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Abandonment Issues and How They Affect Your Life

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Green Eyed Fairy

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What Is Fear Of Abandonment?
Simon Hearn, PhD is a registered psychologist who has written several articles about psychological disorders including his article on Denisboyd.com entitled “Fear of Abandonment.” Hearn describes fear of abandonment as a psychological disorder where the individual suffering from this illness cannot control the fear that he or she feels when faced with the idea of having to cope with life and its difficulties alone.

Anyone can be diagnosed with fear of abandonment; it is not age or gender specific. Men and women have been equally diagnosed with fear of abandonment, and it is very prevalent in children as well, especially children who have parents who are physically present, but emotionally unavailable. The foundation for fear of abandonment can be set in childhood, but will not manifest until the individual is on his or her own in the world, no longer supported in any way by adults or parents.
http://www.lifescript.com/Soul/Self/Growth/Understanding_Fear_Of_Abandonment.aspx
Sometimes the causes of your abandonment issues are painfully obvious. But even if you weren't literally abandoned, fear of abandonment is said to be the first fear of all infants.

And then there is life itself:

"Life is full of orphaning experiences, and some
people have more than their share of them. Many
orphans live in what appear to be intact families,
but the children are not cherished, nurtured, or
guided and do not feel emotionally or physically
safe." Carol S. Pearson, Awakening the Heroes Within


Even with the best caregivers--you can have abandonment issues.
Did your parents or caregivers have any problems? Usually, they were doing their best while their unmet needs, pressing problems, and unresolved emotions created tension and lack of presence.

You as a child absorbed their stressful feelings. You were like a "deer in the headlights". You couldn't think or explain, understand or express, or ask for what you needed.

Most likely, your caregivers were not able to meet your needs and give you the security and reassurance you needed. They couldn't help it, they didn't mean it, and they didn't know it was happening.

Love and fear and unmet needs blend together and create biochemical stress patterns.


"Researchers are convinced that endorphin
biochemicals are responsible for feelings
of euphoria, exhilaration, joy, happiness
and pleasure.

Unhappy experiences also stimulate the
production of endorphins, which bring relief
from pain and help you handle stressful
situations. Endorphins are a natural pain
killer--hundreds of times more powerful
than morphine.

Unfortunately, these endorphins may bond
you to stressful experiences. For example,
children who experienced violence, which
activated pain-relief endrphins, may be
addicted to violence as their only way to
activate the endorphin pain-relief "high".

Endorphins are closely connected to memory,
playing a significant role in both the formation
and retention of memory."
Chloe Wordsworth, Founder of Resonance Repatterning™


We bond with stress hormones along with (or instead of) love and safety. These conflicting feelings give rise to self-doubt, guilt, insecurity.

• You may unconsciously equate love with feeling insecure.
• You may find yourself attracted to "unavailable" people.
• Losses, disconnections and disappointments re-ignite your fear.
• Insecurity and fear of being hurt, of being left, of needs going unmet, sabotage your relationships.

Have you ever felt that you are over-reactive?

• When stress hormones run rampant, you are overwhelmed with grief and loss that feel like rejection and betrayal.
• You live in nagging inner conflict, there is no closure, and you feel unjustly dismissed.
• You turn the rage against yourself.
• There "must be something wrong with you".
• You blame your inadequacies.
• You abandon yourself.
• You look outside yourself for approval. Others, whether they be parent, partner, boss, society, or friends, are all-powerful to your emotional well-being.

In a word, you are the victim of your abandonment issues.

Unconsciously triggered stress hormones keep you locked in fear of abandonment. Unresolved wounds accumulate anxiety, low self-esteem, insecurity, painful relationships, grief, and isolation.

"Whoa there! Wait just minute," you say..."what is the point of all this?"

Well, the truth is, most of us have a hurt and abandoned inner child. Abandonment issues have their roots in the experience and reality of life.

The TRUTH IS...we DENY this part of ourselves. It isn't pretty. No one wants to sound like a victim. But since denial and suppression are not growth (and life insists on growth), symptoms appear. Symptoms like depression.

Without the personal strength, and the help we need to face our abandonment issues, they keep reappearing, forcing us to deal with them.

Or not...

