A Guide To Understanding The Fear Of Abandonment And Object Constancy

A Guide To Understanding The Fear Of Abandonment And Object Constancy

Are you scared that you will be left alone?

Fear of abandonment, to its excess, could show up as a lingering feeling of insecurity, intrusive thoughts, emptiness, unstable sense of self, clinginess, neediness, extreme mood fluctuations and frequent relationship conflicts. On the flip side, we might cope by cutting off completely, and become emotionally numb.

Anxiety is a normal part of being in an intimate relationship. It usually comes in two forms- the fear of abandonment, and the fear of engulfment. If our previous experience in life or childhood was unstable or if we had unreliable caregivers, in relationships, we fear we will be abandoned. If our parents were controlling or we grew up in an enmeshed household environment, we will fear when people come too close we will be swamped, lose our sense of self or independence.

People with anxious- preoccupied attachment tend to experience a lot of fears over abandonment and rejection. While people with other attachment styles also have the same fears, people with this attachment pattern tends to feel them more consciously and have developed persistent emotional and behavioral patterns around these fears. In contrast to avoidant people who are excessively independent, anxiously-preoccupied people may seek constant assurance, approval from their partners, and become overly dependent..

 

Do You Struggle With The Fear Of Abandonment?

You are hypervigilant and are always watching out for signs that your partner is losing interest in you. You are suspicious when your partner is not around, responding to you or reply to your messages. You are suspicious and jealous of their contact with others. You may become needy, clingy or challenge them, and they are frustrated that you do trust them more.

When your partner is not ‘insight’, you become overwhelmed by feelings of clinginess and a sense of ‘helplessness rage’ that you cannot express. You find it difficult to have a sense that others hold you in mind when they are away, but you also don’t want to come across as being jealous and possessive.

You feel a deep sadness and hollowness when people you are attached to are not physically by your side. You may have an unexplainable fear that someone important to you will be hurt, killed, or disappear suddenly.

You feel triggered by even the subtlest signs of criticisms. You experience ‘flashbacks’— visual or emotional — of the humiliation you had in childhood. When others don’t explicitly express praise or affections, you feel rejected; but when they compliment you or express love for you, you are not able to trust them.

You attach easily and sometimes trust people who were not ready for intimacy to begin with. You may also overstay in relationships that you know are unhealthy for you. When the relationship breaks down, you blame yourself and believe it was because you were not good enough.

Are you struggling with the fear of abandonment and object constancy? Read Breaking The Cycle Of Abandonment

Sometimes, you feel like you are re-creating the psychodynamic with parents who were inconsistent in their love. Your parents were nice one day and cruel the other; warm one day and cold the other. Their contradictory communication creates confusion. As a child you could not relax into the safety net of parental embrace; even when love was given, you fear it would go away. You were always watching out for the next sudden withdrawal of affection or anger blow-out.

You compare yourself to others often and feel like you are less desirable or lovable. You have a harsh inner critic that continuously criticize or threatens you. You may seek constant validation and reassurance from your partner, to the point where it gets tiring for both of you.

You are always watching out for the subtle signs of another person pulling away. This nervous energy saps energy that could otherwise have been available for productive work.

You don’t believe that you are good enough, so you overcompensate by being compliant and agreeable, sometimes disowning your needs. Resentment builds in the background, and you may suddenly have an anger outburst and surprises yourself and those around you. You later regret your reactions because your anger makes them distance themselves even more.

Share on

1 thought on “A Guide To Understanding The Fear Of Abandonment And Object Constancy”

  1. I loved Your article. It’s def me down to a T. I have Intense fear of being alone. Especially as nighttime approaches. The anxiety starts like it does every single time. II’ve dealt with abandonment issues throughout my life. My 1st husband left me ans our baby girl when she was 2. Came home packed his bags gave her a hug and a kiss and told us he had to leave. Out of the blue, no warning! Def messed my head up. It all started when i was a baby, got worse and worse as i got older. I was ripped away from my older brothers and sisters when i was 8 to go live with my mom and her new husband far away from my family and friends. I was the baby out of 5 kids who were all much older then me. Then the sexual and mental abuse started when she went to work from my step dad. Also, my mom was physically and mentally abused from my dad and my step dad. I watched her get beat up so many times. When i was as little as 5 I remember watching my dad strangle my mom so bad with her feet dangling from the floor, I would try to help her. I would punch, bite, kick or do whatever i could to get her free. My sister who was 5 yrs older would run and hide in the closet. My other sister and two brothers weren’t home a lot so they weren’t there to help. I’ve always been abandoned by people I loved since i was a baby until now as an adult. I am So fucked up because of it and from other obvious reasons. I am In a very bad place right now, my anxiety is very severe. I’ve tried suicide 2 times in my life. 18 and 25 and I think About it often. I just get this overwhelming feeling of peace when I think About it. I know i need help but can’t go anywhere to get it. I need to see a therapist that can do video chat with me. I can never keep appts. I always Cancel at the last minute. Don’t know why I do that Either. Any kind of plans I’m usually canceling.
    Anyway, Thank you for posting this article it helped me understand myself a little more.
    I am Currently separated from my husband rn and have my own apt which btw, is a horrible idea for people like me. So I let someone move in with me that I started Seeing and fell in love with him. But now I’m so confused cuz I actually still love my husband too. Can someone be in love with two ppl at the same time ?? Ugh!! I’ve made my life very complicated!!!! If you know of any good coaches that could actually try and help me I would Appreciate it immensely!!! Cuz I need A lot of help If I want To survive any longer.
    I do want to live I just don’t know how anymore. My 27 year old daughter is the only one that keeps me going every sad lonely fucked up day. She’s seriously my reason for living. She’s freaking amazing. Beautiful inside and outside. Everyone falls in love with her. She’s one of a kind and I can’t believe this train wreck of a mom raised this beautiful creature.
    So sorry I hope I didnt Scare you with all my crazy talk. I guess I was Feeling very emotional after i read your article and needed to vent to you. It’s ok if you don’t reply back. It felt good to let it out.
    Take care!! ❤️✌and that’s all I ever Wanted.!!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top