Abandoners come in every possible size, shape, shade, age, social form, and disposition. Parents, friends, employers, and lovers can become abandoners, usually without realizing the pain they cause. Abandonment recovery is dedicated to raising public awareness about the pain and trauma of being abandoned and to foster deeper commitment, sensitivity, and responsibility within relationships.
In searching for connections, it is often difficult to tell who is safe to attach to and who is not capable of being emotionally responsible-who is worthy of trust, and who is an abandoner.
What complicates the picture even more is that one person’s abandoner might be another’s permanent partner. Also, many abandonment victims, depending on certain conditions, go on to become abandoners themselves. The circumstances surrounding relationships are so complex and variable, that it is neither wise nor fair to make moral judgments, point fingers, or draw generalizations. Most of us can be both abandonees and abandoners – it just depends on the context.
HOWEVER, there are serial abandoners – abandoners who get secondary gain from inflicting emotional pain on someone who loves them. For them, creating devastation is their way of demonstrating power, power, and sometimes anger.
But even abandoners who are not motivated by power, might experience a heightened sense of self-importance as an unintentional by-product. As regretful as they may feel about hurting you, they can’t help but go on an ego trip as they witness the intensity of your agonized desire for them.
Although their heads might be slightly swelled, your exes will not admit openly to these feelings of triumph. This would make them seem like cads. Instead they tend to speak about their more humble feelings, like their regret over having caused you “disappointment” or “inconvenience” (note the understatements!). They are usually easily distracted from their guilt and remorse, because they get caught up in their new lives (and new loves) with greater sense of freedom, newness, and an enlarged ego.
Many abandoners, however, are able to bypass regret by remaining oblivious to the emotional crisis they have caused. This obliviousness seems callous and self centered to the one who has been left behind – the one who was thrust into the torment of abandonment.
Ironically, this puts them in a one-up position to you, and you tend to idealize them, making it that much harder to let go of your abandoners, even when they have treated you badly.
Many abandoners also attempt to BLAME you for the break up. It’s because you were too “needy” or “dependent” or “angry,” they might say. Meanwhile, if you have become “needy” or “dependent” or “angry” it is not because you ARE these things, but because you were REACTING to their gradually pulling away. None-the-less, you will beat yourself up for these things anyway.
The reason they blame you is to justify their actions and avoid feeling guilty. Their agenda is to sustain their positive self- image at all costs – even if it has to be at your expense. So they take as little responsibility as possible for hurting you. Their denial and blame add insult to injury. As the abandonee, you must grapple alone with the pieces of a broken relationship, feeling rejected and “kicked while your down” by their blame, criticism, betrayal, and rejection.
Then you turn the rage over being rejected against yourself, and you blame yourself, causing your self-esteem to plummet and your spirit to sink into a major depression. In this way, you abandon yourself.
Soul searching is an inevitable and necessary part of surviving abandonment. It’s a time to take personal responsibility for the extent to which you contributed to the difficulties within your relationship. It’s a painful and humbling process, and if done constructively, leads to deep personal growth. During the soul-searching, you tend to be even more vulnerable (and gullible) to your abandoner’s blame than usual. What you are looking for is honest, accurate, constructive feedback so that you can learn from this experience. But what you often get are your abandoners’ “blaming excuses” for his/her own commitment problem.
Many abandoners are love-challenged. They only feel “love” for you when they are pursuing you. But as soon as you become attached to them, their love feelings subside. They don’t realize they’re “love-challenged.” They convince themselves and everyone else (including their friends and therapists) that they “just haven’t met the right person.” Sound familiar? If you’re an abandonoholic, you’ve most likely been drawn to someone who is love-challenged -and you may have this issue yourself. More about Abandoholism.
Let it be said that many abandoners do not set out to abandon. They don’t hurt-by-intention. Many are just human beings struggling to find the answers to life’s difficult challenges along with everyone else. None-the-less, to the extent that abandoners are able to blame, remain oblivious, or stay in denial of the other person’s pain, abandonment recovery reaches out to them to increase their awareness as well. The program is devoted to the growth and development of all of those who struggle to sustain relationships – - abandoners and abandonees alike. Journey from Abandonment, the workbook, Journey from Heartbreak, and Black Swan are designed to enhance this awareness.
Go to Contact us to add your own personal impressions of your abandoner to add to our “Profile of an Abandoner.”