Monday, July 18, 2016

Healing the injuries of Estrangement

Estrangement has such far ranging emotional impact that I have come to believe that beyond the impact of being estranged we also come face to face with parts of our unresolved past.
I believe the trauma we experience in the face of being estranged triggers and reveals to us those unresolved emotional injuries we carry within us.  Being estranged is about so much more than just what was done to us but what we do to ourselves, within our own minds, in an attempt to deal with, understand and try to resolve what is happening in the present. 

Estrangement acts as a trigger and then we suffer the consequences of these various emotional injuries that we carry and we have to become aware that each of those injuries affects us differently.

I think that learning to differentiate between the injuries allows us to focus on each aspect of healing individually.  To heal the injury in our past and then to connect it to our healing in the present is vitally important if we are to resume life post estrangement with enthusiasm and joy.

It is relatively easy to get to a place where we want to "move on" post estrangement and yet in order to move beyond that place where we meet each day in survival mode with the 
drudgery of just getting through; we have to examine why certain aspects are so hard to resolve.  We need to start to understand why we get stuck in repeating certain actions even when we "KNOW" they are not good for us.  

These are some of the injuries (in no particular order) that I think we need to be clear on in order to be able to give the right attention to each one.

- the injury of emotional abuse / dealing with bullies, controllers and other manipulative people
- the injury of grieving a living child
- the injury of a lost relationship / changed relationship
- the injury of lost dreams and expected future
- the injury of abandonment and rejection
- the injury of being a victim / feeling like a victim
- the injury of self blame and self condemnation
- the injury of being shamed / living the guilt trip of not being good enough
- the injury of feeling worthless / loss of self esteem 
- the injury of people pleasing / feeling like a failure when your efforts are not appreciated 
- the injury of feeling the need to minimize the self (eg walking on egg shells to sooth them / being the peace keeper etc )
- the injury of ineffective boundaries / where do I end and they begin 
- the injury of being expected to be apologetic for their mistakes and their behaviour. We do this both towards the estranging children (making excuses for their behaviour) and to other people who don’t understand (internalizing that we are to blame and must atone)

I want to build on this list and would appreciate any input.
Are there other injuries that you experience?  

Over the next few months I want to reflect on these different injuries and how they affect our healing journey.  
  • I want to look at false core beliefs that keep us stuck in repetitive behaviours.  
  • I want to look at what we are doing to ourselves / how we are talking to ourselves; that prevent us from healing 
  • I want to look at what we can do to overcome those false core beliefs and how we can change those core beliefs freeing us to go in a new direction. 
  • I want to see if we can change or transform these false core beliefs to empower our healing 
  • I especially want to discover pathways out of the maze of repeating actions that are self harming and then focus on strategies for transformation. 

I look forward to hearing your ideas and input as I explore these issues. 

Renate Dundys Marrello
2016 - 07 - 18 

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