Who are YOU? © Martyn Carruthers

Help with Fixations & Identity Loss


Most people say that they want to be happy, so why is there so much suffering? Some answers lie
in how people define themselves in their relationships. It’s a sad fact that many people feel stuck or bonded in unpleasant relationships – often by immature identifications and obsessive fixations.

Fixations are strong attachments to people or things, usually formed in childhood disappointments.
Fixations manifest as immature or neurotic behavior that can persist throughout life.
Fixations burden life … we help motivated adults find emotional freedom.

A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside,
thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and
discovers that the source (of happiness) is within him
. Søren Kierkegaard

A basic concept of Kierkegaard’s philosophy is that people can lose identity by participating in unhealthy relationships. We help people regain their identity and develop their emotional maturity as they build healthier relationships.

Fixations often begin in childhood, when children perceive family members as sources of good feelings. As those children grow up, they may look for and fixate on other people as substitutes for those sources of good feelings, rather than developing their own inner resources and self-esteem.

We help people dissolve fixations – especially between children and parents and brothers and sisters. It is too easy to blame dominating mothers or distant fathers … the real issues are what motivates the parents to control or withdraw. If we resolve the real issues, the surface issues often evaporate.

People fixated on other people may be unable to be themselves
or maintain a healthy partnership … or create a healthy family!

The common symptoms of fixations include perceiving other people as specialbelieving, usually without evidence, that someone is extraordinary or exceptional; while losing access to one’s own qualities, resources, self-respect or even one’s own emotions. Some common consequences of this identity loss are emotional immaturity and addictive relationships.

How can you tell if you are fixated?

If you need to perceive someone as special, you may search for that special person. When you find someone, appreciating that person may not be enough … you may want to offer devotion! But if that other person changes from your ideal, or if you change … any change between fixated people can trigger an emotional or existential crisis.

Fixated people often believe that they love the object of their fixation
although they may only ‘love’ their own good feelings!
The other person may be just a trigger!

If the sense of that person being special is threatened, you may feel hurt or damaged. If your role model ceases to meet your standards, you may try to punish that person for not staying special enough for you. If your obsession is threatened, you may become aware of your inner emptiness. And you may continue this pattern until you die … or until you choose to change.

If you cannot ask for help or advice if lost in a city,
you are unlikely to ask for guidance if lost in life.

Therapists & Counselors

We seem to help more helping professionals to resolve fixations than members of any other occupation. We find that many helping professionals specialize in their own fixations. But when they resolve their own fixations, they may lose their motivation to help other people solve those same issues. We coach many counselors and therapists as they change their specialties.

I was well known for helping depressed middle-aged women cope with their sad lives. But since our sessions, I can’t hardly tolerate such women … they’re too much like my mother … I enjoy being with dynamic people! I now coach business teams! London, UK

 

Many helping professionals are survivors of unhealthy relationships.
Check if they offer maturity – or rescue – or codependence!

Fixations & Identity Loss

The more obvious consequences of fixations include obsessions, compulsions, addictions and many other immature and dysfunctional behaviors. Also, people often identify with the object of their fixation (which seems to be true in some religions). The root causes of these problems often include:

  1. Relationship Bonds: You are bonded to someone – you are dependent
  2. Inner Child: Some part of you was split-off – you are sometimes childish
  3. Lost Identity: You cannot express a sense of self – your life lacks meaning
  4. Identity Conflict: Your behavior swings between two poles – you live in conflict
  5. Identification: You express someone else’s emotions: anger, anxiety or sadness

Fixations often cross generations … and there is usually no-one to blame. Fixations often represent chains of suffering going way back into family history. Some people call them family curses. Many children carry the emotional baggage that their parents could not or would not resolve. And when they grow up, they pass that baggage on to their own children.

Fixated people often seem to use an unvoiced mantra (affirmation) …
I think … therefore I am special!

Do you want Emotional Freedom?

Do you carry your family’s burdens? Are you a habitual liar? Do you cling to fantasies and avoid responsibility (you act like a child)? Do you try to become super-responsible (you act like a parent)? Perhaps both from time to time? Are you still enmeshed in your family’s emotions and drama?

The biggest problem is … fixations may feel wonderful!
Yet the consequences of fixations can destroy lives.

Do you strive to fulfill your parent’s unfulfilled desires? If so – you may suffer passive aggression, sexual problems, anxiety and/or depression. We can help you untangle your emotions as you clarify your relationships!

My husband is a mature man half the time – but he acts like an aggressive teenager after visiting his dominating mother. When he’s mature – life is good, but I cannot live with his mother-fixated dark side – an irresponsible, arrogant boy! Washington USA

If you try to heal your parents’ fixations, you will probably fail. If you try to complete the unfinished business of your grandparents or other relatives – you will probably fail. And following repeated failures, you may heavily criticize yourself and retreat into depression, obsessions or addictions.

We find that first children often carry the heaviest emotional baggage, and that first pregnancies have a higher risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, crib death … and abortion. First children seem to have a higher risk of fatal diseases, and more often suffer from chronic mental, physical and sexual problems. And first children more often seem to suffer from their parent’s fixations.

Parents who Sabotage Children

With the exception of abortion, few human parents deliberately kill their own children. Most parents strive to give their children what they lacked when they were young. Most parents wish to protect and support their children to become independent adults.

Yet some parents act in abusive and manipulative ways – even with adult children. They may demand that their children remain obedient, or look after them as they age. Most abusive parents claim good intentions. They may say that they’re doing the best that they know how to do.

My husband was a compulsive liar … he only told me what he thought I wanted to hear.
He was raised by parents for whom deception was normal communication.

Good intentions can have unpleasant consequences. If a lonely parent fixates on a child, emotional chaos will follow, often across generations. Later, as adults, fixated adult children may watch their children and grandchildren act out and try to cope with their unresolved fixations.

Father-bonded women or mother-bonded men may relate well to other immature or lonely people but not to healthy, mature adults. They may find themselves sexually excited by immature or irresponsible people whom they neither like nor trust. Or they often seem to seek partners who will fixate on them.

Is Someone Fixated on You?

People who fixate on you may behave as if you are their rescuer or even their savior! They may feel encompassed by you, and unable to leave you alone. At first it this may feel strange … and it can quickly become a huge burden. Fixations motivate flattery, lies and stalking.

Addicts cling to of their sources of pleasure. For some people this describes most of their relationships.

I enjoy men’s fixations at first and I try to live up to their exciting ideals. But after I tire of it, those men still insist on their fixations. I hate that because they do not love me, they only love their fixations. Boston, USA

 

Fixations are unconscious ties and emotional lies. Fixations motivate inappropriate behavior – including poor career choices, addictive relationships and massive unhappiness. Expect to hear … I love you (only) because you remind me of …

For more on enmeshment, see mother-son bonds and father-daughter entanglements.

When fixations fail – as they must being lies, fixated people may withdraw into depression or experience a crisis. Bonded and entangled, they may feel overwhelmed by unpleasant emotions (often associated with loneliness, abandonment and rejection) and they may desperately seek distractions! This is also when most fixated people finally look for help … after they have suffered enough …

Are you ready to free yourself from the burden of your parents’ emotions?

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