Relationship (s), course (s), 1 from Warriors' Experience


  • Relationship (s), course (s), 1

Question:

I started working last night through the absent father clue you pointed out to me at the Relationship 1 course. I did some research in the database and found an article 1252 tagged Parents, dead or absent which indicated that the approach should be to work through the fear of abandonment that dead or absent parents cause which triggered a deep sadness in me as I reflected on my own situation.

I hope you can help me work through this with your clarity and experience.

My father was absent most of the time pretty much obsessed with work. What is interesting is the fear of abandonment I feel is associated to my mother. I assume this is because my father was absent most of the time and also that my mother struggled to engage emotionally. I realize that she was also emotionally damaged at a young age and learned to cut off. My father on the other hand, when he was around was very warm and had no problem with physical contact and often initiated hugs, holding hands etc. My mother was too insecure with physical contact. I was also the first born and conceived just before they got married so she had very little experience and my sister came less than a year after this and then my brother two years after this. They also had huge challenges financially early on.

In any respect, without getting into too many details, I must have learned to cut off emotionally at a very young age but at the same time learned to be hyper sensitive for any moment when my mom became available for any scrap of warmth. I learned to be ever available to her just in case there was a chance. I learned to please and not disappoint her or say the wrong thing lest she cut off. I imagine she felt immense guilt at it and could not cope with facing anything that was going wrong. She only wanted to hear that things were fine.

I have always been extremely needy in intimate relationships to the point of driving my partner away. This happened in my first relationship when I was about 18. For a year I could not get out of bed and at night could hardly breath. I fought my way through and managed to get up and find some meaning and from there it has been an uphill battle relationship after relationship and year after year. I have found much meaning in my life now and the fight has left me with many hard won abilities. The fact that this feeling still comes up and all I want to do is collapse and then the amount of force and energy that is required to bully myself into getting up .... Is there another way? This morning I asked "What is in it for me to go to work today?" and there was nothing :( - It is extremely difficult to admit openly to this. One resolution I made as an act of survival so long ago was that I would make it on my own and I expect I see this as giving in and being dependant. I felt like a burden to my mother and don't want to feel like a burden to anyone else. I also have in the past tried blaming her or finding a solution through her which I have found is a dead end street causing much pain. As you and Theun have both pointed out it is the work on ourselves that is important which makes sense to me and that our parents already worry enough whether they have been good enough.

While working with this yesterday and today, I realise that this is the core of my approval seeking behaviour and emotional immaturity. Fear of disappointing and causing abandonment. I am often desperate for approval but will hardly ever openly seek it.

Right now I am just staying with the feeling of sadness, watching myself and trying to be as gentle as possible with myself. I long for a cathartic release and an open heart :) .

Please can you provide me with your clarity, insight or confirmation that I am on the right track with exploring this?

All my love

Answer:

LOL! Sometimes I find you a few fries short of a Happy Meal!!

"Fear of disappointing and causing abandonment. I am often desperate for approval but will hardly ever openly seek it."

Have you really looked at what you mirrored for your group in Ireland?

Just as an exercise, I copied and pasted all your mirrors from your group on one page and guess what? The theme that comes through clearly is that you want to be "the centre of attention constantly" and "a people pleaser"!! We human beings are crazy! We can see clearly through other people's masks, but we don't think for half a second that anyone can see through ours! Oh no! LOL!

Something that helped me to remember when seeking approval is –

A warrior is not a circus clown :-)

For some time now I have wondered if you have any other females in your life, besides your now business partner. Her name has literally become a 4-letter word for me! LOL! I am at the point where, if I see or hear her name once more, I may just run away screaming!! LOL! If you are so obsessed with her approval and/or your work, are you surprised that your heart has gone out of getting up in the morning and going to that same place every day? The same place, the same partner, the same blah bah over and over again!

Or - is it that you DO have other activities AND females in your life with whom you are exploring, but you just don't mention them?

Let us take your mother for example. If you do not resolve this relationship you will not have a relationship that works with any other female! The same goes for your not so absent father and males.

To help you keep it objective, I will share a little of my story with you about my relationship with my mother :-)

My father was knocked down by a car whilst taking part in a walking marathon and died 10 days later. I was 11. My mother was left with 7 children ranging from 7 to 21 years of age at the time. Death of a loved one is the ultimate abandonment. If this takes place around puberty the challenges triggered by this death/ leaving, set up the challenge of fear of abandonment for life, in my experience. As I entered puberty I had a lot of suppressed anger that I took out on my mother, who eventually threw me into boarding school! A double abandonment!

I now had the weapon to become a complete victim of what life had dealt me :-(

By the time I was your age I had become a complete victim everywhere in my life and, whilst from society's perspective I had made a huge success of my life, internally I was stuck! Nothing was bringing me fulfillment. I was in therapy twice a week analysing where else I could blame my mother for my romantic relationships not working - and we were about to exhume my father to see where we could blame HIM for my woeful situation! LOL! I was at what felt like my lowest point in my life.

Something was niggling at me though, that my mother couldn't be all that bad, and I asked the shrink when he felt I would be able to call my mother, who lived 1600 kms away, and not feel like it was a duty call? He replied that it could take another two years!

Well…. now that I realised I was establishing a pension fund for my shrink with my continuous visits, I began the process of digging a little deeper - and guess what I found?! My shrink and I were working on the relationship with HIS mother -AND I was paying him for it!!! LAMOF!!

And to boot, I was spending all this time building a relationship with a stranger, instead of with the ONE person who could help me turn my life around!

From that moment on I began the process of trying to become aware of my mother's state of being - and I was aghast at how self-centered I had been throughout my life! I had never bothered to find out what had happened for her when her life partner had left her life at the age of 48years old; how she had managed to keep on going without giving up and so on.

I went to visit her with the specific intent of finding out WHO she was and what made her tick - what was her family situation like? What were HER dreams? What were HER challenges growing up?

That ‘first' visit, she was hugely suspicious of me - especially when I tried to get past her Victorian reserve about physical contact and give her a hug! LOL! It was like hugging an ironing board! But I persisted and slowly slowly I began to earn her trust. Over the next few years we became closer and closer until one day we were best friends :-)

And then I stumbled into Théun’s life and found the warrior's path!

The only behaviour I worked on was what my mother mirrored for me. I didn't try and fix HER. I had already spent a fortune on a shrink trying THAT avenue - and it hadn't worked! LOL! RATFL!

My mother passed away two years ago - and I had no regrets, nor do I have any now :-) My relationships with males have improved in leaps and bounds.

Your mother is still alive - what are you waiting for?

With all my love and support,
Elizabeth