Issue 101 –
Where Has Love Gone: Part 6
The Energetic Reality of Bonding Patterns
Hal & Sidra Stone
The interactions between people in these bonding patterns are not just psychological; they are also energetic. When Laura is in her disapproving mother, Sam’s awkward son is literally pulled forth. These bonding patterns are experienced as a very real physical event between two people, even though the people involved may not know what is happening in physical terms.
We call this an energetic linkage. One of the best examples of this occurs in the interaction between the withdrawn and impersonal father of a man and the daughter side of a woman.
Typically, when a man’s feelings are hurt, he withdraws into an impersonal father. Usually, the woman goes into a daughter self in response to this withdrawal, feeling quite bereft and trying very hard to get the man to feel again, to respond to her in a more personal way. She can see that he is withdrawn on a psychological level. She may even recognize that his feelings have been hurt and that this is how he handles the situation.
What is generally not known is that there is an actual withdrawal of physical energy on the part of the man. The woman is literally suffering from a loss of physical contact, because a strong energetic interaction is a real warm physical connection. The woman may actually feel a chill or a loss of balance when this interaction is interrupted. It is a decisive shift in the energetic linkage between them.
This is one of the reasons why women get thrown as deeply as they do into daughter roles when the man pulls back energetically into the withdrawn father. It is like being in the midst of a delicious dinner and having it suddenly taken away from you.
Women who have been raised in families in which the father has been unavailable emotionally – and this is very common – are familiar with this withdrawn father/victim daughter bonding pattern, and they enter into it quite easily in their relationships. It involves a dreadful, physical feeling of loss and a desperate willingness to do anything whatever to reinstate the previous feelings of well-being.
Women who come from families in which this is not the pattern, and in which they are accustomed to being met emotionally and energetically by their fathers, are less likely to fall into this particular bonding pattern but will instead react to the man and help pull him out of his withdrawal.
A wonderful example of the energetic reality of bonding occurred one evening a number of years ago when there were no children at home. We were alone and we were sitting on the couch facing each other, feeling the most wonderful energetic connection between us.
Our heart areas felt like vibrating machines, they were buzzing so strongly. Suddenly, Hal became aware of the fact that the buzzing had stopped. It was like an emptiness, like being dropped out of paradise. He asked Sidra what had happened. Sidra told him that she was trying an experiment. She had visualized one of her daughters in her bedroom, while still trying to maintain the contact with Hal. The act of visualizing her daughter had totally broken the energetic connection between us.
This was a remarkable experience for both of us. It helped us to experience the physical reality of the bonding energies and the great power of the energetic connection between Sidra and her children. It helped Hal to understand with absolute clarity that so long as the children were around, this connection would exist. It is perfectly normal and natural and without it, the children would grow up incorrectly.
What Hal further realized was that if he wanted to feel Sidra’s full energies, then he had to do something to take her out of her home environment. Rather than complain and enter into a bonding pattern because his vulnerability had been triggered, he would have to use his impersonal energies through an aware ego and act. This was a very profound insight for both of us and marked an important shift in our relationship.