This is an AMAZING article that I really wish had been written when I was healing from my own heartbreak and dealing with abandonment issues. As someone who had never experienced abandonment before, I had no idea how traumatic it is and how incredibly painful! It took so much longer than I could have ever imagined and I suffered horrible withdrawals. Thankfully those days are behind me (except for a drunk dial I committed 2 weeks ago, we have had no contact.) My husband and I are getting closer every day and I am happier and more content than I have been in years.
How To Heal From Heartbreak & Conquer Your Fear Of Abandonment
“How could he just disappear like that? He promised to marry me,” my client said, as she wiped her tears. Most of us are familiar with betrayal. Partners, friends, and even family members can make a commitment and then disappear.
I had a very close, longtime friend, and eventually our relationship extended into work. I became part of her business team. She constantly made commitments and broke them on a whim. I often ignored it, justifying that maybe she was keeping the bigger picture in mind.
One day, our work relationship ended, with no warning on my end. I confronted her about the broken commitments. She insisted it was all in my head and continued to assure me that she would be there as a friend, no matter what. And then she stopped responding.
When people with whom we share a deep bond with disappear, the immediate reaction is confusion and doubt. We start questioning where we went wrong and whether we should continue to pursue the relationship. Left unexplored, these thoughts can fester into anger, depression, and resentment in the long run.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are the strategies I’ve learned to employ when someone I care about pulls a disappearing act.
1. Don’t take it personally.
While relating this story to another friend, she laughed and said, “You, too?” That got me out of my head, reminding me this happens to everyone. Rejection hurts, but it often has nothing to do with our how worthy of love we are. People’s behavior is a reflection of their own beliefs, values, feelings, and thought patterns. When we personalize their behavior, we start to spiral into self-blame and unworthiness. Viewing it as a choice made independently of your behavior or nature allows you to address it from an objective perspective.
2. Avoid the impulse to start thinking of them as “other.”
It’s very natural to want to develop a sense of otherness from people in your life. It’s differentiating them from you. But when we actively separate ourselves from people as a response to pain they’ve caused, we sacrifice our empathy for them. We can no longer relate to them.
On the other hand, identifying similarities between ourselves and others, we reconnect to our shared humanity. The Buddhist Loving-Kindness Meditationinvolves sending goodwill to ourselves and all those who have hurt us. As I began to practice this, saying “just like me, you want love,” I found a space where I could identify with and feel compassion for both myself and my friend.
3. Take responsibility.
Brené Brown said, “Love and belonging are irreducible needs of all men, women, and children. We’re hardwired for connection — it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.” This very need is often ignored when we blame others and shrug off our own culpability.
Deep down, we just want love, and we get so afraid of losing that person that we ignore the reality of the situation. By owning what we did or did not do, we share the responsibility of creating that reality. This empowers us to make better choices in the future rather than just being a victim of someone else’s choices……
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