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Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …
D.R.
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
Niko

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
M.G.
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman

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Feeling Low and Thriving Anyway

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We all have times we feel let down, abandoned, rejected, hurt or disrespected by someone close to us. We feel angry, sad, lonely, etc. We take it to heart. Sometimes we are conscious of our hurt feelings and sometimes they reside subconsciously because we have learned to suppress truly painful emotions.

 

I have come to recognize a low-grade, below the surface, sense of abandonment and loneliness. This feeling comes and goes for me. Significant familial and intimate relationships trigger it.

 

Eric Zimmer of theoneyoufeed.net says he gets the same cyclical feelings. He treats them like a cold or the flu. He knows they will pass.

What brings on the strong emotions?

The sources for this feeling for me are three-fold.

One: Distraction or inattention from my partner brought up old wounds from childhood. My parents were divorced. Attuned attention from them often felt fragmented or non-existent. They did the best they could as they navigated stressful lives of their own. Subconsciously, I absorbed the sense that I was on my own. I had to handle things, perform well and keep my emotions in check. That’s a lonely place to be. Those old wounds spoke loudly in my nervous system when I later sensed my partner’s preoccupation with everything but us (me).

 

Two: From college on, I physically lived far away from family. Part of my desired persona was to look independent. I went to Michigan State University, a college of more than 50,000 students after growing up in a small town of about 9,000 people. I moved to Chicago after college. I moved on and up (in my opinion). I did not need anyone. I wanted to explore the world. The trouble arose when I married and had a family. I needed help but thought I should be able to handle everything. All of my family was out of state. The stresses of parenting and marriage, felt heavier without familial support. The isolation sat in my chest and came out in tears late at night.

 

Three: My partners suffered from their own wounds and struggles. Everything from ADD to PTSD to dysfunctional childhoods. Their wounds left them incapable of meeting emotional needs (theirs and mine). It helped to gain understanding of their unavailability but the emptiness still slipped in. In the throes of sadness, it was (is) difficult to see beyond the hurt. Blaming is much easier. Brooding takes over. The crying starts again.

 

They do not have to crush you

As my wedding date grows closer, these old now familiar feelings loom. I’ve done enough personal work and professional research to know they are part of my makeup and are not dooming. I can work through them and create secure connections with loved ones.

 

They still give me pause. They still don’t feel good.

 

Space from the overwhelm

My suggestion is to get space from the downward thought spiral. Exercise. Talk with close friends. Help someone else. Create something. Do something novel to break a pattern. Write down a personal narrative that leads you from childhood wounds to what personal strengths those wounds gave you.

 

Space allows us to see the issues in real light. We then discern whether they are a ghost wound from our past or our partner’s past. We can also see if there is a practical solution to our pain. For example, joining a church, moving closer to family or finding a supportive community could relieve feelings of loneliness.

 

Notice the times when you do not feel low. When do you feel light and energized? When do you not feel owned by your feelings? Know you can live through the tough times. They will not keep you from living a rich meaningful life. If anything, they will give you fodder for growth.

 

You are not helpless

My main message for this post is to strive for understanding and action versus wallowing in painful emotions. Take it from a recovering? wallower, doing these helps us take the hurt far less personally. It is reassuring to know powerful emotions guide us but do not have to own us.

 

Do strong emotions keep you down? How could you get space from them? Do you notice a cycle or pattern regarding your emotions?

 

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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