Is there someone in your life with whom you used to be close, but you are no longer on speaking terms? Or maybe you still talk, but rather than the close connection you used to have, things feel strained between you. There is so much unsaid that the tension is palpable. The holidays are coming, and challenging family relationships often come to a head at this time of year.
In my psychotherapy practice I work with adults who feel worthless, despite success and high achievement in their professional lives. They have everything anyone could want - great jobs, wonderful spouses, children who seem to have it all together...they are the envy of their friends and neighbors. For many of these clients pain from childhood hurts continues to be a barrier to having close relationships with their families of origin, even into their 40's and 50's.
I'm not talking about being upset because your big sister wouldn't let you ride her bike, but deeper hurts, like childhood abuse. I'm talking about feeling as a child that your needs weren't being met. Feeling like you never mattered, and you may still question whether you are lovable because of it. Deep, painful emotions. Despite trying to "just get over it" and "put the past behind you" as people often advise, these feelings aren't getting better.
Read on below!
In this episode of the Baltimore Annapolis Psychotherapy Podcast I talk about the issue of being estranged from someone who used to be so important in your life, whether it is a parent, sibling or friend. Most people who experience the loss of those important relationships feel hurt by the estrangement, even though they may try to avoid thinking about it. In the podcast I talk about some of these feelings and offer some journal prompts to help get to the bottom of what is really felt inside.
Our society tells us forgiveness is key to feeling better in these situations. However, I think sometimes we rush to claim that we have forgiven someone for hurting us without acknowledging to ourselves how hurt we really feel. It's the "right thing to do." But I question whether true forgiveness is possible without first healing the hurt. My next podcast episode will discuss forgiveness in more detail. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your feedback. Have you had this type of rupture in one of your important relationships? Were you able to resolve it?
Therapy can help if you are struggling to heal from the hurt of a broken relationship with important people. If you're in Maryland, get in touch with me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (443) 510-1048 or send me a message through my website.
Want to know more? Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, andGoogle +. You can listen to my podcast here and sign up for my e-mail newsletter here. Check out my website,www.laurareaganlcswc.com for information on upcoming workshops, groups and retreats. I'd love to talk about how we can work together!
Laura Reagan, LCSW-C
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