As we continue to discuss Addictions this week, it is important to identify Relationship Addictions. We see this a lot at Imagine Hope. Again, it is one of the Addictions that is hard to recognize if you don't understand what it is. It is "acceptable". You've heard people say, and there was even a song written about it, "They are just addicted to love". This can actually happen.
I am LOVING reading this weeks blogs about dysfunctional TV families. I like to think of the beauty of family in the friendships in Golden Girls. I love how they created their own family when they were no longer with their own.
My husband has had to sit through episode after episode of All in the Family with me. It's funny because you would think someone like me would never put up with the first 20 minutes of that show.
At Imagine Hope we help many blended families. I am currently in a blended family and I come from a blended family. Perhaps that is why my sister Natalie (who I never refer to as my step sister) and I loved to watch the reruns of The Brady Bunch. Since our “group had somehow formed a family”, Natalie and I would pretend to be Marcia and Jan when we were little. We probably watched every episode multiple times. I am sure we wondered, “why can’t our older brother be as nice as Greg?” or “why can’t we have a live-in maid as nice as Alice?”
Evaluate your relationships and make whatever life adjustments you feel are necessary. During a divorce, you might encounter many "Monday Morning Quarterbacks"... the people who feel like they need to give you advice on what you should have done differently, or those that might think you need to hear them repeatedly "bash" your soon-to-be-ex. Perhaps there are people around you that encourage you do things that are self-destructive (like trying to set you up on a date, thinking it will ease your transition period...
Teri and Tamara have done such a great job sharing ways to decrease holiday stress pertaining to families. I want to share with you some tips to help you keep boundaries with yourself and everyone concerning your time. It is so easy to get caught up in everything, want to do every activity, and go to every event. It is also difficult to say no during this time. But it is important not to crowd your schedule so much that you don't enjoy the peace the season brings. Here are a few tips to navigate that.
So far, we have seen 17 different signs that can tell you if you might have hidden anger. As Natalie and Tammy have shared, many of them can mimic signs of depression. In 18-23, you might also recognize these signs of hidden anger can also feel similar to anxiety.
18. Clenched jaws-- especially while sleeping.
19. Facial tics, spasmodic foot movements, habitual fist clenching and similar repeated physical acts done unintentionally or unaware.
20. Grinding of teeth-- especially while sleeping.
21. Chronic depression... extended periods of feeling down for no reason.
22. Chronically stiff or sore neck or shoulder muscles.
23. Stomach ulcers.
There is a lot of research out there that suggests that people with hidden resentments and anger have higher instances of physical illness and disease such as cancer and heart disease. Are you struggling with unresolved, hidden anger? It could be very beneficial for you to dive into this! Find out what it's all about and gain peace within your heart, mind, and body today!
Joleen Watson, MS, LMFT, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.
Some of us are better at letting go than others. We all struggle with this concept at some point during our lives. The sensation of holding on gives us this false sense of control, security, and drains us of our energy. Sometimes, we hold on anyway because we do not know how to let go. I hope this week gives you some hints as to how to make that happen.
Day after day we hear people talk about the difficulty they have with letting things go. Sometimes it's related to codependency and the trouble they have with not controlling others. Sometimes it's when a person has trouble with an addict in their life. Others just have trouble letting go of old wounds and resentments. So we thought we would help our readers see what "letting go" actually means, and clear up any misconceptions about it.
This week, we are discussing abandonment issues, and the struggle that individuals with abandonment issues go through. Part 1 and part 2 describe abandonment issues, and part 3 begins to describe the stages that abandonment issues can take.
I want to reiterate what Tamara said, this is different than the normal stages of grief and loss. Everyone experiences these stages.
The abandonment we are discussing goes far beyond that. It pushes something in us that causes us to react to things differently than "normal" grief and loss would.
I am going to discuss 2 more stages today:
This stage is much like withdrawal symptoms when someone stops using drugs or alcohol, or any addiction for that matter. It is the aching, longing, the craving to have that person back. They yearn for the person to come back. The needs they were filling are more readily noticed and the void feels huge! The same as an addict, you feel the loss of appetite, not being able to sleep, staying awake trying to figure out how to get them back. You feel the true loss and separation in this stage.
This is the most critical of the stages for 2 reasons:
1. You are very vulnerable. You are walking around with an open, gaping wound! You are susceptible to being hurt even worse because of your wound. If you latch on to someone at this stage, you could easily be taken advantage of and hurt even more deeply.
2. You beat yourself up during this stage, making you even more vulnerable. You bargain with yourself. "What if I would of? I should have, could have...". Because you are doubting yourself, your self-esteem is taking a beating. This makes you a target for someone to treat you bad and to get into a bad relationship- which could start the cycle over again.
It is important during the stages of withdrawl and internalizing that you understand what is going on. Get support from family and friends who will help you and support you. This is a great time to seek counseling as well.
Tomorrow Joleen will discuss our last 2 stages. Thank you for reading.
Adapted from "The Journey from Abandonment to Healing" by Susan Anderson http://www.abandonment.net/
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville
With both, you experience a loss. However with grief, the more time that elapses, the intensity of the loss decreases. With abandonment, the difference is that the loss feels personal. The intensity of the loss does not decrease because it feels personal.
Many times, our clients feel confusion when the term “abandonment issues” comes up in therapy. After all, don’t we most commonly think of the literal term, “abandonment”, as being physically abandoned (like an infant who is left on a door step for someone to find) ?
So, what exactly are abandonment issues?