A fear of abandonment can severely impact you and your relationships. If you are always seeking reassurance from your partner that they love you and won’t leave you, but never feel genuinely relieved, this might be an indication of abandonment issues.
This can result in difficulty building a strong, healthy relationship.
This article will help you understand why you feel the way you do. Once you get to know your enemy, we will show you the way out of the grip it holds over you. Rest assured, you can abandon your fear of abandonment, and you will once you know how.
In this article, you will learn:
- What fear of abandonment is
- How to know if you are afraid of abandonment
- How abandonment issues may affect your life
- Where does the fear of abandonment come from
- How to overcome abandonment issues
But what exactly is a fear of abandonment?
What Is Fear of Abandonment?
Fear of abandonment , also sometimes called autophobia or simply “abandonment issues”, is the overwhelming worry that your loved ones will leave. People fearing abandonment experience lingering insecurity. Intrusive thoughts about being left haunt them all the time. The attempts to get reassurance that their loved ones will not leave usually cause distress to everyone in the relationship. Yet, they are never truly reassured and never feel safe.
In most cases, people with abandonment issues tie their worries to their partner or child. In essence, it is an attachment problem. Every healthy relationship has a natural balance of security and necessary limits.
However, when you have abandonment issues, you cannot tolerate these borders between you and your loved ones. You perceive your relationships as lacking security entirely. As a result, your whole life might become directed by your hunger for reassurance.
Is fear of abandonment a mental illness?
It is natural to feel some insecurity in your relationships and yearn for safety. Yet, there are different levels of fearing whether someone you love will leave your side.
When excessive anxiety about separation from important people lasts for over six months, it may be classified as a disorder. It is, in fact, quite prevalent. To meet this criterion, the fear, on the whole, needs to be recurrent, disproportionate, and debilitating. In fact, abandonment can even result in PTSD, as it can be considered a form of trauma.
Even if your fear does not reach those heights, it is still a devastating emotion to live with.
What are the Signs of Abandonment Issues?
For some, the overwhelming anxiety about being rejected by peers, schools, companies, or partners has been a constant company.
However, in many cases, abandonment issues come with a bang once they become involved with the right person. The right person, in this case, means the person who triggers the buried dreads. Or, the fear shows its face when a person becomes a parent.
What does this longing for assurance look like in practice?
A very common sign of abandonment issues is experiencing terror when presented with any situation that would take you away from your loved ones. You always imagine the worst-case scenario. You might believe harm will befall them and separate them from you, or that they would leave you on their own.
If your partner is heading out with friends, you imagine them meeting a new love and leaving you. Whenever you are not by your partner’s side, you are convinced that they are cheating. You are obsessed with checking on them, incapacitated by the belief that they do not love you enough. You cannot function due to the fear of being left by your partner.
Another common sign of abandonment trauma is, if your fear of abandonment transfers to your children, you might shrink from the idea of them leaving your side, even for the shortest time. You need to be constantly around them, monitoring them. Many helicopter parents have profound separation anxiety. Deep inside, you fear that your child won’t love you and will leave you as soon as they get old enough to do so.
How Abandonment Issues May Affect Your Life
Fear of abandonment is a primal, inborn fear, not something we can get rid of completely. However, this natural state can become overwhelming and take over your life.
When you are disproportionately afraid of being rejected and left by those you love and need, the quality of your life suffers. Your career, friendships, romantic and family relationships all take a toll. Most importantly, you become vulnerable to many forms of ill-treatment.
Becoming a victim of exploitation
Fear of abandonment, when disproportionate, can severely spoil your chances of a fulfilled life. Not being able to find reassurance within yourself comes hand-in-hand with low self-esteem.
You may find yourself bending over backward to get some sort of confirmation of your worth. This is something many of those with bad intentions could take advantage of. People suffering from strong separation anxiety often fall victim to exploitation and manipulation.
People with abandonment issues are vulnerable to emotional disturbances. High levels of depression, anxiety, and stress are ubiquitous among such individuals. Insecure attachment can even lead to a heightened risk of suicide.
If you receive therapy for those issues, it might not work. This is because the fear of abandonment is ingrained into your subconsciousness. It requires a thorough rehaul of your mindset. Hypnosis-based interventions that dig deep into your subconscious convictions and fears are perfect for getting rid of abandonment anxiety.
Dysfunctional romantic relationships
Apart from feeling awful all the time, you might engage in highly dysfunctional relationships. There are two pathways towards unhealthy relationships for those fearing abandonment.
