Old Abandonment Wounds

Which arrived on me this morning from a dream about a new close friend I was so happy to find and be with and then who told me they were suddenly leaving.

Wow. That hit me strongly and unexpectedly. I woke up. Painful, very. Maybe I’m being led to address this. Doesn’t feel comfortable going into it but here goes…

The experience of abandonment. What a familiar experience and those painful accompanying feelings….thought I’d dealt and healed this…maybe I’ve to revisit. It started with with parents, when they disregarded my feelings. Hard to get through childhood without that for most people, and there’s a whole range of severity of a child’s feelings being disregarded from a row to abuse. I definitely had some emotional and physical abuse – bad tempered unhappy sloppy mum. Who was also very nice too at times and provided a beautiful old sandstone home with a big garden for us in a lovely area. I had a fairy grandmother who was on my side and apologised on her behalf once when I was about 11 or 12. She mitigated some of that damage I think.

Later experiences stand out.

It happened in primary school with my best friend aged 9, when we were suddenly sent to different schools. I was devastated and inconsolable. And even more so when I discovered she didn’t feel quite as sad about it. I wanted to keep in touch but she didn’t. She didn’t exactly abandon me but I felt that I had been left in my 9 year old mind.

It also happened at 12, and then at around 14, the parents of a couple of girls decided they weren’t allowed to be my friend. That wasn’t quite so powerful but was still confusing and they sort of pretended to go along with it, and one did fully and and I was excluded.

Also experienced abandonment when my best friend at 18 left me alone in Israel after planning the trip together for a year, and I so looked forward to our adventure together. She took her boyfriend and just left me on my own. Didn’t even visit me. I was so unhappy, lonely and disappointed.

It wasn’t the first time. When we were 8 or 9. A small event that deeply shocked me. I overheard it all. It was a Jewish boy I liked and who liked me. I was walking a little behind them, and he was telling her he liked me and asked if I was interested, which I really very much was. I was so thrilled. Then to my shock, she told him I wasn’t even though she knew I was. He asked her why, and if it is because he’s Jewish, and she said yes. I was horrified to hear this. Especially as my friend was Jewish. I knew it was just bad but I didn’t have the courage to speak out at the time. Then at 13 her mum took her to Canada to live which was another experienced of abrupt ending and rupture in a friendship. We stayed in touch and are still friends now.

I was very attached to my small group of friends aged 15-18, and we were together a lot. I turned to the boys as they seemed more trustworthy. Pats, Jamie, James and Jack on the periphery and Mel who left us after his parents disallowed him from being friends with us. We were shocked, and it really really hurt, especially Pats. Then Koji joined us. We all found a camaraderie with one another.

One day I had returned from weeks away with the family and couldn’t wait to see my friends. I raced straight to the park and anticipated the warmth of the reunion. They were sitting beside the river and I was beside myself with excitement. Hello hello!!

And what they did floored me emotionally. ‘For fun’ they pretended not to see me, as if I wasn’t there, for about maybe only 5 minutes or less they ignored, then stopped, but I was devastated. And didn’t really recover. The mood was spoiled, the day too. I recovered of course but that really went in and hurt. So much so I can still remember it this clearly now.

So I asked Bing Chat, ‘Is abandonment a feeling?’ And it said

Yes, abandonment is a feeling. It is the state of being left helpless and without protection. When we feel abandoned, we feel undesired, unimportant, and discarded.’

I don’t think it’s a feeling exactly, it’s a description of an event, that can result in feeling sad. It’s a wound that leaves an impression in the emotions and sometimes the expectations of others, and self worth.

I have healing to do here, and some forgiveness too. I’m just sitting with the bodily felt sensation of that pain right now. It appears as like an ball of dripping orange ness in my chest, as if it’s weeping and melting. I give it some space and communicate that it’s okay for it to be here, I’m not going to chase it away. I send kindness, love and acceptance toward the feeling.

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