Oftentimes we open ourselves up too soon before we understand our roles. For me, I was quick to trust people until I learned I couldn’t trust them…by the time I figured out they were not trust worthy, I’d already invested much time and emotional energy. This got me in trouble on many occasions, but I’ve learned it’s not about changing who I am; it’s about taking the necessary steps to get clarity on my role and the other person’s role…. taking time to do my due diligence before I allow myself to invest any emotional energy whether on a small or large scale.
Have you ever heard of emotional divorce?
Well… emotional divorce is emotional separation or complete disconnection from
another individual. To be honest with you, I’ve found myself going through the process of emotional divorce numerous times because I prematurely invested emotions into someone who was never meant to be in my life (at all, short term, or long term). Understanding the roles and capacity of such roles will enable you to know how much emotional energy you will need to invest, if any. It took many emotional divorces for me to get this. Sounds crazy, huh? In understanding my weaknesses and strengths, it took me some time to implement this method. Even now, I still fall short and find myself emotionally investing much too soon. It is not an easy thing, but you have to be intentional and deliberate in taking the necessary steps to not get emotionally attached too soon. We have to be careful to know who and what we are dealing with because if we don’t, we’ll find ourselves feeling the hurt and pain of emotional divorce… and it’s not the greatest feeling.
During my process of dealing with emotional divorce, I noticed five common phases: denial (rejection of the truth), anger (extreme displeasure), depression (extreme sadness), acceptance (willingness to receive), and moving on (letting go).
Are you kidding me…. I know this did not just happen to me is commonly recited in the beginning stage of experiencing emotional divorce. You laugh it off because you really can’t believe what went down actually went down. You even try to convince yourself otherwise until you begin to feel withdrawals and anxiety of connecting with that individual. I know this feeling oh so well…You get this deep pain in your chest and you feel as if your heart is being squeezed and beaten. You feel like you must do something to ease the feeling because it hurts so badly. You may feel like calling the person to get some form of clarity on whatever you may think you need clarity on… Keep in mind, denial tends to affect our decisions and choices because we lie to ourselves to avoid the inevitable…. IT IS OVER!!! NO MORE COMMUNICATING…..NO MORE SPENDING TIME….WHATEVER IT MAY BE…. NO MORE OF IT!!! If you find yourself calling, you’re only prolonging the process.
The moment you realize you’re hurt, you begin to replay different encounters and situations in your head. You begin to see warning signs…. Recognize inconsistencies. You are angry with yourself for allowing yourself to invest time and emotional energy. You begin to analyze the situation and the more you analyze the situation the angrier you get. Eventually the anger shifts from self toward the other individual. You begin to wonder why that person could be so this and so that. You spend time looking at old text messages, pictures, and whatever else that reminds you of them. You recognize you were straight played, but all the signs were there…you just failed to take heed. This phase is crazy because you can go back and forth with being angry with self and the other person. During this time you somehow drift in and out of extreme sadness.
You begin to review old text messages, pictures, and whatever reminds you of that individual… You may even frequent his or her social media sites. I’ve gotten my feelings hurt on many occasions reviewing an ex-boyfriend, acquaintance, or colleague’s social media site. It appears they've moved on and could care less. After seeing this, I would feel some type of way and begin to experience bouts of extreme sadness. I would even think I was not good enough or that something was wrong with me. See, during this stage you become unstable in your emotions …. one minute you’re fine… then the next you’re in tears….feeling some type of way. The things you once found pleasure in are now interrupted by sporadic thoughts of that person throughout the day. Crazy thing… the smallest thing can trigger sadness. During this phase you also conjure up different types of negative traits about him or her. You feel as though he or she never cared about you to begin with and that makes you angry, so you end up reverting back to anger. You and anger are one with each other until you recognize the role you played in all of this. Once you recognize your role and how you invested way too much too soon, you begin to accept everything.
Text messages and pictures are deleted…. Social media friendships are disconnected and you make the decision to accept what happened. In this, you are able to clearly distinguish your part, his or her part, and seek out the lesson that comes from the situation. This phase is never easy because you really have to look at self and analyze your own actions… analyze why you allowed yourself to lower your guards and invest so much so soon. You have to be honest with yourself and decide to work on you… You are your most important project!!
Once you’re gone through the hard part, you’ll usually ready to move on confidently because now it’s no longer about the other person….the focus is on you. You’ll have the ability to make a solid decision and stand on such decision. During this phase you normally find ways to build yourself up: (1) Spend time with positive people… people who make you smile and value you as a person, (2) listen to up lifting music and stay away from sad or love songs, (3) try different things and go different places…come out your comfort zone and live….Smile….Love on yourself and Be happy!!! Move on knowing that the situation made you a better person. The situation maturated you in an area that was extremely weak and immature…..Learn what you need to learn, so you don’t have to go through the situation again.
Let's talk later...
Smith, M, M.A., Saisan, J, M.S.W., and Segal, J, Ph.D. (2014). Depression Symptoms & Warning Signs: How to Recognize Depression Symptoms and Get Effective. Retrieved from Helphttp://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_