The Connection Between Childhood Trauma and Abandonment Issues In Relationships

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By Luciana Oliveira

Fear of abandonment is most probably originated at a young age from some sort of childhood trauma and will most likely affect your adult relationships and how you interact with the world in general.

Sad girl and parents arguing

Childhood trauma

Romantic relationships are challenging, but it can be especially difficult if you have an innate abandonment fear. If your emotional needs as a child were neglected or after a traumatic event you can start showing signs of abandonment issues.

At a young age it is part of our development as we learn about impermanence and to understand that when we are left alone in a room momentarily we are not being abandoned even though this is one of the main primal fears.

lonely child

Life experiences at a young age will most likely dictate how they relate to the world and also how their intimate relationship will be with a romantic partner and other important people in their lives.

Traumatic early childhood experiences such as childhood abandonment and childhood loss can be the the root cause of abandonment issues and can have an impact on how your perceive the world even after a long time has passed since these painful experiences.

There are many ways to neglect a child’s needs and physical abandonment is only one of them. Depriving children from food, shelter and clothing only cover their physical needs. A less obvious way and very often looked over is how the emotional care is as important as physical care.

girl talking to dad

Dealing With The Discomfort

The first step to dealing with these uncomfortable feelings of abandonment is to be aware of them. It is common for young children to go through a phase where they suffer with separation anxiety.

When you do the difficult internal work and know you have attachment issues or an abandonment fear you need to make this clear to your romantic partner whenever that conversation comes up.

Sitting with those feelings and trying to name them and slowly deal with each of them is definitely the most effective way of starting your healing journey. You may feel some form of nxiety when sitting with these feelings but it is all part of the process and will pay off in the end.

sad man

How It Affects Your Relationships

Fear of abandonment can affect your self esteem and create trust issues to the ones around you especially romantic partners, resulting in you becoming a people pleaser as a way of coping and as an attempt to have a secure relationship, even though that does not work long term.

Attachment styles may vary but making sure they are healthy and that despite your trauma you are not suffocating your partner is the key for a successful relationship. Insecure attachment styles can be extremely stressful and detrimental to both parties.

One of the best ways to deal with these symptoms of abandonment issues is to talk to a close friend or family members that you trust and know will support you during this process of understanding and deconstructing these core beliefs. It is important to develop healthy boundaries when you start learning about your fear of abandonment.

friends talking sadly

The Aftermath of the Trauma

The most important part of dealing with some mental health conditions, such as some personality disorders, for example BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder is to develop close relationships where any kind of emotional expression will be understood and supported. It is fundamental to hold a safe space and environment for whoever is going through….

As human beings, traumatic experiences or a traumatic loss, unhealthy relationships, such as the loss of a parent, being in an abusive relationship of any sort where a person go through any kind of emotional neglect or emotional abuse can affect a person’s ability to create bonds in a healthy way.

hands touching

When it comes to adult life and relationships, fear of loneliness is a driving force in creating a dangerous place for interactions to develop and will directly affect a person’s relationship with others and with the world around them.

Additional factors of people with serious abandonment issues are mood swings, low self-esteem, a deep fear of being alone, the need of constant need reassurance and living on high alert are some of the main effects of someone that went through any kind of abandonment experience.

sad woman

When you have abandonment anxiety you live in constant fear of being abandoned again and you are unaware of how detrimental it is to their adult experiences and how it can negatively impact and even break important relationships.

Seeking Help

A very good advice is to not wait a long time to seek help. You can share your feelings and thoughts with a someone you have a significant relationship with such as your best friend or a close friend.

The good news is that are very effective ways to find treatment options. In severe cases you may need professional help and the primary treatment will probably be therapy sessions to address the issue and find the best ways to deal with it.

woman being comforted

Next time you feel these uncomfortable feelings do not wait. The longer you wait the bigger they will become and the more they will interfere with your life and relationships. It can be hard and stressful at first but the results will be worth it!

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Luciana, a proud Brazilian, blends her passion for jiu-jitsu with a deep-rooted connection to spirituality and well-being. Her dedication to the martial art reflects not just a physical discipline, but a holistic approach to life, seeking balance in mind, body, and spirit. Whether on the mats or in meditation, Luciana embodies the essence of harmony and inner strength.

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