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Fear of Abandonment


Lady Eclipse ย  ย 

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Hi, I'm not really sure how to start this, but it means the world to me to know someone cares enough to read what I am saying. I don't feel like I can talk to my parents, because I don't think they will understand. Recently, I've realized I have a fear of abandonment. I think it's the reason I strive for perfection and am such a people-pleaser. I'm afraid that if I'm not good enough, my loved ones will abandon me. After some thought, I think I have this fear because of things my father said to me when I was younger. Like if I didn't clean my room, he'd say, "Well, maybe I should deploy again because people actually care about what I have to say there." (My father was in the military and often deployed overseas. Also for context, my father's love language is "words of action". So if he asks you to do something, and you don't do it right; he takes it as you don't care about anything he has to say, and therefore you don't love him). As a result, for a long period of time, I thought he mainly deployed because I wasn't good enough. And if something happened to him while he was gone, it was because of me, since it was my fault in the first place, he left. Later on, I realized this wasn't the case. My Dad even apologized to me this year for saying those sorts of things throughout my childhood. However, I still struggle with this fear of abandonment. Like I am afraid my boyfriend at any moment will just stop liking me and leave me. Is there a way to "overcome" this fear?

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9 hours ago, Lady Eclipse said:

Hi, I'm not really sure how to start this, but it means the world to me to know someone cares enough to read what I am saying. I don't feel like I can talk to my parents, because I don't think they will understand. Recently, I've realized I have a fear of abandonment. I think it's the reason I strive for perfection and am such a people-pleaser. I'm afraid that if I'm not good enough, my loved ones will abandon me. After some thought, I think I have this fear because of things my father said to me when I was younger. Like if I didn't clean my room, he'd say, "Well, maybe I should deploy again because people actually care about what I have to say there." (My father was in the military and often deployed overseas. Also for context, my father's love language is "words of action". So if he asks you to do something, and you don't do it right; he takes it as you don't care about anything he has to say, and therefore you don't love him). As a result, for a long period of time, I thought he mainly deployed because I wasn't good enough. And if something happened to him while he was gone, it was because of me, since it was my fault in the first place, he left. Later on, I realized this wasn't the case. My Dad even apologized to me this year for saying those sorts of things throughout my childhood. However, I still struggle with this fear of abandonment. Like I am afraid my boyfriend at any moment will just stop liking me and leave me. Is there a way to "overcome" this fear?

Hi there, I'm Catsup a support mentor here.ย  Thanks for sharing all of what's going on, it sounds like you have a really good understanding of what's happening but maybe need some support overcoming the fear of abandonment.ย  Like you said, the things your dad has said in the past are definitely not your fault.ย  You were a child, and every child deserves unconditional love.ย  A fear of abandonment can be hard thing to overcome, but I think you can definitely take steps forward in this.ย 

You have mentioned struggling with people pleasing and perfectionism and sometimes that can be a sign of us trying to rely too much on reactions from others or our accomplishments for feeling like we're enough.ย  What are the good things about you that will never change, that make you worthy of love and happiness?

There are many things we can do to feel better about who we are, whether people stay with us or not, and feeling good about ourselves improves our relationships.ย  What do you think about starting within yourself with self-esteem, and what are things that tend to make you feel better about who you are?

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Hi! Thank you so much for responding! Honestly, the only "good things about myself that will never change" I can think of is my compassion for others, especially for children. Is that the kind of answer you were looking for? Also with the self-esteem, what can I do to develop that? I enjoy making art and imagining myself in a fantasy world, which makes me feel better about myself, because I'm pretending to be someone else.

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21 hours ago, Lady Eclipse said:

Hi! Thank you so much for responding! Honestly, the only "good things about myself that will never change" I can think of is my compassion for others, especially for children. Is that the kind of answer you were looking for? Also with the self-esteem, what can I do to develop that? I enjoy making art and imagining myself in a fantasy world, which makes me feel better about myself, because I'm pretending to be someone else.

Hey, yes, your compassion is a great thing about you that won't change.ย  :)ย Compassion runs deep and is a part of who you are, and simply being the kind person you are makes you worthy of love and happiness.ย  Besides that, we all deserve to be cared about since we are all human with emotions and needs.ย  Regardless of what happens with people around you, you are always enough.

Do you think self-esteem would be a helpful thing to work on?ย  There is a good read here for you, if you want to look at some ways to improve self-esteem:ย https://ditchthelabel.org/overcoming-low-self-esteem/

In your original post, you talked about being worried about people leaving you.ย  What do you think about regularly challenging the thoughts behind that?ย  Sometimes we can get really anxious about things that aren't likely to happen and we worry when it is not helpful.ย  What evidence do you have that your loved ones do very much care about you?ย  Your dad might have put doubts in your mind when you were young, but do keep in mind, that is only a part of the picture of your life, and it might help to write out the good things you have with your loved ones when you feel worried.ย  What do you think?

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Wow, I really like that idea. Thank you!!! I'll be sure to read the article you included as well! Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to me. It really means a lot to know you care.

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18 hours ago, Lady Eclipse said:

Wow, I really like that idea. Thank you!!! I'll be sure to read the article you included as well! Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to me. It really means a lot to know you care.

Of course, and I'm glad that has been helpful!ย  Do reach out if you need anything else. :)

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