Have you ever thought that your abandonment issues, your depression, your life, are a call to growth, to a new reality, to a new inner strength, to a new life?
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Abandonment_Issues_Leaving_You_Depressed.html
UNRESOLVED ABANDONMENT

Unresolved abandonment - - the source of our insecurities, addictions, compulsions, and distress.

Unresolved abandonment - - the insidious virus invading body mind and soul - - the culprit for the anxiety we are forever trying to self-medicate with food, alcohol, shopping, people and a host of other self defeating behaviors.

Unresolved abandonment - - the roadblock to reaching our potential - - the invisible wound that drains self esteem from within - - the hidden trap that keeps us stuck in patterns of self-sabotage.

Unresolved abandonment - - the chronic insecurity that becomes the scourge of human relationship. Unresolved abandonment - - the internal barrier to fully connecting to others. Fear short-circuits our attempts to find love - - we struggle to find and keep relationships. We become abandoholics.

Unresolved abandonment - - the elusive grief so many seek therapy for and can't seem to overcome - - an undifferentiated emptiness often mis-diagnosed as depression and inappropriately medicated. Sometimes its stress and agitation are persistent enough to create chemical imbalances that do, in fact, respond to drug therapy.

Unresolved abandonment - - simplistic methods like 'positive thinking' or just going to therapy do not deter it. Programs like Co-dependency, Alanon, and Adult Child have attempted to assuage the erosion of energy and self worth caused by unresolved abandonment. But for all of their positive 'affirmations', they have not been able to address the system of drainage that lies buried within.

Likewise, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alanon, and Over-eaters Anonymous, etc. have been extremely effective in dealing with the addictive and co-addictive problems secondary to abandonment, but are unable to go beyond the symptoms and treat the underlying abandonment wound itself.

Self-help books have tended to have a placebo effect. They offer reasonable enough sounding advice, like "Find happiness from within." But these truisms are easier said than done. Many abandonees feel inadequate when they try to perform them and are not able to "Just let go" and "Move forward."

My father "left me" when I was very young....my older sister (my counselor later explained to me that she was my second mother or my "idea of a normal woman" since she was ten years older) left me a year and a half later.
The Person Who Raised Me aka my older brother left five years after her. All that was left was my Mom...then she left, too. However, my mother had "abandoned" me in many ways long before that...

I think all that has stayed with me....and has affected every relationship with a man I have ever had. I don't "cling" but more like....I have to feel firmly ensconced....or cocooned with a relationship that is too smothering. I keep ending up with "jealous men".....relationships with them are abusive....and the jealousy isn't even about me....it's more about their insecurities.
My intelligent, logical mind recognizes that......but my emotional mind screams for something else....

What can be done? I want to move on.....

Any experiences you want to share? Things you have learned? Can those abandonment issues be overcame?
 

steely

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That's very interesting, GEF. I have extreme abandonment issues, alcoholic father, co-depedent mother, 5 siblings. No time for any attention, nurturing, love, nothing. I was abandoned at birth, even though my parents didn't divorce until I was 13.

I went the the opposite direction. I rarely trust anyone, never got involved with many men, just kept everyone out. The man I married, when he tries to care for me I feel smothered. I can't handle that kind of attachment. It's too close. Damaged in so many ways, I don't exactly know how to love. My sister told me the other night for the first time in 48 years that she loved me.

At 41, I'm not sure if I can change or even want to change. I don't think I would know how. That's my experience and I don't know that it helps but there it is.
 
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Hi ladies.

My father also abandoned me at the age of 7 and even though I do not like to admit it, it does affect the way I view men and relationships somewhat.

Like you steely I do not trust easily, I prefer to keep mostly to myself and I am convinced I would make a good hermit. But that scares me so I keep myself around people in case. I love men but after a marriage full of him walking out time and again and then changing his mind while he constantly drank himself to death has not helped.

But when it comes to relationships I also like feeling ensconced I think you said GEF (hope I got that right). It makes me feel safe and I have a thing about feeling safe.

Of course no solutions, but seems to be a common bond somewhat:)
 

Fat.n.sassy

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Oh my gosh, this is such an amazing thread! Thanks very much for bringing it forward. I know abandonment issues have haunted most of my life. To that end, I became very good at being a 'people pleaser'. I thought this would assure people wouldn't leave me. (oh so wrong!)

