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Any suggestions 4 getting over childhood abandonment issues?
June 6, 2006
9:27 pm
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realchick
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Compassion and understanding was something I am starting to get. According to one of my mentors, I don't do the same exact thing every time.

Today, my choice is to live with the anxiety I feel when someone I love doesn't call me back within my time window.

The compulsive thinking about what I did or didn't do to make them not call me back is a choice. I get that I can focus on something else besides getting on my case.

Waiting for my father to come home, this abandonment I felt as a child, is a core issue I have in all my relationships. I want to be able to say yeah, I am feeling abandondoned without acting like a crazy woman.

Any ideas to get over the abandonment?

June 6, 2006
9:39 pm
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Robert123
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Can't get over it...must go thru it. Seriously, its a common issue with many who had "less than nurturing childhood experiences". There is no easy way. I think it has to do with reparenting ourselves...loving ourselves...giving ourselves the safety and comfort that was so lacking in our childhoods.
R

June 6, 2006
11:09 pm
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truthseaker
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I am going through this right now. I just recently realized that I am a relationship addict. I lost a great person because of it and am facing my issues. Its like a drug. You have to always remember not to act on your compulsions. that has seemed to help me. The more you are needy, the more they run. I have ended up sabatoging situations because I would read in to things too much. I got a great book called Addiction to Love: Dealing with Codependency. It changed me. It could help.

June 7, 2006
8:05 am
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Rasputin
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Great advice have beeb given to you RC to which I would add, since I am going thru the whole process myself: Forgiving our parent(s), realizing that they did not mean to abandon us since they themselves had been abandoned; taking care of ourselves; filling that void inside of us with something noble, HP, spirituality; doing some voluntary works for others who are more needy or vulnerable than us always makes us feel better about ourselves.

Looking needy is unattractive. I believe the right person comes along at the right moment.

~Ras~

June 7, 2006
12:27 pm
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taj64
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I also read somewhere that if you try to understand your parents as human beings, that they have faults and that they too may have been abandoned or something from their childhood that has caused them harm to their children. I read in a book to try to understand from their point of view as well and forgive. You don't have to allow abuse or forget what abandonment but know that forgiving and understanding will help you to realize the person you are.

June 7, 2006
12:52 pm
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mamac
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I was abandoned at the age of 7 by my father. It took me years of thearapy, and positive thinking to finally realize it wasnt my fault. The trust thing comes harder im afraid. You always will have that slight doubt I think. But it does get better if you surround yourself with positive people. The people that are negative tend to bring me down. I know not best advice but I still struggle to.

June 10, 2006
11:27 pm
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realchick
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Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope. I think safety and comfort would be easier without this person in my life. Not dating someone wasn't so bad.

June 11, 2006
8:24 am
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bonni
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thank you for this thread. i deal with this too, though i don't have much to add now. my mom was abandoned, her mom was abandoned. i guess its a family tradition. my parents just weren't very nurturing. they were habitually late picking us up from everything. we were alone alot because they worked and there weren't afterschool programs back then. i fill the void with pringles sometimes, but that just makes me fatter.

bonni

October 23, 2006
8:10 pm
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NAZZDACK
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I often wished my father when he walked out on us would have just disappeared. I use to worship him as a kid, and when he left he acted as though I was burden to him to be in his life. Often the only reason I think he even communicated at all was to appease his mom so he could squeeze money out of her. He would make promises to take me somewhere to buy something I wanted or bring me over to his place, then never show up. I would call him asking when he would be over, and would get "in 30 minutes." This would go on until he would make another promise for the next day. Right now we probably have spoken to each other 3 times over the last 7 years, but this guy is dead to me anyways.
The next call I get can be his death and I will not shed a tear for this heartless POS.

October 23, 2006
8:21 pm
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sleepless in uk
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Nazz, I know what you mean. I didnt see my dad for years and years...I used to think that at least if he died I could pretend he loved me. But not even bothering to see me....?

No way of kidding myself.

Well....he did die. And when he died I grieved. Not for him really, but for the dad I wanted, the one who loved me, the one who never really existed.

I understand how you are feeling

((( Nazz)))

October 23, 2006
9:11 pm
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lovetocrochet
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Sorry for what you're going through Nazz. I can relate - my parents were always around, but never there, if that makes sense. Parents can abandon their children and never leave the house.

I always liked what Keanu Reeves said in Parenthood. He told his mother in law "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father."

October 23, 2006
10:37 pm
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needtoheal
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This is a difficult one for me...

Divorced mom watching sons endure the pain of the passive-aggressive father ..
---broken promises
---more broken promises

everything that was done to me is now being done with my kids....

He left our relationship when the kids were 3 and 14 months old...

He would come and go as he pleased for a while (left after the kids went to bed)
that lasted for a while
then I had enough...
did not know what he wanted

so i closed the door
filed for divorce

set boundaries

Now he lives in the same town with his girlfriend and her two sons
who go to school with mine

calls every night
asks what did they do
says that he loves them
they say that they love him too
then he teases and says "No you don't"
then they plead "YEs I do"

on and on....

