Dealing with Abandonment Issues
Dealing with feelings of abandonment is one of the most difficult problems to face, often leading to irrational levels of fear, depression, high levels of anxiety and mistrust. In many cases, people living in fear of abandonment and up living their lives trying to please everyone (an impossible task) and killing relationships because of feelings of jealousy based on mistrust. These issues have a huge impact on romantic relationships, friendships, careers and even how we interact with family, including our children, which can lead to a vicious cycle of abandonment, it may help to know you’re not alone, even if you currently feel that way.
Abandonment fears often stem from a traumatic loss during the childhood years like the loss of a parent through the divorce (made even worse by a parent that felt abandoned and brought the child into the turmoil) or death. These feelings can also stem from inadequate physical or emotional care. Even though some degree of the fear of abandonment is a normal part of life, when the fear is frequent, severe and impossible to console, it can cause significant problems, especially when it comes to developing healthy relationships.
People who have experienced abandonment are more likely end up with long-term psychological challenges because they live in fear of being abandoned again and feeling unloved. This is particularly hard on children when they don’t receive the emotional support they deserve from a parent, often due to the parent’s own psychological problems, sadly leading to a lack of the healthy self esteem typically seek out friends and partners who bolster those negative beliefs, leading to intimacy problems, co-dependence, anxiety, a feeling of unworthiness and more.
Abandonment in Relation to Emotional and Physical Care
Common traumatic childhood events can e the death of a parent or the inability to feel safe because of a lack of adequate shelter or due to threatening circumstances such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse (which is very common). Emotional abuse is often caused by parents who ridicule their children or constrain their children’s emotional expression, holding them to unreasonable and impossible to live up to high standards. Sadly, for most people, childhood abandonment issues follow them to adulthood.
Therapy to Minimize Fear of Abandonment
The best way to deal with abandonment issues is to surround yourself with people that you trust, however, this is often easier said than done. It is a good idea to enlist the help of a professional counselor who will teach you how to develop healthy relationships with people you can trust. Skilled therapists will also help you address the experiences that have led to your feelings of abandonment. Working with a therapist, you’ll be able to learn how to separate fears of the past from the present, putting you in a position to achieve a cognitive transformation so that you can develop positive and realistic expectations in life.
The emotional healing begins when the person facing abandonment issues is able to recognize that their fears are grounded in the past and that they can develop the ability to reduce the way fear controls their emotionally charged responses to their relationships and life events.
With time and effective therapeutic approaches, people dealing with abandonment issues can learn to trust again and live the happy lives that they deserve.