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Author Topic: The Five Stages of Abandonment - Susan Anderson, MSW  (Read 2972 times)
heartandwhole
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« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2014, 07:01:27 AM »

Heartandwhole did your family suffer damage because of your situation? It's just my family are one of the main reasons I left I nearly lost them!

Hi loz,

No, my family wasn't damaged by my relationship with pwBPD, but the r/s really opened my eyes about the dysfunction in it, if that makes sense.  I learned a lot about BPD, and my own unskillful coping strategies, so when I "changed" my behavior, it rattled my family a bit. 

After what I've learned, I now suspect that my brother might have BPD/NPD traits.  My father died at the same time as my breakup with pwBPD, and since then my r/s with my brother has been very strained.  Basically, I'm not "cooperating" in the role that I always took in the family dynamics, and naturally, that causes friction.

Loz, have you experienced any sense of weight coming off since you made your decision to put you and your family first?

 
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« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2014, 03:01:38 PM »

Oh I'm sorry to hear about your father! I do my relationship with my parents is pretty well back to normal now which is a relief! When my ex realised that I prob won't be coming back his parting shot wasn't at me but my parents that they are miserable interfering in laws. He is obsessed with them! I don't know how he thinks saying things like that will win me back! I still pine for him every day all I remember are the good times am waiting for the anger to come over him! I still have doubts as he hasn't been diagnosed either he might change etc it's hard to stop myself texting him! My family want me to be happy but if I went back they don't want anything to do with him how's that make me happy?
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2014, 04:00:08 PM »

After the initial shattering and withdrawal of our breakups, we often start making the pain of rejection and abandonment about us, about our unworthiness.  Have you become convinced that you are unlovable, defective, destined to be alone?  Our self-esteem has been battered to the point that we don't think we'll recover, so we may start to isolate, cutting off loved ones and friends.

Susan Anderson writes, "Abandonment is a cumulative wound – rejections past and present merge.  It's time to clean out the insecurities, feelings of worthlessness, and shame that have been festering since childhood.  Your task is to dredge up the bottom of the swamp and sift through the muck to salvage what's important.  You begin to reconstruct."

INTERNALIZING

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 ‘If only regrets’ – 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.


Tips for dealing with Internalizing:



  • Accept your separateness – your uniqueness and wholly separate self is something to celebrate, not an indication of unworthiness


  • Practice lovingkindness – it can be very helpful to write/imagine dialogs between your inner wise parent and the hurting little child in you.  By treating yourself the way you always needed and wanted, you affirm your value and self-love.


  • Face your reality – railing against what has happened won't lead to healing; acceptance and action toward change will.






How has internalizing affected you?

What has helped you lessen the injury to your self-esteem since the ending of the relationship?






*The 5 stages of abandonment grieving from The Journey from Abandonment to Healing are:

Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalizing, Anger, Lifting
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« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2014, 04:42:08 PM »

I was so subtly controlled in the last year of the relationship that I gradually lost all self worth.  I didn't think I was worthy of a relationship with her.  I was broken down too small fragments of what I once was.  I thought I was in control of the relationship but painfully realized that I was just a puppet on a string.  After 4 months out of the relationship and much therapy, time and soul searching I have really begun to recover my lost self esteem.  My therapy has been a real blessing.  I did not have a deeply troubled childhood but I have learned that due to my dad's controlling behavior and my mother's use (emotional incest) of me (the oldest child) as a grown up type figure to bounce things off of that I have deep seated passive aggressive issues and fear of engulfment issues. I am working through them and I can feel the changes in my actions already. I am also obviously pretty codependent.
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« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2014, 01:32:54 AM »

I dont think I had much self esteem to begin with.

During the idealisation period, I felt as if I was the most beautiful woman on the planet.

When the rs ended after an intense period of devaluation, I felt like a discarded shoe.

What has helped?

Truthfully?

I dont know yet.
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #35 on: February 02, 2014, 03:23:21 AM »

I was so subtly controlled in the last year of the relationship that I gradually lost all self worth.  I didn't think I was worthy of a relationship with her.  I was broken down too small fragments of what I once was.  I thought I was in control of the relationship but painfully realized that I was just a puppet on a string.  After 4 months out of the relationship and much therapy, time and soul searching I have really begun to recover my lost self esteem.  My therapy has been a real blessing.  I did not have a deeply troubled childhood but I have learned that due to my dad's controlling behavior and my mother's use (emotional incest) of me (the oldest child) as a grown up type figure to bounce things off of that I have deep seated passive aggressive issues and fear of engulfment issues. I am working through them and I can feel the changes in my actions already. I am also obviously pretty codependent.

