Omg I'm having one of those panic attack moments thinking of all of the bad things that could and very well may happen to him. I'm imagining a phone call telling me something terrible has happened to him. Imagining having to see him hurt or even worse - plan a funeral for him.
Omg this feeling is enough to kill a person. It's a feeling of sheer anguish and it literally feels like someone is repeatedly punching me in the gut and taking my breath away with each punch. I have to breath and redirect myself. Breath in and out. Think of happy things. Do the dishes or something to take my mind off of this. Something, anything, other than sitting here thinking these thoughts.
Sorry for the rambling but I had to vent and I'm finding more than ever that letting it all out here on this forum really helps.
Oh JKF, I have had those nights too, where I lay in bed thinking of all the terrible, scary things that might at that moment be happening to my difficult child........I get it.
I imagine all of us here can relate to you on that one. When it was bedtime, that seemed worse, so I would take melatonin to help me sleep. Breathing deeply helps, reading spiritual books helps, writing down your thoughts, like you just did helps, and writing it in on paper in longhand helps too, it's a brain drain. Try reading, meditating, if it's during the day, walking, which changes your mood and your brain chemistry in only about 11 minutes. Take a bath and stay in the tub as the water drains out, imagining all of the fearful thoughts going down the drain and then go to bed.
I recently read that as you are breathing in, breathe in all the fearful thoughts that all the parents all over the world, who are scared about their kid's safety, are feeling right at this very moment, .........as you breathe out imagine breathing comfort and peace to yourself and all of those parents. Pema Chodron talks a lot about this practice, it is a way to ward off our own fears as we hold others in our compassionate embrace and by imagining really how many others are at that moment feeling exactly as you are. I found it helpful.
I am sending a prayer for your serenity. Praying helps to JFK, if you are of the mind to do that.......
it is normal to experience these moments. Learning how to manage YOURSELF through them is part of being a parent to a difficult child. You will find in other posts that MWM talks a lot about Radical Acceptance, something several of us try to practice (you can read Tara Brach's book by the same name to get a feel for it).
Recovering described Tonglin, which is a mode of meditation of healing the world, breathing in the badness and out the goodness. Pema Chodron writes a lot about that..it is a cornerstone of Buddhist practice, and maybe it will work for you, but I think it is sort of "meditation 401" as opposed to 101, so don't feel bad if you can't access it.
My strongest recommendation to you, and something we have also talked about on other threads, is the practice of allowing. I am talking about YOU here, not about your son. I mean allowing those feelings to be what they are...the terror, the grief, the omg awfulness. They need and deserve their time with you...burying them, running from them escaping them by movies or dishes or diversion, even healthy diversion, isn't the thing.
Just sit with them. Stop for a moment, sit down somewhere where you feel safe or strong, and feel those feelings. Try to stop the narrative, the words that go along with it...just feel the sadness, the overwhelming, the grief. Feel where it lives in your body...your chest? your stomach? your throat. Let it live there for a bit...let it know that you see it, that there is space and time for it to manifest itself.
you know what? if you can do that it will pass. In a surprisingly short time, too! I find usually along the lines of 20 minutes...others on the board say even shorter. Emotions don't last forever. They have their own cycle, and they will come and go. Let them have that cycle. Trying to disrupt it only prolongs your own agony. If we learn to suffer well we suffer less.
On another thread I posted about the feeling of being engulfed by a wave...that it washes around you, even roughs you up, but always eventually recedes, leaving you sitting on the shore again, looking out at the ocean. These tumultuous emotions are like that.
You will be OK. WE are here with you, we have been where you are.