Tag Archives: abandonment

Thoughtful Thursday #214 – Abandonment Continued

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Susan Anderson’s book The Journey from Abandonment to Healing is a wealth of information about the devastating effects of abandonment and that real miraculous recovery that is possible.

I am paraphrasing the five stages of abandonment.

  1. Shattering-devastating pain and hitting bottom.
  2. Withdrawal-the intense craving for the love you had.
  3. Internalizing-beating up on your self esteem.
  4. Rage-fighting back by expressing your rage and anger.
  5. Lifting-your life gets back on track.

These are not linear steps but as the author states they are stages that are circular, like a cyclone. We go through each stage at one time or together. It may take days, weeks, months or years to resolve but worth the effort.

Abandonment is one of the worst betrayals a person can experience. Recovery is more than possible, with some self care and self compassion you will come out on the other side changed, wiser and more resilient.

Read Susan Anderson’s book and be amazed at how recover from abandonment is possible.

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Abandonment

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Here’s a list of what abandonment is from Susan Anderson’s book “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing” Pages 5 and 6. Susan Anderson has a blog with tons of information on the serious subject of “Abandonment”.

What is abandonment?

A feeling

A feeling of isolation within a relationship

An intense feeling of devastation when a relationship ends.

A primal fear – the raw element that makes going through heartbreak, divorce, separation or bereavement cut so deep

An aloneness not by choice

An experience from childhood

A baby left on a doorstep

A divorce

A woman left by her husband of twenty years for another woman

A man being left by his fiancée for some “more successful”

A mother leaving her children

A father leaving his children

A friend feeling deserted by a friend

A child whose pet dies

A little girl grieving over the death of her mother

A little boy wanting his mommy to come pick him up from nursery school

A child who feels replaced by the birth of another sibling

A child feeling restless because of his parents emotional unavailability

A boy realizing that he is gay and anticipating the reaction of his parents

A teenager feeling that her heart is actually broken

A teenage boy afraid to approach the girl he loves

A woman who has raised now grown children feeling empty as if she has been deserted

A child stricken with a serious illness watching his friends play while he must use a wheelchair or remain in bed

A woman who has lost her job and with it her professional identity, financial security and status

A man who has been put out to pasture by his company as if he is obsolete

A dying woman who fears being abandoned by loved one as much as or more that she fears pain and death

Abandonment is all of this and more. It’s wound is at the heart of human experience.

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You could add to the list but I think you get the message, the important thing here is to name what the feeling is.

Abandonment is so very painful, it is a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another. There is a PTSD component to abandonment which leaves it victims with shame, low self-esteem, and fear just to name a few of abandonment influences.

There is hope for survival and recovery, it will not be easy, you will have to do the important work of reaching deep within yourself and uncover the pain that is just below the surface of your awareness. Most of the time this work is not done alone. Counseling, or writing or exercising, read books on the subject, mindfulness and finding some way of getting to  the trauma that abandonment left behind.

You have to help yourself just enough to lift you. You are worth the effort. Don’t give up.

Thoughtful Thursday #199 – Abandonment and Betrayal

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I know how you feel. Betrayed and abandoned by someone who you thought cared.

If you can feel betrayal and abandonment you are the healthy one.

People who constantly hurt and abandon are the broken ones.

I know it’s hard to do but………….

Feel it – breathe – carry on.

Thoughtful Thursdays #188 – Move Closer

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There are some pretty scary emotions that we run from. Our minds race with one disaster after another. Our society almost demands that we let it go and move on from tragedy or trauma. Letting go and moving on is not possible if we smother the very emotions we need to move closer to. Emotions like fear, abandonment, isolation and worthlessness.

Move closer to the parts of you that you exiled. Move closer to the very emotions that scare you. Move closer to approval for all strange events you survived. Move closer to being curious about your behavior. Move closer to the parts that are so hard to accept and love. Move closer to having compassion and kindness for yourself. Move closer to being intimate with our own courage. Move closer to deeply knowing who you are because you can’t help anyone else without helping yourself first.

It won’t be easy but so worth the effort. Your thinking will become more integrated and grounded. And an important perk to this effort is you will become more productive, understanding and confident.

Waking Up

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Waking up to who we are is too important to ignore.

In Buddhism and psychology there is a method of healing that is easy in theory but difficult to do, unless you have trust.

I recently had some recurring flashbacks from the past. These feelings were a mystery that I have had since I was a child. My body felt like it was stinging. My mind was racing with desperation and longing, unidentifiable restlessness. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was such a familiar feeling full of pain, hot tears and wanting an end to the pain.

I got still and trusted myself enough to be quiet and detached.

I let my mind go to that dark place where these feelings began and I had  a revelation that the feelings I relived were of abandonment. On a gut level I knew I was revisiting trauma from the past in what seems to be many years ago and almost an eternity ago. The memories flooded my mind. All the poor decisions based on my abandonment issues saturated my being. I understood how abandonment effected me. How abandonment was pervasive. I was not sad, just relived. I was fortunate enough to trust myself to sit with the feelings without running away from them.

Not running away from my feelings was the perfect way to get through the things that were holding me back on a very deep level.

Conclusion: Trust your mind it knows what it needs to heal.

 

 

 

Adult Children of Alcoholics

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Adult Children of Alcoholics
World Service Organization, Inc.

The Laundry List

The Laundry List – 14 Traits of an Adult Child of an Alcoholic

We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.

We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.

We are frightened of angry people and any personal criticism.

We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.

We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.

We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.

We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.

We became addicted to excitement.

We confuse love and pity and tend to “love” people we can “pity” and “rescue.”

We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).

We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.

We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.

Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.

Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.

Tony A., 1978

Note: The Laundry List serves as the basis for The Problem statement.

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