I think this is very helpful for APs working through breakups and your own attachment issues. The 4 steps were exactly my process and experience in healing towards secure, so it's very nice that someone has written about it. Also, love Sadhguru and his explanations of love and security. Google his videos!
A musing on my part - I don't think I've given myself enough time to stabilize in my newfound patterns before getting involved with my current partner (we admit this to each other), but I think we are giving each other alot of time and space within the relationship and not rushing it into something intense and overwhelming. While we decided to stay together and develop a relationship, we are doing it slowly so as to give ourselves space and time from each other as well as from our previous (intense) relationships. It's been 6 months and we have not said i love yous nor rush into declarations of love and undying commitment as APs are wont to do, though we give hints of it in various ways.
This article is mostly totally spot on. Though I am not convinced of #5. I don't find that really feeling something is a path through it. I think it can reinforce that part of the brain, like adding fuel to a fire.
I think it's HOW you feel your emotions - mindfully and detachedly is key, and not act on it. I was not able to separate feeling the emotion and responding, and thus the emotion drove the response - the more I felt, the stronger my reactions, which is of course horrific! since then, it's a slow progress towards separating emotion, cognition, and decisions; feeling the emotion became a source of understanding the self i.e., what am i feeling and what does that tell me, rather than allow it to drive action.
I love this shiningstar. Best trauma bond article I've seen, thank you!
1. Make a commitment to live in reality. If you find yourself wanting to fantasize about what could be or what you hope will be, stop. Remind yourself that you have made a commitment to live in truth. Even if you don’t choose to leave the relationship immediately, in the meantime you can at least remind yourself that you will stop fantasizing about what is not happening.
2. Live in real time. That means stop holding on to what “could” or “will” happen tomorrow. Notice what is happening in the moment. Notice how trapped you feel. Notice how unloved you feel and how you have compromised your self-respect and self-worth for this relationship. Pay attention to your emotions. Stop hoping and waiting, and start noticing in real time what is happening and how it is affecting you.
3.Live one decision at a time and one day at a time. Sometimes people scare themselves with all-or-nothing thinking. Don’t tell yourself things like, “I have to never talk to the toxic person again or else”; this is akin to trying to lose weight by telling yourself you can never eat chocolate again. While it is true that your relationship is an unhealthy one, you don’t need to make every encounter a do-or-die situation. Don’t scare yourself.
4.Make decisions that only support your self-care. That is, do not make any decision that hurts you. This goes for emotional “relapses” as well. If you find yourself feeling weak, don’t mentally berate yourself, but rather talk to yourself in compassionate, understanding, and reflective ways. Remind yourself that you are a work in process and life is a journey. Do not make the uncaring decision to mentally beat yourself up. In every encounter you have with the object of your obsession, stop and think about each choice you make. Make choices that are only in your best interest. If you find yourself feeling weak, don’t mentally berate yourself, but rather talk to yourself in compassionate, understanding, and reflective ways. Remind yourself that you are a work in process and life is a journey.
5.Start feeling your emotions. Whenever you are away from the toxic person in your life and feel tempted to reach out to them for reassurance, stop. Consider writing your feelings down instead. Write whatever comes to you. For example, “I feel ____. I miss ____. I wish I could be with ____ right now, but I am going to sit and write my feelings down instead. I am going to teach myself how to feel my way through the obsession, rather than turning to ____.” This may help you to build inner strength. Learn to simply be with your emotions. You don’t need to run from them, hide from them, avoid them, or make them go away. Once you fully feel them, they may begin to subside. Remember: the only way out is through. 6.Learn to grieve. Letting go of a toxic relationship and breaking a traumatic bond may be one of the hardest things you ever have to do. You cannot do it without honoring the reality you are losing something very valuable to you.
7.Understand the “hook.” Identify what, exactly, you are losing. It may be a fantasy, a dream, an illusion. Perhaps your partner had convinced you into believing they were going to fulfill some deep, unmet need. Once you can identify what this need (or hook) is, you can get down to the business of grieving. Grieving means (figuratively) holding your hands open and letting it go. You say goodbye to the notion the need you have may never be met. At minimum, it will not be met by this relationship.
8.Write a list of bottom-line behaviors for yourself. Possible examples: “(1) I will not sleep with someone who calls me names. (2) I will not argue with someone who has been drinking. (3) I will take care of my own finances. (4) I will not have conversations with anyone when I feel desperate (or defensive, or obsessive, etc.).” Whatever your areas of concern, determine what you need to do to change and make those your bottom-line behaviors.
9.Build your life. Little by little, start dreaming about your future for yourself (and your children, if you have them); in other words, make dreams that don’t involve your traumatic partner. Maybe you want to go to school, start a hobby, go to church, or join a club. Start making life-affirming choices for yourself that take you away from the toxic interactions that have been destroying your peace of mind.
10.Build healthy connections. The only way to really free yourself from unhealthy connections is to start investing in healthy ones. Develop other close, connected, and bonded relationships that are not centered on drama. Make these your “go-to” people. It is extremely difficult to heal without support. Notice the people in your life who show you loving concern, and care and hang around with them as often as you can. Reach out for professional help as needed.
Yea, i think it's a really good summary. For myself, I decided that first and foremost to live in the moment and take things as they are, not what they seem to be or what it could be. For example, if this man is NOT explicitly acknowledging that he is my partner, he is NOT my partner and i have ZERO obligations towards him. If my boss promises a pay raise, it just means that I DO NOT have a pay raise and I DO NOT work on promised pay. I made up rules that are most applicable to myself based on historical patterns e.g., unavailable partners, shitty colleagues. and stuck to them like dried gum on bus seats. everything else started to fall into place more once I have those guidelines in place.