Self-Abandonment: Are You Doing This?

By

Self-Abandonment: Are You Doing This?
Feeling alone, empty, anxious, depressed, hurt, angry, jealous, sad, fearful, guilty or shamed?

The Encarta® World English Dictionary defines “abandon” as: “to leave somebody or something behind for others to look after, especially somebody or something meant to be a personal responsibility.”

As adults, our own wellbeing is our personal responsibility.

Do you abandon yourself, making others responsible for you, and then feel abandoned by others when they leave you or don’t take responsibility for you?

As an adult, another person cannot abandon you, since they are not responsible for you. We can abandon a child, an ill person or an old person – someone who cannot take care of themselves. But if you are a physically healthy adult, you can be left, but you cannot be abandoned by others. Only you can abandon you.

What are the ways you might be abandoning yourself?

Judging Yourself

How often do you judge yourself with comments such as:

“You are not good enough.” “You are inadequate.”
“You are stupid.” “You are an idiot.”
“You are ugly.” “You are not attractive enough.”
“If you fail, you are not okay.”
“If someone rejects you, you are not okay.”
“It’s all your fault that….”
“You will never amount to anything. You are a failure. You are not reaching your potential.”

…and so on.

Just as a small child feels alone and abandoned when a parent is harsh and judgmental, so our own inner child feels alone and abandoned when we judge ourselves. Self-judgment not only creates inner feelings of aloneness and emptiness, but it also creates feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, hurt, fear, guilt and shame. Then, what do you do when you have judged yourself and created all these painful feelings?

Ignoring Your Feelings

When you feel alone, empty, anxious, depressed, hurt, angry, jealous, sad, fearful, guilty or shamed – what do you do? Do you attend to your feelings, exploring what YOU are telling yourself, or doing to cause them? Or do you avoid them with some form of addictive behavior, using food, alcohol, drugs, nicotine, TV, work, shopping, Internet, sex, anger, blame, and so on to avoid them?

When you ignore your feelings and instead turn to addictive behavior, you are again abandoning yourself. Once you have abandoned yourself, it is very common to project this self-abandonment onto others and feel abandoned by people or by God. Yet, as a physically healthy adult, the feeling of abandonment is being caused by you, just as most of your other painful feelings are being caused by you.

Making Others Responsible for You

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

Are You Addicted To Love?

By

Have you ever felt confused about whether your feelings in a relationship were coming from a healthy place or from a wounded place? This is Mari's concern: "How would you describe the difference between obsession/addiction and devotion? When you are deeply in love and moved to be emotionally and physically intimate with someone, how can you tell ... Read more

How Do YOU Feel About That? Avoiding Projection In Relationships

By

"I think I'm an open person, but Sarah keeps telling me how closed I am. She gets furious when she wants to talk about our relationship and I don't." Matthew, in his late 20s and married to Sarah for 2 years, had consulted me due to relationship problems and was feeling a lot of confusion about their relationship system. "There ... Read more

Get Over Fights Like A Grown-Up

By

Most couples fight at times. Unless they fight unfairly—hitting below the belt and saying very hurtful things or becoming physically abusive—this is generally not a problem. Couples who engage in verbal or physical abuse need to either get help on both an individual and relationship level or leave the relationship. Ongoing verbal and physical ... Read more

See More

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

FROM AROUND THE WEB