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Abandonment Issues

Rujuta Borkar Mar 10, 2020
Abandonment issues can wreak havoc in your life and can lead to serious effects, thereby not allowing a person facing these issues to lead a normal life. Read on to find out what these issues are.
I believe that the worst kind of pain is that which cannot be seen. You scrape a knee and yes, that hurts, but imagine experiencing abandonment. Dealing with an emotional trauma such as this is always more difficult than any physical pain. Why does experiencing abandonment in any relationship lead to the touching of a raw nerve? Why is it so difficult to deal with?
Coming to terms with any form of problem becomes easier when you know what it is all about. But issues that are brought about due to abandonment are several. Many times, we aren't even aware that we are victims of the same and that the decisions we take in our lives or our behavior towards ourselves and others is a result of it.

Issues of Abandonment in Children

This feeling of being abandoned can usually be traced back to childhood. These issues have their roots firmly bound to the fear of being left alone in the world and to cope with all the problems alone. Abandonment does not have to be a physical activity wherein a parent dies or leaves.
It could also amount to abandonment if a child does not find the emotional support, guidance or love from the parents. Wherein, in spite of being a part of his life the parents are emotionally unavailable for him and therefore aren't a 'part of his life' in the true sense of the term.
Abandonment is perceived by children as a time when parents are too busy or preoccupied with their own lives. Sometimes, a child might feel like he is being abandoned when he is left on his own. For example, when he is dropped off at school and is separated from the parents for a long time, or upon the arrival of a new baby.
This feeling of not being able to find support from parents can also lead to these issues, which is only followed by several other issues in the future if they aren't tackled with at the right time.

Effects of Abandonment on Children

These effects might be varied and could range from the physical to mental. They could also continue well into adulthood and throughout a person's life. Some of these effects are as follow.
  • It might lead them to question their self worth.
  • They may develop low self-esteem and end up blaming themselves for the same.
  • They might suffer from guilt, and convince themselves that they deserved to be abandoned because the parents thought they were better off without their burden.
  • They might not be able to trust easily and share their emotions with others.
  • They may develop general fear, insecurities, and uncertainty. They might also feel the need to cling on to others.
  • In severe cases, they might even have eating and sleep disorders, like nightmares.
  • They might even suffer from physical ailments like depression, tiredness, and anger.
  • In case of a single parent abandoning the child, the child might idealize the present parent and reject everything associated with the absent parent.
In a scenario where the parents become aware that the child is going through these issues, they must make sure to be able to communicate to him that they love him and will continue to do so.
They must try to be there for him and nurture and support him, always keeping in mind that childhood is the time the brain is most vulnerable to imprinting, and therefore, if the idea of abandonment is allowed to harbor, it could affect the child's entire life.

Abandonment in Relationships

The main outcome of suffering from these issues in relationships is the fear that gets created. That fear of 'being left alone and having to deal with everything by yourself' becomes such an integral part of one's life that it starts affecting the relationships they are in. It can create a distance between people and deter a person from leading a normal and healthy life.
A person is likely to show a tendency to have issues in relationships if he has faced abandonment of any sort in his childhood. In such a scenario, a deep-rooted fear is ever present and gets triggered as a result of a certain incident in adulthood and certain tell-tale symptoms start manifesting themselves.
When a person is abandoned in a relationship in which he/she has invested years and worked towards creating an intimate and strong bond, then it becomes extremely difficult to get over the person and can lead to these issues cropping up.
These issues in relationships can get very complicated since they are driven by betrayal. Therefore, the grief that one experiences after going through abandonment in relationships is more difficult to get over.
There might be several effects of having gone through this:
  • A person might become clingy and overdependent on another and eventually drive them away because of lack of space.
  • It will lead a person to be very jumpy and in a state of panic at all times. For example, if someone does not reach at the specified time they will start calling the person or if they are late they will immediately get hyper about it.
  • They will use emotional blackmail―taking it to the point of threatening self harm if the person leaves. In short, they will do whatever it takes to continue that relationship.
  • They might move from relationship to relationship, always abandoning the person before the person abandons them. Even if the relationship is good, they will still have the compulsive need to end it to avoid being hurt and therefore they might never be able to sustain a relationship.
  • They might have a constant need for reassurance and approval, their emotional well-being depending on it.
  • They become angry with themselves and assure themselves that something is wrong with them.
  • Disappointments and losses re-ignite their fear.
  • It may lead to depression, anxiety, isolation, and a general tendency to overreact.
  • They might end up idealizing the person who has abandoned them because they feel that the hurt and pain that they feel can be taken away if they come back
Once a person recognizes that he/she is suffering from abandonment issues, it is possible to resolve them. Seeking professional help is the first and most important step in overcoming this fear.
One does not need to feel that seeking professional help automatically makes them mentally sick. Or that people will now think of them as having a disorder. In fact, doing so will only lead to a more fulfilling life for the individual and he will finally be able to cherish enriching relationships with people around him.
Disclaimer - This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for the advice of a mental health expert.