Did you know that you can have an abandonment issue without seemingly ever having been abandoned?  I looked back at my life and tried to identify when I was “abandoned” and I couldn’t find an event. So I dug a little deeper into the research. I had no idea there were so many versions of abandonment. 

In my mind abandoned meant left alone abruptly and unexpectedly. Come to find out that is only one version. Trauma, seemingly unrelated to abandonment can cause a person to have an abandonment issue. So I went back to when I was 9 years old. In a span of just a few weeks, I was sexually abused by a temporary caregiver, moved out of state, leaving everything familiar and leaving my best friend which devastated me. He and I were very close but not only that, his mom was an additional element of stability for me. 

Looking back, an abandonment issue explained a lot. It can manifest into other aspects of a person’s life, most notably relationships. So I broke it down to its simplest form, trust. How does one go about learning to trust after a lifetime of “habits”? 

The first thing I realized is people deserve their own merits. It’s like the expression, You can’t judge the many by the actions of a few. It was time to leave the past behind. How could I live for a future when I was waiting for the next disappointment? So now when I meet someone, and I’m talking about in any situation not necessarily intimate relationships, and I have a negative feeling, I have to stop for a minute and ask myself if the feeling is based on something they have actually done or something I’m expecting them to do. 

Now there’s a flip side to the abandonment issue. People who have abandonment issues are often over the top people pleasers. Well anyone that knows me will tell you, I would go above and beyond. I’ve actually been told I’m kind to a fault. But sometimes it’s not out of kindness, it can sometimes be a compulsion. Often people will bring “problems” to me and everything inside me is telling me not to do anything but I do anyway. I fix or at least attempt to fix the problem, even at a detriment to myself. Why? Because it’s a compulsion. I was in an endless search to fill the void the abandonment issue created. So now, when I’m kind it’s because I WANT to be kind:)


  1. Hi GG,
    I’ve done the same thing. I realized my motivation to help others was because that is how I identified myself, and how I wanted others to see me. I’ve learned that almost everything we do, we do it because there is a payoff (it might even be something bad for us, short or long term). I realized that the people I was trying to help, did not care enough to help themselves. To use the help I was offering as an opportunity to get themselves out of the circumstances holding them down. And I got hurt in the process. Now I’ve learned healthier boundaries.


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