How Childhood Abandonment Shaped Me As a Woman
To be quite honest, most of my childhood is a blur. From my deeper understanding and healing, I now know that it was a coping mechanism that I developed. I spent most of my young adult life reliving the traumas of my childhood without even recognizing what I was doing.
During my healing, I was hit pretty hard with the realization that my pain was deeply connected to abandonment and lack of love as a youngin’. I first want to state, this story is not to evoke feelings of sorrow or empathy, but instead to share with you the journey through abandonment pain to deep self-love (with the intention that anyone feeling this struggle will also see that there is a way through).
When I was 8 months old my parent separated. This also entailed the separation of my brother and I (he was 3 at the time). We were on an every other week visitation basis. I have one pretty distinct memory waiting at the window for my Dad to come and pick me up from the sitter. In a puddle of tears, he never showed. Apparently, this was a recurring thing...I blocked out most of it though. My Dad struggled with alcohol and was honestly just a child himself (I've since forgiven him btw).
When I was roughly 6 years old my Mom moved us to Florida. Being in her 20’s, she was basically still a kid herself too. She had her own personal struggles with abandonment and the lack of love she received as a child was evident in my upbringing (I've since forgiven her and have a wonderful relationship with her now...thank you, healing).
I would visit my Dad and my brother during the summer or winter break (sometimes both). The visitation was pretty stressful for me. I was that 6-year-old kid alone on the plane, crying into her teddy bear, and being consoled by a random stranger. I had no idea at the time, but this would profoundly shape me as a person and a woman.
My Dad was very absent and I quickly learned that men were unpredictable (due to his alcoholism) and emotionally unavailable (insert limiting belief into subconscious mind here).
I developed a deep distrust of people in general. I pretty consistently questioned my safety and worth, seeing the world around me as some sort of personal attack.
When I was in pain, I remember holding my breath. It was the only thing I could control.
As I entered youth, I looked for love in any boy or man (mostly 10 years older than me) I could find. I was so hungry to be validated and reassured that I compromised everything sacred in me.
This pattern only added more salt to the wound. They would always leave or I would leave (for another man)…validating that I would always be abandoned because I wasn’t deserving of love. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. No one was making it over the 12-foot walls I built around my heart.
I ran away from every little bit of intimacy for fear of being hurt. All the while craving connection and deep love so much.
I met a man at 23 who I ended up marrying. We dated for a month, got engaged, and married 11 months later. He seemed promising. Made good money, smart, funny…everything you’re supposed to want, right?
Wrong. He also struggled with alcoholism and real intimacy (now that I understand the Law of Attraction, this makes perfect sense). I pretty quickly realized that I was reliving my childhood, in yet another emotionally unavailable man. After my divorce, I was shattered, ashamed, and begging for hope.
The hope came…but not in the package I was wishing for.
I got into another relationship, this time with an abusive alcoholic. He rocked me to the core and was the final straw for my heart.
Looking back on this situation, I honestly can’t believe I am where I am today. There were days, weeks, months where I thought I couldn’t go on. I hated myself. I was so ashamed of the things that happened. That I ALLOWED to happen. All I saw was darkness surrounded by more darkness. I guess you can say it was the dark night of the soul for me.
Then it happened. One day I decided there had to be a way to heal this pain. I spent hours Googling, YouTubing, reading, meditating, crying, doing the inner-child work, getting to the core of the pain and feeling it. Really feeling it.
I grieved my childhood. I grieved the pain of not having what every little girl deserves. Love.
I decided to deeply understand. To forgive. To heal. And to learn what it meant to love myself.
I can now say that I’m truly grateful for the story I lived because it made me the woman I am. I have a solid understanding of WHY my soul needed that struggle. I could not be the coach I am today if I didn’t have the experiences I have had. I would never have acquired the power tools for healing if I didn’t go through the darkness.
If anything, I am proof that there can be so much beauty in pain. If you're willing to do the work...
Can you relate to my story? Leave me a comment or tag me on Instagram @lifebylindsayrose so I know that this resonates with you.
Sending you massive love + light,