Jackson grew up with a mother who completely emotionally abandoned herself. When she was upset, she would find a long-suffering look on her face, her eyes would fill with tears, and she would slowly leave the room with her head down. Jackson, being a highly sensitive child, felt his mother’s neediness for a pull on him to find a way to fix her, and he would immediately feel guilty because he didn’t know how. By the time Jackson was , he had learned to completely shut down as his way of not feeling responsible for his mother’s feelings.
Now, as an adult, Jackson has a hard time being in a committed relationship. The moment a woman abandons herself, which then creates the empty hole of neediness, he feels guilty and shuts down. He ends up feeling trapped in the relationship and can’t wait to get out. Whatever good feelings he had for the girl at the start soon evaporate because of his shutting down to prevent feeling trapped and respectful.
Jackson Wants To Get Married And Have Children, But The Concept Of Commitment Terrifies Him
The issue is that Jackson hasn’t yet developed a loving adult self who’s capable of not accepting responsibility for a woman’s feelings. One aspect of his ego wounded self feels responsible for his partner’s feelings, while the other element of his injured self shuts down, not to feel guilty and trapped by this duty. Until Jackson develops a loving adult self, capable of letting go of responsibility for his partner’s feelings, and is capable of taking loving care of himself in the face of his partner’s neediness, he will continue to shut down as his only way of feeling safe from remorse and engulfment.
The other issue for Jackson is that he has not validated his experience of another’s emotional self-abandonment. Because his mother’s self-abandonment was callous – no overt guilt-inducing comments at all – Jackson has had a hard time acknowledging when he feels the subtle pull of neediness. He has never been attracted to women that are overtly demanding, like women who are angry, blaming or critical. His relationships have been with seemingly open and loving women. Yet energetically, these girls are abandoning themselves, as Jackson is left himself.
Jackson is left himself with his lack of validation of his own feelings and experience, and his resulting withdrawal, while the women he chooses are abandoning themselves in much the same way his mother did – not attending to their own feelings and waiting for Jackson to satisfy their needs. Until Jackson validates his own experience and learns to look after himself, as opposed to shutting down in the face of feeling responsible for his partner’s feelings, he won’t have the ability to form a committed relationship.
Letting Go Of Duty For Another’s Feelings
Since Jackson is sensitive to another’s emotional self-abandonment, it is vital that he heal his belief he is accountable for another’s feelings. It is not realistic for him to think he can find a woman who’ll never emotionally leave herself, since everyone, at times, will emotionally abandon themselves.
When Jackson gets himself off the hook of thinking that he is responsible for a woman’s feelings, then he will be free to remain open hearted, even when his spouse emotionally abandons herself. He is going to be free to care without caretaking and without shutting down to protect himself from engulfment.