Waifed, I'm sorry you had to go through that at home. I can relate to some of it, too.  You are doing great work, I'm glad that therapy is helping.  I also feel that my therapist helped me see myself in a different way, like see my strengths and what is good about me.  It's so easy to forget, especially when we are so focused on our partners who need so much.
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #36 on: February 02, 2014, 03:28:22 AM »

I dont think I had much self esteem to begin with.

During the idealisation period, I felt as if I was the most beautiful woman on the planet.

When the rs ended after an intense period of devaluation, I felt like a discarded shoe.

What has helped?

Truthfully?

I dont know yet.

I hear you, recycled, and not knowing is a good place to be – it's open to possibilities.  I, too, was in a very vulnerable place when the storm of BPD hit. Have you been "sifting through the muck" with a therapist, too?  All this pain was inside, waiting to be triggered in my relationship.  It hurts like hell, but it's a great opportunity to dig in and change beliefs that are causing us to attract unhealthy.  Hard work, I know.   
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« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2014, 05:29:34 AM »



Excerpt
I hear you, recycled, and not knowing is a good place to be – it's open to possibilities.  I, too, was in a very vulnerable place when the storm of BPD hit. Have you been "sifting through the muck" with a therapist, too?  All this pain was inside, waiting to be triggered in my relationship.  It hurts like hell, but it's a great opportunity to dig in and change beliefs that are causing us to attract unhealthy.  Hard work, I know.  

Its the hardest challenge in my life so

far.

I have had 2 sessions in therapy, I bleed emotion as soon as I sit down,I dont think Ive ever expressed this amount of raw pain to anyone, ever.Well I did to the ex but... . a potato would have shown more empathy.We are digging, together, myPyneappleDaysand I, its enlightening, and frightening.I am remembering and realising things from my past that I had blocked out.I am starting to really see how I have reached this place in my life.It scares me.

I am grappling with the fact that maybe my mother is BPD.

I just cant bring myself to believe it, but it lurks on the perifery of my thoughts.

There is just so much H&H, so much sometimes.I know im making progress, I know I can do this but its a battle, for me, sometimes against myself.

Thanks for listening.
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heartandwhole
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« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2014, 05:53:24 AM »

Its the hardest challenge in my life so

far.

I have had 2 sessions in therapy, I bleed emotion as soon as I sit down,I dont think Ive ever expressed this amount of raw pain to anyone, ever.Well I did to the ex but... . a potato would have shown more empathy.We are digging, together, myPyneappleDaysand I, its enlightening, and frightening.I am remembering and realising things from my past that I had blocked out.I am starting to really see how I have reached this place in my life.It scares me.

I am grappling with the fact that maybe my mother is BPD.

I just cant bring myself to believe it, but it lurks on the perifery of my thoughts.

There is just so much H&H, so much sometimes.I know im making progress, I know I can do this but its a battle, for me, sometimes against myself.

Thanks for listening.

It's been such a challenge, and you are not alone in suspecting BPD in your family.  I'm there, too, and it has been an eye-opener to say the least.  I suspect that many of us "Leavers" resonate with this behavior from our FOOs, and  have grown up with disordered/traited family members without realizing it.

Big hug to you, recycled. 

It hurts so much when our partners don't empathize with us.  I hope you won't be offended when I say that your line about the potato having more empathy cracked me up 

 
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« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2014, 11:33:00 PM »

Potato<< << I d too! Bc its true!
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« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2014, 02:33:45 PM »



How has internalizing affected you?

What has helped you lessen the injury to your self-esteem since the ending of the relationship?

I felt totally worthless and thought that it must be something wrong with me that caused him to leave for somebody else.  The fact that he left for somebody far less attractive, less educated and with nothing to offer him but everything to gain from him, made it more hurtful.  We had a good life together and a nice home.  Much of our lifestyle was due to my contributions.  To realise he threw all this away just to be rid of me, really hurt.  The fact that he would rather be with a woman of a much lower standard, really hurt.  I do not mean these comments in a conceited way, but I am being truthful.  Many people have told me that they think he is mad and cannot understand why he dumped me for her.  That makes me feel that in some way, I must be totally worthless because he chose her.

In a strange way, he gave me a gift that has helped regain some self esteem.  Due to him cutting off all financial support before we divorced, I was forced to get a job.  The first job I got was making me very unhappy and he tried to use that to get me to allow him to move back into our home.  He told me that if I let him come back, I could afford to give up the job.  At that time, I couldn't allow him back due to his bad treatment of my son.  So I stuck to my guns and carried on working.  This was when he moved on to the replacement.

Thankfully, I soon got a new job.  This second job has turned out to be an incredible help to me.  I work with fantastic, caring, people.  I help other people in the course of my work, and the fact that I get so much positive feedback has made me feel much better.  I am starting to see that I am a nice person.  I am a good person.  I have a lot to offer and people like me.  I am not the worthless POS that he made me feel like!
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