Feeling Lonely (Part 2)

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Kizzie

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Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« on: January 18, 2016, 05:17:01 AM »
Actually, I should probably title this feeling abandoned  and lonely.  Pete Walker talks about abandonment depression in his book "CPTSD: From Surviving to Thriving" and I came face-to-face with mine again at Christmas as I posted elsewhere. My son was coming for two weeks - he goes to university across the country so we don't get to see him all that often anymore.  Before he arrived I had an EF and realized after some reflection that I was afraid to enjoy my time with him fully lest he abandon/reject me; old abandonment feelings from childhood had bubbled up. 

Once I figured that out. I could then reassure myself, calm younger me directly then  let myself connect with him and have a wonderful time with him and my H.  I realized really clearly through this experience how much I have held back over the years, keeping somewhat distance from the joy of my FOC in case I were to lose them.  I know my H and S love me dearly,  but the fear of being  abandoned runs so very deep.  It's one reason I haven't wanted to connect too deeply with friends before either.  But I have worked through much of it and will keep on doing so now that I know what's going on. 
 
Here's an exercise i found in Walker's (2013) book that relates to abandonment.

Visualize yourself as time-traveling back to a place in the past when you felt especially abandoned. See your adult self taking your abandoned child onto your lap and comforting her .... "I feel such sorrow that you were so abandoned and that you felt so alone so much of the time. I love you even more when you are stuck in this abandonment pain - especially because you had to ensure it for so long with no-one to comfort you. That shouldn't have happened to you.  It shouldn't happen to any child. Let me comfort you and hold you. You don't have to rush to get over it.  It is not your fault. You didn't cause it and you're not to blame. You don't have to do anything. Just let me hold you.  Take your time.  I love you always and care about you no matter what."

I highly recommend practicing this even if it feels inauthentic, and even if it requires a great deal of fending off your inner critic.  Keep practicing and eventually, you will have a genuine experience of feeling self-compassion for he traumatized child you were. When that occurs, you will know that your recovery work has reached a deep level (pp. 240-241)
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 06:23:33 PM by Kizzie »

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2016, 12:16:30 PM »
I tried this the other day, and it worked pretty well I think. Didn't feel unauthentic at all.
Weird, yes. (as in: unfamiliar) (There's probably some 'pun' hidden in the unfamiliar there. Now my thoughts are racing. ;D )
I pictured myself in my parents-house, way back. Picked up the small boy that got so molested there, sat down, inside that house, way in the open in the living room*, and hugged and held 'him'. It felt quite physical even.
I'll try to do that more. Thanks.

You mentioned elsewhere (I think. Can't find it anymore. So perhaps it was somebody else who said this) that you spoke to the Inner Child as "you (me) are safe now" (or words to that effect). The "you (me)" struck a chord, as I earlier this month I 'spoke' to my Inner Child, and also referred to us as "We". That also allowed an 'opening up' to the "me" of now, as well as the "me" of then.
We'll be making a great team.  :yes:  "Me, myself and I."   ;D
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 02:36:35 PM by Dutch Uncle »

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Kizzie

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Re: Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2016, 06:53:56 PM »
That was Walker who recommended doing it even if it felt inauthentic, I just forgot to bold it  :doh: 

Glad to hear it went well though.  I remember when I first heard about the inner child in an Adult Children of Alcoholics group and fled because it seemed so completely silly at the time.  Looking back I think what it was overwhelming and threatening.   Let younger me surface? No way, much too much pain. 

It's only been in the last year that I have acknowledged my IC and accepted that she needs to be heard or she and I will continue to suffer.   I do now completely believe that it is through compassion for our younger selves that we will heal.  I didn't realize how much I invalidated her, wished she would stop being so needy, demanding and hard to deal with at the worst possible times......   until I started to acknowledge her.  Poor, poor lonely, frightened kid who needed a hug like younger you.  I did buy her a giant teddy bear which sits across from our bed and smiles at me/her every night.

Ultimately I hope we will become more integrated. I do notice a younger sense of humour popping up now and then (e.g., corny jokes), a tendency to burst into song, a silliness that is spontaneous, and even a little devilish at times  >:D so I think (hope) that is beginning to happen. 

Hugs to our younger selves, they survived some really terrible things and now it's time to heal, be well and thrive  :hug:
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 06:56:16 PM by Kizzie »

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anon72

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Re: Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2016, 11:56:47 AM »
Thank you for sharing this Kizzie, sounds like just what the doctor ordered, as I also suffer from abandonment issues :) 

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The Moon Hare

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Re: Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 03:07:52 AM »
Kizzie I just found this post of yours and what Walker recommended and TBH it bought me to tears, I certainly didn't expect that to happen.

