My Therapy Stories (#3) – Abandonment

What is the impact of abandonment issues on our mental health? Here is my therapy story, and the kind of inner child healing I experienced with self-care.

Growing up, I faced a lot of abandonment issues.

The earliest memory is when I was 5 years old, and a Brazilian girl in my apartments announced that today was her last day. She was moving away. And it turned out, she was mad at me about something.

I had no clue why, but she went ahead and made fun of me infront of our friends. It was embarrassing but I wanted to rectify this. She was very dear to me. So I tried apologizing to her. But she pushed me away and left.

I never knew what became of her. I’ve forgotten her name and her face. But that was my first taste of rejection and stayed hidden in my subconscious for decades to follow.

As I grew older, there was a recurring incident of being kicked out of my group of friends. It was always a group of 4 or more girls, and somewhere down the line, I would be asked to go sit with someone else, or that I wasn’t wanted in their conversation.

In short, I always ended up alone. And this abandonment affected my self-worth over a period of time.

As a consequence, my introvert nature revealed itself in a deeper capacity. I started hanging out with one friend at a time. Groups made me uncomfortable and unwanted. When I didn’t have that ‘one’ friend, I would resort to being alone and doing my own thing.

It wasn’t until I came to college, that I made a lasting group of friends. Infact, when everyone showed up at my wedding, it was truly a healing touch for my wounded inner child.

Wedding, Friends, Happy, Abandonment, Celebrate, Therapy

How I Coped With My Abandonment Issues

Because of several childhood incidents, which I also talked about in the first two parts of My Therapy Stories, I became a people-pleaser. I had low self-esteem.

So, I constantly seeked people that validated me, for the things I did for them.

I tried to retain friendships by being extra nice as a person. It was as though I was always over-compensating for the friendship I lost at the age of 5.

I would make it a point to always go talk to the new kid, or the quiet kid. Because I knew how it felt to be left out.

I would spend hours making handmade gifts on birthdays, going out of my way to help my friends in whatever way I could. Emotionally, morally, financially. But I rarely ever experienced the same affection back for me.

My love for DIY was often extended in making handmade b’day cards.

I felt confused and unloved.

There were moments when all the heartbreak and abandonment had me second-guess my self-worth. But once I evolved from this behaviour, I was able to resolve a vital question on my journey towards Self-Love – do I love ‘too much’?

Inner Child Becomes Outer Rebel

People-pleasing combined with an introvert personality also led me to always be the good kid. Even when I didn’t like something, I never spoke up. Later, I became aware of this, and started rebelling and being defensive.

I would refuse to do as I was told. This lasted for a while, only until I started making sense of the importance of creating healthy relationship boundaries.

Through therapy, I learned that two people in a dialogue can both be right, and yet disagree. Someone’s opinion doesn’t invalidate mine. And I can be the mature one to hold space for both of us.

Ofcourse, I still sometimes struggle to do what someone else wants me to, because I feel scared that I am conforming again. The sense of righteousness within sometimes shows itself and gets in the way of having a happy conversation.

This is also why I am often called assertive and inquisitive. I have extensive discussions, and I want my mind to be able to do something without feeling invalid for how I feel.

But the lesson is clear to me. You have to believe in yourself first, you have to be your biggest supporter, not just the biggest critic. Everyone else’s approval comes after that, never before.

Concluding Thoughts

Abandonment is a common fear that can lead to insecurity, lack of self-worth and a big impact on the kind of relationships we enter. So many times, we hold on to less-than-healthy people because we are scared that we will be alone once again, if they leave us.

Dealing with my fears helped me close the loop on such relations, and step into healthier, fulfilling dynamics.

So, I encourage you to reflect on your own childhood memories, and identify the patterns that created who you are today. Is the fear of being abandoned a part of your story too?

Read More : My Therapy Stories – Inner Child Wounds

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My Therapy Stories (#2) : Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem can be effected by a number of things. Health was my reason. Here’s what therapy revealed for my well-being and confidence levels.

Some people are just overly susceptible to falling sick and all other kind of health issues. Growing up, I was one of them. This is part 2 in My Therapy Stories and I’m here to tell you about how inner child therapy boosted my self-esteem.

