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March 3, 2014 at 2:51 am in reply to: How to overcome emotional effects of childhood abandonment? #52149Seeking ZenParticipant
Tiny Dancer Hi
I honor your journey and feel your pain. You have, I believe, the most important quality for overcoming childhood abandonment, the will and desire too. How to accomplish this?
I am approx 2.5 years into this journey of overcoming childhood abandonment. My background along with what’s worked (practically as you’ve asked) follow:
Childhood abandonment struggles have been with me for 40+ years. I’m a bit more sensitive than most. Growing up the home I lived in was empty.. Dad worked out of town and was not present when he was home. Mom worked full time, went to school full time and then worked 60+ hours a week. I was the target of her end of day stress and anger. She invalidated my experiences and cultivated doubts in me…At the time I was not strong enough to stand up to that… Siblings are older and were not present… Lacking social skills I struggled through school with rejections, awkwardness, bullies and few friends… I feel your pain.
Confronting my abandonment issues began in earnest 2.5 years ago when I was laid off and my marriage was crumbling. I am now capable of standing up for myself and letting myself experience my feelings. Knowing I matter, venting and expressing 40+ years of unexpressed unacknowledged feelings and learning what I need and want are all works in progress.
What Worked For Me in a Practical Way?
> Addressing Feelings which have been deeply suppressed for a long time….
Learning the language of feelings… Feelings that were too scary too radioactive for me had to see the light of day and I had to let myself experience… I deeply suppressed these…. hurt, anger, rejection, frustration, conflict, confrontation, fear, doubt, overwhelmed…
> Lots of crying… I experienced these feelings in waves… first hurt more recently doubt and anger. Each wave brought with it more tears.
> Sometimes to get to the sunshine requires passing through a storm.
> A good therapist. I tried 3 or 4 therapists before finding one I worked well with (very important). I’ve been in therapy 2-3 times a week and it has changed my life in a positive way.
> Surround myself with a small group of family and friends I confided in. Stating out loud my fears and doubts has a cleansing effect on me…
> Made of list of when I feel ____ I can _____ (fill in the blanks)… for example when I feel overwhelmed I can do less, say no, remember there are no dead ends in life…
> My feelings matter… I know this and am working towards feeling it. I’ve been consumed with needing and getting others to like me and neglecting my feelings.
> What do I need? What do I want? Still figuring these out. I know I need the people I surround myself with to hear me and be able to empathize with me.
> Would like to amplify SerCay’s comments… You are lovable and use sweet, caring and empathetic qualities on yourself… I still struggle with this.
> Reading the book Transitions by William Bridges
If you are going to read one book read this one.
> Watch the Last Lecture by Randy Prausch
> Watch Brene Brown videos… Listening to Shame and The Power of Vulnerability
> Watching Robert Irvine Restaurant Impossible on the Food Network… He is terrific at diagnosing issues and finding solutions. He’s a new role model for me.
> Cut Throat Kitchen also on the Food Network… This show teaches me how to act when dealing with conflict and competition…
Hope this helps.
I am interested in starting a dialogue (this forum, chat, maybe talk) with others who have experienced childhood abandonment and would like to work through this too. Is this of interest to anyone?