, I am director of Linden Tree Education.
You will receive unlimited, qualified support from amazing Recovery Specialists when you start the courses.
If you wish to receive guidance or support, please contact the support team through the TLM
If you wish to book a course, please contact
Beth is director of Linden Recovery and course director of the Anxiety Recovery Retreat programmes.
Beth Linden. Director.
Linden Tree Edu.