My oldest son graduated in June of 2018. It was a hard couple of years. He was doing what teens at 16-18 should be doing, stretching their wings, tasting freedom and taking on more responsibility. It was hard. He had always been my guy. We were so close his entire life and all of a sudden he was gone off with friends, music and school activities. I was so concerned about what he was doing; I didn’t trust him and at the time he hadn’t done anything that would cause me to think otherwise.
As time went on, I was harder and harder on him. Pushing him on grades, lecturing him constantly on what to do, yelling when I thought things weren’t going correctly, and really making life miserable on all of us, especially him. He was trying to figure out who he was, he was fearful of adulthood that was coming quickly and he was trying to find his way through all of the struggles and pressures on teens.
I would lose temper more times than i care to count and looking back I have said things and acted ways I am completely embarrassed to even share. I would challenge his every move, I would track him on his phone, I would call him and quiz him and the list would go on. I so badly wanted to assure that he was always doing the right things.
During this time I pushed him further and further away. There was a lot going on his world, terrible girlfriend, bad breakup, emotionally draining friends, school struggles, life struggles and more of the same. I wasn’t the parent that I needed to be to my son at that stage in his life. His anxiety and depression grew and I was no longer the person that he wanted to confide in or talk to, most of the time.
I had to step back and really self-reflect. I had to figure out what was going on inside of me and figure it out quick. As a child I had very limited control over my life or myself. My body wasn’t mine to control, my emotions weren’t mine to control, my life wasn’t mine to control. The fake smiles that everything was always ok and the push to always be perfect was my reality. I was told what would be done with my body, what clothes to wear every day, what activities I was allowed to do and who I was allowed to be around. I can’t even imagine what my first 18 years would have been like in the age of social media and smartphones.
After therapy and hypnosis the reality became clear – my need to control my life and my world – became a need to control my children. To do everything in my power to assure that they do the right things or what is right in my eyes. This need caused my oldest great struggle and stress and was beginning to affect my youngest. I pushed and pushed hard – impacting our entire family. After another session of hypnosis – releasing my need to control everything – focusing on what I needed to change in myself so that I could be the best version of myself ultimately helping me be a better parent, I felt a complete release. It was as though the weight of the world came off of my shoulders. I have moments now, but I stop and think hard about my reaction.
I never knew the full impacts of my childhood trauma. The impacts of which subconsciously control my life and those of my family and friends. I still don’t know all the impacts, but I am learning over and over again.
Parents, guardians, families…stop and take a look in the mirror, what are we passing on to our children, that belong in the past? I have decided our job is to equip our children to be the best version of themselves as they can be and for them to find their way to share that with the world.
“Being quiet and hidden is no longer an option.” – pennie