The first is finding a responsive and loving partner whom you will push away. Why would someone who fears rejection and abandonment do that, you might wonder? Because it is safe. It confirms your beliefs and gives you a sense of control. It also prevents surprises. For those terrified of being abandoned, surprises are their worst nightmare.
The second path towards detrimental relationships is choosing the kind of partners that are toxic and get into codependent relationships with them. In this case, you would unmistakably pick out the partners who are detached and will eventually abandon you.
Codependent relationships are those where partners pathologically need the other. They often lead to lives being ruined by the loss of identity and autonomy. Abandonment issues are at the roots of such a detrimental bond.
If abandonment happens to you, in this case, it is actually a positive outcome. However, unfortunately, many of those terrified of abandonment are willing to stay in a relationship even when it’s destructive.
They also tend to engage with abusive partners. The abuse leads to devastating consequences in one way or the other. A study of incarcerated women found that abandonment issues were common in victims of partner violence who ended up killing or severely injuring their abusers.
What Causes Fear of Abandonment?
The root of the problem is usually seated deeply within the subconscious mind. In most cases, people acquire a predisposition for abandonment issues during early childhood. They then replay this pattern throughout their entire lives. The effects of child abandonment in adulthood can be damaging and persevering.
In some cases, the child was truly abandoned. If your parents left or were inconsistently there for you for any reason, you probably underwent an abandonment trauma that scarred you. This often happens in abusive and highly dysfunctional families, when parents leave to work for a long period, or when caregivers die.
However, there might also not be any apparent child abandonment. If you grew up with an emotionally cold and distant parent, you might have felt forsaken as a child. You were trying to please the parents to get them to warm up to you. Yet, it never worked.
What happens if you don’t receive unconditional love as a child?
Not receiving unconditional love and the basic sense of emotional security during childhood makes it difficult to develop object constancy. It is a process during which children learn to feel their parents’ love as a constant without needing the parents’ presence and reassurance. If we did not achieve object constancy, we never learned to trust our bond with others.
This often leads to adult separation anxiety. We need a persistent presence of those we love to be able to see their devotion. We cannot find it in us to have faith in their affection if they are not physically present, picking up the phone, or checking in.
Whichever form of abandonment trauma you underwent in childhood, it is now embedded into your deepest beliefs. It became automated. Reasoning does not help. This is also why many cognitive and behavioral forms of therapy do not resolve the problem. They do not address the deep-seated unconscious beliefs causing the terror you experience at the thought of being separated from your loved ones.
How Do You Overcome Abandonment Issues?
Defeating fear of abandonment might be a steep mountain to climb. Nonetheless, it can be done. You probably spent your entire life tolerating harshness—from others and yourself. If you want to build your autonomy and become a fulfilled individual, it is time to change the way you relate to yourself and others.
People with a severe fear of abandonment complex usually become people-pleasers.
When you are all about gratifying others, you push your needs and wants aside. Extreme selflessness, in this case, is not a sign of virtue. Instead, it is a harmful habit. It comes out of your fears, not altruism. Therefore, you need a healthy balance between doing good to others and taking care of yourself.
Start by being kind to yourself. Give yourself a psychological (and a physical) hug and tell yourself that you are loved, and it will be alright. You will always be there for you. Then, commit to giving yourself plenty of chances to do the things you enjoy.
Set aside time for yourself. Develop healthy habits. It may not be obvious at first, but all of this leads to preparing the ground for addressing your fear of abandonment. By giving yourself enough love, you will gradually become less dependent on others to make you feel good.
Challenge and change your views of yourself
Abandonment fears make you unrealistic. You expect yourself to elicit divine love in everyone. You expect others to fuse with you in order for you to feel safe. It is time to shed some light on those irrational beliefs and forsake them.
You could, for example, start by taking assertiveness training. It is more than just a communication technique. Assertiveness is based on a profound respect for our needs and those of others. When you make assertiveness a habit of mind, you will gradually work towards learning that not one person is obliged to please the other.
The next step is learning to work your mind. Your thoughts control your feelings. Your feelings control your actions. And your actions control your outcomes. This is a powerful principle Marisa Peer teaches her clients to adopt.
Marisa Peer is an award-winning therapist, world-renowned speaker, author, and founder of Rapid Transformational Therapy® (RTT®). She explains that when we are overwhelmed with self-doubt, we lose touch with ourselves and our minds. We are trying to control the events, when, instead, we should be addressing the root cause of our troubles—our thoughts.
Marisa has decades of experience in changing people’s lives. She has helped thousands of people, including international superstars, royalty, CEOs, and top athletes. She can also help you. Her principles are simple, practical, and powerful. Anyone can easily apply them to their life.
How does it work?
