Have you ever wondered why no matter whether we know something or someone is wrong for us, we can’t help but run back to them? Why, no matter how often we repeat positive affirmations to change our negative behaviours, it does not click? Your childhood could hold the answers to that. As a matter of fact, a significant percentage of our behaviour takes root in the early years. According to psychologists, four core childhood traumas affect most grown-ups to a certain degree depending on many factors. The core wounds are; abandonment and neglect, fear of rejection, betrayal and lack of self-worth. All these wounds find themself in our subconscious minds. Therefore, It’s from that subliminal part of ourselves that those experiences control us. In this short read, the focus will be on healing from the fear of abandonment, which can be post-traumatic stress disorder.
What is abandonment PTSD?
As stated above, the fear of abandonment as a post-traumatic stress disorder is a symptom of early childhood trauma. However, some psychologists have reported that some of their mature clients have shown signs of this wound. The symptoms followed after an unexpected loss of a loved one. It is an intense fear that someone we care about will leave or neglect us in one way or another. A person who has this mental health issue has experienced one or more of these situations below.
- Loss of someone they love at a very young age
- Neglect in early childhood by parents or caregivers
- Had an emotionally unavailable caregiver or who was inconsistent with emotional support
- Left alone at a young age to care for their own needs and maybe for others such as parents or siblings
- Rejection from family and peers
- Environmental issues such as poverty or less fortunate where both parents have to work long hours almost every day
What are the signs of someone dealing with the fear of abandonment PTSD?
Adults who experience the fear of abandonment have been felt left out for most of their lives, not part of the group. They always felt like the odds were against them regarding social enjoyment. Because they were misfits, misunderstood, and outsiders looking in, connections in relationships such as romantic and friendship are complicated for them. This could seem surprising as those people may be part of many social groups with similar interests. Unfortunately, no matter how others are inclusive to them, they will project on their social experience what they feel inside. These feelings aren’t accurate in general. Below are some of the most common signs of this core wound.
- Social anxiety and depression related to loneliness
- Difficulties trusting others in personal, romantic and friendship relationships
- Tend to get emotionally attached to a person very fast in a relationship
- Tend to have codependency and clinginess behaviour
- Difficulty establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship
- Staying in an unhealthy relationship either with a family member, friends or romantic partner just because it feels familiar. Will voluntarily or subconsciously ignore the relationship issue.
- Struggling with emotional regulations and distress
- Panic related to potential loss of essential people
- Consistently looking to please others for fear of rejection or being left.
- Being excessively generous
- Have a hard time trusting people when it comes to long term relationships or commitment
- Being insecure about their sexuality and intimate rapport
- Being emotionally needy
- Seeking constant approval from others.
- Having recurrent illness usually has no apparent physical cause. This behaviour is a way of looking for someone to care for them.
- Self-esteem deficit
- Social alienation
How does one heal from the abandonment wound?
This core wound affects us from the subconscious part of our mind. Therefore, the best methods are the ones that will address these issues on a deeper level. The first step in healing is to take ownership of your story. It is crucial to find the courage to say what happened to you on paper or out loud, no matter what others are saying. It’s your story; tell it your way. Understand that what happened to you wasn’t your fault, and you did not deserve it. Secondly, name the emotions you were having at the event and how you feel now. By doing so, you empower yourself to take the following steps in your journey. There are plenty of therapies to choose from to assist you when you are ready to take action.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
- Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). It is a combination of individual therapy and social skill training. Included among these abilities are mindfulness and psychological management.
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Couples therapy for fear of abandonment and emotional desertion
- Hypnosis for healing inner child wounds
I had great success with EMDR, Hypnosis and Mindfulness practice. Consequently, I am now passionate and committed to helping others on their journey of healing from complex PTSD using hypnosis and mindfulness practice. To help our community who might be dealing with this specific issue, please share your thought on the following question. How have you tried to deal with the fear of abandonment? Did it work, and would you recommend it to others with the same issue? If not, please tell us why.
.Abandonment Trauma: Signs, Causes, and Healing. https://www.verywellhealth.com/abandonment-trauma-5211575
.Zhang, Gloria, The inner child podcast-#1 why does bad sh*t keep happening to me. https://bygloriazhang.com/