Updated: Aug 27
If you've experienced trauma bonding, toxic relationships, or relationship problems, there may be a good chance that you have experienced a sense of being neglected or abandoned by someone who you would have hoped and expected to have been there for you. This may have been a parent, a partner, or a friend. But sadly you were let down.
This may have left you feeling vulnerable and questioned your worth, if other people liked you enough to "hang around". You may also end up questioning "what do I need to do to get people to stay". This might result you in being clingy in some relationships, changing parts of you to make you more 'attractive' and pull people in, or hiding parts of you that you are ashamed of.
If this is the case, here are 8 basic tips to consider to support healing your abandonment wound. These are merely simple tips and can take time to practice and foster so that they are integral to your life. So please, take the time to consider how you can integrate these in your life.
1. Explore the origins: Reflect on the origins of your abandonment wound. This may involve delving into childhood experiences, relationships with your parents, or significant life events that may have contributed to the wound's formation. Understanding the root causes can help gain insights and promote healing. Hint: The origins may start far earlier than you initially think. Scientific research shows that for many of us, this wound is created and set in our minds by the time we are 6-7 years old. So trace your memory to that time. If nothing comes up for you, that's ok too.
2. Practice self-compassion: Be gentle and kind to yourself throughout the healing process. Acknowledge that the wound was not your fault and that you deserve healing and love. Compassion is not about ignoring the suffering or pretending like it was not there - but it is acknowledging the vulnerable side of you that experienced the pain, and meeting this side with wisdom, kindness and acceptance. Engage in self-care activities that promote self-compassion, such as mindfulness, journaling, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.
3. Challenge negative beliefs: Abandonment wounds can lead to negative self-beliefs and fears around relationships. For example, you may have a tendency to believe that current partners / friends / family members will leave at a drop of a hat (even when evidence shows this is inaccurate). Challenge these beliefs by examining evidence that contradicts them and replacing them with more positive and realistic beliefs. Affirmations, therapy, and self-reflection can aid in this process.
4. Develop healthy relationships: Engage in healthy relationships and friendships that promote trust, respect, and emotional safety. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals can help build new positive experiences that counteract the wounds from the past.
5. Practice self-reliance: Develop self-reliance and a sense of self-worth independent of others. Engage in activities that foster personal growth, cultivate your passions, and build a strong foundation of self-esteem.
6. Process and grieve: Allow yourself to process and grieve the pain associated with abandonment. This may involve expressing your emotions, journaling, or seeking therapeutic support to navigate the emotional landscape.
7. Please seek professional support to guide you through this. With support, you can improve your relationships and resolve relationship problems that arise, including experiences that feel extremely painful like surviving infidelity or healing trauma bonding.
If you found this useful, please do me 2 favours. Please have a look at my free e-book here which can help you improve your relationship and heal trauma bonding. Second, please share with other people who you feel would benefit from this - because the more people supported, the better our community can survive and heal.
As always, if you ever want to connect and gain support - I'm here.
All my love, Dr Sarah