Written by therapist Marissa Halstead
In my last blog, I covered some basic information on the cycle of self-abandonment. Now we finally get to the good stuff, healing! If you find yourself in this cycle, you are not alone. You might feel unworthy of anything good or just have an overall sense of confusion on how this could ever change. You deserve to live free of the cycle of over-giving, resentment, blow up, and guilt. Thankfully, this can change, but it takes work. There are three things that are all in common for people who have recovered from self-abandonment. They are:
- Allowing yourself to have needs
- Developing self compassion in the way that you speak to yourself
- Creating personal boundaries within relationships
Allowing Yourself to Have Needs
This first point might seem obvious, but it is the most important! You are a person, not a robot–you have needs! All people have the need to belong, be seen, and be loved. Since all people are unique, you probably have other needs that everyone might not have, and that’s okay! You might need respect, friendship, intimacy, and/or creativity. This is not an exhaustive list, just examples so that you can start to discover what your needs are. You are allowed to have your voice and opinions heard!
Developing a compassionate inner voice might be the hardest for some people. You have been this way for so long and you’ve survived! You are worth more than the verbal abuse you might give yourself. You ARE lovable, worthy of being heard, and you ARE NOT stupid. Books, worksheets, and counseling are often the best places to learn how to practice and develop self compassion.
We all have things that we like and dislike. Boundaries are simply what we are okay with and what we are not okay with. You don’t need to go along with everything that everyone else says. Cultivating that compassionate inner voice will be helpful to discern what you’re okay with and what you’re not. For example, if you are in a relationship with someone who yells at you, you do not have to sit there and take it. You can have a boundary where you only speak to people when they are speaking to you in a respectful manner. This might make the recipient upset, but you would be honoring yourself and not self-abandoning. You don’t have to self-abandon to show up in your relationships.
If any of this is you, I highly recommend reaching out to Optimum Joy to set yourself up with a counselor today. You can read books about healing, but nothing is as powerful as healing within a secure relationship. You can talk through needs, self-compassion, and boundaries with your counselor and they can help you. Change takes time. If this cycle developed in childhood, it is not going to change overnight.
Little changes make all the difference in the long run. It can be scary to admit your needs (or that you have any at all), but I would love to partner with you in the process of becoming the healthiest version of yourself. I truly love this work and it is my greatest joy to witness these parts of people’s stories come to fruition. Give us a call today!