At the risk of sounding Freudian, the fear of abandonment most often stems from a major loss in childhood. Sometimes that loss is through death or divorce. Other times it is from the loss of a protector through neglect or abuse. It varies in intensity based on the way one presently perceives the trauma from childhood.
An adult with serious abandonment issues continues to fear the risk of being abandoned by every significant individual in their life today, the same way they were by their protector when they were a young child. They experienced this fear in their early life and it is as if they got stuck there emotionally, and relive that fear over and over again in their adult life with the people who take the place of protector; the people who they are involved in the most significant relationships with. Rational, balanced thinking is distorted and disrupted and this affects all significant relationships.
The actual abandonment is usually connected to a traumatic event that occurs in a person’s life. The abandonment may be physical, emotional or even financial in nature and in many cases, one type of abandonment leads to another type, deepening the intensity. For example, many times serious money problems result due to death. There are often extensive medical costs or loss of income, so the child who has lost a parent, also suffers a loss of financial security and lifestyle; maybe even the loss of home and neighborhood. And it all happens at the same time.
It may be becoming clearer how strong the negative impact this type of trauma can have on someone’s life. It is very possible that this type of loss can cause pervasive feelings of anxiety and apprehension that roll over into every other relationship in the person’s life that follows from here. It may even spill over into a variety of relationships, business and social, as well as intimate ones. In all cases, serious fear of abandonment diminishes a person’s quality of life.
There is, however, hope. Even when people have developed overwhelming abandonment, appropriate treatment can help them learn to manage their lives and made themselves happier and more productive once again. Talking with a qualified therapist is a great place to start working on altering the emotional reaction to the thoughts of abandonment; something that must occur in order for things to improve. A trained therapist will help put fears from the past into a healthy proportion in the present, and break through the distorted perceptions that have taken over. It leaves a person open to make the changes necessary in their thinking that restore positive, realistic responses to the things that happen in their life. They begin to develop a balanced, healthy perspective and realize that their current relationships are not connected to their past relationships after all, and that they can find happiness.
By improving your level of self-care, trusting other people, regaining balance and learning how to appropriately communicate one’s needs in intimate relationships, you can move onto a healthier life, free of overwhelming fear and anxiety.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!