Both children and adults can deal with abandonment issues. These deep fears of being abandoned are rooted in past trauma from broken relationships, including ones affected by divorce. Though the fear of abandonment can feel like it cripples you, God will help you face your fears and conquer them in his power. You can also gain hope and perspective by speaking with a Christian counselor about abandonment fears.
How the Fear of Abandonment Develops
The fear of abandonment develops when someone you love or depend upon makes a sudden, unexpected exit from your life. These fears can arise from death, divorce, or breakups. No matter how old you were when the original trauma occurred, it may be affecting you today.
Any type of trauma can impact us in a myriad of ways if we have not learned to handle it well, and abandonment is like this. Children may show signs of withdrawal, clinginess, anxiety, angry outbursts, crying spells, and/or self-harm.
They may also experience headaches, stomach aches, and other body pains as symptoms of abandonment trauma. A skilled Christian counselor can help identify the source of these problems and assist your child in healing from their fears.
Adults may also experience similar symptoms related to unprocessed trauma. If you have experienced a difficult breakup as an adult, your past childhood trauma from abandonment could be triggered.
In relationships, you may be too trusting in your attempt to gain security from another person. Alternately, you could be angry, distant, or combative to avoid feeling the same pain of abandonment. But these dynamics can be frustrating and lonely since they keep you from experiencing healthy connections. If you feel stuck or discouraged, a caring Christian counselor can help you gain perspective and find healing.
How to Deal With Fear of Abandonment
The fear of abandonment manifests itself in unique ways in every individual who experiences it. Since it is so complex and deeply rooted, it’s a good idea to receive counseling so you can heal from abandonment once and for all. This is the type of help you can receive when you attend sessions with a Christian counselor.
Put Your Fears Behind You
God knows your fears of abandonment hold you back from an abundant life. He wants you to put your fears behind you so you can step into the life he wants for you. You can take steps like these in your healing process.
Get Help in Dealing with Your Fears
It’s difficult to face your abandonment fears on your own. They have often been a part of your life for many years, and they are scary to consider by yourself. But you probably know that you won’t be able to overcome your fears until you dare to face them. Even if you have tried to face your fears before without success, hope is still available to you.
A compassionate Christian counselor can help you face your fears and overcome them in God’s power. Your counselor will gently help you unpack your fears and deal with them, so they no longer hold a grip on you. Then you can move forward with greater confidence.
Immerse Yourself in God’s Word
Fears of abandonment can block our relationship with God. It’s common for people with abandonment fears to project a lack of trust onto God though someone else abandoned them. But when you study God’s Word, meditate on it, and pray through its truths, you will learn the truth about God and begin to trust him more.
God has promised never to abandon you. You can memorize key scriptures like the ones below to speak the truth aloud when your abandonment fears arise. Consider these helpful scriptural truths:
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. – Deut. 31:6
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. – Psalm 27:10
…for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5b
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. – 1 John 4:18
Look up these verses. Meditate on them deeply and write them out, perhaps posting them on sticky notes where you see them often. When your fears of abandonment are triggered, refer to them and remind yourself of God’s truth. These verses can dispel your fears and help you trust God more.
Pray About Your HurtsGod wants to hear your prayers about your abandonment fears. You can talk to him in prayer like you would with a friend, venting your fears and frustrations to him as often as needed. The more often you take your hurts and fears to God, the more help and healing you will receive.
Many people enjoy keeping a prayer journal to track answers and progress. You can record your hurts in a prayer journal, then review it weekly or monthly. As time passes, you’ll see that God is working to heal your abandonment hurts. You may experience faster progress by journaling your thoughts and praying over them.
Forgive and Let Go
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things we need to do in our recovery process from abandonment issues. But it’s also one of the most important steps we can take to embrace the new life of promise God offers us.When you forgive, you take a step of faith more for yourself than anyone else. You trust that God will handle the situation with perfect justice and surrender the matter over to him instead of holding it in your lap. Forgiveness does not mean that you need to speak to the person who caused your abandonment fears. But you can release them emotionally through forgiveness, and a Christian counselor can help you in this process.
When you let go of the past, you can step onto a new healing path for the future. With a counselor’s help, you can learn to grieve for what you had or never had in your relationship with the one who abandoned you. The grieving process involves denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and acceptance. As you navigate those stages, you can put your abandonment fears to rest.
Step onto a Healthy Path
Though someone abandoned you in the past, you don’t have to face a future of abandonment. You can have healthy relationships and learn to trust others without abandonment issues holding you down. When you are healed from those issues, you will have the courage and strength to connect with others in healthy ways.
Baby steps of trust are necessary as you step onto a healthy path. A caring Christian counselor will guide you as you set aside negative coping mechanisms and learn to trust God with each forward step.
Christian Counseling for Abandonment Issues
Abandonment fears are complex and unique to everyone. They can be difficult to handle on your own. That’s when the help from a qualified Christian counselor can make a big difference in your healing journey.
In sessions with your counselor, you’ll gain self-awareness, practical skills, and spiritual support. You’ll learn how to deal with your triggers and use the Bible to stand firm in your faith. Your counselor will offer a safe place for you to speak about your hurts and fears so you can make space for healing. Contact a counselor at our offices today to receive healing and freedom from your abandonment fears.
“Shadow on the Wall”, Courtesy of Elijah Sargent, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Tears”, Courtesy of Luis Galvez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Praying at Dawn”, Courtesy of Aaron Burden, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Forest Path”, Courtesy of Ugne Vasyliute, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
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