An overdeveloped sense of responsibility can get some of us in hot water due to abandonment issues.. I was guided to read something today in my Al Anon reader of how a person raised with a parent who would give them the silent treatment when they did something the parent did not like would then, as a child, become completely stressed, tensed, alone and overwhelmed until connection was re-established.. This reminded me of things Mum did to me and especially around the first time I fell pregnant I did not feel I could go to her and had to manage the situation alone. Lately in therapy we have been exploring how much fear of threat I carry at risking being connected with anyone..
If the parent also then expects us to be perfect we turn against ourselves and may blame ourselves for small things or things that were not even in our power to change..We may come to dislike some of our better attributes. In the end we end up with a very mixed up sense of self.
The fear of abandonment often underlies our perfectionism or toxic ways of trying to maintain control (like isolating and criticizing others rather than risking the anxiety of connection again – avoidant and insecure attachment patterns.)
The reading makes the point that fear of abandonment is not abandonment itself, but a childhood perception of the past transferred onto new situations in the here and now.
Trying too hard, putting our energy in the wrong direction, seeking approval outside of ourselves when the leads us away from our own internal value system is, in the end, extremely damaging to us. Hard as it may be to accept maybe it was we who were lovable as we are and our parents who were at fault for not being able to cope with that.. Nevertheless this morning in meditation a vast amount of compassion poured out of my heart for both of my parents when I consider how hard they had to scramble to drag themselves up from the morass of their alternative multi-generational histories.. They tried so hard but sadly passed on wounds I now must own and work my darndest to turn around..