Loss of Relationships
Relationships join two together.
Examples; Marriage, long term love relationships, romantic friendships,
friendships, companionships, aquaintanceships, parental and sibling relationships,
humans and pets, etc.
Three main types of friendships-
1. We are interested
in the person then in the activities we do together.
2. The activities we do together is more important
than the person.
3. Acquaintanceship's - are a no obligations or a no commitment
type of friendship. It is superficial. "How are you today?" "Fine"....
And we may have a light conversation or just throw them a smile as we past
Relationships enrich our lives, yet relationships come
and go from our lives... most especially companions and acquaintances
as they naturally tend to fade away as our interests or their interests
Formation of a relationship:
A relationship is formed by two
people "negotiating" how they will be together. They join together to fill
a need(s) in each other.
Example: I like to play ball therefore
I make friends with the people on the ball team and we have BBQ's, ice
cream and coffee's together. They need me and I need them to make fun and
a ball team.
The breaking of a relationship:
The relationship breaks when I, or the other, breaks it
and moves on, for whatever reason.
Example: Activity friends
do common interest activities together; such as sports, sexual exercise,
eating out, spectator companions, job, volunteer work, sitting and chatting
together, etc.... But, if one chooses to no longer do this particular
activity (what was uniting them to form a relationship by filling a need
in each other) now becomes broken.
-The original need no longer needs
to be filled by the one who breaks the relationship.
-Or, one can no longer fill the
original need of the other and the relationship breaks.
Re-negotiating a changed
When we became infected, with Lyme
and CoInfections, we were the ones who automatically renegotiated all our
relationships. The other party may have tried to salvage the relationship:
1. By meeting me where I was at ... trying
to be like the slow fatigued, brain fogged person I had turned into.
2. Or, by trying to force me back into the
healthy active person I was prior becoming ill.
3. Or, they didn't try anything or failed at
what they tried ... so they left to find another friend just like the pre-Lymed
Broken relationships hurt
Most all broken relationships
hurt, even when we choose to break it, even when we have outgrown it, even
when we know it is best for us or the other, even when we were the one
renegotiating the relationship because we became chronically ill.
We feel abandoned, rejected, lonely,
sad ... Loss of something or someone important to us does that.
In our case, getting a disease was
not our choice... and so we are feeling powerless.
Renogtiating our relationships certainly
was not something we had planned to do, and yet, here we were renegotiating
most all our relationships at a time when we felt powerless, were a victim
of disease, and sick to boot! We could not even renegotiate by changing
back into our frisky former selves, even if we had tried.
And so, we experienced loss of friendships
and we went through the stages of grief for each of these losses. Yet,
some of us were so busy trying to survive that we never grieved each of
our losses. Now some of us are trapped in one of the stages of grief; anger,
bargaining, or depression.
Examples; Very much angry and blaming
former friend for leaving me. Bargaining- Once I get well again we'll resume
our friendship from where we left off. If she, or he, had been kinder,
had loved me..if, if. Depression - Feeling sad that I've been
abandoned, feeling lonely and not doing anything to fill this void, because
I am still clinging to the person long gone and to the illusion that the
relationship will resume. Sometime's it hurts so much to let go of
a broken relationship, that we create a fantasy so we never need to let
go or grieve our loss.
Losing a relationship that was dear
to us always hurts.
Here are some questions
you might want to answer to help you through your grief process for every
friend you have lost during this disease.
- Since you have had Lyme
disease, what types of friends have you lost?
(Acquaintances, work friends, social
friends, romantic friends, spouse, activity friends, lifeline friends,
- Name each.
- Who renegotiated the relationship?
Was it you or the other person?
- Who could no longer fill the other's
need? (What had been the glue of the friendship/relationship when you first
started the relationship?)
- Could you have done anything
different in the renegotiations at that moment in time?
- What do you most miss of
each of your "friend(s)" you have lost?
- Did you do the best you
could with the health you had at that moment in time?
- Have you come to acceptance
of the loss of each of your friends on the list you made?
accept it was you who changed your relationships with friends, partners,
family... Not them. They have gone on to continue doing what they were
doing before disease placed burden upon you by lack of energy, lack of
finances, lack of concentration, etc., etc., etc..
When you accept this
to be so... then, and only then can you set yourself free to grieve your
friendship losses. Once you do, you will clear the way to look forward
rather then looking back, hanging on to something that is broken and gone.
You will now be open to form new relationships.. new acquaintances, new
activity friends, and new lifeline/personal friends to enrich your life
once again. It may even be with someone who moved on out of your life.
If you have grieved the loss of this friendship then there will be no resentfulmess
when you reform that former friendship..but if you are resentful this will
remain and color everything you say or do with this friend.
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