The other extreme is to become overly detached in relationships. This also originates as a self-protective measure, usually against an intrusive, controlling other. It often begins in childhood and develops as the person matures and enters adult relationships. Some detachment and ability to set boundaries is healthy. It is important to let the other person in your life accept responsibility for feelings and choices. It is appropriate to protect yourself from someone who might abuse you. It becomes problematic when it results in a pattern of disengaging in every relationship. When you perpetually disengage, there is no real connection – therefore, no real relationship, emphasis here on relating. Just two people co-existing in a very superficial way. An overly detached person finds it difficult to ask for help. It implies weakness. Attempts to allow closeness and intimacy provoke a lot of anxiety. Someone who can’t connect has difficulty feeling or expressing emotions. As a result, the emotions get bottled up and come out in inappropriate ways over (often) unrelated matters. Distance is maintained by keeping conversation superficial, finding reasons to frequently go or stay out alone (work, manufactured obligations to friends or family, etc.), or inability to commit to a long-term relationship. These behaviors come from a deep fear of being trapped or suffocated. There is fear of loss of the self, loss of choice, loss of independence. Ironically, an overly detached person often chooses a controlling, needy, clingy person to become involved with. The two then push each others’ buttons and bounce off each other like crazy till they light up like a pinball machine, and the relationship self-destructs. From an on-line article by Katherine Rabinowitz, LP, M.A., NCPsyA http://www.therapycanwork.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=49&Itemid=99
Real hope combined
with real action has always
pulled me through difficult times.
Real hope combined with doing nothing
has never pulled me through.