Thank you for your last message regarding this.
Today I spoke to a different coach and we spoke more about losing my children to suicide and how I can shift the thought. The coach was asking me whether I had put that thought into model already and as we did that on the call I noticed how it didn’t bring up clear negative feelings my body wasn’t reacting as I expected it to react with fear and anxiety and sadness. Instead I noticed that my brain sort of had already shifted that thought into a more unlike possibility which in return didn’t give me those negative feelings.
During the call we also spoke about a thought of losing my children before I pass away myself. We didn’t have enough time to fully ‘finish’ speaking about this thought, hence I wanted to bring it up here. While still on the call, the coach asked me when I had these thoughts. I gave an example that the other day we went into town with my children and the 2 kids of a friend. We took the train, which meant the whole day was full of walking across streets and having to be aware of people, cars, trains, tracks, steps and the likes. This led to me feeling quite anxious and triggered as I was going to bed and I couldn’t fall asleep for ages as I felt the stress from the whole day. The stress was relating to the fear of losing them in the moments of let’s say a train pulling into the station, or when crossing the streets.
The coach asked me how I felt during the day and I said that I didn’t notice the stress feelings so much in the moment, but more that evening. I think I often just get on with things and ‘plough’ through the moment and when I pause, the feelings about previous situations become apparent.
So she asked me about how I felt about these thoughts of losing them before I go and there’s a ton of thoughts that come into my head regarding this one. One being ‘I’m a bad mother as I let that happen’ and that is obviously if something happened I could have avoided. Another is ‘extreme sadness’, another is ‘not feeling sad enough’ and judgement that comes with that.
It almost feels as if I can’t quite fathom what it would feel like to lose my children even though I have that fear on a daily basis. And I don’t know whether that is because I can’t quite let myself believe that that will happen or whether this work has already shifted the extremeness of that sort of thought, towards thinking that that thought is not serving me and hence I am choosing not to think it so much as I used to.
But the latter seems unlikely, as I DO think it a lot (losing my kids before I go myself) and I’d say I actually think it almost every day.
You had asked me to do a model how I show up when parenting from fear.
I’ve done a few models on different thoughts:
C: My son and I cross the road together
T I know he won’t hold my hand
F I fear something will happen to my child while I’m with him (crossing the road)
A I try and take his hand, even though I know it leads to him pulling away
R 1 he expresses his dislike about my actions and then often will move away from me, increasing the possibility of something happening
R 2 my nervous system is on alert and I feel the stress at a later point (often as I go to bed)
C He cycles on his own
T my son is in danger
F stress, anxiety, fear
A my face turns serious and I ask him to be aware of what might happen
R his face turns serious and fearful and almost annoyed and he studies me as if to say, so what will we do about this or was this necessary to mention to me
C My partner won’t read documents I have sent him with parenting advice (this refers to my previous question, but all is related)
T If we don’t parent ‘perfectly’ our son will grow up with little confidence and might commit suicide in the future
F Nauseous, fear, anxiety, sadness
A annoyed at my partner for not reading up on stuff, spinning thoughts
R relationship with partner suffers from this, Jasper seems to be aware of my fear for him, even though I’ve not mentioned it and he keeps telling me how he’s a big boy and how he’s independent and does stuff for himself
So the following is an intentional model and I’ve started with the R line.
C My kids are being parented by different people differently
T My kids experience loads of feelings now with me in a safe environment
F Exciting, feeling light, Joy
A I trust and allow all experiences for my kids, so if dad does something different that’s ok
R Parent from the now, not from the fear of what might be in the future
I feel like the above is a brain dump and I’m not sure exactly what I’m asking you to help me with. It feels helpful to continue ‘talking’ to someone even when the zoom session is over (today I almost used up the entire 20 mins just talking and telling my story) and to continue downloading my thoughts.
What would be helpful is if you could look at my models and see if that makes sense and whether I could reframe more. The intentional model feels good, but not quite hitting it somehow. It feels like a ladder thought, but I don’t quite believe it yet.