There was one time that will stand out in my memory for all time: My sister and I lived with our father and step mother. It was my birthday weekend and dad said my sister and I were going to spend the weekend with mom. I figured, "Ok, I guess I'll have a birthday party when we get back home". Well, what actually happened was that they had packed mine and my sister's clothes in the trunk without us knowing. When we arrived, we were simply told that we were going to stay with her (and the pediphilic step father) for a while. I was shocked and really upset and when I started to cry, I was told simply "this is the way it's going to me, I don't want to hear you cry". OMG, I'm crying just relating this story!

Thanks for letting me vent that.
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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Oh my gosh, this is such an amazing thread! Thanks very much for bringing it forward. I know abandonment issues have haunted most of my life. To that end, I became very good at being a 'people pleaser'. I thought this would assure people wouldn't leave me. (oh so wrong!)

There was one time that will stand out in my memory for all time: My sister and I lived with our father and step mother. It was my birthday weekend and dad said my sister and I were going to spend the weekend with mom. I figured, "Ok, I guess I'll have a birthday party when we get back home". Well, what actually happened was that they had packed mine and my sister's clothes in the trunk without us knowing. When we arrived, we were simply told that we were going to stay with her (and the pediphilic step father) for a while. I was shocked and really upset and when I started to cry, I was told simply "this is the way it's going to me, I don't want to hear you cry". OMG, I'm crying just relating this story!

Thanks for letting me vent that.



I understand that feeling....like someone yanked the rug out from under you and cared nothing about how much it hurt you.

When I was four, my parents took me with them on a drive in the car one evening. They were looking at an apartment. I asked if we were moving there. They said no, only Daddy was. That confused and upset me.

That's how they "told me" they were getting divorced. I didn't find out until later about the part where my Mom and the rest of us moved four states away and I only get to see him once or twice a year for the rest of my life.
When I cried, they told me they would buy me a chocolate ice cream cone. That stands out in my mind as one of the markers in my life of when my eating disorder/food addiction began.

Don't disregard the feelings of your children and console them with ice cream- that's fucked up and nowhere near enough.

I remember my father coming to "visit" after we moved there. I was so fucking happy to see him. I can't describe how much I had missed him. I had a great plan to make everything okay.....like it used to be. I thought I could convince him to stay...I honest to god thought he wouldn't leave me again. No matter what I said....no matter how I begged.....he left. I remember him dropping my brother and I off down at a little store before he left and walking home with the most fucked up, indescribable feeling I had ever felt in my young life span. That's what he had done in my mind....dropped me off....and left. No real explanation....just the stauch, cold reality of realism hitting me like bricks.
Something had happened to me then.....it put something in me. Not sure what....a realism? a sense of emptiness? a sense of abandonment? a fear....?

My parents were never the most consoling, tender people you could meet......just wish they had a clue that you might want to TELL your children before you make radical life changes.....

All I can say is that it's not the only moment in my life that defined it but I think it was one of the biggest......
 

Fat.n.sassy

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I understand that feeling....like someone yanked the rug out from under you and cared nothing about how much it hurt you.

When I was four, my parents took me with them on a drive in the car one evening. They were looking at an apartment. I asked if we were moving there. They said no, only Daddy was. That confused and upset me.

That's how they "told me" they were getting divorced. I didn't find out until later about the part where my Mom and the rest of us moved four states away and I only get to see him once or twice a year for the rest of my life.
When I cried, they told me they would buy me a chocolate ice cream cone. That stands out in my mind as one of the markers in my life of when my eating disorder/food addiction began.

Don't disregard the feelings of your children and console them with ice cream- that's fucked up and nowhere near enough.

I remember my father coming to "visit" after we moved there. I was so fucking happy to see him. I can't describe how much I had missed him. I had a great plan to make everything okay.....like it used to be. I thought I could convince him to stay...I honest to god thought he wouldn't leave me again. No matter what I said....no matter how I begged.....he left. I remember him dropping my brother and I off down at a little store before he left and walking home with the most fucked up, indescribable feeling I had ever felt in my young life span. That's what he had done in my mind....dropped me off....and left. No real explanation....just the stauch, cold reality of realism hitting me like bricks.
Something had happened to me then.....it put something in me. Not sure what....a realism? a sense of emptiness? a sense of abandonment? a fear....?

