Sunday, January 07, 2018
When Family is Not Loving or Supportive
I once visited a middle-aged woman in the ICU of a city hospital. She was in treatment for cancer. At first, her husband was loving and supportive. But then, a few months after her recent diagnosis, he abandoned her for a younger woman.
Naturally, she was utterly devastated. Her initial reactions were to hang on to the pain and even to her husband who betrayed her. I felt for her as she shared these traumatic feelings. I saw in her a fear of being alone that's even greater than the fear of her cancer.
Individuals I see at times talk a lot about their unloving, unsupportive loved ones in the midst of their trials. Spouse. Father, mother. Siblings. Children. Grandparents. As a result of being "cut off" by their loved ones, they experience overwhelming hardship in dealing with their trauma.
It's always sad to hear this from people. It's such a painful place to be.
My comment is, give birth to your new self!
We are all capable of surviving and being on our own. Despite the deepest pains we experience, we can still live a full life. If we can fight a disease, for instance, we can fight any loss, including loss of love or support from family.
Discover your self. Find resources to build you up. Devote your life to healing and love. Go out in the rain and you'll see how strong you can be.
Here's another takeaway: if you change your self, you change the people around you.
It's reality that family members may not be capable to be the kind of people to love and support you in time of need or woundedness. A best thing you can do is to accept that reality. Avoid wasting time and energy in conflict or expectation. Find others who will give you support.
At times, the problem is one of changing the way you communicate. Are you letting your family members know accurately and honestly what you need? If they can't be supportive because of their own issues or inadequacies, they may not change.
But you can choose to change. Just get your family do what they can. Don't stop loving them. Lighten up. There is always hope.
As you change your self and your behavior, soon your family may see that they've to change too!