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I don’t know if I am the only one who deals with this or feels this way, but sometimes when dealing with a family member and their emotional crisis I feel like I am more prone to judgement, less capable of compassion and acceptance. I do not know what makes me feel like I can be more accepting of a complete stranger through their moments of struggle than those closest to me, but at times I feel a very strong sense of detachment from those I love when they are in crisis. Is it because I think or know they are capable of so much more? But can they really do so much more or am I asking too much? I do not know if anyone else experiences anything similar, but any input would help a ton.
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5 Replies to “Detachment from Loved ones During Crisis”
I struggle with showing compassion too but no only with my family. But I treat people with respect unless they give me a reason not to. Don’t blame yourself, I think you are doing good by thinking about it.
I appreciate your thoughts on my post. After reading your response, I feel like I do show respect and it’s not like I am rude to those going through the hardship, I just seem to put more of a distance between them and I because I feel as if it’s very hard for me to see them struggling and not taking care of themselves. Especially in those moments when the individual is a caregiver and you expect them to be capable of so much more. I guess I know enough about the situation to be thinking about it like you mentioned, to see that something is off as well so that helps me feel better too.
Sometimes its good to “detach with love” from people because if the attachment will do more harm than good, then it’s better off that you detach. There’s nothing wrong with protecting your sanity either. I heard a quote the other day that can maybe help in your situation.. “show someone you care before showing them what you know”. So you may know that they deserve better, but to first show care (the compassion you were talking about). Also, meeting someone where they are at in that moment and in their life in general is important too. Being open to understanding where their mindset is at can be really helpful in growing that compassion and avoiding judgement. Either way, sometimes we do have to detach to prevent enabling someone, which is essentially a huge form of love and compassion!
I understand, and hopefully my response can shed some light or give you some insight. I can relate to the feelings of isolation, judgement and the frustration as you see loved ones who are in a different place. I wanted to share some quick thoughts/emotions that I have felt at one point for another, and provide a response to each of them.
1) Incorrect Thought: “Their crisis is my responsibility”
Truth: “Everyone is on their own journey doing the best they can.”
I definitely understand a sensitive person like me can feel the emotions of others – which makes it all the easier to want to fix and change people we care about. Family and close friends do seem to bring up more intense emotions for a lot of us. I clearly remember what it was like when I was living at home, and I would be around family members who had their own stuff going on. It definitely got to be too much, but I found reading books on boundaries really helpful.
(check it out here at this link) – I wouldn’t get caught up in the label ‘codependant,’ but it definitely provides some great resources
Another expert that is awesome for detaching is Louise Hay, who is pretty well known in the alternative healing world. I know there are Youtube videos with some great mediation and affirmation tracks on it, some that are specific to what may be on your mind.
2) Thought: “If I detach, i will feel safe from their “stuff”
Truth: I am strong and safe as my own indiviudal
What you said I can totally relate to as well – you feel it is safer to shut down so you don’t absorb and enagage with people’s negative behaviors. For example, it is still hard for me to go to crowded areas like the mall or a big party, because I tend to be an ‘emotional sponge’ as people would say.
I found a great page that has some resources you can try (I will be sure to practive these too!)
Definitely let me know how these hints work for you! – Michael
Thank you for these hints and your insight. I know that I have begun using some already, such as distancing myself from the person/people as well as using breath practices to center myself. Those two things have definitely helped a ton. Also, I really like the fact that you provided me with several incorrect thoughts and an alternative truth to that thought, giving me another method of looking at things. This way, I am able to see that not everything is as it seems and I am able to shift my view on things depending on my overall attitude. Sometimes it just helps to be able to see things from a different perspective, so thank you.