My parents were never the most consoling, tender people you could meet......just wish they had a clue that you might want to TELL your children before you make radical life changes.....

All I can say is that it's not the only moment in my life that defined it but I think it was one of the biggest......


I so understand! (((Hugs)))
 

Tania

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I probably don't have any business posting here because I have an extremely "together" family (to the point of stifling overprotectiveness, yo), but holy dang, those abandonment "symptoms" describe me to a "T" in friendships and romantic relationships.

Sometimes I think that by the mere fact that I love someone, I am irrevocably destined to lose them.
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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I decided to do more reading on the subject and found a wonderful site that lays it all out very clearly- moreso than the other sites I have read so far.
Internalizers & Externalizers

There are two possible choices - The energy can be directed inward in the form of self-contempt... or outward as contempt for people, society, authority figures, the opposite sex, God or whoever is available - the man on the street.

If we have a tendency to point the contempt inward we are internalizing it. If we are more likely to turn it outward toward others we are externalizing the contempt.

The self-talk of an Internalizer is all about the defectiveness of self and fears of abandonment. This leads to inappropriate guilt and more shame - which in turn makes the emotional infection worse.

The self-talk of the Externalizer is all about the defectiveness of others and the "unfairness of it all", leading to inappropriate expressions of anger, threats of abandonment, and in some cases physical or emotional abuse.

This also makes the emotional infection of shame worse - the conscious mind may be protected from reality but the subconscious mind doesn't miss a trick.

Many of us will internalize the contempt until we can’t take it anymore and then blow up - directing it outward in an attempt to displace and ventilate it.

When we externalize or "dump" our contempt in this way it lands on whoever is nearby, usually those who are closest to us. Then, because we have hurt someone we love, we turn the contempt back on ourselves through more shame-based messages such as... "See there, I’ve done it again... I’ve hurt someone I care about! I’ve proven it this time... I really am a loser!"

People who are primarily Internalizers have problems with:

* Depression
* Other-Centeredness
* Care-taking and approval-seeking
* Lack of adequate boundaries
* Have difficulty saying "no" for fear of abandonment
* And, lack of a sense of personal power

Persons who are predominantly Externalizers are less likely to be aware of their behavior and the affect it has on others...They tend to have problems with:

* Anger
* Self-centeredness
* Being shameless and blameless - nothing is ever their fault, can't admit when they are wrong
* Intrusiveness - don't respect the boundaries of others
* Rigid boundaries - You can't tell them anything
* Anti-dependent - Proclaiming they don’t need anyone

All of these traits qualify as a subconscious defense mechanism called reaction formation...

Reaction formation is a conscious over-compensation for a subconscious fear of the opposite - For example, their need to always be right may be a defense against deep-seated fears of always being wrong.

Externalizers have a tendency to demonstrate what Bradshaw calls shameless behavior.

Shameless behavior is seen in situations of abuse where the abuser is exercising god-like control over the victim - another reaction formation - in this case, a subconscious fear of being controlled expressed in a conscious need to control.

Extreme examples of shameless behavior include sexual, physical, psychological and emotional abuse.

Shameless Externalizers develop a very thick scab of contempt. In the extreme cases, the person may be unaware on a conscious level that his behavior is wrong... or even that it is hurtful to the victim.

On a subconscious level the Externalizer cannot escape the reality of their behavior or its impact on others because the subconscious mind knows all.

In other words, unless the Externalizer has no conscience - i.e., mental filters/networks related to values that would prohibit abusive behaviors - their shame, guilt, and remorse continue to accumulate even though they are largely unaware of it.

As their infection of shame grows, so does their contempt along with the need to externalize it. This build-up of contempt may eventually lead to episodes of the violent and/or dangerous behavior - along with more abandonment.
http://www.internet-of-the-mind.com/abandonment.html


I'm thinking I'm an internalizer.......
The term "False-Self" is used because it is just that – false... as in NOT true... a counterfeit self rooted in the abandonment... It only feels like who we are.

It feels that way because the wound is emotional in nature. It's not until significant healing of the abandonment, shame and contempt that we are able to feel differently about ourselves.
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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Conflict Resolution Tip #2 - Take Off the Mask

The following is a list of the Survival Roles or "Masks" that children learn as a way to survive not getting their needs met:

Hero:

This child never feels "good enough". They become a "human doing" instead of a human being. They are out to prove their worth but never do to their own satisfaction.

