ONE day, leafing through a Japanese dictionary, I came upon a word that caused me to marvel because it had so many different meanings—and ALL of them pertained to abandonment. The word is akeru. It means “to pierce, to open, to end, to make a hole in, to start, to expire, to unwrap, to turn over.” When someone leaves, akeru refers to the empty space that is created, the opening in which a new beginning can take place. I was amazed at the power of a single word that could suggest that to begin and to end are the same—part of one never-ending cycle of renewal and healing. I was excited to discover this concept and began to use it immediately in my work in abandonment recovery, delighted to see how readily people responded to its wisdom.
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Revised and Updated
Surviving Through and Recovering from the Five Stages That Accompany the Loss of Love. Written by Susan Anderson
Nobody is immune to the effects of psychological trauma. Whether you were involved in an abusive romantic relationship, an acrimonious divorce, witnessed a horrific event, experienced workplace bullying or spent time as a prisoner of war, the effects of experiencing psychological trauma can last for a few moments or for a lifetime.
We all have hidden heartache and emotional pain. We rarely carry physical proof on the outside to testify to the trauma our hearts have endured. Break-ups, divorce, death of loved ones, miscarriages… And though we often cannot see the pain physically, it is real.
Overcoming heartache and emotional pain is a struggle. How you feel is important and shouldn’t just be ignored. Give your pain a voice by talking with a few trusted friends. Find a support group of others struggling with your similar situations. Or perhaps you would benefit from going to a counselor.
Journaling about your thoughts is very therapeutic too. Writing is powerful as it creates a record of your journey. You can then look back and see how far you have progressed!
Reading has always been very helpful to me. It is comforting to know you are not alone. You are challenged to reframe what you are thinking. A great book is Loving What Is by Bryon Katie. She walks you through the steps of examining what you are thinking and saying to yourself, and if it truly is serving you well.
Do be aware that sometimes we can get stuck here. We just want to talk about our pain. To everyone! We can believe that is all we have the power to do. But that is a lie. Read more about getting stuck in crisis mode here.
As we talk we are acknowledging our pain and processing our heartache. So this is a necessary step, but it is meant to propel us forward.