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How can I stop feeling so abandoned?

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Hi Mark,

I have gone through the self-esteem pack and the assertiveness training pack and have found both very helpful.

I was in a very destructive relationship that was emotionally (and physically) abusive. I feel I am improving with more self-respect and a better understanding of other people, but I seem to have setbacks and times of depression. I feel I don't have any support from anyone, so I have tried to connect with my two sisters more. I have no other family. I am single, childless, and 61 years old. I am the middle child, no brothers.

I really have tried to be positive and understanding toward them, but continually feel shut out. They both make plans that exclude me; they take vacations together and run all-family events without even telling me or consulting me. I feel they look at me as a bother and worthless. They are a pair along with their husbands and I am abandoned, left out.

As I started to think about this situation, I came up with four other scenarios of three sisters of which two paired up and the third is abandoned and the third, abandoned sister always had psychological problems (one even committed suicide). Is this really a common thing that happens with three sisters? If so (or not), how do I deal with this? Am I never to get any support from them? It is hard for me, as I feel if I can't find some support from my family, whom can I turn to when I need some help? Should I just try to adjust to my loneliness? I feel I need to make some sense of this.

This question was submitted by 'Linda'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hello Linda,

It's great you have made progress with both the self-esteem and assertiveness training packs. In a way, this is like ensuring that your digestive tract is working well, but you still need the right kinds of and correct amounts of 'food'. You can do all the hypnosis and self-development in the world, but you still have primal human needs that need to be met, to a greater or lesser extent, in the world. When we don't or can't meet a need for connection or feeling included and given love and attention from one source - family, for instance - we need to get it from another.

It really is important that you make more social connections with people who are capable of giving you what you need. It needn't be too much. Research found that two social interactions a month seems to have protective benefits for both mind and body.

Times of depression, then, can be viewed not as a context-less disease but as a response, a signal like thirst or hunger, that an important need is under-met. Once we are clear about things, we are better positioned to make changes.

I wouldn't think too much about other sisters and what happened or seemed to happen to the one that seemed to be neglected. You are much further along the road as far as solutions are concerned and can turn all that around.

Now, you make a couple of all-or-nothing assumptions in your message. You assume they look at you as worthless and a bother. Is there any real evidence for that? Is it possible they assume you are so independent that you wouldn't want to join in with these trips, outings, and vacations? Have you told them how you feel? Or invited them to events? People can seem vindictive or uncaring when, in fact, they are just thoughtless and make unfounded assumptions. All this is worth checking out.

We can all learn to get by on a little less human contact, but we all need some. But the danger is we put all our eggs into one basket and if we lose that basket, then we are much more vulnerable. As far as you can, spread the source of meaningful connection in your life. Different friends in different places.

I hope this is useful.

All best wishes,

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - September 28th, 2014 in

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