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I found this article on another site. Please take the time to read it, print it off and refer back to it whenever you have questions.
"What is detachment?
Detachment is the: * Ability to allow people, places or things the freedom to be themselves. * Holding back from the need to rescue, save or fix another person from being sick, dysfunctional or irrational. * Giving another person "the space" to be herself. * Disengaging from an over-enmeshed or dependent relationship with people. * Willingness to accept that you cannot change or control a person, place or thing. * Developing and maintaining of a safe, emotional distance from someone whom you have previously given a lot of power to affect your emotional outlook on life. * Establishing of emotional boundaries between you and those people you have become overly enmeshed or dependent with in order that all of you might be able to develop your own sense of autonomy and independence. * Process by which you are free to feel your own feelings when you see another person falter and fail and not be led by guilt to feel responsible for their failure or faltering. * Ability to maintain an emotional bond of love, concern and caring without the negative results of rescuing, enabling, fixing or controlling. * Placing of all things in life into a healthy, rational perspective and recognizing that there is a need to back away from the uncontrollable and unchangeable realities of life. * Ability to exercise emotional self-protection and prevention so as not to experience greater emotional devastation from having hung on beyond a reasonable and rational point. * Ability to let people you love and care for accept personal responsibility for their own actions and to practice tough love and not give in when they come to you to bail them out when their actions lead to failure or trouble for them. * Ability to allow people to be who they "really are" rather than who you "want them to be." * Ability to avoid being hurt, abused, taken advantage of by people who in the past have been overly dependent or enmeshed with you.
What are the negative effects not detaching?
If you are unable to detach from people, places or things, then you: * Will have people, places or things which become over-dependent on you. * Run the risk of being manipulated to do things for people, at places or with things which you do not really want to do. * Can become an obsessive "fix it" who needs to fix everything you perceive to be imperfect. * Run the risk of performing tasks because of the intimidation you experience from people, places or things. * Will most probably become powerless in the face of the demands of the people, places or things whom you have given the power to control you. * Will be blind to the reality that the people, places or things which control you are the uncontrollables and unchangeables you need to let go of if you are to become a fully healthy, coping individual. * Will be easily influenced by the perception of helplessness which these people, places or things project. * Might become caught up with your idealistic need to make everything perfect for people, places or things important to you even if it means your own life becomes unhealthy. * Run the risk of becoming out of control of yourself and experience greater low self-esteem as a result. * Will most probably put off making a decision and following through on it, if you rationally recognize your relationship with a person, place or thing is unhealthy and the only recourse left is to get out of the relationship. * Will be so driven by guilt and emotional dependence that the sickness in the relationship will worsen. * Run the risk of losing your autonomy and independence and derive your value or worth solely from the unhealthy relationship you continue in with the unhealthy person, place or thing."