Managing Abandonment Issues Ė Effective Steps 3 Through 7 in Taming the Fire Breathing Dragon
Written By: Mark Smith
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Good day in Myrtle Beach except I fell asleep on the beach and now I look like a very large lobster. I finished the abandonment publication...
3. Read ĎThe Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson Ė This is the best material that we have come across on abandonment. As someone who suffers from abandonment issues you really need to adopt this book as your personal bible or manufacturerís manual about you. As a significant other of someone suffering from abandonment issues you must become a solid expert in all things abandonment issue related. Reading the book together will give you a common healthy language that you both can use to try to see and hear each other with. The more you know the better off you both will be. It wonít fix things but the insight and enlightenment will certainly be a refreshing relief from banging around in the dark while bloodying your emotional shins. We hand them out by the caseload. It will help you both a lot.
4. Donít Get Suckered In Ė If you react to each and every abandonment reaction by your sweetie you will be riding the roller coaster of your life every day. Try to detach. Try to not take things so personally. Most often it really isnít about you at all. Try to see beyond the bluster and the blasts of fire to see the terrified little girl or boy inside. Calmly name what you see going on and then share what feelings are coming up for you related to the abandonment outburst. Stay calm and business like. Search yourself to make sure that you donít have a hidden need for the constant drama yourself. Take a few deep breaths. Do not let them control or steal your peace and tranquility. You are in control of your own space.
5. Eradicate Victimy Thinking Ė I love the word eradicate used here. Victimy thinking has got to go completely. I am talking about YOUR victimy thinking Sparky, not theirs. Everything that they have ever done to you is fair. You picked them. No one made you do that. You are continuing to pick them very day that you are in a relationship with them. In your therapy you will be exploring whatever in your family background molded you into someone who needed to dance with your particular dragon. You are not a victim! They have never victimized you Ė not even once. You are the architect of your destiny. You will not be able to reach a non-reactive detached place of assertive power and effective boundaries if you are rooted in a victimy stance. You are with the right person to make you face the work that you need to do. It is all good if you make use of your opportunity to heal and grow.
Certainly your abandonment filled significant other would benefit tremendously if they be blessed enough to have the epiphany that they arenít a victim either. Unfortunately you canít control their insight level. All you can do is require good therapy, require that they read the book and calmly but assertively name what you see and share how it makes you feel. Then back away and give them some space to process it all.
6. Get Some Space Ė I know, I know, if I leave the room they flip out and it only makes it worse. None the less you must employ this powerful strategy. If they follow you, grab you, lock you in a room or get violent with you in any way then you are going to have to separate. They are not capable of honoring your personal boundaries. They canít see the line between them and you. On some levels they think that they own you. If you canít back away and the craziness follows you everywhere you go then you will lose sleep and you will not have the control to have peace. They donít know it but they need some down time to process their stuff. They need to realize how childish and out of control that they have been acting and to feel sorry for intruding on you. They need some time to settle down and go back to being sober and sane again. You need some time to sleep and think and feel and decide what boundaries need to be employed. I know that the fire breathing dragon is a bit of a dramatic metaphor but you know that it is pretty accurate. As long as they are in their dragon personality you are not safe being very close to them. I came across a brilliant quote from the author of the very interesting book ĎWhy Men Love Bitchesí Sherry Argov. She wrote ĎTruly powerful people do not explain why they need respect, they simply do not engage with people who do not give it to them.í That is what Iím talking about! Step away and stay away as long as the dragon is in possession of your sweetheart. Do not negotiate with a terrorist. Wait until they become sane again.
7. Require Accountability By Being Congruent Ė Generally spouses of people who have abandonment issues kiss and make up way too quickly and easily. They have their own addictions, like work, busyness, rescuing, alcohol or food that medicate their feelings so that they donít have to feel them. Feelings can be messy. There is already so much conflict and so much drama that the spouse many times feels the need to lay low with their critiquing so as not to rock the boat. After an evening has been ruined by an irrational abandonment fit that turned ugly, Iím simply saying that it is really healthy to stay connected to the pain caused by how you were treated. It is not ok to be treated that way regardless of the fact that your partner acts this way due to childhood wounds. They need to get better. They need to be working hard and making progress. They need to be humble, apologetic and remorseful after their incidents. Iím not encouraging you to be difficult but rather to be respectful of yourself and congruent with your feelings. Most people donít change unless they are first keenly and painfully aware of how their unhealthy behavior hurt their loved ones. If you are hurting then step back. Have a hurtful partner spend a week sleeping on the couch or consider a separation. Certainly donít jump back into an intimate connection if you are still hurting from a dragon attack. You are important. By treating yourself with respect and dignity you can train your partner to do the same.
While these 7 steps wonít heal your spouseís abandonment issues or your relationship, they can and will help you to defuse your dragonís destructive behavior as it pertains to you. While it is a lot of hard work, it will pay off soon in terms of safety, conflict resolution, intimacy and meeting your mutual goals of developing a healthier and more fulfilling relationship.
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