Once a month on our blog, we will be featuring Q&A’s with Rhyll Croshaw. This content was originally found on our sister site, rhyllrecovery.com, but will now be a part of our Women’s Discussion here.
Thanks to Rhyll for her insights and willingness to share her strength, hope, and experience with all of us. Please let us know if you have more questions for her.
Q: What does detaching with love feel like?
A: To answer this question, I’d like to paraphrase something I found that clearly represents what detaching with love truly feels like.
When do we detach? When we are hooked into a reaction of fear, rage ,or shame. When the way we’re reacting is hurting us.
The first step toward detaching is understanding that reacting and controlling don’t help. The next step is to get peaceful. Take a walk, leave the room, take a long hot bath, call a friend (sponsor), breathe deeply, call on God. Surrender. (Melody Beattie)
Remember and do the surrender process….on my knees, on the phone, in the box. We may need to detach multiple times a day.
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6 thoughts on “Q&A with Rhyll Croshaw: What Does Detaching With Love Look Like?”
I have really been working on figuring this out. An article I was reading had the following information that I am trying to practice in my life…
“When you’re practicing detachment–rather than avoiding or punishing–you’ll feel calm and serene. Healthy detachment is not about avoiding or punishing the other person. Feeling calm and serene while detaching is one of the key signs that it’s healthy and part of your self-care. Because your’re in touch with and accepting of what you have power over and what you don’t, your’re in a much better position to experience serenity and peace about your situation.” (vicki tidwell palmer)
Bonnie-I really like this quote and am so glad you posted it. In Rhyll’s answer, she says we detach when we are “hooked into a reaction of anger, fear, etc.” So, for me, detaching is slowing down my brain so I can get to the place of serenity you are talking about. Then I can RESPOND rather than REACTING with my limbic (trauma) brain. After days, weeks, months, years of practicing awareness, I can now recognize pretty easily when my limbic system has taken the driver’s seat: there’s a shot of adrenaline, my head feels like it’s being squeezed, my chest is tight, my heart is pounding, my stomach drops…I need to detach. The detaching is about giving MYSELF space and time to find a place of serenity before I proceed, NOT about controlling the outcome. This is always a practice. Every situation is different and it never goes perfectly! So Glad He Only Asks for One Day At A Time.
I think I struggle with knowing the right approach when there is abuse or manipulation involved, I DO fear talking to my husband, so how can I be sure I am detaching appropriately?
SUCH a hard situation to be in, Faye. I don’t know for sure, but I’ve noticed that when I have successfully and lovingly detached is when I have solid boundaries in place and I am not taking part in ANY role of the drama triangle. That only comes, for me, from loving myself and respecting myself.
I prefer to think of a boundary in terms of: I don’t feel safe when … To feel safe I will …
I don’t feel safe when my spouse uses my boundaries against me. To feel safe I will chose which boundaries I disclose to him.
If I don’t feel safe in a situation I could not have predicted, I chose to make a boundary in that moment.
I also recognize that I confused barriers with boundaries. Barriers are things that get in the way of me connecting with and loving others. Boundaries facilitate trust, safety, vulnerability, connection, and love – for both people.
I also have felt that if I rock the boat, I will miss out on the “loving things” I so desperately want my spouse to do for me. Because of blame shifting (in the past), I have felt that if I make a boundary I will be unlovable. That is shame.
Shame says, what I do /what others do to me defines me. He isn’t loving to me = I’m unlovable. I blew up at him = I’m an unsupportive spouse. Speaking shame to a safe empathetic listener kills the shame.
Guilt says, “I did something bad, but I still have worth. I’m not a lost cause.” Guilt drives us to be accountable and seek change and support. Shame makes us want to hide because it’s part of who we are and can’t be changed.
In my home, we now have a boundary of no name calling, no shame talk – even to yourself. When people do, they get called out. I may even leave the conversation. I held this boundary on my own for quite some time. I failed a lot, but I keep getting back up again.
I don’t hurt myself, I don’t hurt others, I don’t damage property, I speak up, my worth is eternal.
I love this insightful comment. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you will share more on our discussion boards because I love your recovery perspective. Thanks for strengthening me today ❤️