Abandonment is the feeling of an absence of a connection in a person’s life. This absence can be of something that once existed or of a persistent need that has never been met. It’s possible to experience a physical loss or a more subtle psychological abandonment, in which a person feels like they aren’t getting what they need in a relationship.
- Feeling a lack of approval
- Low self-esteem
A person might feel abandoned when a relationship with a significant other comes to an end, when a parent dies, or even when they are betrayed by a close friend. Less physical causes also exist. A person might be told that they have failed to live up to a role model’s expectations or that an important person disapproves of their actions. Abandonment can often represent a loss of or challenge to a person’s identity.
Unfortunately, as in the case of a death in the family, it may not be possible to replace the missing element of a person’s life. Time is not the only thing required for healing. A trained psychotherapist will be able to assess the situation and help a client return to their normal functioning. In cases of less physical abandonment where a person feels psychologically abandoned, a psychotherapist will be able to look at the root of the troubling feelings and help the client deal with and manage their needs. Eventually, alternative ways to fulfill these missing needs will be found and employed.