Abandonment comes in many forms. It can come about for the newborn baby left in a dumpster, a child whose parents suddenly die in a car wreck, divorce, or death of a loved one. There is a form of abandonment that many people seldom discuss- when close friends & relatives leave you.
This type of abandonment is common after divorce, especially if you are the one who initiated it. I lost all but one friend after mine. No one saw him as the manipulative narcissist he was, so they rallied to his side, abandoning me. Abandonment also happens after surviving the death of someone you love. After her daughter died, a good friend of mine said it seemed like once the funeral was done, people thought she should be over losing her daughter, as if the funeral being over meant her grief should be over. Abandonment also can happen after experiencing a traumatic event, as some people think you should “be over it by now.”
It’s also very common for children of narcissistic parents to be abandoned repeatedly in their lives.
First, we’re abandoned in the sense of not having a real mother (&/or father). Just because a narcissist has conceived & birthed a child doesn’t make that person a parent by any means. We also may be abandoned by the other parent, usually a covert narcissist, who throws us under the bus to the overtly narcissistic parent to cover their own butts during an argument, & who fails to protect us. We’re also abandoned by anyone who sees the abuse yet fails to do anything to help us: teachers, counselors, relatives, friends or their parents. As we grow up, we tend to attract narcissists & other abusive people into our lives, who will drop us in an instant once we’ve outlived our usefulness to them. They also are often skilled at turning others against us too, so we not only lose that person, but friends as well at the same time. Then eventually we learn about narcissism & the damage it causes, & we begin to talk about it. That is when our closest friends & relatives often claim we just want attention, need to get over it, So & So had it much worse, your narcissist wasn’t so bad or seemed like a good person to them, & more before abandoning us for being too negative, living in the past, etc.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? I’m guessing it sounds all too familiar.
Constant abandonment like this cuts a person to the core. It also can lead to many problems- low self-esteem, depression, anger, self-destructive habits such as addictions, & even losing your self-identity.
So how do you deal with this pain? You grieve your losses much like you grieve when someone you love dies.
Some people say there are five stages in grief, others say seven. I tend to believe more in seven..
- Denial. What happened is too shocking to accept. You can’t believe it happened.
- Guilt. You feel guilty. “Maybe if I had done *fill in the blank*, this wouldn’t have happened.
- Anger &/or bargaining with God. This is the time when you ask “Why did this happen to me? I don’t deserve this!” or, “God, if you bring him back, I’ll never do *fill in the blank* again.”
- Depression. The magnitude of what happened becomes real to you at this stage, & it hurts. Badly. This is often the longest lasting stage.
- Starting to move on. The depression starts to lift some & you begin to adjust in small ways to life after what happened.
- Moving on. You really begin healing at this stage. You read & learn about how to adjust & heal.
- Acceptance. You have accepted what happened. You start to look forward to things once again. You may never again be the person you once were, but you are moving forward.
***sometimes when grieving, you may bounce back & forth between steps a few times. This is normal***
While going through the stages of grief is never a fun process, it is a necessary one when it comes to big losses, & being abandoned, especially repeatedly, is a big loss.
While experiencing each stage, it is important to talk things out. I encourage you to pray a lot. Tell God everything you feel, & listen for any wisdom He wants to share with you. Also, if you’re like me & it helps you to see things in writing, then journal. Sometimes seeing things in black & white brings a clarity that simply talking about them doesn’t.
Always be patient, non-judgmental & gentle with yourself while experiencing the grief process. You need such things in your life during this time, & especially from yourself.
Exercise wisdom in who you share your experiences with. Many people don’t understand grief in any form, & others don’t wish to hear such “negativity”. Don’t discuss your journey with people like that- instead only share with people who are non-judgmental, compassionate & who love you unconditionally.
I know this is not an easy time for you, but you can get through this, & you will be a stronger person too. Also, you’re not alone! Many people have experienced this same pain you have, including me. If you would like to meet others, feel free to check out my facebook group & my forum, links to both are on my website at: www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com