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You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
C.M.
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
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
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.
your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
Sherrie
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
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
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

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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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