During the first few years of one’s life, they are emotionally dependent on their caregivers. And so it is vital that they are not left alone for prolonged periods of time, because if they are left it can be extremely overwhelming and therefore traumatising.
But this doesn’t mean that one’s caregivers had to physically leave them in order for one to feel abandoned, as they could have been nearby. So they could have been physically present, but emotionally absent. What matters is having a caregiver that is emotionally aware and in tune.
When this doesn’t take place on a consistent basis, it is highly likely that feeling of being abandoned is going to arise. And this won’t just be on the odd occasion, but on a regular basis.
One could have been left on the odd occasion or just a few times and yet this was traumatising. And this may been an experience that has stayed with them ever since. So it doesn’t need to be something that took place on a daily basis for someone to suffer.
But there are also going to be people who were more or less left altogether. Being left was then a way of life for this person and this meant that one would have suffered immensely. When their caregiver was there, they could have ended up making one feel smothered, engulfed and trapped. As a result of being emotionally unaware and cut off from themselves.
As a baby and then a young child, one hasn’t developed the ability to handle their emotions. This part of them has not been formed yet and so they are reliant on their caregiver to regulate how they feel.
To be left at this time in one’s life would not only have created feelings of being abandoned in ones chest, it would also have included feelings of being powerless and helpless in their stomach. At the bottom of all of this would be the feeling of death. This experience would be experienced as though one was going to die.
So being neglected at this age is no laughing matter and not only will it cause problems for someone during the experience, it can also go onto define their whole life. Time passes, environments change and different faces appear, but this pain will still be there.
That is unless one was able to heal this trauma and truly move on from what happened. However, this is often the exception as opposed to the rule in today’s world. If ones caregivers left one during their early years, then it is unlikely that they would have been there to validate and to allow one to process how they felt.
Some people can seek help in later life and work on this pain through the assistance of a therapist or a healer. Awareness can play a big part, as it can be easy for this kind of trauma to control one’s life and for one to get stuck; not knowing where to turn or who to turn to.
This whole process can also take a while, as if one was abandoned a lot as a child, they might not be in a good way. So as to how long it will take to heal can vary from person to person. It is not a black and white scenario; as each person is unique and responds to things differently.
Years Go By
Ones childhood can seem like a distant memory and one can be completely cut off from those years. But although time has passed and one has physically changed, it could be a very different story when it comes to ones emotional development.
They could live in their head and be cut off from their emotions. This is done to protect oneself from pain; it is rarely something that one chooses to do, it just happens naturally. So it is highly likely that everything that one felt during those years is still trapped in their body.
And all the time it is there, one’s life will continue to be affected by what took place all those years ago. As well as the feelings that were created by the experience, there will also be the beliefs that one’s mind formed as a result.
It is unlikely that one will have formed empowering beliefs if they were abandoned on the odd occasion or as a regular occurrence. Through this taking place, one could come to the conclusion that they are: worthless, have no value, are unwanted, don’t deserve to exist, and are unworthy of another’s time and attention and that they are invisible for instance.
If one was left by their primary caregiver then it is not going to create the idea that one has any value or that they are important. So to have ‘negative’ beliefs would simply be a by product of these early experiences and this means it should not be taken as a reflection of their true nature. Ultimately, the mind can believe anything and it doesn’t have to be true.
If these beliefs were taken at face value, it would make sense to just remove them and to create better ones. But to do this would not deal with the original trauma in one’s body. So it would be a half measure at best, and one could end up living in their head for the rest of their life; never fully embracing their body and all that this brings.
When these feelings remain trapped in one’s body, they are naturally going to control how one feels and also how they behave. The people one attracts and is attracted to will also reflect these feelings. One could do their best to always be in a relationship to avoid feeling abandoned ever again or they could avoid relationships in general to avoid having to face these feelings again.
One person is then highly aware of their feelings and the other has become cut off from them and could be emotionally numb. They could also alternate between the two and vary depending on who they or are not with.
Some people can end up being very needy and others can appear needless. To be left for long periods of time as a baby and a child, can cause one to close up and although they need attention, it could be something that they fear. Especially if they were either: abandoned or smothered and engulfed when they were younger. These are just some of the potential consequences that can arise.
Part of being abandoned can be a sense of loss and grief, as well as the other feelings. And these trapped feelings and emotions will need to be released from one’s body. A therapist or a healer who will allow one to face them and gradually release them is probably the best option.
Not only will the feelings be released from one’s body, they will also receive the mirroring and attunement that they didn’t receive all those years ago from their caregiver/s. And this is a big part of the process; because one is reparenting themselves as an adult.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.