Do not miss out the first part.
When the abandoned child is feeling its pain and loss, the rest of the adult person is unable to find emotional balance. New skills are needed to help sort out the confusion, and to create new, healthier patterns.
Part of the healing may include grieving and anger, as those repressed feelings are released. But it is equally important to look at strengths: how well you are doing and what you want to contribute to the world as well as the positive side of parents and caretakers. Most people do the best they can.
Healing is a process of peeling the onion, so to speak. Revealing one layer after another, with time for rest and integration, leads to inner peace, resolution, and forgiveness.
Here are some suggestions:
1. Write about parallels between the past and the present. Become more aware of old patterns finding their way into your current life.
2. List all the ways you feel you were abandoned. Don’t worry if the list doesn’t make logical sense or is too long or short. Just write what you feel and remember.
3. Look at photographs of you and your family from those time periods as a way to help you remember details. Becoming more aware of the past can help you sort issues in the present.
4. Write an “unsent letter”—do not send it!—to your mother, telling her all the ways you appreciated her.
5. Now write an “unsent letter” listing the ways she let you down. DO NOT send unsent letters in the exercise—these are just ways for you to help yourself to heal.
Do the same for your father.
1. Write about your intentions for today, this week—what do you want to change? What are you goals in your life now?
2. What are you doing well now, and how is it different and better than what you or your family might have done in the past?
3. What are your strengths? Name 10 things your friends would say are your best traits.
4. Write about how you are your best friend. How you take care of yourself and like yourself.
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