Updated: Apr 13, 2020
Having anxiety whilst being a parent is hard work. Speaking from my own experience, I found myself constantly trying to shield them from my attacks. They don't want to see mum upset, frightened, vulnerable, angry and then having no energy to do anything but sleep afterwards. It's horrible for them! I know! The look on their little faces when they realise they are utterly helpless and just want to cuddle you but can't because you can't bear the thought of burdening their little innocent shoulders with your misfortune! Many a times I have been in this situation. It made me feel guilty. Like I was depriving them of a 'sane' mother. I felt as though they deserved better. I felt like a failure because my body was home to an emotion, a reaction, that I couldn't control. The times I have had to reassure my babies that mum is fine. Wanting to explain that it's just anxiety but not wanting them to think that that's what adulthood brings!
During one of my sessions with a counsellor, I was told about 'transference'. This is basically a learned behaviour that is passed on to your kids. I was told that it affects girls more than boys (I have two boys and one girl) and this is something I never, ever forgot.
Aside from believing my anxiety was, in part, genetic, I also recall being witness to it growing up. This, to me, constitutes as evidence of transference because I was the receiver. So knowing that, I was, and still am, extremely conscious of how my anxiety could potentially leave a legacy in my children - my daughter especially. That is not something I want. I would much rather break the chain. I'm absolutely sure we all would.
Kids are so resilient. They are forgiving, they are trusting and they will love you unconditionally. My kids are no exception to this. They are also hyper aware of feelings and openly share them. Especially my daughter. This next paragraph is something I have uumm'd and aaahh'd about sharing because it's so personal. But it's so beautiful and depicts how creative, thoughtful and loving she is. (And she absolutely doesn't mind - she is 13).
"The chocolate waves with spines of honey sparkles in her eyes. It's like staring into an abyss that's full of passion and wonder with no end. They make your jaw drop the floor, making it impossible to pick them back up. Her silken, satin hair lies on her shoulders using them as a comforting bed. The strands of cocoa hair wave like the ripples of a waterfall trickling down to create a sprinting stream. With lips cushion like, ample. A cherry blossom pink, soothing illnesses with a single kiss. The smile she holds is like a neat string of brilliant white fairy lights, gleaming with beauty and elegance, bringing a sense of delight, warmth and security to your body. With porcelain china skin, she holds much wealth of knowledge and creativity. She is radiant, she is compassionate and above all else... she loves you for the way you are.
Although the prettiest eyes hold the deepest secrets, the brightest smiles have suffered the most pain and the kindest hearts bare the most tears. Diamond droplets cascade down the curves of her face, before eventually draining to the ground below. She holds so much potential and so much wonder, yet still as humans, we still question who we are and why we feel we are not good enough for one another. Well, the truth is, be confident in the skin you're in. Be loving of yourself with the heart that you hold. And be true to yourself. We are all worth more than the most expensive item in the world. Let's sing songs of praise and be happy for who we truly are."
This was written for me to show just how much I mean to her. I cried. Oh, my, I cried! I felt (feel) so blessed to have such an amazing daughter.
Such wisdom and a heart full of love.
So, every time anxiety strikes, know this - Your kids are amazing. They are there for you no matter what. Please don't feel guilty about being a home for anxiety. With the love you are surrounded with, anxiety will soon receive its eviction notice!
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