I am often in touch with my inner Children and I am aware that my husband has some traits that my dad who was my abuser had. he died when i was 18 so i never got to know why he did what he did  :'( 

I didn't choose my husband though at the time i thought I had, it was my kids who made the choice, hence me been in the US.

Thank you for your post  Kizzie you have given me more to think about....

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2016, 04:14:43 PM »
I am just starting to get in touch with my IC and like kizzie I have spent so much time trying to rid myself of her without truly acknowledging her.  So thank you, kizzie, for sharing your experience & tying abandonment to that deep, soul-dragging loneliness.

I have spent my life trying to find someone to take the pain of abandonment from me, yet at the same time I could not see that I was perpetuating my own abandonment against myself, again and again, by not having confident boundaries in place to protect myself from the start. It didn't matter if they were friends or lovers, I would give anything and everything to please them at first. When they failed to reciprocate I would usually pull away, feeling betrayed. Or worse, if they were a clearly healthy person, I would withdraw because I didn't feel worthy of them and didn't want to drag them down. Now I see that if they are truly healthy, I couldn't do that unless I abused them.

One of my oldest friends, whom I have supported in her ongoing recovery over the years, caused a great deal of damage and triggered my abandonment severely. I thought I was over it, but find I am triggered again now that I am the one reaching to her for support. I don't think she's actually abandoning me this time though. I think it's that she's actually enforcing boundaries for herself whereas I never did even at her most destructive. So I feel abandoned, and this is precisely the time I need to focus on my IC because she sees boundaries the same as abandonment and loneliness but I as an adult know they are not. I think back to all the people I might have alienated with neediness and, well, it's a lot.

Last night while going to sleep I started talking to my IC to try and quiet my anxiety. "I am here for you. I love you. I am here for us. I love us. I am here for me, I love myself." It definitely felt unnatural but it also worked to quiet my racing bedtime thoughts. This morning I tried saying the Pete Walker excercise and it felt less unnatural. I also cried, so there is something to it. There is pain waiting to be released. I'm getting a little closer every day, even days like yesterday, which was messed up from lack of sleep and self-care challenges. I was still there for myself at bedtime. I am working towards being there for myself full-time.

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Thumper

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Re: Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2016, 06:09:56 PM »
I think I am ready to be the parent I by the Grace of God and hard work I was to our children.  I guess it started with fake it till you make it.  I had no idea what I was getting into when I had them but took each moment and opened my heart to them.  Twenty plus years later they have taught me others can be safe if I choose wisely and have healthy boundaries.  For the first time in my life, I want friends and a community. 

Thanks for sharing everyone!

Thumper  :heythere:

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Kizzie

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Re: Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2016, 05:21:42 PM »
Just by way of an update, I was recently at my son's grad as I wrote about in a few other posts and saw my cNPDM for the first time in two years.  I did not have an EF I think because I chose not to abandon myself (Walker talks about being abandoned by others and ourselves), because I let go and connected with my S at Christmas and enjoyed it so much, I just let myself do the same thing again and it calmed any anxiety at being around my cNPDM. 

What I mean is that I chose to open up to being excited and proud and happy rather than abandon that part of me and retreat into fear of my cNPDM as I have done far too many times in the past.  And that has reinforced for me how important attending to my needs and wants is, that it is something of a balm or antidote for being abandoned in childhood. 

I'm not saying that sense of abandonment has gone entirely, I don't think it ever will as it is a part of my history.  I just feel like I am not running away from it as hard, that it is more a part of me, as though I am integrating it rather than separating it into a dark corner and somehow that brings it's power down to manageable level.  Sometimes it's hard to capture these inner workings in words lol, hopefully this resonates.

I think a good question to ask myself before I go to bed every night now is "Have I hugged my Inner Child today?" and if not give her one great big   :bighug:
« Last Edit: June 26, 2016, 05:26:20 PM by Kizzie »

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memorex

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Re: Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2016, 02:08:22 PM »
Hi am a new user who came cross this site recently (thankfully). I identified with the original post here on lonliness as am of similar age and situation. Am also currently working my way through the book mentioned, finding it of great value and help. Just wanted to say hello as Im not really even used to forums generally. Good luck to OP anyway and keep at it.

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Three Roses

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Re: Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2016, 03:41:51 PM »
Hello and welcome, memorex :wave:

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Feeling Lonely (Part 2)
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2016, 05:12:14 PM »
Hi memorex  :wave:  and welcome to Out of the Storm.

I hope this place and community will make you feel a bit less lonely, and you can share some go your thoughts, feelings and experiences here.

 :hug:
Dutch Uncle.