Maybe you don’t feel so abandoned now, surrounded by loving family and friends. However, when problems arise in these areas, it could come from past abandonment issues.
If you’re not familiar with abandonment issues, then you’re not alone. Most people are unaware that these issues are playing a large role in their life today and cause pain in otherwise loving situations. Many struggles that we endure with relationships may also be due to neglect and abuse from the past.
What are abandonment issues and where do they come from?
Abandonment issues manifest as forms of incredible fear. Because of the lack of psychological help during childhood grief or trauma, a sense of neglect can settle into the mind of the child. While some people overcome these feelings, absorbing them only as physical neglect, some also experience a great emotional sense of unimportance.
This mixture is a recipe for abandonment issues in general. Here’s where abandonment issues come from:
- Lack of appropriate clothing or shelter
- Lack of nutrition
- No supervision or quality attention
- Lack of education or instruction
- Lack of love in general
- general absence from the home
How abandonment issues affect your future
When abandonment is present in early life, it can be powerful. In psychological studies, we learn that the first 7 years of a child’s life are the most influential. If abandonment issues begin during this timeline, then it can become a part of our basic character.
This means neglect has become something “normal” to us and something we expect in the duration of our lifetimes. Here are several signs that these issues are already affecting your self-image and your relationships with others.
If you’ve lived past the neglect in childhood, you may experience overwhelming disappointment at every turn. While most people take offenses and let them fade away, you will hold onto them as proof of further injustice as with childhood abandonment. The misfortunes that most people learn to move past will keep you stranded and leave a much bigger negative impact on your life.
When you’ve suffered abandonment as a child, you will learn to keep a safe distance from others and from certain situations. Becoming distant is a way to protect yourself from further hurt. Unfortunately, being distant also shuts out promising and positive aspects as well. You will certainly miss out on great things by utilizing this distance. You will also often fail in relationships because of this problem.
Focus on negative
Whether it’s with relationships or about friends, you tend to focus on imperfections. It’s usually the first thing you notice when you’ve endured the hardships of neglect. If your childhood had such struggles, then you figure any relationships in the future will be just as imperfect. In fact, this mindset plagues you the majority of the time.
A bit different from the distance, isolation is a defense tactic that survivors of neglect use to keep from getting hurt again. With isolation, you tend to avoid social situations of all kinds because of their ability to thrust you into groups of people you don’t know and places of unfamiliarity.
Remaining isolated prevents negative by keeping you in a safe environment of your choosing. Unfortunately, it also limits your ability to grow emotionally.
Fear of commitment
Considering neglect has left you to doubt everyone’s sincerity and loyalty, a fear of commitment will probably arise in adulthood. Being afraid to give your heart completely to another human being means failure to trust in someone. You believe that they will fail you. It’s incredibly hard to trust if you’ve been abandoned as a child.
One sign of your past struggles will be refusing to enter into serious relationships or even promising to take care of relatives. It just seems like too great a risk.
On the flip side of being distant, isolating and even fearing commitment is the predisposition of becoming “clingy”. Sometimes abandonment also breeds actions such as this. When you meet someone, you may rush into love out of a sense of fear. In order to eliminate the possibility of neglect, you strive to cement a commitment so you will never be alone.
Victims of abandonment also tend to work toward perfectionism. They feel that the problem, or why they were abandoned in the first place, was because of not being good enough. Seeking perfection is a way to avoid being left behind again.
Dealing with abandonment issues
In order to heal from neglect issues, you have to understand where they came from and how they are affecting your life now. If you can recognize these things you can see why you act in certain ways. For instance, if you are pushing loved ones away, you may have learned to distance yourself out of fear or rejection. Seeing this truth can help you feel safe and learn to love again. You can finally take down your walls.
Take your time getting to know your yourself and recognizing the demons from the past. This will help you build a new life, the life you deserve, and the life that’s best for you.
By Sherrie H.