Most people relate abandonment to the “leaving behind” of something or someone. The physical act of casting something or someone away.
It’s not just about that.
Abandonment comes in many forms.
We’ve heard horror stories of the newborns left in horrendous places after birth because it was an inconvenience to a young mother.
Some of us can relate to abandonment by a spouse because they just no longer care to be married or there was a better option outside of the home for them to pursue. Either way, they just walked away.
What some people don’t realize is that abandonment is not just the act of physically leaving or walking away. It’s also a FEELING.
The feeling of abandonment can come from those that may withdraw when they were once so imbedded in your life. It’s not a complete shut-down but it’s definitely different from what we may have been used to in the past. What you may have relied upon to be dependable all of a sudden is no longer the case.
Abandonment will often saddle up next to its second cousin, Rejection. Those feelings of abandonment often are coupled with the feeling of rejection. It’s almost like you can’t have one without the other. They are feelings that wash over us simultaneously.
For codependents like myself, these are feelings that have to be managed regularly. Because I have felt abandonment and rejection many times in my life, I’m quick to feel its presence at the onset.
Whether people intentionally or unintentionally leave us behind, this is a struggle for a codependent. Recovering or not. The key word being recovering. Codependency is a lifetime battle within ever fiber of our being. It’s managed not cured.
Being abandoned/rejected in the past will create life long psychological challenges of abandonment/rejection reoccurring, thus causing trust issues with anyone in the future along with feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness. And it causes even more damage when we do learn to trust someone and let them in only to face abandonment/rejection from those very people we trusted. This can be a spiral effect of anxiety and depression if not managed appropriately from a codependent’s standpoint.
These days, I have learned to communicate my feelings in a healthier way, keep a calm center when these feelings do emerge, and then realize who is “safe” and who isn’t. Learning that the past is the past and everyone is not out to hurt me. People are people. Life happens. And finally, I’ve learned I’m not in this alone. Others are in this same boat with me.