We all carry wounds within our inner world from childhood and earlier years. Some of these wounds are open and painful, and others are quiet and contained. The wound for abandonment is one of the most common fears, and it manifests in many different ways in relationships and life.
To counteract the fear of abandonment people often create unconscious strategies to cope with relationships and life. For me, the fear of abandonment was a large part of my life. A lot of my childhood I was very alone, even when sick, and had to learn how to be fully independent from a very young age. So I became a survivor and discovered how to rely on myself rather than being dependent on others. I was fiercely independent and wore this badge with pride but this caused separation and disconnection.
When I look at my past relationships in my twenties to my mid-thirties, I had one foot in the relationship and the other foot out. I choose partners who were unsuitable for me and also had commitment issues and decided something had to change. Change is scary, but it was worth it. Learning how to open my heart after it was so guarded for so long and letting go of some of my self-made independence was tough, but relationships are based upon togetherness and not separation or detachment.
I am still independent to some degrees, and it allows me to focus on my vision and goals in life and also the shared goals and vision in our relationships. What is different is that this independence no longer blocks love in my relationship for it creates a deeper connect, love, intimacy and togetherness.
I have put together five signs that the fear abandonment is affecting your relationship and remember that this fear can manifest in so many ways. For some, it is loud and puts up walls, and for others, it is more subtle and quiet.
1. You are a survivor
You learnt from an early age how to look after yourself. You cope and manage with life’s ups and downs, events and experiences alone because this is what you have always done. You don’t allow your partner to get close or to help you.
Growing point: Learn how to share your emotions and feelings with others and learn how to ask for help.
2. You don’t fully commit to relationships
You have commitment issues in relationships and have built walls around your heart. You find it difficult to commit to one partner or perhaps regularly dating others. These commitment issues also may manifest in other areas of your life – unable to commit to projects, goals, work and social activities. This fear of commitment causes a lack of connection and movement in the relationship.
Growing point: Look at areas in your life where you find it difficult to commit and make a conscious choice and action to step towards committing more (where it is right to do so)
3. You fear intimacy and vulnerability
You hide part of yourself away, and only half show up in relationships. You built a wall around your heart to protect you from abandonment. The fear of getting too close and open creates a detachment in the relationship and yourself.
Growing point: The step to moving beyond the fear of intimacy and vulnerability is to communicate and to be open with your partner your fears.
4. You have control issues
You try to control others, situations and events to keep you safe from unexpected experiences – and abandonment. There are many different types of control issues – from being bossy, co-dependency control, guilt led control, silent treatment or withdrawal until you get your own way. These control issues causes a very one sided relationships and communication issues.
Growing point: Learn to identify your triggers and what underlying emotion, fear or feeling is there.
5. You disconnect from your partner
You like to be separate and fully independent rather than working as a team with your partner. You may keep yourself isolated and emotionally withdraw from communication, sex and intimacy in your relationships. This disconnection stops the relationships going deeper and experiencing more love and joy.
Growing point: Learn and practice opening your heart to your partner. Do fun things together – go out on a date, dancing or go away for a weekend. Share your feelings with your partner.
Healing the wounds of abandonment
Fear of abandonment at its highest level blocks love and creates dysfunctional relationships. There is a way to move beyond this. Healing the wound of abandonment is a journey of self-reliance based on love rather than fear, and learning how to commit with your mind, body and heart with yourself and your partner. For some this journey can be difficult but the rewards of love, joy, connection and happiness are great.
Ask yourself this. Are you really ready to make a change and move towards a deeper commitment in your relationship rather than fear of abandonment?
If so contact Linda now on 075 3421 3556 for a free telephone initial consultation.