How is Abandonment Grief Different from Other Types of Grief?

Susan Anderson
Susan Anderson
HUNTINGTON, N.Y. - Oct. 12, 2022 - PRLog -- The feature that distinguishes abandonment grief from all others is the damage to self-esteem. We turn our rage about being rejected against ourselves. This accounts for the severe depression and self-injury involved in abandonment.

Abandonment overlaps with bereavement in that they both involve loss. For the abandonment survivor, the loss is just as disruptive and painful as it is for any other type of grief. Closure is incomplete because the person has not died, but has chosen not to be with you. Rejection, withdrawal-of-love, criticism, and desertion create a devastating personal injury. 'Being left' cuts us all the way to the core. We lose not only our loved one, we lose our sense of self.

As abandonment grief progresses, it burrows deep within where it can silently leech away at our self-esteem. But abandonment has not been legitimized as its own special type of grief. Everybody seems to know about the initial pain caused by abandonment. It is the latter stages of its grief that have gone unrecognized. Yet it endures, generating sadness, self-doubt, insecurity, and fear –sometimes indefinitely. Unresolved abandonment can interfere in future relationships.

Understanding this grief and the wounding process you have been through helps you assess damages from previous losses. The Akeru exercises help you put this awareness into practice.

Learning about the stages of grief specific to abandonment provides helps focus energy where you may be stuck. S.W.I.R.L. lays out the stages of the abandonment cycle – Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalizing, Rage, and Lifting.

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