There are two types of Hero's:

* The Flashy One: The class president... strait A student...captain of the football team... and valedictorian.

* The Responsible One: The 10 or 12 year old who comes home after school...gets the mail...washes the dishes...cleans up the house... and cares for the younger children. This is the "behind-the-scenes-hero.

Heroes seek attention and recognition but can never get enough. They tend to become workaholics, over-achievers, and so-called type-A personalities.

They live in fear that they are going to be "found out" as frauds by others.

Rebel/Scapegoat:

This child learns to get attention through misbehavior. They get time, attention, affection, and direction from teachers, principals, counselors, and juvenile officers who are all trying to manage their behavior. Unconsciously, the rebel understands that negative strokes are better than no strokes at all.

People Pleaser:

This child is prone to approval-seeking behavior. They fear abandonment and rejection if they say “no” and so developed difficulty setting boundaries.

Placater:

It is the job of this child to help the family avoid conflict by heading off trouble and making sure others don’t make waves. This role and the People Pleaser may also be the Lost Child. It is not unusual for middle children to take on several roles or all of the roles at different times in the life of the family.

Lost Child:

This child uses fantasy to get time, attention, affection, and direction. They may have a favorite doll that they play mother to; vicariously getting their own needs met.

They may also lose themselves in comic books, novels, television, video games, and imaginary friends to name a few distractions. This child brings relief to the family because they’re known as the one they never have to worry about. They are always around somewhere would never make any noise.

The Intellectualizer/Rationalizer:

A.K.A., the Computer, This child learns to say out of their emotions by staying in the thinking or left brain to "figure things out."

While this is an attempt to protect themselves from feeling their painful emotions, it usually backfires because they end up attracting, and being attracted to, people who freely express those same painful emotions. These people "trigger" the intellectualizer into reluctantly experiencing their blocked emotions.

The Mascot:

The baby of the family... usually preoccupied with humor or being cute. This child gets a lot of time, attention, affection, and direction for the cute and funny things babies do. They learn to stay "on stage" and become the class clown or the beauty queen. The silliness of this child can continue into adulthood to an embarrassing degree.
Conflict Resolution Tip #4 - Understand The Drama Triangle

The Drama Triangle requires two to three players - a victim... a persecutor... and a rescuer. As we explore this dynamic of the dysfunctional family... it's important to keep in mind that there are such things as genuine victims, genuine persecutors, and genuine rescuers.

A genuine victim might be someone involved in a motor vehicle accident, the genuine rescuer would be the EMT on the scene to treat the victim, and a genuine persecutor would be the lawyer in charge of prosecuting the case of the drunk driver who caused the accident.

Children who were abused or neglected are also true victims... people who come to the aid of such children are true rescuers... and members of the legal system are true persecutors.

When children grow up in a dysfunctional family, they initially are genuine victims... However - they develop victim behaviors via neural networks as a result of being exposed to those dynamics.

Hero children in such families often times develop rescuing behaviors/networks... Rebel children sometimes develop persecuting behaviors/networks...Lost children may become victims in an abusive or oppressive relationship.

These patterns of behaviors are modeled, encouraged, and/or reinforced by other members of the family. They are also behaviors that are handed down from one generation to the next.

New networks have to be established and reinforced over a period of time in order to take hold. The alternative to the Drama Triangle is true intimacy which requires self-awareness and the ability focus inward.
http://www.internet-of-the-mind.com/conflict_resolution_tips.html
Conflict Resolution Tip #6 - Break Out of the Drama Triangle

The object of this game is to maintain the status quo or familiar balance in the family system. This is accomplished because none of the players ever have to "go inside" to address their own issues – this is also how they maintain their external focus.

Furthermore, none of the players get to learn the tools necessary for healthy intimacy. When they go out into the world they must find a mate that knows how to play this game - The Drama Triangle becomes part of their map of the world.

The result of that is to get stuck in the same old patterns of acting-out their emotional themes of abandonment, shame, and contempt with someone who also knows this dance of externalization.


