his week, Imagine Hope Counseling Group wraps up our blog series on anger. As we have discussed earlier in the week, anger can often times be what we call a "secondary" emotion. This means that what looks like anger is really secondary to another feeling that is underneath the angry reaction. If you haven't read the earlier blog parts from this week, I encourage you to check out part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4. So, read on if you want to learn about why you or someone you love might REALLY be angry.
As we are looking at different tips for healthy dating this week, we also want to ask ourselves if we have these qualities ourselves. It is important for us to be the person we actually want to date. Today we are asking does this person treat you equally? Pose this same question to yourself- do you treat the person you are dating equally as well?
No one in a relationship should feel inferior or superior to the other. We each bring positive and negative characteristics to relationships and no one is better or worse than the other.
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.
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.
This week, we are discussing the ever sought after goal of many of our clients— peace. Peace of heart, peace of mind, a peaceful home, peaceful relationships, or a peaceful work environment. The issues we see in our office that bring couples, families and individuals to therapy may vary, but underneath the presenting problem is usually the same core struggle: Whatever is going on in their life feels chaotic, unsettling, insecure, or just simply without peace.
Everyone has good intentions to find a healthy relationship, but do they have what it takes to make it happen? Enmeshment is the initial love stuck feeling people typically experience at the beginning. This extreme is a short lived fantasy land where people tend to lose themselves. This is not a healthy relationship.
- Traditional Dates
When we think of "traditional dates", what is the first thing we think of? Dinner and a movie, Dinner and drinks, a coffee or lunch date, perhaps?
Many couples struggle with feeling bored with the same old thing, and often feel discouraged at the lack of planning they put into the "same old" date nights, even though they truly do enjoy doing any of these things that we tend to consider "traditional" dates.
Date nights are a fun and healthy way to reconnect with your partner. Often in sessions, we therapists hear things like “We just don’t have time”, or “We don’t have the extra money”, or even “We can’t find a baby-sitter”. If you’ve ever said or thought any of these, we encourage you to read the blog this week as we discuss ways to get creative with date night…and make it a priority!
We are asked many times a week by singles about how to find a quality mate. Everyone is looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right to share their lives with, but the biggest challenge is finding him or her. That's why Imagine Hope is giving all our single readers some tips to help them on their search that could lead them to finding a quality person this week.
Gathering & Learning, Conflict, and Creating Norms, as the Imagine Hope therapists have discussed, are the first three important stages in relationships that help us move towards intimacy. As Natalie shared in Wednesday's blog, Creating Norms is where you have gotten through the healthy conflict stage and know each others perspectives, expectations and where you "fit in" to the relationship. The fourth stage of relationships following this is Emotional Safety and Intimacy.