thoughts that provoke attacks
I've read through a lot of past posts and have found comfort and hope in them. I am very grateful for this site and I hope that I can soon help inspire others as well.
There's one thing I am stuggling with terribly right now and I am hoping that someone has had experience with it. I greatly appreciate any insight at all. I've mentioned it to two therapists in the past week and some of the things they said have actually made it worse. I had been feeling a bit better for a couple of days until that happened.
It may sound silly since I know that there are much worse things that can go through our minds, but this is effecting me very badly because it leads to worse thoughts. Ok, here we go...I have an 18 yr old son whom I love dearly. He is a wonderful kid and we have a wonderful relationship. I have never felt anger towards him or thought unpleasant things. I understand that it is normal and common for parents to feel and think things from time to time with their kids, but I just never had it happen. Part of it is defintiely because he has always just been a great kid and also because I have a lot of patience with kids. I don't get bothered or annoyed with typical kid things. I'm actually kind of a big kid myself :)
So anyway, I recently started having this thing happen where as soon as I think of my son (which is often) or see something of his, the word "jerk" pops into my head. I have no idea why this happens, I do not think he is a jerk, and it literally drives me crazy that I would think such a thing. It gets so bad that I let it send me into a massive, daylong panic frenzy. I start thinking that maybe there's some strange subconcious thing going on, wondering if I have some buried bad feelings, or that I'm going crazy and could hurt him. He is the most precious person in my life. I love him more than anything and these thoughts are killing me. I almost tried to check myself into an institution last night, but they don't take people with panic/anxiety. Last night it got really bad, I calmed myself a bit and took more xanax (which I beat myself up for) and then the word "kill" popped into my head and I almost had a heart attack.
One therapist said that maybe I did think the word "jerk" one time because I was feeling something perfectly normal and know it's just sticking because of the anxiety. That made me kind of freak because I'm very uncomfortable thinking anything derogatory about my son. Then she said that maybe I just miss him because he hasn't been home much. I really don't think I feel bitter about that because I understand that he's 18 and it's normal to be out with friends a lot. I worry, but I am happier when he's out having fun rather than being stuck in the house bored.
The other therapist asked me if maybe he reminded me of his father and that scared the hell out of me. His father was very violent and abusive. We actually had to move half way across the country to get away from him. My son is nothing like his father and I've never felt that he was, but this therapist's comment scared me into thinking that maybe I think it on a subconscious level.
I am almost afraid to be around my son right now ebcause of this and it's killing me. I don't know what to do. I've tried avoiding the thoughts, challenging them, changing them, letting them occur, but I keep getting stuck. I feel sick to my stomach. I can't eat or sleep.
I'm sorry this is so long. I just really needed to get it off my chest.