Growing up, I always felt so much guilt and shame, because my immunity wasn’t great. Constantly falling sick meant missing important events and opportunities. It’s funny and saddening at the same time to recall some of the things that shaped my image amongst people (and in my head too).

HEALTH (& GUILT) IN CLASS

I missed a lot of exams, took a lot of ‘half-days’ where my dad would have to bring me back early from school. I felt grateful for him, and yet quite ashamed of myself for constantly causing him this inconvenience. More and more, I tried to be independent and to not need my parents for anything.

Rarely, this was the case. So you can imagine the guilt-ception that followed. And the downward spiral of confidence levels and self-esteem.

This one time, when I was about 9 years old, our class went on a field trip to a house-turned-museum.

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A cute class photo around the time we went on our field trip, back in 4th grade.

I was so sick that I puked in the museum’s non-usable toilet. Yikes! Post that trip, one of my classmate’s parents commented, about how sick I always am. A face of disapproval and disgust accompanied her words.

In a session of Writing Therapy, I recalled this particular incident, which as a child became the root of my ever-increasing guilt. I was made to believe that I was inconvenient.

Another time, once I was back in India and a lot older, one of my teachers sympathetically told me that she thinks I should get some kind of special ‘havan‘ (an Indian ritual to please the Gods) done to free myself from all the ailments.

This same teacher went ahead and down-played my responsibility as a House Caption (to a Vice), just because she thought I’m always sick and won’t be available to take on the role. Thankfully for me, the Captain became one of my best friends, and we also had a good laugh about the situation.

selfie, ryan, school, yellow, smiling, happy faces, health, well-being, self-esteem
A selfie with the ‘Captain’ for Yellow House. She’s one of my best friends till date, so jokes on you, teacher!
Self-esteem? What’s that?!

Even as I continued to grow up, I continued falling sick and missing out on a lot of things.

In college, we planned the first and last trip, us friends. As you can probably tell by now, I didn’t go, because my health gave away, last-moment.

Sure, my friends were supportive, and also cracked a few jokes at my dispense, but internally, it can become exhausting never being able to rely on yourself.

For the longest time, people held the impression of me as the girl that always falls sick. That label, the one I appalled the most, clung on harder with each passing year.

BUT DID YOU DIE?!

No. Things finally took a turn when I began working.

Work was flexible – I could work from home if I wasn’t feeling well. By the end of my 3.5 years stint, I was barely ever taking time ‘off’ and I was in much better health.

Also, I had two adorable roommates that took care of me when I needed to be mothered. One would get me food, the other would bring back medicines on her way from work. They showed me that it’s okay and natural to fall sick. And that I am lovable, regardless of how well my white cells can fight.

health, healthy, roommates, selfie, happy friends, together, anniversary, celebrate, bangalore, smiling, self-esteem, confidence
A selfie on our one year roomie-versary in 2016! Love heals everything, even a weak immune system ๐Ÿ™‚

When I first started living with my roommates, I would carry a sweater, umbrella and allergy pills even if we were going out for a dinner date. Simply because I didn’t want to fall sick. I used to carry a mask and stay miles away from anyone that remotely had a cold, because…. well.

HOW LOVE SHOWED ME MY SELF-WORTH

Ofcourse, there were some really ‘down’ moments, such as the time I cancelled my own birthday because of an Irritated Bowel, or the time time I booked a trip but couldn’t go because of the same irritated bowel.

By the end, however, I was able to laugh at my sickness and honour the downtime. These were opportunities to reflect and rejuvenate my health, both mentally and physically.

There was a particular incident where I fell and my foot’s ligament tore. This meant months of bed-rest. And a big ‘no’ against visiting the water park.

I was no longer guilty. I enjoyed that day at home, colouring (therapeutic, by the way) and eating pizza. Now I knew better than to blame myself for a situation in which not much could be done.

shiva, coloring book, pencil colors, trident, children's coloring book
The coloring activity I did when I was stuck at home with a ligament injury. Cute coloring book for kids (and adults), eh?

Sometimes, therapy is simply a loving, conducive environment that lets you be you! Those 2 years taught me a lot about love, especially self-love. And that falling sick had nothing to do with my self-esteem.

