Abandonment issues are all over the world. Everyone experiences loss at some point or another in their lives. But the abandonment issues I am discussing today, on my video, and in this week’s blog are deeper and more pervasive than the stereotypical “I was left..” incident.
Abandonment is about loss of every kind. Emotional loss, loss of self, no voice, loss of power, loss of control, feeling unloved, unworthy, unaccepted, misunderstood, and other UNs…and it occurs pretty frequently over our lifetimes. We are not raised by a perfect world. So it is normal to have experienced abandonment issues. If they remain unchecked and unresolved, relationships and commitments begin to suffer.
So what are some abandonment issues? In childhood they could be the negative self-talk or shaming a person creates as an explanation to why they were abandoned or felt unacceptable, unloved, or ignored. These explanations contain shaming self-talk that children, in their limited experience and primitive mind create. Why does this happen? Because the brain is an organ that must make sense of life in order to survive. Doesn’t matter to the brain if it’s good or bad information, as long as there is information, it will travel along the mind to become data that is acceptable for reasoning.
Children cannot reason well. The brain is not completely formed until 25 years of age. So everything we learn up until that age is extremely biased with little logic or reasoning. That’s why we need parents. So back to the shame and negative self-talk. As adults, if we are still using these emotional data banks to explain our world, we could make some missteps in our relationships when we are facing challenges. Not everything in childhood is ill learned, but I am addressing abandonment issues in this blog and not the parts of childhood that are good and healthy. As explanations are created aro0und why the abandonment occurred, so are the defense mechanisms against the negative feelings that come from experiencing abandonment.
The defense mechanisms are subtle. They can seem normal, because all human beings are normal and dysfunctional, which is normal dysfunction! :-) Therefore, needing certain defense mechanism to prevent such an experience again can look as simple as feeling shame that everyone’s life on Facebook is better than yours.
Over indulgence in living through your children. Or feeling alienated at your job because you aren’t recognized for the promotion. Your wife or husband wanting to change parenting styles and doesn’t agree with you about finances or where to live. If you are ruminating and unable to resolve these issues, chances are you have been struggling with how to move through these issues long ago. And the unhealthy pattern of using the unhealthy defense mechanisms as a coping tool has allowed you to avoid the issue, rather than resolve the core issue.
That’s where an outside source is needed. Trying to think differently on your own is difficult, because your brain is the tool that got you here in this challenging position in the first place. So, you will need to borrow and learn from some other thought patterns. But before that can happen, you have to gain clarity around accepting that there are issue of abandonment in the first place. Everyone manages their emotional struggle with abandonment differently. Just like everyone learns differently. It’s important to find the right therapist, the best books, and have safe and healthy peers who can offer critical advice that you trust. Changing how you think about your emotional abandonment and shame is a journey worth beginning. You have yourself and a full life to gain!