I always leave the room when they talk to him...
I don't want them to feel that they have to "watch" what they say as if I am listening

What makes it so difficult is that as many times that I would like to say something to him, I know that it would not matter because this man cannot validate my feelings.
He would somehow switch the blame onto me because he feels that he is not responsible nor accountable for his own actions....

Then I have to respect him as their father ...

And I have to offer this up because I know that I cannot control him nor his actions...

And hopefully they will see the light

They already do..

I know because they do not feel that they can talk to him about how they honestly feel because he might reject them, criticize them ..

October 23, 2006
10:37 pm
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needtoheal
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This is a difficult one for me...

Divorced mom watching sons endure the pain of the passive-aggressive father ..
---broken promises
---more broken promises

everything that was done to me is now being done with my kids....

He left our relationship when the kids were 3 and 14 months old...

He would come and go as he pleased for a while (left after the kids went to bed)
that lasted for a while
then I had enough...
did not know what he wanted

so i closed the door
filed for divorce

set boundaries

Now he lives in the same town with his girlfriend and her two sons
who go to school with mine

calls every night
asks what did they do
says that he loves them
they say that they love him too
then he teases and says "No you don't"
then they plead "YEs I do"

on and on....

I always leave the room when they talk to him...
I don't want them to feel that they have to "watch" what they say as if I am listening

What makes it so difficult is that as many times that I would like to say something to him, I know that it would not matter because this man cannot validate my feelings.
He would somehow switch the blame onto me because he feels that he is not responsible nor accountable for his own actions....

Then I have to respect him as their father ...

And I have to offer this up because I know that I cannot control him nor his actions...

And hopefully they will see the light

They already do..

I know because they do not feel that they can talk to him about how they honestly feel because he might reject them, criticize them ..

October 23, 2006
10:39 pm
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needtoheal
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oops... sorry for the repeat

and i do agree that even if two parents remain intact, one or both parents can still be emotionally absent....

and if he would have stayed with me he most likely would not changed at all

this is a man that cannot see himself

October 24, 2006
4:03 am
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nvr2late
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NAZZDACK...
there are ways I believe to maybe feel better about what has happened to you with your dad...I struggled for a long time with this...
and I realized that my dad changed my life at a momemt when I was 5...he left and did not look back..oh, he was around, but when he came and got us, he would fight with my mom.
or he would not come at all.

I have spent many years trying to get the men in my life not to leave me.
I put up with a lot of sh*t for that NOT to happen.
I am just coming to terms with the reality of that.
and hopefully making better choices in the future.
there is a time to let go of those issues, they need not run your life anymore...you face them, grieve for the father that you did not have, look at the reality of the situation, would it really HAVE been better if he stayed???

my dad died a few years ago, on his way to come and see us.
that was hard, it was very difficult to know that he was there for all those years and there was always something more important (drinking, women, another child)
but in the end, he died a very very lonely man.

my ex is doing the same to my kids, although he has 50% custody...he is never 'there' with them.

something is always more important..
and they know it.
all I can do is for the 50% time they are with me, is to keep them safe and loved and hope that it is enough to sustain them through the selfish antics of their dad.

we have to let the past go, look to the future, and hope our kids do better than us in the end.

we can do this, we are stong people

nvr

October 24, 2006
11:32 am
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2alone
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My heart hurts for all of you and for myself. My parents divorced when I was 6 months old. Dad would come in and out of my life. Especially during the holidays - he'd show up and mom would have a gift for him to give me. I still don't know why she covered for the SOB.. He would go months without talking to me - then he'd call and say - why are you too busy to even call me and talk to me??? Hellooo! I was only 5!! I still feel anger. He died when I was 12. I went to the funeral and didn't cry. I think it would have been easier had he lived so I could have confronted him at least once with my anger. Now its left bottled up inside. That - and worried that if I do or say something wrong - men in my life will leave and blame me for it. Its my fault that I've become a chemelon - changing myself to fit the needs of whatever guy I'm dating - but I place a lot of blame on my dad. In short - if you can find the magic bullet to save yourself - please send it to me too.

October 24, 2006
12:01 pm
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red blonde
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2alone

I had always changed to meet the needs or wants of everyone else, too. Never once did they change to meet my needs or wants nor did they even meet me halfway or make it even seem mutual. I want to be loved, needed and wanted as ME, because I would return that as an equal.

I am learning NOT to change myself for them. Now it is: If you don't like me for me, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!

Red

October 24, 2006
12:47 pm
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taj64
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I would be interested in hearing what those that have actually recovered from this, as I feel you never actually do recover. My life has gotten better recently because of the fact that I have accepted that my family dumped me, and was/is dysfunctional. I live alone with my kids and Im the oldest of four yet I feel very much alone in the world even with all of them living an hour or two away from me. We are no longer close and because of it, I have not much desire to want it back. I have a book on the way to my house somethingn to the effect of recovering from abandonment. I shall let you know if this book is good for all those that know what it is like to grow in a family where you feel everyone has abandoned you. It is not easy and Im not quite sure you really do completely recover. You just go on and try to live a better life for yourself. That is the only answer that pops in my head to anser the question.