Conflict Resolution Tip #7 - Learn a New Dance

If these patterns are familiar to you then the only way to learn how to resolve conflicts in your intimate relationships is learn the dance of Intimacy... For that you must heal from your past and find your True Self.

True intimacy is having the ability to share your True Self with another person who can also share who they really are with you. Conflicts almost resolve themselves if you can do that.
Yeah, that part was right up my alley.....:blink:
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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If anyone reads them, please share your opinions of them?

This is the part of us that Bradshaw and Whitfield speak of that has "gone into hiding" deep inside. In other words, it has been repressed or "disowned" by the subconscious mind in order to protect us from the pain and fear of abandonment it carries.

The main problem with repressed and disowned parts of self is that they don't stay repressed...they get triggered just like any other part of self. When they do is when we have "reactions" that are grounded in fear of abandonment.
http://www.internet-of-the-mind.com/fear_of_abandonment.html
 

Fluffy51888

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My father almost left my family my senior year in high school. He told me the main reason he stayed is because he thought of what I would do or be like without him. So, naturally, I am walking on eggshells because I feel like the second I screw up, he's gone because I was the reason he was staying in the first place. Things like this do transfer over to relationships, as much as I hate it. I feel like it's my responsibility to make sure people stick around, and I usually do whatever it takes to make sure they do.

I know that many of you have stories that are far more serious than mine, but I wanted to let y'all know that I do slightly understand some of your pain.
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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Everyone and all opinions are welcome in this thread. It's not meant as a pity party or "who has suffered more" but is meant to try and gain better insight/understanding to the things from our past that drive us today.

Thank you to everyone that has participated :)
 

tattooU

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i wish i had more time to read this tonight, it seems i have worse abandonment issues than i thought. Not really surprising though, my family history includes a lot of addiction and death at a young age.

Detachment and appeasement behaviors are how i express my fucked up childhood. Go me!

Great reading material GEF, thanks so much for sharing! i'll try to add when i can...
 

ssflbelle

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Since 2005 my abandonment issues as a child have surfaced. You see my Father divorced my Mother before I was 2 years old. My Brother has told me before the divorce took place there were many times he came home from school at lunch time and I was all alone in the crib with a wet diaper, screaming probably from hunger. Mom was not home and no one was taking care of me. He said many times there was no food in the house and he would feed me flour and water and called it oatmeal. After he feed me he would go and find her at a bar and bring her back home before he went back to school. Once Dad divorced her she never kept in touch with us.

My Father did remarry but I was so young I had no idea until I was 10 years old that the woman I thought was my Mom was my Step Mom. I than began to doubt if my Father was really my Father and asked to see my Birth Certificate. I had only the name of my Birth Mom. When I was 36 years old my God Mother who never kept in touch with me either, found my address through my Father's Brother and sent me a few pictures of my Birth Mother.

My Dad worked fro Kresge and we had to move every 3 - 4 years which was extremely difficult for me because as soon as I felt comfortable with making some friend we had to move again.

In 2005 I divorced in Feb, my Step Brother died Sept 2005 and 29 days later my Step Mom passed away. MY Father was admitted into a Nursing Home for Alzheimer's Disease and in Dec 2005 I lost my job of 18 years.
I lost my identity as a wife, daughter and teacher. That is when these horrible feeling of abandonment set in and they are still with me today. I have no idea how to deal with them and move on. I know they are affecting me in my relationships with the few friends I do have and also in trying to start new relationships.

This has been a difficult month for me and I thank you for letting me vent it here. But if you came across any solutions in your readings I would love to know where to find them.
 
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Maybe this will be one of those cathartic threads, a place to shed crap we carry with us.

It has brought up a truly significant memory of my father. After he left our family he came to visit to get the last of his stuff. I was only 7 and he was the centre of my universe. I was a real daddy's girl I am afraid.

When I asked him why he was leaving my sister and I, he said that he had a new family now with new children that came first. He left without looking back. I am 41 now and that still has the ability to make me cry buckets if I let myself feel it.

Thank you GEF:)
 

katherine22

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Since 2005 my abandonment issues as a child have surfaced. You see my Father divorced my Mother before I was 2 years old. My Brother has told me before the divorce took place there were many times he came home from school at lunch time and I was all alone in the crib with a wet diaper, screaming probably from hunger. Mom was not home and no one was taking care of me. He said many times there was no food in the house and he would feed me flour and water and called it oatmeal. After he feed me he would go and find her at a bar and bring her back home before he went back to school. Once Dad divorced her she never kept in touch with us.

