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5 thoughts on “Healing the Abandonment Wound

  • August 26, 2017 at 7:55 pm
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    “In the end, no matter who has hurt you, no matter how affected you may be from the resulting injury, you still have a life to live. Even if you have an ache in your heart for the missing person, you can still thrive in life; find hope and love, and live well. You do this by honoring your feelings, acknowledging the loss, validating the consequences of the loss, and enjoying your life.” This is the key. You still have a life to live! So be kind to yourself, live your life by doing the things that you really enjoy, have people in your life that love and respect you. And to the people that hurt me? Well, I’ve made my peace with what you’ve done and I’ve moved on.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 2:34 am
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    I didn’t find out I’d come out of a horror background until I was 53 owing to memory loss which neatly allows functionality but little inner growth , other than annoying subliminal neurotic reactions to situations which “normal ” people deal with.
    These often made me stop and think why, but in the absence of information, I could only conclude I had a character set which was really “different” and so be it, life is for getting on with, warts and all.
    However, finally given the truth , it became possible to reroute a lot of my peccadilloes, mostly emotional avoidance techniques until I got somewhere near the centre of the who I am with the help of a therapist.
    Good idea to have someone to bounce your ideas and progress off because its very easy to get hooked up on a detail which actually isn’t important, and like many a pilot in an emergency forget that the main job is flying the plane.
    One thing I did find important was to work to a steady progress rather than some miraculous change.
    Had a few of those which turned out to be false gods as inner stasis for better or worse is a safety habit which requires small increments to manifest real change.
    In other words miracles take a little longer.
    Eventually I became aware that my memory loss was a trauma condition, and so began another tack which was even more complex, because at best all I could do was to create visualisations of the event, and then play it in the hope of feeling or getting near the feelings of the child that I’d been when all this shit was going down.
    Not all of these worked of course , but little by little it became clear that the major blocking agency was PTSD and the “horseplay” flags up as an NDE, and so eventually I was able to make a rights of passage to the karmic spot and go through an imaginary rerun, “lights camera and action ” like a film director, in the hope that it would begin the healing process.
    This it did, but as I’ve mentioned rendering changes may require many repetitions to reform new habits, yes its like learning math and the abc again.
    So when does it, did it end?
    Well actually never, but there comes a point when the inner and outer aspects meld into a calmer and more peaceful approach especially when one realises that forgiveness is a necessity and hanging on to grudges whether by intent or unwittingly are life drogues and do not help in the normal moment to moment joy of existence.
    The worthness of all of this hard work is not only understanding who we are but also in which place and through which talents we can stake our true value as a human being.
    All of this could and can be done with determination and hope in spite of a mental condition called PTSD with its sneaky little attachment dyslexia…
    Um yes folks of the stealth type, I failed at examinations when the questions got blurry and went walkabout.
    Reading and writing came through comics and cartoons, so bit by bit and very slowly I became a reader and an articulate writer, but very slow..spellcheck spellcheck, without which ..it doesn’t bear thinking about …lol
    So keep going folks, abused and a abandoned as a child..but cracking grand-parenting followed…Hi five to y’all.

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  • August 30, 2017 at 10:32 am
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    Sharie,

    As a fellow therapist I agree that abandonment/neglect is a huge issue for many patients. But I don’t think that it is under-recognized or under-represented in contemporary literature, unless you’re referring to the strict CBT folks. In the age of interpersonal neurobiology and after all of the research and practical application of attachment theories, abandonment is clearly being seen as akin to abuse in terms of its affect on individuals. Anyway, I enjoyed reading your well-thought-out piece on the subject.

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  • October 26, 2017 at 3:05 am
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    good god this can lead to suicide so can desertion and neglect “I have a wonderful life ” lol or do I???????????

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  • March 14, 2018 at 1:57 am
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    My father is a narcissist and I’ve grown up since the age of 8, wondering why my father never wanted to be around me, rarely ever spent time with me, and had to be forced to even attend the big events in my life such as my high school graduation, birthdays, etc. As an example, my father recently sent me a picture of my brown belt exam in kenpo (karate) when I was 15 (I’m 24 now) with the comment “remember?” Uh… no. He wasn’t even there! And he doesn’t even realize that he wasn’t there, but at the time, I was so deeply hurt that he wouldn’t even show up for that. And, that was a very stressful test at our school because it involved sparring three black belts at once! My father, the shining star, a black belt who trained with Chuck Norris and who was an athlete in general as a prior major league baseball player, couldn’t even show up to something that he’d told me was so important!

    At the time, I idolized him. My poor mom, who comparatively was the quiet engineer, who while very, very intelligent and compassionate and now seriously one of my best friends as well as a parent, wasn’t idolized, though she deserved to with all the crap she went through. Hearing her talk now about how often she tried to shield me from my father now just amazes me because I had no idea how hard it was on her. It wasn’t until he left the latest time (a few years ago) that I realized how terrible he was to me. Yeah, I knew he was a bad parent and I knew of some of the emotional abuse, and the few times that were serious physical abuse. (I honestly don’t count regular spankings because I understood that if I had pushed one of my parents with something enough to the point where I got spanked, I deserved it, even if sometimes it was harsher than I thought it should be. I’m talking about the times where I did NOTHING deserving of physical abuse. Once I got thrown down the stairs with a judo style hip throw and smacked into the banisters on the way down. My crime was having headphones in and didn’t hear my dad talking to me. Those kinds of things.)

    Abandonment didn’t seem like a real issue until lately. I mean, I should be happy he’s out of my life! I should be glad not to have to constantly be on guard and not getting yelled at for every little thing. I should be glad not to have to hide because my father is in a bad mood and I don’t want him to take it out on me. But, the hurt inner-child of me, the one that has still locked itself inside me heart crying, feels abandoned. It wonders why it was never good enough for its father to love it – to even really spend time with it. When my dad left the last time, I TOLD him that he had abandoned me and never really gotten to know me. As someone who fits almost every quality of a narcissist, he of course, tried to charisma his way out of it by telling me he’d gone to my softball games and martial arts schools. Even at the time, I’m glad I knew he was trying to manipulate me. I realized even then that this wasn’t true, my dad RARELY did any of those things. I suppose that he feels that since he did it a couple of times over the course of 18 years that he was an exceptional father since his parents (especially his mom whom I suspect is also narcissistic) never came even once.

    It wasn’t until last year that I went fishing, something I’d normally consider something you’d do with a father, that I realized just how abandoned and hurt my inner child was. Here, I’d done something I was proud of (caught, cleaned, and cooked the fish all by myself… ish since my mom had to show me how) and all I wanted was to share it with my father. I wanted my father to tell me how good of a job I’d done and to share in my accomplishments, but as I went to type it out to him via text message, it occurred to me that he really, really wouldn’t care. The only reason he’d probably respond to me was so that he could show others how he’s a good, supportive father. I knew from the age of 8 that that was most of my value to him, but it never hit me as to how deep of a wound it had cut in my heart. It hasn’t been a year since I’ve started hearing the cries of that abandoned child, and its been less than 2 months since I’ve refused contact with him.

    And still, the abandoned child cries, desperate for a father who loves her. Not that my mom doesn’t love me and not that I don’t have other parental or familial figures in my life, but there is a wound there that I’m only jut now seeing the depth of. Even reading this article made me cry, from realizing even more the depth of the wound, but at least I’m trying to understand and recover from it all.

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