How To Overcome Abandonment Trauma: 3 Ways To Cope

Experiencing abandonment can be incredibly difficult, regardless of whether it comes from a parent, family member, romantic partner, or friend. It causes pain and can also lead to long-term adverse effects, such as abandonment trauma. Abandonment trauma is challenging to cope with, but you don’t have to weather this storm alone. 

Professionals who are experienced in treating abandonment trauma would be more than willing to help you learn more about the condition and how to manage it properly. Qualified therapists who specialize in abandonment trauma can even teach you techniques that you can use outside of their office.

What Is Abandonment Trauma?

Abandonment trauma can occur when you experience neglect, harm, or rejection at the hands of another person. This type of trauma can happen to anyone and at any age. Unfortunately, abandonment trauma is mostly seen in early childhood. Abandonment trauma can also affect your self-esteem and view of yourself, your overall opinion of the world and how it works, and how you see and respond to those around you.

Common Causes of Abandonment Trauma

If you are thinking that you may have experienced abandonment trauma in the past or present but aren’t sure, here are some common causes of this type of trauma:

  • A neglectful parent, whether it be physically or emotionally
  • The same, but with a romantic partner
  • Coming from a broken or unstable family or relationship
  • Death of a parent or caregiver
  • A severely sick parent or caregiver
  • Not being kept safe by a parent or guardian
  • Not receiving proper nurturing from parent or caregiver
  • Not having your basic needs met

Abandonment trauma covers a wide umbrella of unfortunate circumstances. Now that you know what abandonment trauma is and what causes it, the question that remains is, how do you cope with it?

1. Understand That You’re Not The Only One

sad woman in bed

We have already established that abandonment trauma is primarily seen in early childhood. However, abandonment trauma doesn’t just affect children or the adults that these children have become. Abandonment trauma can happen to a teenager or an adult who has not experienced it previously. 

Unfortunately, abandonment trauma is extremely common and affects people across the world. The one good thing about that is you can take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. You aren’t defective and didn’t deserve what happened to you.  

2. Learn What Your Triggers Are

Any type of trauma comes with triggers, and abandonment trauma is no exception. Triggers are physical or mental stimuli that cause you to revisit your trauma. These triggers may result in reactions such as panic attacks, flashbacks, crying spells, or going into flight or freeze mode. For example, abandonment trauma may cause someone to have a fear of being alone. They may respond to this fear by having panic attacks when left alone in a room.

The correct way to deal with these triggers is to face them. How do you do this? You can try thinking of a happy memory, holding on to an object that comforts you, or repeating a positive mantra. 

3. You Should Seek Professional Help

If you are having trouble with the first two suggestions or don’t know how to practice them, a trained trauma therapist can help. You may be hesitant to seek help due to the social stigma or the belief that you can handle your trauma on your own. A professional understands what you are going through and has studied how to soothe the trauma for years. They know what they are doing.

If you would like to learn more about abandonment trauma and how to cope with it, feel free to contact me.