Dear Therapist: 'I feel abandoned'

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By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Wed 3 Nov 2021, 2:41 PM

Last updated: Wed 3 Nov 2021, 4:35 PM

I had a bad breakup in my previous relationship of two and a half years where I felt like I had been abandoned. I thought that my relationship would never end and it did. It’s made it difficult for me to invest in those kind of emotions with other people now. Even though I feel like I’ve moved on, I will not be able to open up or give so much of myself to anyone like I did in my previous relationship. — Kiara L.

Dear Kiara, it is definitely hard to be vulnerable again after the loss of a valued relationship. You are trying to avoid feeling abandoned, hurt or humiliated again and may have set walls in place to prevent it from occurring. Such strategies often backfire and you may, in turn, feel more isolated and alone than ever. Sooner or later, these feelings may push you to venture into dating pool again. As hard as it may be, you cannot have an intimate relationship without being open to pain. You will remain ‘abandoned’ and stuck unless you de-catastrophise the distress and instill the faith that you can recover from the loss, if it does occur. Reflecting on how you perceived the loss, the ways it changed you and your ideas of a relationship will empower you to be more open again. Learning to accept uncertainties and improving your resilience can help you progress to healthier relationships.

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