Friday, April 19, 2013

Healing Abandonment Issues

Healing Abandonment Issues
This blog post is actually the second part in this series and was written that way, but since it was so long, I decided to split it up into two parts. To understand more on what this post is about, I would suggest that you read the blog post from April 18, 2013, Healing Abandonment Experiences.

I could go on about different experiences of abandonment that I have been through in my life, but these are the main ones.  They show in a broad manner what can happen.  However, it is the issue of how abandonment follows you through your entire life.  It is not something you can easily walk away from or ignore.  It permeates every relationship, every job, every social contact, and all parts of life.

In the post, I Have Abandonment Issues, from the blog Together We Heal, I was struck by one of the portions of text.  I would like to share this with you because I think it goes to the heart of what abandonment is all about.

For quite a long time, I had the false belief that “people always leave.” As a result, guess what, people around me often didn’t stick around for long, because I would pretty much act in a way that ensured they would not want to! It is hard to acknowledge, but we have to be straight about the role we play that leads us to re-create the experience of being abandoned over and over again. - Together We Heal Blog

By far, the greatest single issue I experience from what I went through is that I am afraid people will always leave me.  I don't care how long I have known someone or how close I am to anyone, I'm always thinking in the back of my mind that they will most likely shun me, leave me, or want nothing to do with me.  It is like this tiny little voice in the back of my mind that chatters away constantly.  Imagine how that makes a person view their connections in life.  It isn't easy and it is hard to let go of in my life.

As a comment I left at the end of this blog post, I tried to state what abandonment does to me.  Here is what I stated.  
My biggest reaction is I withdraw and sometimes to the point where I convince myself there is no way out and leaving this world is the best solution. Generally speaking, I’m usually much more emotional than normal and will feel tearful at just about anything (like I see everything being hurt). Physical reactions generally involve neck/shoulder and arm pain, but not necessarily. I have done a lot of serious work on myself with a healing practitioner that has helped me walk through these things. It is a person that I feel so safe and absolutely no judgement from that I can share these things and know that they are there walking through the fire with me. One time in particular though, my partner just came and held me for a long time, until I broke down in tears and shifted everything within me. It takes the right person to do that with me, but where words would have failed, his embrace showed me he loved me no matter what – even when I couldn’t love myself. - Together We Heal Blog

When the fires of life kick in and my mind convinces me that no one wants me or I'm not loved, it is a domino effects that feels like a snowball rolling down a mountain side.  As it goes, it picks up mass and velocity.  Trying to stop that may not be impossible, but it feels like it is and anyone that has gone through this will know what I am speaking about.  You just hope that at some point things change and actions reverse.

Abandonment affects people from a visceral and cellular level all the way to an emotional level.  Sure, most can hide it well and have learned coping behaviors that may not necessarily be healthy.  Unfortunately when you experience abandonment, the only escape is survival in whatever way is possible.  There is no time for evaluation at that moment of what is the best way to react.

Numbing, withdrawal, fainting and suicide tend to be some of my go-to survival tactics.  I can be in a crowd of people and be so emotionally disconnected or not present, but no one will ever know.  I can be in a crowd of people or even in a bodywork session and appear that I am feeling everything, only to be completely numbed and disconnected.

In body work sessions, I can appear as if I am 100% there and feeling everything going on, only to be so numb and disconnected, that I am not feeling anything.  It is almost like I can't even see this in the moment.  When I hear body-workers and massage therapists tell me that the body does what it needs to do in that moment, I scoff and laugh, because they don't know what it is like inside my body.  They don't understand at how my survival techniques kick in and make their statements out to be false.  It is even more difficult to help them understand that, because they often are not aware and conscious enough to notice me checking out.  Generally speaking, many body-workers tend to dismiss me when I try to share these things.

If things get real bad for me, I secretly start to crave suicide.  It becomes my only friend and my twisted logic of the moment convinces me that it is the only way I will feel love.  In those moments, the disconnect from me and everyone around me is as wide as the ocean.  To fill this gap is difficult and it takes a special person that is authentic to the core, not just on the surface.

As I stated in the comment above, I still remember the time when my partner just came and held me as I was heading out the door to end things - commit suicide.  He knew what was going on, even though I would not tell him much as to what I had planned.  I wanted nothing to do with anyone, but secretly I wanted someone to help me stop myself from the snowball effect going on in my mind.  Instead of words or condemnation or thinking he knew best for me, he did the one thing that flipped the switch in my mind and body.  He just held me tightly with a pure love and a pure understanding.  Most people cannot do this and unless you are 100% authentic to the core, you may likely push someone away, rather than helping them.

I remember a few times with Dr. Canali who I consider to be my friend and someone that has helped me heal my life.  In these times, I did everything possible to push him away.  I became angry at times that he wouldn't follow the twisted logic of my own mind and do like my family had done to me.  At times, I really tested him.  Fortunately though, he is authentic to the core and he stood beside me through all of it.  He didn't condemn me or tell me how wrong I was.  He continued to help me see the connections and to help me see that no matter what, he was there for me.  There are very few people in life that I can say this about, but because of this I have been able to heal in ways I never thought would be possible.

Is it easy to deal with everything life has thrown at me?  NO!  Let me repeat that.  NO!  Some days it gets harder than others and at times, it gets easier than others.  I have come a long ways in my healing and new worlds are beginning to open up to me.  I don't want to just "manage" what I have been through.  I want to walk into the depths of it and reclaim every last piece of who I am.  I want nothing hidden from my view.  I don't want to be one of those that is only happy and authentic on the surface.  I want to be whole on the inside.

I'm so grateful that I have some people in my life who love me in spite of how I feel about myself.  I'm thankful that they have stood beside me through some of these worst moments.  I know that life is not about these low points, but in how I find my way to heal and reclaim all parts of who I am.  Until the day I die, I will not stop in this endeavor.

The way to heal this is not by avoiding it and hoping it will one day go away.  To find freedom, you will find that you need to travel within to the felt sense of the body and allow the mind body interface to take you into awareness.  The more aware you become of these things and how they are stored within your body, the more you will heal into a greater consciousness that surpasses what you know today, to be true. 

Blog Post And Images (c) 4/11/13 by Don Shetterly

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