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Still Suffering from Unrequited Love and Wondering What to Do about It…

19 Feb

Belleruth,

I suffer from PTSD from a very unique trauma. My mother has Borderline Personality Disorder and destroyed my path in life a very long time ago. She made me leave the man I loved, that was her main goal.

Although I am lucky to have found another great man and have been married for almost 22 years and have 5 amazing kids (triplets and twins!!), I am still experiencing the pain of this loss.

We never broke up with each other, as we loved each other and wanted a future together.

My mother broke me down in every way until I felt that suicide was the only way out of pain. My boyfriend felt the same way.

Didn't she ever read Romeo & Juliet? I guess not.

Anyway, I was referred to you regarding PTSD and I would like to know what kind of self help I can use to help me with this unusual loss in my life. Thank you!

Alana

Dear Alana,
First of all, kudos to you for finding a great husband and enjoying a wonderful marriage with five amazing kids, in spite of the way the decks were stacked against you by your mentally ill mother.  

Bravissima and hip, hip, hooray for you!!

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I do have some suggestions for putting this to rest in a peaceful way.  

Let me just say up front that this list I’m about to provide is probably overkill; you wouldn’t have to do all of these things to get some resolution.  But you can pick and choose, starting with what most appeals to you or feels easiest to do. And all three approaches, I’m pretty sure, will get the job done and then some.  One thought: it may be way easier to say goodbye to this guy than to forgive your mother, and that may be the underlying issue that will need addressing at some point.

  • In the guided imagery department, I’d recommend the Ease Grief imagery. It fits well with this situation and repeated listening could be a big help.  I’d pair that imagery with our Anger & Forgiveness audio program, to help you with your feelings toward your mother – but only if you feel ready to consider the possibility of forgiving her – don’t impose this on yourself if you’re not ready.

  •  There’s a very effective dialogue-writing technique created years ago by Ira Progoff that would be perfect for this.  It would allow you to say all the things you still feel you need to say to your old sweetheart and to hear back from him, too (I know that sounds crazy, but it’s set up in such a way that it really works – you have a real dialogue and it’s consistent with the character, situation, language and context of the actual relationship. I’ve done it and it’s pretty amazing.)  You could either take a workshop – very gratifying - or just order the workbook  – the guidance is pretty straightforward and you’ll succeed either way.

  • You could augment resolution with one of the highly effective acupoint tapping techniques – either EFT (emotional freedom technique) or TFT (thought field therapy) to name two popular ones. This method is also pretty odd looking, but who cares if it helps?  You can pop over to Mary Sise’s or Carol Look’s website for guidance, personal one-on-one help via Skype or in person, or actual products that can guide you, step by step.  

Okay, so those are my suggestions.  Wishing you the very best with this.

Belleruth

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award and was released in paperback January of 2006.