The pain of losing a parent either physically, or being emotionally abandoned in childhood leaves deep and longstanding scars. The later has been researched and known as Childhood Emotional Neglect. Without a doubt, we thrive and grow when as children we feel loved and are emotionally attached to our parents.
The unfortunate nature that presents when a parent leaves the home or is emotionally distant and non-responsive to a child’s needs can have lasting effects such as feelings of being empty and alone, lack of fulfillment, and disconnection.
This may show up for some in adulthood as an inability or difficulty in trusting others. You may live constantly on-guard and never fully invest in deep, trusting relationships for fear of possibly being abandoned. Typically, people who lack trust in others tend to take on more tasks at work, or overload their responsibilities, as well as, to limit chances of being vulnerable. The amount of self-reliance can become overwhelming and lead to exhaustion, so it truly takes a toll on mind and body.
Additionally, if you have experienced abandonment as a child there could be a good chance that you have blamed yourself for your parent wanting to leave. The guilt and shame that is deeply rooted can become such a part of someone’s narrative that in adulthood you may accept the role of the scapegoat for sticky situations because it’s the “safe” zone for you, although a terribly unhealthy emotional pattern.
A lack of self-worth often accompanies a person who was abandoned as a child. Even having physically present, yet emotionally absent parents can lead to growing up to feel less important than others. Never feeling good enough can sabotage the potential for true love and commitment, resulting in feeling deeply alone.
To overcome abandonment issues from childhood, you can begin to pay attention to your feelings. You can become your own present and loving parent who pays attention to your needs to repair the childhood hurts.
If you are struggling with some or all of these painful parts of childhood, it is never too late to begin your journey to healing.