Shooting straight: abandonment healing

14 September 2015

**I split yesterday's post in two.  So if you already read it, you'll have to go back and read it again ;)

Into the thick of it.

Abandonment trauma.  Get real close.  touch it.  smell it.  From the mouth of research experts and professionals with their own first hand taste: 
  1. It is a tear in the dense tissues of human attachment.  Powerful neurobiological process. Devastating, unbearable pain.
  2. The pain is always worse for the one being abandoned than the one doing the abandonment.
  3. Due to the incomprehensibility of the shock, trauma causes a split of consciousness.  This happens to avoid the unbearable horror and powerlessness.  The psyche literally splits into two parts.   One can exist in both at the same time.
  4. Time does not heal trauma. The pain will move underground and trip up our soul, preoccupying our energies. To try to contain the subterranean, one's mind will adjust to narrow his/her life.
  5. Chronic feelings of insecurity.  Decreased self-esteem.  Feelings of loss of control over life.  Isolation.  Obsessive thinking and intrusive thought about the abandonment.
  6. Heightened emotional responses related to abandonment triggers such as feeling slighted, criticized, or excluded.  When threatened with further rejection or abandonment, this person intensifies their defense mechanisms, flagging their ego strength. 
  7. Emotional flashbacks ranging from mild anxiety to intense panic in response to triggers that we may or may not be conscious of.  Uncontrollable shame cycling.


Trauma is a true reorder of your amygdala.  Your brain actually begins operating in a different way than it once did.  So to literally rewire one's mind? What an undertaking. 

I am such an advocate for healing journeys.  Of little steps forward to find one resource, then a pivot, then a few more steps to find another resource, then a painfully horrifying trigger and sliding several steps back, but then resuming the journey once again.  And I've found this to be the truest truth of healing journey's:  you have to stay with your self.  If anger is happening, stay there with yourself.  If depression is happening, stay there with yourself.  No shame, no blame, no judgment. 

And I really believe in a Heavenly Father who guides you to the resources you need.  Though I have never found Him to be one where this phrase applies:  "Pray and give it to Him.  Let the Atonement just take it away."  Okay, are we understanding this as momentary relief or a permanent fix?  Because that permanent release doesn't pair well with the idea of growth-promoting God.  My experience has been like, "Child, when you are in a dire moment of needing rest, I'll hold it for awhile. You take a hot bath and get a few good night's rest, and then we'll put it back on your shoulders.  I promise you are getting stronger, and you'll see that as that pain diminishes and is more spaced apart.  And I'll always help you remember the celestial feelings of joy and lightness you're working for.  I'll also guide you to the next resource as you ask.  But you're going to keep moving forward with this a part of you, okay? You will claim this as a triumph in the grand eternities; it's part of Your Plan.  There's a clue and a quarter under your pillow case.  Goodnight."

And my last thoughts for the night:  Forgiveness.  Hahaha!  When the July Visiting Teaching message was on forgiveness, Nora asked me what I was going to say that month.  I replied I'd probably use all the excuses in my backpocket to skip.  Because how to tell my assigned innocent young woman that when a great offense comes her way, rage kickboxing = forgiveness.  But actually, my true feelings on forgiveness... well, my other true feelings is that forgiveness is much like chasing a football on the ground.  It's in reach, then jolts left, jolts right, lurches forward.  It's unpredictable and without purpose to even chase it.  Just let your feelings towards forgiveness dart around as they do.  If they settle and you feel the forgiving warmth, be grateful, and then accept the jolting if/when it occurs again.  And also, listen to this talk 34 times:  Faith to Forgive Grievous Harms:  Accepting the Atonement   
"Forgiveness does not require us to give up our right to restitution. It simply requires that we look to a different source. The non-judgmental worldly phrases “don’t worry about it” and “it’s no big deal” are not illustrations of the doctrine of forgiveness. On the contrary, when a person sins against us, it can be a very big deal. ....  It is okay to recognize how grave a sin is and to demand our right to justice—if our recognition triggers gratitude for the Atonement. Indeed, the greater the sin against us—the greater the harm we suffer—the more we should value the Atonement."
Upward and onward,

"My darling, you can’t see it, can you? How like the moon you are. Both of you so timid in yourselves; hiding pieces from the world. Then, there are those rare moments when you both are full, and it becomes hard to look away. You are beautiful."
Alexandria Drzewiecki

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