Relationship Advice Tips By Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Irritating dry skin caused by relationship stress
Turning around in bed felt uncomfortable as Chantal’s skin rubbed against the sheets and blankets. Putting on clothes was difficult as her dry skin reacted to the fabrics that moved around her body. The dry skin around her face and hands felt as if it was going to crack, feel sore and look ugly. The weather had not been particularly harsh to affect her skin, not that she spent much time outdoors. Showers and lotions didn’t seem to help Chantal feel that she was any less dry or flaky. The stress of not being able to manage her body was awful.
Chantal experienced a sense of ‘drying out’ from the inside of her core self.
She had no juice left to get her through the day. Stress had depleted her reserves. Energy boosting food or drink made no difference. Nor did being with loving friends or enthusiastic work colleagues and clients. The dry feeling made her feel brittle on the inside and rough on the outside.
Chantal used up all her juice working on her parents
After a lifetime of stress, fighting to get her parents to acknowledge her as worthy of regard and love, Chantal finally enjoyed satisfying relationships with them. For most of her youth and early adulthood Chantal’s father had been dismissive about her desire to have a career in the arts. The stress of that relationship had lessened.
Witnessing her latest success he praised her efforts and allowed for the fact that she could make a living in that field. He quietly acknowledged that he hadn’t been there for her as a kid. They now enjoyed attending trade shows, performances and sports events together.
Chantal’s mother had always been the needy one, wanting Chantal’s help to deal with her panic when things didn’t go right. Chantal had endured long term and permanent stress taking care of her mother and leaving herself in the lurch. Now her mother was admitting that she hadn’t been available for Chantal, and was supportive and encouraging of her daughter’s projects.
Chantal won her fight but lost all her juice for life
Having got her mother’s attention and her father’s approval and acceptance Chantal had achieved her purpose. The energy that she devoted to creating the kind of relationships she wanted with her parents was now there for the asking and improving each day. The source of stress was gone, but a new stress appeared.
The fight no longer existed.
No fight meant no need for juice.
No juice meant a dryness inside her that she experienced as dry skin all over her body.
Chantal felt everything crumble inside, making her skin feel dry and withered
No cream, lotion, food or drink could remedy the psychological dryness caused by the emptiness that came when the mission accomplished flag went up. Chantal struggled with her dried out withered feelings that represented a complete lack of motivation to get on with her life. She didn’t know where to begin or how to think about planning her next day. It was as if she had been thrown into the deep end without knowing how to swim and without a life jacket.
Dry brittle skin gave Chantal the motivation to find a new purpose in life
Single minded focus on getting her parents to relate to her in a more nurturing way prevented Chantal from allowing other parts of her to grow, become skilled and take her place in the adult world. She had used up all her juice and didn’t know how to get the tap flowing again for new and healthier goals. The dryness in her skin that came from the inside out irritated her enough to make her take stock. Chantal’s dry, brittle skin became the motivation that she lacked in her psyche. It made her want to take action on her own behalf so she could attend to all the parts of her growth and development that had been put on hold for so long.
Chantal needed rejuvenating from the inside to soften her skin on the outside
Finding her original zest for life and interest in activities that got buried in childhood wasn’t easy to access. Chantal had reservations and doubt as to the authenticity of those exciting and eager feelings. She had long since given them up as fantasies that could never be realized. Her inner dryness needed some revitalization. She required some psychological re-hydration that could make her reclaim her enthusiasm so she could develop the skills she needed to be fully present in her life and make new lasting relationships that could nourish her as her life progressed.
Working on her fears about being out there and living a full life helped Chantal to find a solid foundation of skills and resources that stood her in good stead. Letting go of her shame at not knowing how to put her progress up front was tough, but psychotherapy eased her discomfort and helped all parts of her act in her best interests.
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
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