I've been trying a lot of different things over the years to help me deal with the difficult situation we're in with the skids. I have feelings of anger and frustration, even despair when I see my SD12 slipping away from us.
It's hard to disengage but at the same time stay close and involved. Maybe the hardest thing I've ever tried to get my head around.
Last year I came across some information on mindfulness. It is really helping me so I thought I'd put it out here, why not?
The following is partly copied out of a book I bought which has a chapter in it about mindfulness.
Mindfulness stems from ancient Eastern practices but is now part of mainstream Western Psychology. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a cognitive behavioural therapy that places a major emphasis on developing mindfulness skills. ACT is very user-friendly. It doesn't require hours of meditation or anything like that, it's the practical version for the busy people so to speak.
Mindfulness enables you to reduce the influence of unhelpful thoughts and difficult feelings. Instead of fighting with your thoughts, or trying to get rid of them, you can learn to change your relationship with them. You can take all the power out of them, so that when they show up, they don't control you.
In my situation I can just feel anger boiling up when we get accused of stuff BM puts in the kids heads, or when they snub us when we come to watch their game (because of BM's pressure to choose sides), or when complete strangers (mostly mums of skids friends') give us the cold shoulder because of something they've been told about us, grrr. In all those moments, it's a challenge to keep a cool head isn't it?
But mostly, mostly it's the despair I feel when the skids start to display the same negative/ self destructive behavior as BM, it just breaks my heart. And being a good role model doesn't seem enough. I'm a do-er, I want to be more active then just showing them what we are about, it seems too passive. But I can't fix this for them, I can't make this better and it's just so hard to accept that.
I don't know if this is something that sounds as interesting to you guys as it does to me, there's a lot of info on the web about ACT and mindfulness. The book that I've got is very practical and a no-nonsense approach with simple exercises, it doesn't have to be complex.
I'm happy to scan the chapter for anyone who's interested, just shoot me an email at email@example.com and I'll send it to you.