Here is how it works. Work on addressing misconceptions that haunt you and transform them into healthy beliefs.
“We are all responsible for our deeds, as well as our feelings.”
“I can be out there on my own without needing others’ confirmation of how worthy or lovable I am.”
“I have my limits and self-respect.”
A simple yet extremely powerful affirmation that will help you with your abandonment issues is “I Am Enough.” It is a simple but life-changing phrase.
When you repeat to yourself “I Am Enough” many times every day, your brain will rewire. It will abandon the “I am unlovable” mindset. “I Am Enough” will sink in, and you will gradually accept it as the truth. With such a belief at your back, you will start feeling empowered, confident, and capable. You will no longer feel that you need to cling to your loved ones to feel safe.
Work on adding one such thought into your belief system at a time by repeating it throughout the day, and they will gradually replace the fear of being abandoned and unloved.
Work on your relationship mindset
You receive what you give out. It is an ancient wisdom that will never get old. When you are obsessed with your fear of being rejected, you will unconsciously seek partners who will, indeed, dismiss you.
When you believe that you are not worthy enough, you will be attracted to people who do not see your worth. If you radiate the belief that you are not lovable, you will not receive true love.
If you are fed up with the self-fulfilling prophecy of yet another failed relationship, try the ‘Dating and Relationships’ hypnosis audio bundle designed by Marisa Peer. Break the cycle of going from one dysfunctional relationship to another.
This bundle will help you release any negative beliefs that may be holding you back from the intimacy and connection you deserve. The audios help you recognize that you deserve your perfect relationship and how to get there. Then, you will rewire and reprogram your mind to instill unwavering confidence. Finally, you will permanently incorporate a belief inside you that you are lovable, and make the other see it too.
Move on from fear of abandonment
You have spent enough of your life encaged by your fear and anxiety. You are a lovable and loved individual. All you need is a bit of support to get you on your feet and become a brave, authentic being. Only by loving yourself and feeling sufficient by yourself can you truly give love to others. Do not wait any longer, and book a call with an RTT® specialist to help you move on from your fear and into a new, liberated life.
Try a self-hypnosis audio
A fear of abandonment stems from the feeling of not being good enough. But this feeling doesn’t have to last forever. Marisa Peer has created a Lovability self-hypnosis audio, which helps you develop unshakeable confidence, and teach you how to love yourself so you can take on the world. Purchase the audio today and get noticeable results fast.
Talk to a therapist
Getting rid of the fear of abandonment on your own can be extremely difficult. This is because most people with separation anxiety are so deeply engulfed in the fear and its consequences, that they cannot find the way out. The wrong people surround them. They are overwhelmed with the terror of being left and rejected. Their careers might have suffered because they relinquished all their ambitions. They have no hobbies because they committed all their efforts to please their partners. They are, ironically, lonely, fearful, and feel empty.
If this is you, you need someone who will give you unconditional positive regard, and teach you to be emotionally self-sufficient at the same time. You need to talk to a specialized therapist. With such a professional by your side, you will finally find your way out of the maze.
Your fear of abandonment might have been dormant for most of your life. However, once triggered, it is hard to address it merely by arguing about its irrationality. The problem is that it is deeply rooted in your subconscious mind.
In the majority of cases, we acquired this fear during childhood, when our thinking was vastly different from what it is today. Reasoning with your misconceptions about yourself at the conscious level might not work. Instead, you need to get in touch with and heal those childhood wounds.
Marisa found in her practice that every single issue troubling us is seated within our minds. When we learn how to work with our mind, we can resolve all of our issues.
Rapid Transformational Therapy® (RTT®)
Rapid Transformational Therapy® is a revolutionary method created by Marisa Peer. Marisa’s approach combines neuroscience, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and cognitive behavioral therapy to address the roots of our problems. It is accredited by the National and International Council of Psychotherapists, International Association of Complementary Therapists, plus the International Institute of Complementary Therapies.
RTT® is a combination of therapeutic techniques that engage with your subconscious mind. It will tap into your subconscious erroneous beliefs and awaken the healing potential that lies within you. The method helps you bypass your conscious mind and address the roots of your problem in a safe, accepting environment. You will easily let go of your debilitating beliefs and fears—and rewire your mind with RTT®.
We recommend Rapid Transformational Therapy® ‘Find A Specialist Therapist’ service. It connects you to a specialist, personally trained by Marisa Peer to the highest standards. These specialists have proven expertise, outstanding levels of client satisfaction, and exceptional skills in applying the RTT® methodology.
An RTT® therapist can help you quickly and permanently get rid of your fear of abandonment.