Surviving any trauma or crisis involves the ability to “withstand painful feelings.” I know it can be so difficult to do. That holds true especially when you’re going through deep, wounding emotional experiences, such as betrayal, infidelity, rejection, or abandonment. Yet if you’re to survive, you do need to be a person of this essential ability within you.
I’m reminded of lawyer Wendy, an excellent example of such a person. When she saw me, she was in much pain and humiliation because of her husband’s infidelity and lack of remorse. Yet she endured these painful, uncomfortable feelings. She sought help and counsel, took vacation breaks, enlarged her circle of support, and was able to resume her responsibilities as a working mother to her children.
The ability to “withstand painful feelings” means learning to live with such feelings without being overwhelmed ot immobilized by rage, depression, or anxiety. That involves objectively understanding what happened, facing issues raised, and integrating the event in your life. A survivor puts the trauma or crisis into perspective, think the issues through, and learn to charge neutral or be less emotionally reactive so he can get to the “other side.”
Therapy is usually geared towards helping you through the process of integrating the trauma, crisis, or event in your life. Knowing and developing cognitive skills will lessen the toxicity of emotions produced by thinking distortions. Such is crucial so you can be detached enough to problem solve.