How Can I Get Through This Divorce?
A significant life transition like divorce affects us on many levels, and we need to find a way to retain our emotional balance.
Q I’m going through a traumatic divorce, I have 2 children and I’m working full time.
Fortunately I met a wonderful man last year and it’s pretty serious. My problem is that I’m feeling insecure and my self esteem is low.
I’m usually very confident but this has taken a knock recently.
I also feel I’m losing control of money and my house etc due to my ex husband’s underhand ways.
I can hear myself being a bit needy, and it’s a trait I don’t like. I have jealousies that were never there before and I don’t like me at the moment. My temper has got shorter and I’m just looking for peace within.I need a kick start to knock the insecurities on the head. Can you can help me?
A Your 5th word sums up the problem…’traumatic’.
When our brain experiences trauma – whether physical or emotional – it becomes emotionally over-aroused. It’s like the volume gets turned up too high – and unless we find a way to turn it down again it stays up there and interferes with our otherwise ‘normal’ day-to-day life.
I think of it as being like one of those snow globes that you shake up and the ‘snow’ flutters about… but in this case it doesn’t settle.
You have to find a way to get it to settle… in fact use that snow-globe image and see the snow start to settle as you breath deeply and slowly… and calm your mind and body down. Do this regularly.
You’re still having a traumatic time and you need to recover from this. You can speed this up by making good use of your imagination and determination.
The brain reacts more quickly to images, and it can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s vividly imagined.
You’re all ‘shaken up’ inside due to your circumstances outside. Only when you learn how to emotionally detach from the effects of this outside stuff, can your inside stuff calm down. The ’emotional volume’ will then be turned down one bit at a time.
Lack of material security is traumatic too and really triggers the deeper basic fear of ‘survival’.
Jealousy is also about fear – that someone else will take what you have and value.
As for your temper – that’s also a symptom of your inner anxiety and fear.
Your shaky self-esteem wasn’t always so – and in that case you will be able to ‘re-set’ it back to its previous state… when you’ve calmed down your inner emotional upset.
I suggest that you vividly ‘see’ yourself (with your lovely new partner) in a happy, loving and ‘safe’ place together … and really soak up that soothing and calming feeling. Repeat this visual image (and similar ones) often.
Having lots of long and genuine hugs (that last over 20 seconds) will release the chemical Oxytocin into your bloodstream too and help you to feel safe and secure again.
I’m wondering if you are somehow feeling guilty or ashamed about your divorce and perhaps the part you played in it.
If so, this may be a reason why you’re seeing yourself in a negative light – and then becoming clingy for fear of losing another man.
If that is the case you’ll need to have a chat with yourself about this too (maybe write it down in a question and answer style like this).
Find out what feelings you’re still holding onto about the divorce and what (if anything) you still need to say or do to clear that old stuff out of the way and allow you to skip lightly into your happier future.
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy)
MIND HEALER & MENTOR - I help women to FEEL better, so they can BE, DO and HAVE better!
www.maxineharley.com - where you'll find some FREE resources to help you to calm down your emotional state so that you can think and function better