Understanding the Effects of the Perception of Abandonment
To help you recognize it in your life of the life of others, I presented a list of life-situations that may yield the perception of and therefore the feelings of abandonment. Now, I will present you with the mental, emotional and behavioral effects of the perception of abandonment. These will help you determine if indeed you or someone you know is suffering from the effects of abandonment.
Limiting Beliefs Created by the Perception of Abandonment
Understand that abandonment, neglect and rejection are all synonyms. When perceived to be present, they all lead to the same types of feelings, thoughts and limiting beliefs. Most importantly:
1) I’m unwanted.
2) Begins as No one loves me, and eventually expands to I’m unlovable.
3) Begins as I’m not good enough to keep them around, and eventually expands to I’m not good enough in general.
4) I’m unworthy. I’m not valuable.
5) There must be something wrong with me if they left me.
These beliefs negatively affect self-image, self-worth and low self-esteem which yield emotions and behaviors that reflect those beliefs!
- Fear of being abandoned or rejected again
- Fear of being alone
Loss, abandonment/neglect/rejection and betrayal can be devastating at any age, but they are particularly damaging when they occur between the ages of four and seven. It is during those years when a child’s heart chakra is developing; when they are leaning about relationships and love, including self-love, self-acceptance, empathy, and compassion. So, you could see how damaging these experiences can be to the developing human, and the long-term consequences that may ensue.
Also, understand that a developing human has such a small world view and such a small cache of life experience and knowledge that they generally will blame themselves for every painful situation that befalls them. Self-blame leads to guilt. This creates:
1) I’m a terrible person.
2) Everything is my fault.
3) I don’t deserve to be loved.
Recognizing the Behavioral Signs of Abandonment Issues
The limiting beliefs and emotions above dictate the behavior used to compensate for a lack attention and low self-worth.
Childhood rejection/abandonment may lead to the following behaviors:
1) Perfectionism: The thinking is that “If I’m perfect, they will love me and pay attention to me.” Or the opposite may occur-
2) May seek attention through negative behavior
3) Withdrawal- not worthy of attention
4) Becoming independent too early (“I can take care of myself. I don’t need anyone.”)
5) Fear of asking for what one needs because one believes it won’t be given; creating lack of assertiveness, and thus, become a doormat by not standing up for themselves.
6) The self-fulfilling behavior of self-sabotage in relationships:
a) May become dependent and clingy because they are trying so hard to hold on, which ends in rejection/abandonment
b) May become jealous and possessive = an attempt to control the other due to the inability to trust/believe they will stay on their own
c) Avoidance: Keeping people at arms length/doesn’t let any one get too close. No risk of being hurt again.
d) Fear of intimacy and/or commitment for fear that they will discover you are actually as unworthy and as unlovable as you believe
e) Push people away before they can reject/abandon you. If they stay, you may keep pushing because you fully expect to be left again. When they leave, and they eventually will because no one can be pushed forever, you will be right. Although this may be a psychological imperative to match your reality with your beliefs, would you rather be right and alone or happy in a relationship? Chose to heal and you can be happy in a relationship.
f) Seek out or are attracted to people who we subconsciously know will reject/abandon us; as a psychological imperative or to see if this one time the fear isn’t justified.
7) Fear of being alone yields perpetually busy behavior.
8) Holds in rage
9) Uses sex to get close and receive the attention and contact/touch/affection that was denied
10) Fills emptiness from outside (i.e. food, drugs, attention-seeking behavior, power –seeking behaviors, and overachieving)
I think it important to understand the worst impact of neglect to get a glimpse of the potential impact. In severe situations, such as poorly run orphanages where children are almost completely neglected, failure to thrive may cause early death. If a child survives, they may develop what psychologists term as reactive- or dissociative-attachment disorder, which creates an inability to comfortable attach to others. (I worked with a student who had this experience and had many difficulties stemming from dissociative-attachment disorder.)
If you recognized your behavior, or someone else’s in the list above, please come back for the answer to the question “How do I heal abandonment issues?”
May you perceive and receive all your blessings.
With Much Love,
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