Surviving Family Estrangement: You are NOT going crazy!

So you would be surprised by many people who, in throes of estrangement, reach out and tell me they feel feel like they are going crazy or going mad.
Maybe they feel like they are over-reacting to situations, maybe highly sensitive, or just very uncertain of themselves.

And this could be reinforced by people in their lives who might judgemental/critical to their reactions, seeing only outward behavious and not
whats underneath.

And my response is generally always the same…you are not crazy, you are just carrying legitimate pain…and I legimate needs to be underlined
and put into BOLD to really emphasis its importance. The pain is real, its not imagined, its not in your head, its in your body…its in your nervous
system, its in the emotional regions of the brain and most of all, its in your heart which could be broken as a result of the whole situation.

The problem is that we get so caught up in survival mode, constantly trying to manage the pressures of estrangement, which
includes all the external social pressures (such as managing the fears of potentially crossing paths with the estranged parties) and
internal emotional pressues (such as mananging the guilt and uncertainty)…and we lose touch with the fact that:

1: One or more of the most important attachments you will ever have has been severed, which in itself is a traumatic loss,


2: The attachment has been severed for a reason and it could such things are abusive behaviours, manipulation, betrayal, neglect, etc.
which are equally as traumatic.

And these deep wounds very often go unrecognised, invalidated and leave a person feeling incredible vulnerable…so they are not really being themselves or might not feel like themselves.

And this leads to one of the biggest tragedies of estrangement in that NOW is the time you need support, NOW is the time you need to be validated, NOW is the time you need to be protected and NOW is the time you need to feel understood.

But very few really understand what you are going through because society in general doesnt understand estrangement, why it happens and more importantly,
the losses incurred.

So you are not going mad. You are legimiately suffering a great loss and your reactions are a reflection of this.

And you really need to stop punishing yourself and focus on finding a different way of viewing your internal reality, slowly shifting it towards compassion, softness, self-reassurance and all the other things that we all know we need to heal but struggle to bring into our daily lives.

Take care


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