October 24, 2006
5:05 pm
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Simondo3573
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My mum left when I was 8 my dad brought me my brother and two sisters up. But he could dissapear for days. Sometimes with no electric no phone (both cut off) and not much food. But he was damaged as a kid an alcaholic mum evacuated in the UK during the war as a small boy to people who were doing there duty for the war rather than looking after him I'm in my forties and I have only very recently decided it is time I forgave him for the crap childhood I had, it was not his fault he did not have any of this kind of help in the 60's

October 24, 2006
5:22 pm
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nappy
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My mom died when I was 15, I hated my father because I felt that he was the cause of her death, (BEATING HER ALL THE TIME). I am the oldest, so that made me had to grow up early in life. I held on to my anger for my father for along time until I just decided that life still goes on and that it wasn't doing me any good by hating him. I seen my father again when I was 25. He was standing across the street, I guess to just wait and see if anyone of his children was going to come outside. It was me. I can't say that I was happy to see him, but just wanted to talk to him. For some reason he never wanted to be alone with me because he knew that out of all of the five kids, I knew what was going on.
Well my father had gotten sick and was dying and all of us kids went to see him in the hospital. That was in October 15, when I went to visit my father, I guess my mother wanted me to tell him that it was time for him to let go and come home. You see my mother and father died on the same month and the same day. Everyone right to this day, ask me why did I tell him that because it was the truth.
I just knew that one day I was going to see my father again. There was so much that I wanted to ask him but I realize that god take cares of everything. My father went from being a strong man to a weak man that was very sickly and didn't have anyone that loved him to take care of him.

October 24, 2006
5:42 pm
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Buddie
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I’m afraid there is no getting over it. No matter how much you improve your life; there will always be the distant memory of those who you never want to be like.
I often think of my childhood with deep regret, but the rotten life that I lived then is what made me a strong loving father and husband today.

October 25, 2006
6:39 pm
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Ned 348
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This was one of the weirdest things to ever happen to me. My father told me mother I was not his child. When I turned six years old he wanted to have a relationship with me but I wasn't having it then because he was a stranger I didn't want to know. Anyway fast forward - I moved to NYC and I met a woman and she and I started dating. So we were telling one another our life's stories. Her father left when she was about four and she doesn't remember him. I told her about my father and she got very quiet. Then she said your father is my sister's father. The girl I was dating and I had a different mother and father of course. We got married and when we were married I would say how is our sister. My "sister" also has issues btw because he was never there for her in the way she wanted. He was just a baby making machine.

October 26, 2006
4:33 pm
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lolli
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I wouldn't say I have recovered from this yet... but one thing I tried is making a scrapbook page about my so-called father as if he were dead. He's not dead, but he is to me. I found and printed pics from the internet of very old men dying and pretended it was him. I printed pics of grave stones that said "father" on them and pics of military men. I came up with a new story in my head about how I never saw him cause he was in the military (which isn't true) and then he got old and sick and died (which also isn't true). Somehow that helped me grieve the loss in a more manageable way. (I think b/c in my case it was hard to understand and therefore grieve the reality of the situation).

Then when I was ready and my grief finally turned to anger (several weeks later and after lots of talking about it in therapy) I made a really angry scrapbook page and wrote a letter telling him what a terrible father he was, how, and why. And I got to say the things I wasn't allowed to feel or say about him growing up.

Somehow making these pages and putting them in a scrapbook helps me feel like FINALLY my feelings are legitimate. Like they are important enough to be preserved and put in a presentation book. It's kind of a ritual for me, I guess - the family dysfunction scrapbook. lol

Anyway, like I said, I'm not "over it" yet (don't know if I'll ever be) but this seems to have helped a bit. For me to get angry and recognize I was abandoned because he was an Ahole... not because I was unloveable. I don't always believe this, but the anger is helping me get there.

if anybody else has suggestions i would love to hear about them.

October 26, 2006
5:03 pm
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taj64
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My book arrived last night but I didn't know it untilt his morning so I opened the envelope not sure what book had arrived. Entitled the book is called the Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson. I ordered it off the Ebay for I do not have much money to buy expensive books. I have been reading into the first chapter so far and it is by far one of the most enlightening books I have read since all my abandonment issues creeped up as a result of a break up that happened way over a year ago. And to my surprise on the cover of a book was a note from the seller and she took the time to address me by person using "Dear" and said "I hope this book will help you as much as it help me!" I feel as if there were words of encouragement from one reader to another. Read this little treasure if you have time. I have a lifetime of abandonment issues and my last BF at the time felt like the ultimate abandonment. He was so wrong for me yet I clung to hold onto him even after many months of being broken up. And then all my history of abandonment came up in full awareness to really sting me. After well over a year, Im finally starting to progress to a different place. You do heal, you do move on, you do have to work at it and be in the moment. You can have a new life even despite it doesn't seem like it at the time, despite those that are around you have abandoned you.

October 26, 2006
5:06 pm
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thumkin
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I love my dad. I dont harbor any hatred for him. I wish he would have been a better dad then maybe I wouldnt wonder what is so wrong with me that no one can love me. Maybe I wouldnt try to be what someone else wants just to feel loved. I have to hope though that there is a way to recover from this

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