How do you think a fear of abandonment might play out in someone’s life? Imagine that your childhood consisted of waiting for Mum to come and collect you from school, but she was always late, or sometime simply forgot to show? Imagine that she had a drug problem, or alternatively, was a workaholic and constantly allowed life to get in the way. How do you think this might impact your sense of trust, safety and self-worth, amongst other important emotions?
Of course this is one very specific example of how a fear of abandonment might have started. For someone else it might be that Dad took off when they were fiver years old. For others it may be one specific event, in an otherwise stable and loving home environment, that their unconscious mind has held onto. For some people, a fear of abandonment might begin later in life after a traumatic episode, such as an accident where the person was literally left in a vulnerable position, with no support. The variations as to how you could acquire a fear of abandonment are extensive.
How Does Fear of Abandonment Affect Us?
For someone with a fear of abandonment, it might be difficult to crate stability in relationships, jobs or living circumstances, for example. If the person is expecting to be let down, s/he might preempt the situation and leave first so that s/he doesn’t have to go through the feeling of abandonment all over again. S/he might sabotage the relationship to force a split for the same reasons – driving the partner away and abandon the partner, rather than feeling abandoned all over again. The person may find a great deal of anxiety around relationships as they do not understand why they end up feeling so alone.
Sometimes the relationship carries on for years, but there is a giant invisible wall between the couple, ensuring an emotional distance to again, protect the person from feeling abandoned if a split should occur.
Fear of abandonment can cross contexts, so that it could end up affecting one’s work life rather than specifically their emotional life. It can develop into a belief that crosses boundaries and comes to define a person, if they let it. Fear of abandonment is really something you want to resolve so that you can live a harmonious life.
What are the Alternatives?
The opposite of a fear of abandonment might look like the motivation to give something, or someone, a go, even if it doesn’t work out. It’s not so much courage but an absence of barricades. It’s not guaranteed happiness, but it is the willingness to play the game of life, without unconsciously manipulating situations which create distance and pain, in an attempt at finding safety.
Hypnotherapy is an excellent modality for fear of abandonment: Timeline therapy or regression is a powerful tool in reframing the past. Some Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) techniques are also extremely useful if the fear has come from a traumatic event. Direct suggestion within hypnosis is also a valuable approach to assist the person in understanding what what has been happening, on an unconscious level. Parts therapy is other key player in turning this problem around, so that the unconscious mind can understand why the apparent self-sabotage has been happening, and to resolve the conflict within.
If you are suffering from a fear of abandonment, it might be time to do something about it.