On Friday I shared a snippet about a client and the progress he is making.
Within minutes of pressing ‘Post’, he messaged me to say I should share all of his story as it might help someone else.
So, let me tell you about Will, he works as a doctor in a very busy hospital. He has a partner and two boys aged 2 & 5.
He first asked me to help him with his ‘short fuse’. I asked him what he thought might be causing it and he said work was busy and he was always tired.
Fair enough I hear you say, we are in the middle of a pandemic.
But I started probing, was being busy and tired a new thing? I wanted to establish whether it was a reaction to the current situation or, had it been going on for much longer and was actually a symptom of a deeper issue.
It made him think and he realised that tiredness had been around since his oldest son was born.
During our session, it became apparent that Will had been apprehensive from the start about being a dad – to him, it felt like too much of a responsibility. It seemed he was a confident decision maker at work, leading his team from the front. But when he went home, he would hideaway from his own children.
Will told me his dad had died when he was 10 and this was really confusing for him because, everyone around him sung his dad’s praises, as people do when someone dies, but that wasn’t how Will remembered him at all.
In our session, Will realised he hadn’t actually liked his dad. He had been fearful of him, always feeling like he was always in trouble because nothing he did was ever good enough.
Will had two over arching fears, one that his own children wouldn’t like him and, that he might ‘ruin’ these perfect tiny humans if he wasn’t up to the job.
As a result, he hid himself away from his family, he ensured he was ‘busy’ believing that hiding away would protect them, because if he didn’t try, he couldn’t get it wrong.
But there are major issues with that, because deep-down Will really wanted to be ‘that’ dad. The one that is always there for his children like their rock of unfailing support, the Dad who always sees the best in his children and has wise advice available at the drop of a hat. But sadly, Will thought being ‘that dad’ wasn’t available to him – he just wasn’t up to the job.
However, without even realising it, Will’s behaviour had the potential to really impact on his sons. Having a father who was not available to them could have his sons believe they are not worthy of his attention, that they are not worth the effort, that they are not good enough for him!
Anyone who has been a client of mine will know that I talk about children needing to have a measure of attention and empowerment every single day. When either of these crucial needs are not fulfilled, it can have devastating consequences for the child.
During our session, it became apparent that Will had very limited engagement with his own father and so, didn’t really know how to communicate with his children. How would he if he had not been shown?
Understanding this was a lightbulb moment for Will.
The session also revealed that tiredness was playing a part too in protecting him because, if he is too tired to spend time alone with his sons, he can’t ‘mess’ things up. The ‘short fuse’ Will described was his reaction to when he was being asked to do something, usually by one of his children, that triggered this fear.
Working on Will’s self- esteem helped him to see that none of this made him a bad parent, indeed it was evidence of how much he truly cares for his boys.
The beauty of hypnotherapy is that change can happen really quickly. Within two weeks, Will found the courage to start spending one on one time with his sons and told me that a muddy walk had actually energised him.
Isn’t that amazing progress? He is such a caring dad and now he is learning to be a present and available one too.
If this is sounding familiar to you and you want to start working on your self-esteem, here are some articles that might help with some doable suggestions;
As always, if you need help with any of this, please get in touch 💛