Abandonment

     At the women’s retreat I went to a couple years ago, I discovered that I have issues with abandonment.  I knew I felt abandoned by my family and my son with the estrangements but apparently it dates back even further to my childhood as well.  This was confusing to me – I told counselors that I was close with my parents when I was younger – how could I have felt abandoned?  They explained that even though my mother didn’t know that my brother and father were abusing me, each time they hurt me and my mom didn’t come to save me, I felt abandoned by her. I can see how a child’s mind might see it that way.  And then after my son was born and I fell into a deep depression, when my mother was helping me care for him until she got very ill and ended up in the hospital, I felt my mom abandoned me again.  “Now wait just a minute, it’s not my mother’s fault that she got sick!” – that was my reaction when this was explained to me. They told me that even though it wasn’t something she did on purpose, I still felt abandoned and helpless nonetheless.  Intent is one thing but perception is entirely another.  When I started to look back, I guess I could see the times someone wasn’t there when I needed them most – I just never associated that feeling with feeling abandoned.  Of course, when my family estranged from me a few years ago – that I felt as true abandonment.
     This is an excerpt from http://www.goodtherapy.org:  “Abandonment fears typically stem from a loss in childhood, such as the loss of a parent through death or divorce, but they can also result from inadequate physical or emotional care. In adulthood, these early-childhood experiences result in fear of being abandoned by the significant people in one’s life. While some degree of abandonment fear may be a normal part of being human, when the fear of abandonment is severe, frequent, and impossible to comfort, it can cause significant impairment, particularly with regard to developing healthy relationships. A person who has experienced abandonment is likely to encounter long-term psychological challenges, based primarily on the fear that abandonment will recur.” 
     “Inadequate physical or emotional care” – I clearly lacked proper role models as a child and the emotional ramifications of the incest were deep. As an adult, after my family’s bullshit estrangement, I now find it very difficult to trust anyone and I pull away from relationships – if I don’t let them get close, then they can’t hurt me. I have heard of love and sex addictions before, but I apparently am a love-avoidant in certain ways, something I had never heard of. I won’t let people get too close to me (which developed after the family estrangement) and I have social anxieties and phobias (which developed in childhood).  I am not the typical love-avoidant in intimate relationships but I definitely have detachment issues with most anyone else.  It definitely ties in with my fear of abandonment. I wonder if people who abandon and estrange truly know the ramifications of what they did?
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5 thoughts on “Abandonment

    1. It was an eye-opener for me, and it applies to so many things in life. Even though this realization came from a negative time in my life, it has allowed me to evaluate things differently as I move forward in life. Not that it makes it easy by any means. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have thought about your last question as well: do abusers have any idea of the long-term damage they are inflicting in exchange for their own pleasure? In my case, I am convinced not. Early on, I was abused by people who I think loved me (in their own way) but were very oblivious to the perceptions and emotions of others and just thought of themselves as “progressive” and “sexually experimental” (ugh). I don’t know what your brother and father thought they were doing, but they were not thinking about you as a person and the impact of their abuse on you over the long run. It’s so unfair.

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    1. I agree with your point and how you say your abusers in their owns minds could totally justify their actions. I don’t think my abusers understood at all how it would affect me. even with the family estrangements – their need to feel better by hurting me – if they did know and want it to hurt as much as it has, then they are simply monsters. The problem is what they all did to me, all of it in one way or another hurt my son as well. That pisses me off even more.

      Curiously, you wrote about how they loved you in their own way – do you find that your sense of love is skewed now? I have found that mine is, in several ways.

      Liked by 1 person

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