Panic at the parking lot

My ADHDer becomes very afraid in parking lots. If you understand ADHD, you can kind of understand why. ADHD makes it hard to filter things out. ADHD sees and hears and notices everything so that its hard to know what to ignore. Everything is high priority.

Put that into a parking lot, with parked cars, moving cars, car coming from here and there. Then, throw in some anxiety and reactivity, and bam. You get a panicked little boy. I have to keep a firm hand on him; otherwise, he will take off at a blind run at the sound of a car’s engine.

Poor little guy.

He knows to stay with me, but sometimes he panics. Fight or flight mode kicks in, and our boy is really good at flight.

Me too. I don’t usually get to physically leave, but I mentally withdraw. Pull in. Pull away. I can respond, I can interact in a limited way, but I’m not really present.

I used to do this in crowded areas. My eyes glaze over, I am physically present but cognitively checked out. I still fight the urge at times.

I wish I could make him understand, though. I’ve got him. I’m holding onto his forearm. I’m scanning the parking lot for active reverse lights, for moving vehicles, for suspicious persons. I’m taller than him, I even have a better view of our immediate world.

But. He still panics. And runs, on occasion.

I do this. With God, with my Heavenly Father, I do this.

How many times have I been thrown into flight mode, spiritually speaking? I have a shaky understanding of who you are, of how you have me. And I panic, and I run from Your side.

God, give me a better perspective of a Holy Perspective. Give me faith that doesn’t move, is not shaken. “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not fear…'” Hebrews 13:6 What is beyond God’s arms? What is out of His view?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And yet, I panic? At the thought of parent teacher conferences? A to-do list that remains untouched for today?


Because the enemy has trained us to panic, to withdraw from the strong hand of God, and to run at the first thing that startles us.

It takes discipline, volition, grit, faith to remain with Jesus. Its against our human instincts. I told my son, “Make your body act in a way that is calm. You’re safe, I’ve got you. I’m watching out for you.” Faith is bigger than our feelings. We stand firm, believing that He has us. That’s faith. Believing. We act, move, respond as if we have no fear. Because why should we?

Choose to believe. Stay with me. I’ve got you. I can see better than you. I understand how this world works far better than you. I want safety and security for you, too. I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” That’s for me. That’s for you.

“We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” Hebrews 10:39

Help me, Father. No more panicked runs. No more withdrawing. Help me to hold fast. I do not want to be shaken. I don’t want to be one who shrinks away.  Give me faith that hangs on. Give me the cognition to keep my hand in Yours. Help me to live a life marked by unshakable faith in You and Your plans, no matter how I feel.

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