Friday, March 12, 2010

How to Handle Abandonment

We say, what'll I do if they leave and never come back? It's one of our greatest fears; abandonment! Watch the young baby when mum leaves the room; terror appears on its tiny face. Our memory records those traumatic moments and replays them later when an important relationship is disintegrating in our hands. (Who needs you?) False bravado: 'I can get along without you?' Revenge: I don't get mad,I get even'. When you are facing abandonment by someone you love and dread losing, remember:

1) Efforts to keep someone from abandoning you usually don't work. Begging, manipulating, tears and promises often intensify their determination to go.

2) At some point we all experience the heartbreak of losing someone we love or being disappointed in people.

3) The pain you feel is legitimate. Those who say you shouldn't feel this way are wrong. Acknowledging pain initiates the feeling-process. You can't heal what you won't feel or deal with. Anxiety is your greatest enemy when you face abandonment! It pushes you into all the wrong reactions: Learn to manage it or it'll bring about your worst fears.

Here are some guidelines to help you:

1) Stay out of the pursuer role. Most relationship have a 'pursuer' and a 'distancer'. When we feel vulnerable we fall into whichever role is characteristic and act it out. When one distances, the other pursues, and vice versa. The problem is, when you pursue a distance and they get anxious, distancing more, it increases your anxiety and pushes you to pursue more, the vicious cycle. Though it will feel unnatural, by faith, decide to stop pursuing. You'll decrease the distancer's anxiety and invite them to stop distancing. Letting go is frightening and feels as though it might encourage them to leave. It won't necessarily but holding on will, managing your anxiety calls on you to do what you fears but it will reduce the anxiety level!

2) Control your anxiety-inducing self-talk. Your anxiety is being caused by your thought and self-talk, not your partner or circumstances. Saying, Oh, I'll die if he or she leaves me generates and magnifies fear. Construct a helpful self talk list. If he leaves; it'll hurt, but with the help of God and family, I'll get through it. Factor God in; He's the changer of hearts and minds. Lean on Him and He will lessen your anxiety and increase your peace and confidence.


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