My Father did remarry but I was so young I had no idea until I was 10 years old that the woman I thought was my Mom was my Step Mom. I than began to doubt if my Father was really my Father and asked to see my Birth Certificate. I had only the name of my Birth Mom. When I was 36 years old my God Mother who never kept in touch with me either, found my address through my Father's Brother and sent me a few pictures of my Birth Mother.

My Dad worked fro Kresge and we had to move every 3 - 4 years which was extremely difficult for me because as soon as I felt comfortable with making some friend we had to move again.

In 2005 I divorced in Feb, my Step Brother died Sept 2005 and 29 days later my Step Mom passed away. MY Father was admitted into a Nursing Home for Alzheimer's Disease and in Dec 2005 I lost my job of 18 years.
I lost my identity as a wife, daughter and teacher. That is when these horrible feeling of abandonment set in and they are still with me today. I have no idea how to deal with them and move on. I know they are affecting me in my relationships with the few friends I do have and also in trying to start new relationships.

This has been a difficult month for me and I thank you for letting me vent it here. But if you came across any solutions in your readings I would love to know where to find them.
You are incredibly strong to have survived such neglect. One way to consider this childhood is to praise yourself for having survived it and consider yourself deserving of the best from life. Being a fat woman is a cultural abandonment as we are estranged from the mores of the culture.
 

TraciJo67

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That's very interesting, GEF. I have extreme abandonment issues, alcoholic father, co-depedent mother, 5 siblings. No time for any attention, nurturing, love, nothing. I was abandoned at birth, even though my parents didn't divorce until I was 13.

I went the the opposite direction. I rarely trust anyone, never got involved with many men, just kept everyone out. The man I married, when he tries to care for me I feel smothered. I can't handle that kind of attachment. It's too close. Damaged in so many ways, I don't exactly know how to love. My sister told me the other night for the first time in 48 years that she loved me.

At 41, I'm not sure if I can change or even want to change. I don't think I would know how. That's my experience and I don't know that it helps but there it is.
Steely, this sounds so much like me. Same early history (though 4 siblings, 5 step-siblings), same trust issues. I thank Dog that my husband understands me, and accepts me just as I am. I know that I can be extremely difficult to live with. Although I do love him very much, the only person in this world that I've ever been able to love unreservedly, with my whole heart (and with all of the accompanying vulnerabilities) is my son.

I'm also 41, and like you, I doubt that I can change but the truth is, I don't want to, either. I know that there is a balance there ... one between dependency and complete autonomy, and that it's healthier to live somewhere in the middle. But I've spent my life on the autonomous side, and at this stage of my life, I'm very comfortable there.
 

steely

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Steely, this sounds so much like me. Same early history (though 4 siblings, 5 step-siblings), same trust issues. I thank Dog that my husband understands me, and accepts me just as I am. I know that I can be extremely difficult to live with. Although I do love him very much, the only person in this world that I've ever been able to love unreservedly, with my whole heart (and with all of the accompanying vulnerabilities) is my son.

I'm also 41, and like you, I doubt that I can change but the truth is, I don't want to, either. I know that there is a balance there ... one between dependency and complete autonomy, and that it's healthier to live somewhere in the middle. But I've spent my life on the autonomous side, and at this stage of my life, I'm very comfortable there.
I understand and you put it much better than I did. I've never found that person I can be totally open and love completely. That is no one's fault but my own, I'm afraid. I am comfortable not delving too deeply. Let it be...
 

MizzSnakeBite

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My father "left me" when I was very young....my older sister (my counselor later explained to me that she was my second mother or my "idea of a normal woman" since she was ten years older) left me a year and a half later.
The Person Who Raised Me aka my older brother left five years after her. All that was left was my Mom...then she left, too. However, my mother had "abandoned" me in many ways long before that...

I think all that has stayed with me....and has affected every relationship with a man I have ever had. I don't "cling" but more like....I have to feel firmly ensconced....or cocooned with a relationship that is too smothering. I keep ending up with "jealous men".....relationships with them are abusive....and the jealousy isn't even about me....it's more about their insecurities.
My intelligent, logical mind recognizes that......but my emotional mind screams for something else....

