The Journey from Abandonment to Healing:
Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life
Susan Anderson, MSWBook Description
In an attempt to characterize abandonment in the way Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's characterized the grieving of Death and Dying, Susan Anderson's book defines five phases of a specialized kind of grieving--grieving over a lost relationship. The Journey From Abandonment to Healing is designed to help all victims of emotional breakups--whether they are suffering from a recent loss, or a lingering wound from the past; whether they are caught up in patterns that sabotage their own relationships, or they're in a relationship where they no longer feel loved. From the first stunning blow to starting over, it provides an interesting perspective on abandonment recovery.
Everyday there are people who feel as if life itself has left them on a doorstep or thrown them away. Abandonment is about loss of love itself, that crucial loss of connectedness. It often involves breakup, betrayal, aloneness. People struggling with abandonment issues include those going through the ending of a relationship as well as searching adoptees, recently widowed, and those suffering the woundedness of earlier disconnections.
Abandonment represents core human fear. We have all experienced it. When a relationship ends, the feelings harken all the way back to our lost childhoods when we were helpless, and dependent. Our adult functioning temporarily collapses.We feel shattered, bewildered, condemned to loneliness. As we apply the tools of recovery, at the bottom of abandonmentâ€™s pain, we discover a wellspring of positive change.
Abandonment is a cumulative wound containing all of the losses and disconnections stemming all the way back to childhood.
Here are the five stages of abandonment: Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalizing, Anger, and Lifting â€“ introduced in the book JOURNEY FROM ABANDONMENT.
1: SHATTERING - Your relationship is breaking apart. Your hopes and dreams are Shattered. You are devastated, bewildered. You succumb to despair and panic. You feel hopeless and have Suicidal feelings. You feel Symbiotically attached to your lost love, mortally wounded, as if youâ€™ll die without them. You are in Severe pain, Shock, Sorrow. Youâ€™ve been Severed from your primary attachment. Youâ€™re cut off from your emotional life-line.
2: WITHDRAWL â€“ painful Withdrawal from your lost love. The more time goes on, the more all of the needs your partner was meeting begin to impinge into your every Waking moment. You are in Writhing pain from being torn apart. You yearn, ache, and Wait for them to return. Love-withdrawal is just like Heroin Withdrawal â€“ - each involves the bodyâ€™s opiate system and the same physical symptoms of intense craving. During Withdrawal, you are feeling the Wrenching pain of love-loss and separation â€“ - the Wasting, Weight loss, Wakefulness, Wishful thinking, and Waiting for them to return. You crave a love-fix to put you out of the WITHDRAWAL symptoms.
3: INTERNALIZING â€“ you Internalize the rejection and cause Injury to your self esteem. This is the most critical stage of the cycle when your wound becomes susceptible to Infection and can create permanent scarring. You are Isolated, riddled with Insecurity, self- Indictment and self-doubt. You are preoccupied with â€˜If only regretsâ€™ â€“ - If only you had been more attentive, more sensitive, less demanding, etc. You beat yourself up with regrets over the relationship and Idealize your abandoner at the expense of your own self Image.
4: ANGER â€“ the turning point in the grief process when you begin to fight back. You attempt to Reverse the Rejection by Refusing to accept all of the blame for the failed relationship, and feel surges of anger against your abandoner. You Rail against the pain and isolation youâ€™ve been in. Agitated depression and spurts of anger displaced on your friends and family are common during this turbulent time, as are Revenge and Retaliation fantasies toward your abandoner.
5: LIFTING â€“ your anger helped to externalize your pain. Gradually, as your energy spurts outward, it Lifts you back into Life. You begin to Let go. Life distracts you and gradually Lifts you out the grief cycle. You feel the emergence of strength, wiser for the painful Lessons youâ€™ve Learned. And if youâ€™re engaged in the process of recovery, you get ready to Love again.The Author
Susan Anderson is a psychotherapist who has practiced for 30 years. She is the author of Taming your Outer Child: Overcoming your Self Defeating Patterns; Journey from Abandonment to Healing; Black Swan: Twelve Lessons of Abandonment Recovery; and Journey from Heartbreak to Connection. Her educations includes Diplomate in Clinical Social Work (1993), of Social Work: Stony Brook University (1983), Masters of Liberal Studies: Stony Brook University (1974), Addictions Specialist Certificate: Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (1997).
# Paperback: 352 pages
# Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 edition (March 6, 2000)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0425172287
# ISBN-13: 978-0425172285
# Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
# Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)