I never understood emotional unavailability until we all three were having major problems following Don’s death. This also took place through the second marriage. It is harmful for the child when a parent is emotionally unavailable repeatedly. That was I. It is important to be “in the present” with children and “raise my awareness” in order to know what is happening with Self and what is happening with them.
If you want to know more about emotional unavailability, keep reading.
I did not see how much Dawn and Johnny were hurting until later. It can happen so easily without us realizing we are being emotionally unavailable for others we love. I did not realize I was emotionally unavailable until later. I was taking care of my children’s whereabouts physically. I asked them “How are you doing?” I asked, “What is going on in school?” However, with so much on my plate and with trying to make it through the days, I was hardly listening. I was just hoping to make it from day to day with all of the expected and unexpected health situations, work expectations, and trying to make ends meet financially when Don took leave of absences to run for Congress and did not get paid the last six months of his life.
It is so important to stay aware and in the present when difficulty arises. By doing so, we are better able to know what is happening with Self and our children. I definitely continued to be emotionally unavailable as Don was dying, taking care of him, with all that happens afterwards, and then getting back to work, and “not giving myself permission to grieve or time to grieve.”
Emotional unavailability can happen so easily with a continual illness in the family. Priorities tend to be with the one that needs you and it is usually the patient. I was in the ICU with Don in Clovis, NM, when I received a call that Johnny was in the ICU in Portales, twenty miles away. It can happen when one parent is looks outside the marriage for intimacy and truth is not told. The partner not looking outside the marriage feels it as well as the children. I have personally seen examples of that. Know there is help! Take action. Blessings will come!
LESSON: Even through difficult times, take at least ten minutes in the morning to balance Self. Give yourself that time to pray, meditate, or just be still and listen for answers following your prayer. Meditating five minutes a day several times is good also. It raises awareness of what is happening in life with Self , children, and others.