Can Abandonment Issues Be Resolved?
Abandonment trauma can be defined as the behavior and emotional response that someone has as a result of experiencing severe neglect or harm. It can happen at any time in life and feeling physically or emotionally neglected can be deeply painful. While this trauma may occur after one specific instance of physical or emotional abandonment, it can also result from both perceived and unintentional abandonment.
Signs of Abandonment Issues:
Common signs of abandonment issues include:
- Insecurity or anxiety in relationships
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Excessively neediness or clinginess
- Difficulty trusting others
- Withdrawing socially
- Engaging in self-destructive behaviors
- Wanting to control others
What causes abandonment issues?
Events can interrupt this assurance at any age. When this happens, abandonment fears may develop. These events may include:
- Death. Death is natural, but that doesn’t make it less traumatic. Losing your loved one unexpectedly can create an emotional void filled by fear.
- Abuse. Physical and sexual abuse, along with other types of abuse, can create lingering mental health issues, including a fear of abandonment.
- Poverty. If basic needs aren’t met, this can lead to a scarcity mindset. This may lead to fears that emotional resources, like love, attention, and friendship, are likewise limited.
- Relationship loss. Divorce, death, infidelity — these problems all happen. For some individuals, the end of a relationship can be too painful. It may lead to lingering fears.
How to treat abandonment issues?
Stop hyper-focusing on everyone’s else’s needs
The first thing you can do to heal a fear of abandonment is to bring the focus back to you. That’s right: you have to learn to consistently take care of yourself! Many people who have experienced the deep pain of abandonment have turned into people pleasers or people who experience codependency. Both scenarios make the other person the priority. Thus, they get put on the pedestal while your needs suffer.
Integrate your trauma
The process of emotional integration simply means looking at some of the most painful events that have ever happened to you and saying: “You know what? They made me stronger. You know what? They didn’t last. And you know what? They’re not all of me, they’re a part of me. It’s something I experienced, but it’s not who I am.”
As you become aware of how your issues are related to your past experiences, validate, validate, validate. Why is self validation primal to your healing? If you don’t self validate, you’ll be dragging your “seeking validation self” to anyone who will listen to you, unconsciously seeking their approval and validation. If you thoroughly self validate on a daily basis, you can ask others for support, but it isn’t from the same desperation for them to grasp the intensity of your emotional experience. Thus, you’ll feel stronger, and friends can be there for you in the way friends meant to.
Work on Trusting Other People
Abandonment issues also tend to give rise to trust issues, especially in romantic relationships. If you’ve been cheated on or betrayed before, there’s always that anxiety that someone else will do it again. With this, you often find it hard to trust other people.
That’s why, if you want to heal your abandonment issues, you need to work on your trust issues first. Instead of doubting them right away, give people the chance to prove themselves.
When to seek help?
With support, both adults and children with a fear of abandonment can enjoy healthy relationships and good quality of life.