THE LAST STRAW

When I fell sick before my wedding, it was embarassing.

It was naturally a crucial time, and everything was falling apart for me. I wasn’t sure I would make it to my own engagement event. This was my trigger point, and I hit another all-time low.

My parents stood by my side and unconditionally supported me; telling me that it’s okay and that it doesn’t make me a weak person, just because I fall sick. I have the right to fall sick and be taken care of. My then-fiancee, was sweet and kept insisting that he’d come see me, inspite his own anxiousness.

Everything turned out great in the end, yes. Infact, it was like a miracle being able to actually enjoy my wedding. As though now, I was as good as new!

couple dance, therapy, healing, health, smiling. morni, engagement, sagar vasundhra, bollywood, confident, self-esteem
A still from our engagement party, where my husband and I danced at the Bollywood number, Morrni. We had a blast!

Much later, in a one-on-one session of counselling/healing, my healer helped me release more of this guilt and shame. I finally let go out a huge, deeply-rooted roadblock that was responsible for effecting my self-esteem.

Ever since, I practise affirmations to remind myself that my body is strong, and that I should be proud of myself for all the things I DO successfully do on all my good days.

Sometimes, therapy is just a reminder for ourselves to take it easy, and to let go of the performance pressure.

Final Thoughts

Physical & Mental Health are closely integrated. Once I started releasing myself from the guilt and living in a mindset of wellbeing, I started noticing a significant improvement in both spaces. My confidence level is like never before. and I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. ๐Ÿ™‚

There are a lot of ways in which we heal, and this is an attempt to show you the benefits of investing in what the world still ‘stigmatises’. Therapy.

Therapy isn’t for sick people. It’s for people that want to become healthier.

Read More : Inner Child Wounds

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Inner Child therapy for Self-esteem and confidence : My therapy stories

3 Reasons for Spiritual Loneliness, A Feeling You Don’t Belong Here

Some hard-hitting truths about “belonging here”, spiritual junkies, and more. Here are 3 reasons we experience spiritual loneliness.

It’s common for people spiritually inclined to start feeling disconnected from the world. I believe that 3 factors cause this spiritual loneliness. Working on these areas can help make our experience on Earth more wholesome once again, as it should be. So lets dive right in!

#1 – The ‘Illusion’ Mindset

One way I see this, and have personally been a victim of myself, is the ‘illusion’ mindset. This is messing with our heads in multiple ways. Here’s how.

Illusion #1 – We Are Not This Body

It’s true that we are not this body, and the body is only a vessel. But when you burn your finger, or hit your head, how do you go about believing this is an illusion?!

Plush Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Injury, Spiritual Loneliness, Disconnected from reality, physical health
It is most often in moments of pain, that the physical reality dawns upon us. Before that, we’re in our own worlds, in our own bubbles.

Then, my first question is, why should we reject this vessel? Or worse, misuse it, thinking that it is impermanent in nature?

Isn’t spirituality about respecting the entirety of existence – every cell, every molecule, every energy form?

Look after your physical body. Have more time for activities such as Yoga, gymming or a simple jog around the blog.

Illusion #2 – Everything material is ‘maya’

Not just the physical body. But when you’re focused on the spiritual aspect of your life, you automatically start feeling a disconnection from materialism.

For example, the car I drive is not an illusion, because it definitely does get me from one point to another. And every time I’ve had an accident, I’ve surely felt the impact of it in my very bones! But there was a time when I was the girl who freaked out and screamed at an auto-driver because he rammed his auto into my brand new car.

Auto, Vehicle, Automotive, Vw, Old, dent, scratch, broken, car, accident

Because of what I will propose in the solution soon, I am no longer attached to my car. I enjoy driving, and yes, it upsets me that all my hard-earned money is spent repairing the many scrapes that occur from driving on jam-packed Indian roads. But I am no longer that girl.

Illusion #3 – All Your Relationships are Temporary

Furthermore, the illusion mindset makes you disconnect from relations around you. When you start seeing everything as temporary, you force yourself to detach.

However, detachment, unless coming from a natural place is bound to give you the feeling of spiritual loneliness.

