This post was originally written by Margaret Paul, Ph.D. The co-founder of Inner Bonding.
I have never met anyone with an abandonment problem in the 46 years that I have been working with couples and individuals. Many of us were emotionally abandoned by parents or our parents model emotional self-abandonment.
People often enter relationships fearful of abandonment and rejection. Others avoid relationships in order to avoid these fears.
Are you able to identify with this?
What do you normally do when you feel afraid of abandonment or rejection?
To avoid rejection, I surrender to myself.
To avoid rejection, I am too nice.
I’m angry when I can’t control being left behind.
To avoid rejection, I will explain or defend.
When I feel abandoned or rejected, I withdraw.
To avoid this issue, I try to stay out of relationships.
These coping strategies can lead to you fearing rejection and abandonment. Until you stop abandoning your self and begin loving yourself, that is the problem.
How can you abandon yourself in so many ways? Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. You can judge yourself.
Which judgments do you make about yourself?
I am not good enough.
I am not enough.
I am bad.
I’m a loser.
I am either too thin or too fat.
I am stupid.
I won’t ever amount to anything.
It is better to not make a mistake.
I should be perfect.
If you were to have a child, and treat her with the same harsh judgments as you would for yourself, your child will likely feel abandoned, unloved or insecure.
Your inner child is your feeling self. Your inner child will feel just as lonely, rejected, abandoned and anxious if you are filled with self-judgments.
2. Instead of being present in your body, you should be able to focus on your head.
If your child was actually upset and you didn’t respond, it could make your child feel abandoned and isolated, anxious, or depressed.
If you keep your mind focused on your thoughts, you can become detached from your inner child, which can lead to depression or anxiety.
If you judge yourself, then blame others for your pain, you will feel even more abandoned.
3. There are many addictions.
If you were to give a child a cigarette or a drink instead of taking care of them, it would make your child feel abandoned.
You can feel the same feelings of abandonment if you turn to addictions to avoid or numb your feelings. These addictions include alcohol, drugs and food.
4. You make someone else responsible to your feelings
Again, if you were a parent and tried to give your child away, you would abandon the child.
You are also abandoning your inner child if you make other people responsible for your emotions.
The Healing of Abandonment Problems
When you stop abandoning your self and learn to value and love yourself, abandonment issues can be healed. You will feel insecure, unloved, and inadequate no matter how much you love someone else.
While it is wonderful to feel loved by others, it should not be the main attraction. You must first love yourself and then be able to love others.
It is possible to learn to love yourself and it will make all the differences!