What can be done? I want to move on.....

Any experiences you want to share? Things you have learned? Can those abandonment issues be overcame?

Oh boy....you opened up a can of worms for me with this topic :eek:. I could write a novel on being abandoned.... My mom and dad divorced when I was about 2-1/2 years old. So, off went my father (many, many issues with him. Abuse and kidnapping.). At the same time, my mom went off to a psych. hospital. I've been told that at that age, the brain connections for relationships and trust are formed. My mom was in and out of psych hospitals until I was about 14. I was dumped person to person, often left to fend for myself when people got sick of watching me. Just and fyi, I was a good kid. Didn't skip school, got excellent grades, no drugs or alcohol, didn't sneak out in the middle of the night, so it wasn't like I was a PITA to take watch. I'd often clean their houses, babysit, help their kids with their homework, etc. So you can imagine my shock each time they wanted me out because they were sick of watching me. When my mom was around......well, that was difficult too. "Lack of nurturing" according to the psychiatrists, and I agree. It was like I was the parent when she was around, and it still is that way. Soooooooo.......you can imagine how I am. And that's not even the tip of the iceberg of my life story.

I pretty much always hold back in any relationship and have a mega fear of being abandoned. The couple people I've completely trusted and let in ended up using that trust against me and leaving. They knew I completely trusted them, knew that is a very big "gift" to them, but actually used that against me........boggles my mind. At this point, I don't even know if I really want to be in a relationship....I do, but I don't. I don't know if I could trust completely again, and that's not fair to the other person. I really don't know if I could take being abandoned and hurt again... I rather be alone knowing that it's just me taking care of me.

I've had so much counseling....none of it has helped with this issue.

I'm so wary of people. Guess that's why I have an innate connection with animals. You always know where you stand with them.

GEF, I don't have an answer for you.......seems like the experts really don't either. If you find out the answer, let me know; I'd like to move on too.
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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Oh boy....you opened up a can of worms for me with this topic :eek:. I could write a novel on being abandoned.... My mom and dad divorced when I was about 2-1/2 years old. So, off went my father (many, many issues with him. Abuse and kidnapping.). At the same time, my mom went off to a psych. hospital. I've been told that at that age, the brain connections for relationships and trust are formed. My mom was in and out of psych hospitals until I was about 14. I was dumped person to person, often left to fend for myself when people got sick of watching me. Just and fyi, I was a good kid. Didn't skip school, got excellent grades, no drugs or alcohol, didn't sneak out in the middle of the night, so it wasn't like I was a PITA to take watch. I'd often clean their houses, babysit, help their kids with their homework, etc. So you can imagine my shock each time they wanted me out because they were sick of watching me. When my mom was around......well, that was difficult too. "Lack of nurturing" according to the psychiatrists, and I agree. It was like I was the parent when she was around, and it still is that way. Soooooooo.......you can imagine how I am. And that's not even the tip of the iceberg of my life story.

I pretty much always hold back in any relationship and have a mega fear of being abandoned. The couple people I've completely trusted and let in ended up using that trust against me and leaving. They knew I completely trusted them, knew that is a very big "gift" to them, but actually used that against me........boggles my mind. At this point, I don't even know if I really want to be in a relationship....I do, but I don't. I don't know if I could trust completely again, and that's not fair to the other person. I really don't know if I could take being abandoned and hurt again... I rather be alone knowing that it's just me taking care of me.

I've had so much counseling....none of it has helped with this issue.

I'm so wary of people. Guess that's why I have an innate connection with animals. You always know where you stand with them.

GEF, I don't have an answer for you.......seems like the experts really don't either. If you find out the answer, let me know; I'd like to move on too.
I know how you feel with the "boggles the mind" part. I have felt that way in many friendships/relationships...I couldn't have treated those people any better yet they choose to do something stupid (sometimes repeatedly) that ends the friendship. What boggles my mind is the part where they seem shocked and haven't seen it coming :blink:
Sometimes....it's not always what YOU do wrong. Some people really are effed up and have no clue how to exist among other people. That's not your fault- it's their own shortcoming.

That's a new attitude I have taken up lately- I like it because it seems like I am seeing truth.
 

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