Read More : How to Stop Being an Emotional Sponge and Have More Detached Compassion

Illusion #4 – This Planet is Fake

And the most serious example of the implications of the illusion mindset, is people that aren’t worried this planet is under man-induced catastrophe that can wipe out our entire race. Why?

Because they believe that it’s temporary and that we’ll go live on another planet anyway. In other words, undermining the entire course of nature that got us to where we are. Hmm…

And so I come back to the question once again. Isn’t spirituality about respecting the very essence of everything, material and non-material?

It neither makes sense to ignore or call our experiences an illusion, and neither does it help to become overly obsessed with the things that deliver these experiences.

How do we find a balance though? We’ll get to that shortly. Let’s quickly talk about the second type of disconnect.

#2 – The Intergalactic Mindset

The second way in which I’ve seen the disconnection rise, is the growing talk in the community about people being starseeds, or coming from different planets to help the people on Earth.

Some believe that they’re from the future, or from a parallel reality and have been trapped into this version of life. Others even believe that there’s a matrix in place that prevents us from remembering our true state, and that aliens are helping us exit this matrix.

Ufo, Alien, Guy, Pozaziemianin, Ufoludek, spiritual loneliness
And while I respect all ideas and remain neutral about how true they are or not, ultimately we all come from the same source.

When we reminisce the potent planets we may have lived on in the past or that we’re better because we are NOT really human descendants, we are neither fully appreciating life on Earth.

Nor are we giving a fair chance to the opportunities we can take in the here and now, because we have layers of disapproval, resentment or even sadness about how the environment here is not what we want it to be.

And we are feeding our spiritual loneliness by trying to create spiritual qualifications, groups or hierarchies.

My philosophy is simple. No matter where you’ve come from and what paradise you’ve seen, now that you’re here, let’s try to make the most of it, eh?

#3 – Being on a Spiritual ‘High’

What could be so wrong with being on a Spiritual high, you might ask.

Desktop, Pill, Abstract, Addiction, Spiritual high, pretty capsules, colorful pills, sparkles, glitters, shiny

We feel better about ourselves, because hey, atleast we’re not sex-freaks or addicts, but are we really any better, if we ourselves are spiritual junkies? And you might even wonder, is there even such a thing as being too spiritual?

I’ll let you read more about this hard-hitting answer first, and come back to this post.

Even after reading the aforementioned post, you might not think you’re on a spiritual high, but there are always signs and symptoms that become prevalent.

The biggest sign is your lower chakras being out of balance.

Your lower chakras connect you to the physical realm, the higher chakras to the Spiritual realm, and your heart centers and anchors you to both!

The practice of balancing our chakras is essential, because it’s easy to get carried away and start renouncing so many of the human needs before we’re meant to. The worst effect is how disconnected we feel from EVERYONE and keep going on and on about how we’re ‘different’.

I mean think about it. Don’t you think something has to be off in our inner energies too? The whole of existence can’t be wrong, can it?

So, let’s talk about the solution now for all this talk about spiritual loneliness.

EXPERIENCING TRUE CONNECTION

I will go into much more detail about Chakras in a future post, but major thing you need to understand today, is the need to align of your chakra system. This is quintessintial to make the most of every aspect of your being – Spiritual and Physical.

Chakra, Energy Centres, Body, Center, Balance, Yin Yang, Inner Peace, Spiritual Loneliness no more,

Some practical and easy techniques that I highly recommend from personal practice are :

  • Natural grounding practices like being in nature, around animals, playing with kids etc. to rebalance your lower chakras and help you feel more connected through your Root,
  • Meditating or wearing grounding crystals. Black tourmaline is one recommendation. Clear quartz and amethyst have worked well for me too.
  • Meditate on your heart Chakra (my suggestion is the Heartfulness Way by Daaji)
As spiritually awakened beings, it is our responsibility to look after and optimize our use of the energy centers given to us. Not ignore them and fool around (neither spiritually, nor materially).
Beer, Blotto, Comic, Court, Drinking, Fool around, joker, irresponsible

Don’t believe me? Sincerely try these techniques out for just 2 to 3 weeks, and you’ll experience the inner transformation yourself. Spiritual loneliness? No more. ๐Ÿ™‚

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3 Reasons You Are Experiencing Spiritual Loneliness