Love Withdrawal and Unresolved Grief
By Jim Hall, MS, Love Addiction Specialist
You are not necessarily feeling this pain because of your ex relationship partner, although at this time it may be difficult to understand this- what you are experiencing is that little child of yours crying out desperately for acceptance, worth and value (which is, although difficult to realize, truly inside of you now- you are born inherently precious, worthy, lovable).
Feelings - Abandonment - Trauma
When we carry unresolved wounding from childhood into our adult lives especially emotional traumas and abandonment--- these wounds resurface in intimate relationships and result in emotional pain.
When you feel an acute sense of abandonment from a romantic partner and the internal toxic shame you suddenly become overwhelmed with-- this is the wounded part of yourself that never was healed in childhood.
You've carried emotional trauma, shame and/or abandonment experiences from growing up in a dysfunctional family into adulthood, and these childhood experiences become triggered in romantic relationships the most--- and deeply become triggered when you feel rejected, ridiculed, demeaned, discounted and when a relationship attachment is broken.
When an attachment bond becomes broken as an adult, the wounded child in you ends up internalizing the rejection or loss of the addiction (partner); the body and mind incorporates the wound of abandonment.
Self-blame and internalized feelings of being "less-than" and unworthy of love
You take a failed relationship to heart, falsely personalize it and injure yourself, internalizing the rejection, just as a child would. The old wounds resurface, spilling their toxins with a supposedly new injury.
When you feel an ex-partner couldn't love you because of something you did wrong (which is not the case; remember Avoidants are allergic to love and intimacy, has nothing to do with you/the love addict).
The wound becomes a self-contained system where self-doubt incubates and fear and emptiness becomes in-grown fueling the pain of withdrawal.
You internalize every behavior and every word that our lost partner has done; has done; or said, or is saying. You may think back to times when your partner said you 'are weak', 'not good enough', 'undeserving', 'it's all your fault'.
And you internalize the lies which foster's the carried childhood shame, ever so deeper.
You may 'make up' in your head (these are the lies you tell yourself) why he/she left the relationship- or why he/she couldn't love me back with irrationality and distortions, and the toxic shames speaks to you, "I wasn't enough", "I didn't love enough", "I didn't give enough", "I should have...", or "If only ...", etc., as reasons why the relationship ended-- then internalize more "made-up" distortions while further shaming the self within.
He or she (ex-partner) may be blaming you for problems and ultimate demise of the relationship- its internalized deep within as a complete reality- when in truth, it is not. When two dysfunctional individuals come together, both contribute to the dysfunction and failure of a relationship that is the reality.
For example, if you experienced a loss through death of a loved one (close friend, parent, sibling, friends or any significant other), and the loss was not grieved in healthy manners; the grief can carry over to an addictive relationship gone bad, and invigorate an ever deep and overwhelming and agonizing emotional pain.
The grief is real when you're a love addict in withdrawal. The pathological pain is also real in withdrawal, yet this extreme pain and preoccupation and obsessing about the fantasy of what you thought you had is a big part of the addiction to love.
It shows us just how powerful love addiction can be. It may be powerful, true, but his doesn't't mean you're stuck with as long as you never want these kind of occurrences and unhealthy relationships to continue in your life.
What is the solution to coping and surviving through grief and withdrawal?