Every single time my kid is leaving, I'm feeling sadness. It's a feeling I'm struggling to get used to. I know it so well by now. I just sit with it, allowing the day to pass and for me to acclimatize to my alone-ness.
The loss of identity followed by separation is a big deal. From being a husband, partner, father, and provider, to being none of those in a matter of weeks. How can I deal with this? Am I still a father when my kid is not staying with me?
The short answer is yes. Here's the long answer: Being aware of the loss of identity is the first step. It's a challenging exercise as many men build their entire identity on external validations/status. I've done the same.
Then there's the work: What external validations of my identity have I lost? What other external validations did I get? Think about it like hats. I have lost these hats: partner, husband, and provider. I got other hats called: “Separated” and “Single dad”.
So how to deal with it? Acknowledge that all these are external validations and replace them with internal validations. Here's an example: "I am a kind, loving and courageous man."
Three new hats, all internal, which means they cannot be taken away from me. By replacing my status hats with value hats I'm tapping into my truth and authenticity instead of being in the mercy of life's twists and turns.
I honour my power as the creator of my life.
PS. If you'd like to know how to deal with your separation identity crisis and start creating your future, let's talk.