Single parents often times blame themselves for not offering their children everything their souls desire. Starting from a favorite dish and getting to a toy they wish with all their hearts for, a single parent will never be able to offer everything. Especially in times of financial restraint.
However, this is one of the most visible of all struggles. It’s just the tip of the iceberg, as they say.
As a long-time separated parent, I know this for a fact. And, just like everything I write, this article also comes as a direct result of my own soul journey.
Is the fear of losing your child yours?
Despite the fact that most of our fears are simply inherited concepts, the fear of losing our child is – without a doubt – ours. (Single parents should give a thought to this, although they might say they got over it a long time ago.)
If you’re thinking that I’m talking from books, let me mention the fact that I’m literally experiencing this fear as I’m writing this.
Then, why am I sharing this and telling you stuff?
The answer to this question couldn’t be more clear: because I wish for you to acknowledge my experience and, in time, to be able to rewrite the scripts of your own minds. And because writing heals and I want to help my own self.
Here is my experience with the fear of losing my children…
Since my elder girl was 6 months old, I feel like I’ve been raising my children all by myself. From an emotional support standpoint. When my youngest was 1,5 years of age (after all this time of being in a highly toxic relationship), my heart made the toughest decision of all. And that was to inform my partner that I no longer wanted to share my life with him.
What followed certainly resonates with all parents who went through something similar. Although I don’t want to go too much into detail, I’ll say that someone in my extended family stated, at some point, that if we got a divorce, they would make sure our children learn that we never wanted or loved them. Add to this the line “you’ll never have both of your children with you, as we’ll take one” and you get to the root cause of my present fear.
Is the script of losing your child true?
I believe this is debatable and there are tons of variables that might apply, in a material world.
However, making reference to the inner world, I feel that this fear is as true as it gets and it might be mine.
always tell my children that fear is only a self-constructed alternative world. And that we need to do everything in our power to get over this destructive feeling. But you know how taking your own pill is the hardest practice ever! Therefore my attempt to understand my own self and apply the advice I freely offer. And this is just another reason why I started writing this piece…
Let me take you through the process I witnessed within myself today. I do hope you will identify these thoughts while walking this path yourself.
Step 1. I received a call with the request of entrusting my children for a few hours to someone in the extended family. Before I even answered the call, my heart started pumping heavily, my hands and legs began to uncontrollably shake and I felt like choking.
Step 2. I still answered the call and I tried to control my trembling voice. Of course, I agreed to let my children have some time away, as I knew that this person usually takes good care of them. Plus, the children love that person very much. (I am grateful that I never mentioned to my children the above quoted threat I received when they were too young to understand).
Step 3. While getting my children ready, my entire body kept on shaking and I had to make sure my kids didn’t see that. However, I couldn’t control the feelings they were taking over from my fear. Buy I did see how their attitude changed in the blink of an eye. Just as fast as my mind started replaying that script of fear, over and over again. I caught myself understanding that their behaviour has to do with my silent insecurities. And I’m happy I did, as I managed to control the anger otherwise I would have unleashed upon these 2 innocent creatures.
Step 4. The time to entrust them came and, while saying goodbye and turning my back to go back home, thoughts of frustration and fear kept on thundering into my brain. But on the outside I was so calm I couldn’t even believe it myself!
Step 5. Once I locked the door behind me, I felt a bit better, as I knew that this time alone will allow me to chew over all these intense feelings. And, as I always do when I need to think something through, I started cleaning up (this is my way of meditating, as weird as it may sound).
Step 6. For some reason, my “Fly, fly butterfly” article came to my mind. Probably because it speaks about how our children are not to be regarded as trophies. Rather, we need to give them the right to choose.
Step 7. Going further, I realised how blessed I am to have an incredible mentor! She always gives me an incredibly powerful advice: to let my feelings take over for a while, stay with them (instead of pushing them away), understand them (in the means of discovering where do they come from), acknowledge what I can do about them and then let go.
How to change the script of losing your child
Here is where the change came into play and why I want to share all this journey with you. There are steps we can take to change that script and, to my big surprise, practice pays off.
I started by completely remembering the moment when I was threatened with having my children split and informed that their parents never wanted and loved them. (Yes, in vivid colors and loud voices!) Knowing what I know today, I observed the shaking of my body and soul. I consciously allowed that feeling of terror to take over, as I started to scratch the surface in learning the root cause of this terrifying script about losing my children.
At the same time, I started questioning this fear even more. “Is it really mine? Is it theirs, in fact? Or is it on both sides?”
I am still to objectively discover the true answer to these questions (although I thought I had it clear in the beginning of this article), yet I realized how to go about changing the script.
And the answer is this: I must forgive the person who threatened me, in order for inner peace to reign. They didn’t know any better then and neither did I. So, in fact I need to forgive both myself – for allowing those words to touch me so deeply, and them – for throwing out words they might have never believed in.
Additionally, the thought that my children have the right to meet that person and walk their soul journey gave me a bit of a rest from this inner torment.
By the time this article is coming to an end, I can wholeheartedly confess that neither my body nor my soul are shaking any longer. I know my children are safe and so am I. Whatever the future holds is not to be denied, rather experienced and learned from. Nonetheless, the greatest trophy I can award myself from taking this experience is that my mind has made peace with my past.
And there is an overflow of happiness within! I never thought I would be able to transcend such inner storms and so quickly rewrite the script about the fear of losing my children. But today, I feel that I am finally free to move on and experience the marvels of this life!
Thank you, mentor ! Thank you God! And thank you Universe!
I hope one day I will be able to forgive my children’s father and myself once again, just the way I did today with this other person!
Freelance writer & editor | Storyteller | Interviewer | Published author | Co-Founder of afsyn.com | Podcast host & producer