During a session with my therapist last week. I realized that a big part of my struggles in romantic connections are due to my abandonment issues. I was able to self diagnose and my therapist confirmed this. My task for my next session was to dig deep within me to figure out where my abandonment issues started. I realized that my issues started when I was a child.
This was not done by my parents intentionally. They aren’t emotional people and that’s just how they were raised. I also found myself trying to please my father all the time. At times I felt like he was never satisfied with anything I did. I could be totally wrong… but this is how I perceived things growing up.
I lacked affection, emotional support and the understanding that I truly needed. This left me feeling really sad and alone. My abandonment issues grew even more during my pregnancy with my daughter. I was only 20 years old at the time and wasn’t equipped mentally or emotionally to handle or process what was going on. Being pregnant and feeling like I was alone was really hard.
The father of my child and I weren’t able to fix our issues which led to him dating someone else. He distanced himself from me for reasons that were unknown to me at the time. I ended up going through the end of my pregnancy…. ALONE and this was very traumatic. It left me hurt, broken and cynical. I didn’t realize at the time that I pushed him away. My fear of being hurt or disappointed took over me.
In a lot of my relationships I was either pushing men away or holding on too tight. I was being closed off, controlling and insecure. Always needing reassurance and constant attention to feel loved or wanted. Overgiving so they would see my worth and not leave. I’m the cause of a lot of my relationships not working out. It’s taken me a long time to realize, acknowledge and attempt to heal these deep rooted issues. So, I figured while I take this journey to healing… you guys can witness it. Or embark on your own journey if need be.
It can be really hard for some people to admit that there’s a problem. The first step is identifying the issue. Abandonment can come from a loved one dying, a relationship ending, divorce, absent parents, needs not being met etc…. You find yourself in constant fear of these types of losses and it can alter and hinder you from enjoying life or living your best life.
Signs of Abandonment Issues
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- People pleasing behavior. Always trying to satisfy the needs of others.
- Overgiving in relationships.
- Pushing people away to avoid rejection.
- Trust Issues.
- Insecurity and Jealousy.
- Controlling behavior.
- Struggles with emotional intimacy.
- Needing constant reassurance.
As I reflected and analyzed my past decisions in relationships. I realize that I’ve been in several codependent relationships. When I wasn’t being codependent I was overgiving.
I tend to overgive to people because I’m naturally a giving person. But I was overgiving to prove my worth to my mate. It takes a lot of strength to hold a mirror to your face and realize that you are indeed the problem.
I started to ask myself what are you lacking within? Do you realize in order for someone to see your worth you have to first realize that you are worthy? Do you settle for less because you feel like you don’t deserve more?
I realized that I was lacking confidence and my self esteem was low. When the men in my life didn’t stay around I blamed myself. I thought about what I did wrong or what I could have done better.
When in actuality some things didn’t work out because some of the men I dated were struggling with who they were, past trauma, insecurities and their own abandonment issues. All of which can make it difficult to have healthy relationships.
How To Love Someone With Abandonment Issues
Being in a relationship with someone with abandonment issues isn’t easy. But if you have the patience and are equipped with the proper knowledge you both can get through it. In many cases abandonment issues start in childhood. But that’s not gonna be everyone’s story. Just remember to be calm and patient with this person. Avoid taking their behavior personal.
Allow them to open up to you on their own. Don’t push them if they are not ready because it will only result in more conflict and disconnect. Some people withdraw or push you away because their current situation reminds them of something they’ve experienced in the past. Be aware that they may display poor behavior and have inconsistent interactions with you at times. They are going to do whatever they feel they need to to protect themselves. It has nothing or very little to do with you.
They are avoiding feeling past pain and disappointment. Don’t be afraid to be honest with them about how you’re feeling. Because if this person has trust issues and they feel as though you’re hiding things from them. I will only aggravate their insecurities. It’s almost better to over-communicate when dealing with them. A lot of people with abandonment issues need constant reassurance. Keep that in mind!
If at any time they engage in negative self-talk… listen. While actively listening, think of ways to help shift their perception and perspective of themselves and the situation. People with abandonment issues also require you to prove yourself. I know all about this. I went from being an overgiver to an undergiver. You have to prove to me that you’re worth my time and worthy of my love.
This must be done consistently over an extended period of time in order for me to let my guard down. Any slip up will cause me to shut down emotionally and I’ll pull away. But when someone is able to earn my trust…. things flow freely and love really begins to blossom.
Words of affirmation is a love language that definitely helps with someone suffering from abandonment issues. They value knowing that they’re loved. Hearing the things you love about them and seeing that love being displayed consistently. The main advice I will give you is to help your person but realize that it’s not your job to fix them. Their past pain and trauma weren’t caused by you and are not your responsibility.
Accommodate them with their healing and understand that they will sometimes take 10 steps forward and 5 steps back. It’s a part of the healing process. It gets very frustrating at times but the end result is worth it. Educating yourself on this topic and learning your partner helps. Everyone comes with some form of baggage but everyone is deserving of love.
If you love them, support! But keep in mind that if the person or situation gets to be toxic or starts to affect your mental health and well being. It might be time to walk away. Allow that person to work on themselves and if the love is real they will find their way and find their way back to you.
My journey begins now…. the time has come for me to abandon my abandonment issues. Wish me luck guys! Don’t forget to like, comment and follow.