What is Really at the Heart of Adult Separation Anxiety?

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I have always suffered with separation anxiety and still do as an adult but slowly slowly I am finding my way through the complex maze that is this condition.

For me the anxiety is that bad that I haven’t wanted my husband to go out to the corner shop or the doctors without me. I have trailed along here, there and everywhere because I have been too afraid to be by myself. 

I have wanted to change but just haven’t been able to make that first step. 

But this year I decided to have a play with the anxiety, to try to test its boundaries and get inside it to find its heart. 

The first thing I decided to do was to make sure my husband recognises it as a real problem. If we run out of onions and he says “I could always go up the corner shop  but there again you probably won’t let me out.” then we have lost before we have started.  In the same way if he goes out and comes back 10 minutes later and I say I struggled and he laughs because to him it is funny to miss someone in such a short time, then we have no where to go from here. I feel humiliated and guilty and the pattern starts once more.  I must say at this point that my husband is possibly the kindest man on the planet so if he has misunderstood my needs I know it is because he is human.

So . . I explained to my husband that the anxiety is obviously a problem, otherwise we would have had a very different lifestyle a long time ago. 

Next I decided on a realistic step. When I look out of my work room at home I can see into the next street (a gap between some houses) and by road this a 10 minute walk from our house. I thought it would be fun if my husband walked to that spot and then waves at me. We tried to add the fun of the tracker on his phone but unfortunately we couldn’t get this to work. My husband left the house, I timed 10 minutes and then sure enough there he was waving at me from our chosen spot. 

How did I feel in those 10 minutes? Empowered, confident, happy!

Where do I go from here? I don’t know yet? I gave up guilt when I admitted I had the condition and so there is no standard to achieve for me to feel good enough. We will go where the adventure takes us.

The important elements in taking that first step were HONESTY, SINCERITY, KNOWING AND ASKING FOR MY NEEDS, PLAYFULNESS . . . AND BEING PREPARED TO MOVE FORWARDS ONE STEP AT A TIME!

So . . what is at the heart of separation anxiety . . . . I think, a feeling that you are silly because you don’t like being by yourself!

 

Who Shall I be? ME – just ME!

flowerI have always wanted to BE something. I thought if I could just BE something then I would feel ok about myself and others would be happy with me.

So what should I be? Shall I be the music teacher as I have a musical gift? Should I be the artist as I have a desire to express my childlike spirit? Should I be a healer so I can feel part of other people’s positive change? What shall I be?

ME – just ME!  The person who gets up in the morning and says to God “What shall I do today?” The person who looks out of the window and gets carried away with seeing a flock of crows perched on the branches of our big tree or the pounding of the rain on our driveway . . .the person who may pick up a musical instrument only if it feels ok to feel the strings, sense the rhythm and hear the tones TODAY  . . .the person who is looking for a hug and kind words by 10:00 in the morning . . . the person who finds the green of the grass too bright some days, doesn’t like crowds or parties and loves chocolate truffles . . the person who likes to scoot around the park wearing her purple coat and summer beanie. . . the person who loves to help others when her own world is calm and organised enough for her to do so . . . 

Who should I be? – ME – just ME!

Highly Sensitives, What You Connect With is Your Choice

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If we are so good at feeling our pain and the pain of other people we should be really good at feeling love, joy and peace!  We are experts at deep connection and it is our choice what we connect with.

Our fear that we do not deserve deep connection keeps us connecting with our negative thoughts. After-all, as Highly Sensitives, we need meaningful connection to feel alive.  We have to connect with something.  Let’s give ourselves a break and connect with our happy thoughts, our good feelings, our blessings, the ones who love us unconditionally and faith that all is well.

Deep Feelings – Processing for Others!

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Have you ever had a situation where you have gone through something traumatic and your child seems to have ‘picked up’ your feelings . Maybe after the event you notice a change in their behaviour or they seem fatigued or distanced. Below is a simple way that you can help your child process trauma or difficult situations – either their own experiences or other peoples’

Our story:  ‘Healing Mum’s Trauma’

I had an implant and Luca (8)  was in the waiting room. This conversation took place 4 days after the event.

Jennie (Mum): What’s the matter? You don’t seem right today?

Luca: I think I have caught your dentist time. It has got stuck in me and I can’t get it out.

Jennie (Mum) : Oh dear, I wonder how you could let go of that.  Could you draw or paint it out?

Luca: I don’t think I can let go of it because if I let it out it will smash.

Jennie (Mum): Why would it smash? What does this thing look like?

Luca: It is like a rock in a tube.

Jennie (Mum): Become the rock. What does it feel like to be the rock?

Luca: Well, I am made from lots of different things and trying to protect myself

Jennie (Mum) What are you trying to protect?

Luca: My core.

Jennie (Mum) What does it feel like to be your core?

Luca: I’m a pebble.

Jennie (Mum) Why are you trying to protect your core?

Luca: Because then I won’t feel any bad feelings.

Jennie (Mum): Is this about me going to the dentist

Luca: Yes, I think so.

Jennie (Mum): Maybe it’s OK to feel those feelings. Maybe you’re processing them for me. I had a little cry after the dentist. Maybe you need a little cry too. Perhaps you felt my pain.

Luca: Yes, I think I did.(looking weepy and as if he is trying to hold in tears)

Jennie (Mum): It’s ok to cry. When we have a hard shell things can hurt us and puncture us but when we are soft, sharp things can’t get through. They still touch us but they just go ping, we go ‘Ah’  and they fall to the ground.

Luca laughs

Jennie (Mum): After all the softest membrane is the strongest of them all!

To read more about this way of working with your sensitive child and how to heal or help others heal by embracing the power of vulnerability please read my book ‘The Beauty of Vulnerability – Being Healed & Being a Healer’

 

 

Give Yourself Permission to Be a Deep Feeling Person!

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To learn how to be a deep feeling person I watch my son. This is what I am learning.

Be a Happy Soul Person

  1. Sigh a good happy sigh often
  2. Say how much you are liking or enjoying something as it is happening.
  3.  Talk about something you have done or someone you have met or a place. you have been to (whether you liked it or didn’t like it) as much as you like.
  4. Say “I love you” to those close to you often.
  5.  Admit to yourself that you value people and relationship more than anything else in the world.
  6. Admit to yourself that you struggle with the mundane things sometimes.
  7. Don’t worry about feeling awkward on different days, with different people, in different places sometimes.
  8. Allow yourself to struggle with asking for help because you feel so deeply for the well-being of others
  9. Allow yourself to struggle with receiving praise because you sense that all that is in you is not simply of you.
  10. Allow yourself to struggle with celebrations because to you everyday is a celebration of life and journey.

Be Yourself – Bask in Your Deep Feelings!