The effects of divorce on a child (in later life)
What is the influence of unconscious emotions on our everyday life? Can experiences in the past that seemed solved, influence our daily behavior? How are our emotions made? What do our past experiences and the predictions we make about our life have to do with each other? In this blog I will explain how seemingly unrelated experiences can cause detrimental everyday emotions. “The effects of divorce on a child in later life”, part 1.
Procrastination and anxiety
I have been working with a student. He’s about 23 years old and as many students he finds it hard to concentrate on studying. In his case this is severe, and he procrastinates whenever he gets the opportunity. However, this is not the only symptom he called my help for. He also suffers from social anxiety. He finds it challenging to mingle with his student friends. In fact, he does not have a lot of friends and experiences loneliness. He spends hours playing online games to distract himself. More and more he isolates himself.
He worries a lot. About almost every aspect of his life, as he puts it. He spends nights worrying about others, about what they might think of him. Also, about not studying and what girls might think of him. About how he does not fit in. He is emotional and feel sad often. Worry seems his ‘go to’ state.
Dividing attention between parents
As we are talking about all these things he says: ‘I spend too little time with my parents’. ‘I feel I am not spending enough time with my parents, and I feel guilty about that’. As he is speaking, he becomes more emotional and says, ‘I fall short’. As we are talking and probing deeper into the emotions, he says that he finds it really hard to divide his attention between his parents. You must realize that he hardly sees his dad. Even though his father keeps on trying to connect with him in various ways. After the divorce he basically grew up with his mother.
The feeling of ‘falling short’ has been an enormous part of his life. He feels he falls short as friend, as student. In his intimate relationships and towards his father whom he hardly sees or speaks. But who keeps on sending him messages about that he misses him. Strangely enough, falling short, to his dad never seemed a real problem…
Past projects our future
In how we construct our sense of reality we build conceptual realities. Conceptual realities are templates about core aspects of our life. Concepts are ideas about what love is, success, connection and so on. And also, about what ‘falling short’ means. These emotional concepts form templates in our unconscious. Whenever a feeling occurs that can be traced back. Back to a crucial experience that formed the basis experience of that concept. The past will project our future and so we relive the meaning of that concept in our everyday lives. Without consciously knowing about it. Go to Relation Emotion Therapy and Coaching for the Dutch page about this subject.
Solving relationship issues