Self Love Journey: Healing from Abandonment

Beautiful African-American model by the sea

By guest writer, Kimesha Coleman

For years I intentionally choose to live as a victim. Yes, it’s true.

I choose to be a victim. At any time I could have chosen not to be a victim in any situation, but I didn’t make that choice. I chose to drift through life blaming others for my issues and complaining about my problems as if I would one day receive the highest achievement award for “most miserable”. Most importantly, I choose to be unhappy.

There was one particular evening I sat faintly and hopelessly in my seriously consideration whether or not I should drive myself to the emergency room as I waited for the red light to turn green. My kids were out of control, my head was spinning and now the cars behind me were honking at me to go. What a day!

I had just finalized my second divorce and started a new job. While I should’ve been somewhat happy about my new found freedom and job opportunity, I actually felt as if I was losing my mind.

I couldn’t picture myself as a mental patient so the battle in my head was over how bad off I would be if I waited to get treatment. Meaning that if I went now, I won’t be as “crazy” and could probably cope better than I’ve seen others. I felt like I was having what they called a nervous breakdown.

I’d experienced a lot of hurt over the last 30 plus years and carried the barrels of poison around with me. Not really sure what I was hoping to gain by holding all that toxic waste inside but the load finally became too heavy for me to carry. I knew first hand that medication would only cover up the symptoms and wouldn’t give me the peace, love, and wholeness I was longing for.

At this point I was way beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired. Instead of driving myself to ER, I went home and I prayed. I’m talking about a 72 hour spiritual rally, 3 day conference of soul seeking, crying, and knee bowing come to Jesus meeting. I asked God to remove the things that was not of him from me, to cleanse my mind and heart, and to show me how to love.

Acknowledge your past pain

Acknowledging your past pain is the first step in healing. I grew up not knowing who my biological father was. On top of that, my step father and mother divorced shortly after I announced that his brother had been molesting me.

My step father had been around since I was 2 years old. He was my father, the only male figure I saw each and every day for the last 10 years. Now he was gone.

This stuck with me for a while. I had split my family apart. Well this is what the 12 year old child thought. What else would I think? No one said anything to me about what was going on.

Never was there a talk between my mother and I about my step father not coming back home. He was just gone. He had abandoned me. He left us and never came to see me. He didn’t even call to say “Hi”. I wasn’t even worth a phone call?

My pain was the feeling of abandonment which involves the sense of loss. There is little or no closure just like grieving from a departed friend or love one. No farewells and no last words; just loss.

Unlike death which is certain, abandonment is uncertain.

Questioning and wondering whether the loved one will ever return, why they left, and struggling with if I could ever trust people again in fear they will abandon me. Similar to being rejected, being abandoned can accompany a great loss of self-worth.

Step 2: Identify your symptoms

Abandonment hurts deeply. Coping with abandonment you will either become overly needy or require a lot of attention and reassurance, or you go to extreme measures to never allow yourself to truly care for anyone ever again (avoiding relationships).

I fell in the never allow myself to care for anyone again category (re-abandonment). Keeping everyone away from my heart and at arm’s length so I wouldn’t get too deeply involved. So just in case abandonment occurred my hurt wouldn’t be that bad. I didn’t pick and choose who I put in this category. Therefore, I put everyone in the same category including friends, relatives, and romantic partners as well.

In my book, He Loves Me Not: Buried Tears of Betrayed Love, I tell of my dating experience and strangely how I repeatedly dated the same men but each with a different name. None of my relationships ever lasted longer than 9 months. After the breakup, this is when I would enter the re-abandonment stage re-living the pain from my childhood all over again.

On the flip side of this, you may deal with abandonment by attempting to fill the empty space in with anyone who is willing to give you attention. This may make you appear to come on too strong too in a relationship, which can scare off a potential partner or friend and increasing your sense of worthlessness. Again re-living the pain all over again.

Step 3: Take action

To identify and put some closure to my pain, I sought out a psychotherapist. We were able to identify my trigger points that caused me to feel emotional sad, hurt, and unworthy in certain situations or even around certain people. I traded my pain for love and created healthier relationships.

One technique that I used to increase my self-love was looking in the mirror and telling myself “I love you”. It felt very strange and awkward at first but I continued to say the words in the mirror and eventually became my own best friend.

I chose love myself and from here I can truly love someone else.

Life does not give you the absolute certainty that our relationships will always remain the same and consistent. However, with time, and even counseling, healing the wound of abandonment can begin and even allowing yourself to trust again.

Say “Yes” to love. Self-love.

In all, be aware of how you feel in every area of your life, situation, and how other people make you feel. This may be your body warning you or it may be a trigger from an old undealt with issue. It’s important to be happy. And if you didn’t know, being happy is your choice.

It doesn’t matter what happened or who did it, it’s still your choice to forgive and choose to be happy in life. Being aware of how you feel, acknowledging your pain, identifying your symptoms, and taking action is the greatest act of self-love you can give to yourself.

Give yourself compassion rather than judging yourself as weak. Take this healing process as an opportunity to build self-reliance and unconditional self-love. This process can be slow and require you to accept yourself as an individual. In the end you’ll be more self-assured and emotionally stable.

Start today by making a decision to be happy and heal your pain.

Author, Transformational Coach, and Inspirational Speaker, Kimesha Coleman works with individuals who have experienced some form of abuse, suffering from low self-esteem, or feeling of unworthiness to break free from their invisible jail. Kimesha recently published her book, “He Loves Me Not; Buried Tears of Betrayed Love” that tells of her own compelling story of how she went from victim to victor. Visit www.coachingbykimesha.com or www.facebook.com/yourstorytolive for more information.