How Abandonment Trauma and Depression feels

Abandonment.jpg

I am prompted to write this blog as since I have been sharing about the role of abandonment trauma in Complex PTSD it seems to be striking a deep chord with others who I am sure have experienced abandonment trauma for a lot of their lives.

I experience the abandonment trauma as a deep, deep hole of aloneness in my soul.  I experience it as a dark night in which I am crying silently (or my body is crying silently) in a room very, very far away from anyone.  I experience the grief being ignored or there being no response coming/ or I experience the response being a hard face that shows no empathy and asks things like “what’s wrong with you?”… “Aren’t you over that by now?”… or worse “You’re crazy”.

Luckily these days I know what the abandonment depression is.  Luckily these days I have developed a way to know when it has been triggered and with this knowing I can be with the inner pain of my child, hold her, talk to her gently, comfort her.  I no longer need to tell her she needs to get over it or shame her even further.  And I can stay away from those who tell me these things.   I can seek for supportive others who understand.

When I meet this empathy inwardly or outwardly my abandonment depression leaves me in time. When I don’t meet this empathy I can start to feel fragmented.

I was reading an interesting post yesterday which I reblogged on here entitled Why Do I  Feel Like the Disordered One?  In it the author J B Snow talks of the Alice In Wonderland Complex which is a state where in a traumatised individual begins to experience reality in unreal ways.  I identified with this state of reality which comes from a dissonance of my reality as I feel and sense it inwardly and the disordered reality that is imposed on me. “I didn’t say THAT”, “You are being too sensitive.”, “What’s wrong with you, can’t you take a JOKE?”

This disordering when it happens removes me from reality.  It makes me feel alien and alone.  It is a message to me that I need to get back to what is real for me, nature, animals, sunshine, music, kind others… it is a message to me to take care of myself, wrap a soft blanket of care around myself either literally or metaphorically.

The core of abandonment is I now know the core that underlies depression, addiction and co-dependency, all the behaviour we use to manage it. We should not be shamed or shame ourselves for having resorted to these strategies which were protective devices and things we used to survive and get our needs met, but in unhelpful ways.

We need to have compassion for the child in us who never got to develop the adult skills to cope nor to understand the truth of what happened to them which caused them to check out.  Without this compassion we are lost.  Without this feeling of recognition and empathy we have no where to go when the black hole opens up within us.

3 thoughts on “How Abandonment Trauma and Depression feels

  1. This is a great very moving post. I also have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by sexual abuse and threats from my mother when I was a child. Because I thought I was going to be murdered in my mother’s house I became obsessed with checking everywhere for serial killers, finding hiding places from the serial killers and planning my escape routes. I didn’t realise I had OCD. Then at the end of 2013 I had a nervous breakdown and the OCD spiralled out of control, I was doing crazy checking rituals 10 hours a day till 5am in the morning. As you say in this post, I had to be very careful to avoid people who would trigger my anxiety and had a session of EMDR which actually made the OCD worse. Eventually through medication and finding a much more sympathetic OCD therapist the OCD has almost completely recovered. But I still have to avoid harsh and judgement people who criticise it as an “addiction” with all the negative connotations that has rather than a trauma based coping strategy.

    1. Its such a long journey, isn’t it Caroline. It is so challenging when we carry this kind of pain which leads to compulsions. I do believe a compulsion is always a message about something traumatic and the last thing we need is to be judged or criticised for something we never caused in the first place.
      It can take so long to find the right kind of help. I am so glad you have found that. ❤

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