Abandonment

Abandonment.  The last letter from my pdoc to my family doc had this word in it.  It kind of jolted me a bit when I read this.  I hate seeing things like this written about me. My t has on occasion mentioned this to me but I find it easy to ignore the spoken word as opposed to the written word.  Avoidance stops dead and thinking begins when I see what has been written about me.  And of course the questions arise within me.  Is this really the truth?  Have they misunderstood me somehow. Have they mixed me up with someone else? Are they just making this up?  Why do they think this?  Why would I have abandonment issues as a child? And on and on it can go.

I am beginning to think that there may be some truth in it although I don’t know why I would experience this as an adult when I should know better.

In the meantime I have tried to figure out what happened in my childhood that would have caused this within me.  Through therapy I have learned that a lot of my reactions to situations were developed because of my upbringing.  Most times I find this hard to grasp.  It was just every day normal living to me.  But I guess it wasn’t all that normal.

My mother and Wayne (father) had a very violent marriage.  The first time he left us I was 11 or 12 years old.  I was in school when I was called to the principles office.  I was scared because I had never been called to the office before.  I couldn’t imagine what kind of trouble I had gotten into. When I walked into the office there was Wayne.  He handed me 500 dollars and told me to tell my mother that he was leaving.  He left with the words echoing in my ears ‘don’t you dare lose it.  It is the only money your mother will have’.  I was confused plus terrified of losing the money.  The teacher offered to keep the money for me until the end of the school day.  And so I did the dirty deed for him.  He ended up coming back and leaving again at least three more times.  Would that cause abandonment issues?

My parents would also leave us in the car in front of a bar or in a place like an ice arena to fend for ourselves while they went drinking.  The good thing about being left in an arena was the vending machines.  If we could coerce money from our parents we could eat.  That was always a bonus.  Would that cause abandonment issues?

After Wayne left for the last time my mother would go on weekend drinking binges.  She would disappear Friday night until Sunday coming home falling down drunk.  When I was in grade ten or eleven my mother decided to take off for a vacation on the back of some guys motorbike.  I came home one day and she announced that she was leaving.  At least she handed me some money for food before she took off.  I think she was gone for about three weeks.  I ended up having to quit school to look after my siblings. (I did go back to school the next year).  Would this cause abandonment issues?

When I was about 21 years old I had left school to go to college.  I came home for a weekend visit only to discover that the place that my mother lived in was empty.  She and my bother had disappeared with no mention to me that she was leaving.  I finally tracked her down in another province.  She caused a scandal in town and decided to take off.  Would this cause abandonment issues?

I’m not sure if any of these things would cause abandonment issues on their own or if it is all of them combined.  Or maybe none of these things caused it.  Maybe I just developed it for no reason.  Like I said the above none of the above is abnormal to me.  This is hard stuff for me to figure out. That is one of the reasons why I decided to write this out.  If I read this about someone else…

I will have more thoughts on this later.

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22 Responses to Abandonment

  1. Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes! Any one of those things, together or on their own is sufficient to leave you with fear and pain at the thought of abandonment. I know those things seem ‘normal’ to you, but they are all things that I think are very damaging and painful.

    What would you say if you read it about someone else?

  2. di says:

    I think those experiences would be heartbreaking and difficult for anyone to face. I think things that seem “normal” to ourselves are not always healthy. I don’t comment often but I always read. I hope your therapy break is going okay.
    di

    • lostinamaze says:

      And I don’t think that I have really faced them yet, not with my emotions anyway. I never thought about the normal vs healthy angle. Interesting…

  3. Yes, those are abandonment issues. Just one of them by itself. Along with that probably went emotional and nurturing abandonment given the situation you describe and lots more.

    When my therapist first talked about abandonment, I absolutely refused to see my situation as being abandonment. I am now many years later able to begin to process this.

    This is a really tough issue filled with pain and rage. Take care of yourself. This area is a huge breakthrough.

    Blessings,
    CC

    • lostinamaze says:

      When I think about it as a adult I never really thought of it as being abandoned. My parents were always like that. As a child I was just doing what was being asked of me and going with the flow since I had no choice anyway.

      I’m just starting to get a glimpse of the rage part.

  4. Harriet says:

    Yes those situations are not normal. Well, not average anyway. You see them as normal because it was your life and it was what you knew. Try to think of your own children going through those situations – what would you think?

    • lostinamaze says:

      I have argued many times with my t about what is normal or not normal. I have a hard time grasping the truth of it. What I think of other children going through this? Not nice things, I just need to be able to put these feelings into my own childhood.

  5. Ellen says:

    Um…yeah, those events would cause issues. How frightening that would be for a child. I assume you are asking rhetorically though….

    Take care

    • lostinamaze says:

      When I am honest with myself I realize that I lived in a constant state of fear.

      I wrote some of my experience down because the written word is more concrete for me. As I read it becomes more ‘this was actually my life’ rather than something stuck in the back recesses of my mind.

  6. Just Be Real says:

    I would have a problem I would have issues as well. I have always felt I am a very sensitive individual and a child. I may appear strong, but inside I am still a child.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I think that with some of these issues – it’s just realizing what they are and putting a name to them. That has been hard for me. I tend to be sensitive as well and it really bothers me.

  7. I definitely think you could classify those incidents in causing abandonment issues. That is a terrible amount of expectations that were put on you and just a terrible situation overall. It is always difficult when children are forced to be parents. (((hugs)))

    • lostinamaze says:

      I guess as a child I didn’t know that the expectations put on me were not right. I was always just trying to be the good child and hoping by being the good child I could somehow keep the peace. Children should never have to be parents

  8. One long journey says:

    Oh – what a moving entry about your experiences. Abandonment – big time. I think it is hard as children to recognize what is normal. A friend of mine recently told me that her mother beat her and she didn’t realize until she was in her early 20s that it wasn’t “normal” for a mother to beat her daughter.

    I’m glad you are working through this – and writing is a great way to do it. Your therapy break must seem like abandonment also.

    I’m beginning to realize that anger is that emotion that runs deep – getting that out and dealing with it – for me, that’s when the hard work will begin.

    Take care of yourself.

    • lostinamaze says:

      It’s amazing what we would think of normal not knowing any better.

      I’m also learning that dealing with anger is hard work and it is very scary to me.

      Writing for me is a great way to try to get things out of my head. I tend to write abstractly about my experiences though. I thought that I would try to write about them in this post a little more concretely. When I write like this I tend to look at the stuff I write as ‘was that really me?’. It does help make it more real though.

  9. Milo says:

    I wish I could give you a hug
    love from Milo

  10. Lothlorien says:

    I would say you most definitely have reason to fear abandonment. I am so sorry you experienced these things. It is heartbreaking.

    ~Lothlorien

    • lostinamaze says:

      Thank you…it’s interesting that I have never looked at these experiences as nothing out of the ordinary even as an adult. I need to be able to somehow feel towards myself what others do when they read this stuff.

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