Fear of Abandonment
“Love often leads to healing, while fear and isolation breed illness. And our biggest fear is abandonment.”
— Candace Pert
One day when you are going through and living your routine life. Then, without warning, your world turns dark and upside down. Then there comes a day that suddenly you feel a need for protection from those you trusted yesterday. You feel a sense of anger, hurt and rejection in relations that made you happy previously. Its aftershocks also remain inside us if not dealt with. It works like quicksand, leaving us in feelings of worthlessness and despair. No matter how hurtful or demoralizing the circumstances may have been, you are not undeserving of love. You matter, your heart matters, the love you bestowed upon others matters. You definitely have a lot to give. Always remember, you will get a lot of love to receive. This is why we need to deal with this fear because we should be able to open our arms to someone who genuinely wants to take care of us. The fear of abandonment restricts us and moves us away from even genuine people.
‘The Wounded Child’
A wounded child is someone who has been left behind by a loved one, especially in childhood when a parent abandons the child or dies.
‘The Wounded Adult’
This is the person who feels wounded when his/her spouse or partner unexpectedly walks away.
We acknowledge your fear of abandonment and the wound left by it as important. It is something that needs to be addressed because it is paralyzing and we can address it for you because we don’t want them to trigger you later in your life.
The fear of abandonment is a serious issue as it leaves the person fearing that a loved one will leave them or abandon them. It is paralyzing.
It can be caused by the following which has a greater impact in the long term:
- Traumatic events
- Death of a loved one, a friend moving away, a relationship ending, a transition from high school to college to marriage and parenthood.
- Losing someone to violence or tragedy
The people who are or may be vulnerable to the fear of abandonment have the following symptoms:
- They Unnecessarily Attach quickly
- Fail to fully commit and have had very few long-term relationships
- Move on quickly just to ensure that you don’t get too attached
- They aim to please others all the time
- Engage in unwanted sex (this is common in women)
- Stay in relationships even if they cause emotional harm
- Have difficulty experiencing emotional intimacy
- Feel insecure and unworthy of love
- Find it hard to trust people
- Are often jealous of everyone you meet
- Experience intense feelings of separation anxiety
- Have feelings of general anxiety and depression
- Tend to over think things and work hard to figure out hidden meanings
- Are hypersensitive to criticism
- Contain repressed anger and control issues
- Engage in self-blame frequently
Abandonment is all of this and more. Its wound is at the heart of human experience.
HOW TO OVERCOME THIS?
- Look Backward first to look forward to a new Life
Identify the first event of abandonment that you had or felt.
- Talk to someone you trust about this abandonment experience. Try talking to a friend or a counsellor to vent it out while applying your wisdom of your adult brain.
- You need to now begin to heal your childhood emotional neglect. A good counsellor can help you in this.
- Further, it is important to be aware of your tendencies. Have an emotional container or a back-up activity that can make you stronger. A mere distraction from the feeling is not enough in the long run; you have to rewire your brain that not all people will leave.
“Do what you want to do, say what you want to say, because those who matter don’t mind, and those who do mind don’t.” Having an emotional container is very important because of our human nature which is innately social. Keep that hope alive that you will get the right kind of emotional containers, if you don’t have any.
- Ask yourself, do you get suicidal tendencies when there is no ventilator? Do read our article on why suicide is not the option.
- Make use of social media, not to feel bad by seeing others having friends, rather utilizing it to get the right platforms and online communities to discuss your issues. ABHASA blog provides you with this opportunity.
- Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for feeling that you have done any wrongs in the past that led to the abandonment. Meditate on these things and you’ll see the difference.
- Befriend yourself. The best person to understand you is you. This may sound like a clichéd statement but when you try therapy and rehabilitation, you will come to a point where you can stand for yourself and resolve your issues on a real-time basis.
- Be Non-Judgemental otherwise, you will keep hurting yourself either by blaming yourself which is equivalent to stabbing a knife in your heart, or by doing self-harm.
- Be assured that better people are coming to your life.
Please reach out to the ABHASA community. We will do the best to help you out.
The following is the more detailed analysis of this fear for those who want to delve deeper into this problem:
1. Fear of Emotional Abandonment– Just because this fear is not tangible, it doesn’t mean that it is not real or less important. This feeling can come even when you have a relationship with anyone who is physically present with you. We all have emotional needs as human beings. If these needs are not met either in the past or the present, then the seeds of this fear are laid, which keeps growing day by day.
2. Fear of Abandonment in Children– This kind of fear breads when a child sees that their parents are handing him/her to someone (for e.g. day care). This leads to anxiety of fear. But when the child realizes that the parents come back, this fear and anxiety subsides. But this fear increases 3. Abandonment Anxiety in Relationships– this includes trust issues and worrying too much about your relationship. Your anxiety may draw your partner away from you, which can lead you paranoid. This comes with an intense feeling of devastation.