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Pre-A Abandonment issues compound

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blakesteele posted 1/23/2014 05:51 AM

Pre-A Abandonment issues compound the pain of adultery. Adultery is abandonment. As I study and work on this part of me it is blatantly clear that my pain experienced by my wife's affair quickly rolled to and connected to the pain 12 year old blakesteele was in when his parents D and his Dad disappeared from his life completely and instantly.....a pain I didn't know I even had!

Note: this is why my hackles get up so quickly when people say. "Kids are resilient" and when my wife proudly stated while in her A and for months after "I hurt you but I would NEVER hurt our girls". I remember many adults commenting on how well us boys were doing, "I can tell blakesteele comes from a solid mother father family." Was a statement from a high school teacher to my Mom made in passing. Mom didn't correct him, that comment confirmed what I thought I knew.....that my failed relationship withy Dad did NOT hurt or affect me. It absolutely did! I didn't want to face it or feel it...... And for 30 years I never did..... Then my wife chose to have an affair.......

Back to my post......

My FOO issues, according to my counsellor and books I have read on them, has my threshold very low for rejection. Meaning a person without abandonment fears would have a higher threshold of discomfort regarding actual rejection and even when they are rejected it wouldn't hurt them as much because it would not roll back to the original rejection that occurred when I first was abandoned.

I have done many exercises to heal that original wound....made great strides so far. Hopeful to heal it completely someday. Kicker is....I didn't know in had these FOO issues, didn't know they influenced me, accredited my trauma level pain upon my wife's decision to commit adultery.... Took me 2 months of IC to uncover additional wounds in me that this pain was tied to.

My wife could not have chosen a more painful act from which to hurt me.....I think adultery is traumatic level pain for all BS' is compounded in those with abandonment issues in them by this "rolling and combining" thing that happens.

I like to believe I would hefty bag my wife's stuff if I had faced and worked through my original pain of being abandoned before my DD hit. I think that because I am confident I would do that now. And that is a factor of me facing, feeling, and processing pain.

F FOO issues!!!

Hope this is a heads up for those that are early in and are struggling to understand why you reacted as you did upon your respective DD' could be that your pain attached to another pain from a previous wound that was never tended to, that you might not even know you have.

God help us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:14 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

AML04 posted 1/23/2014 07:54 AM

Thank you for posting this. It is encouraging that identifying these issues in ourselves is a step to healing.

I definitely had unidentified abandonment issues from FOO. When I married my H I remember thinking I was with someone who I wouldn't have to take care of, that we would take care of each other. It didn't hit me until after that I also had a fear that I and my feelings were never considered with all the FOO issues that were going on. I was the smart one, they didn't need to worry about me, I could take care of myself. I have always felt like it wouldn't matter to anyone if I didn't exist...until I met my H.

When this happened all those fears came back because I felt, at least for those 3 years, WH really didn't think about what his action would do to me. It was like I didn't exist.

I'm having a really hard time with this one. Not sure how to start healing from it but I'm going to talk about it in IC tonight.

No real

[This message edited by AML04 at 7:54 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

blakesteele posted 1/23/2014 08:27 AM


"Journey from Abandonment to Healing" by Susan Anderson is a wonderful resource.

I am not sure my wife wouldnt benefit from reading it as I see many characteristics listed in it that she has too.....her FOO resembles mine in that her Dad was not there in any capacity either. There are differences in our FOO, but some surprising similarities too. But, we are still very much involved in solo journeys....I dont present things well to my wife regarding processing and healing....come across as "the guy with the answers" and exude a "self righteous attitude" and her disposition is to feel threatend when any sort of "control" or "engagement" is attempted without her initiating it. We are still trying to learn how to manage conflict.....stumbled again last night. 2-5 years to learn to R, right?

That book has exercises that absolutely help heal old wounds....and even this new wound my wife inflicted upon me. I

WARNING: It is a slow read.....I literally can read about 5 pages at a time and then have to work on what it talks about....but that work is what is helping me heal. has it for like $10 including shipping.

My old IC was skilled in this healing process too and was instrumental in stopping the bleeding from my wifes A and bringing to my attention what had happened with regards to the two traumatic experiences coming together.

Truthfully, abandonment within children is VERY common....and there are different levels. But when your Dad disappears from your life over night....thats pretty much the worst case scenario. I don't know if my Dad making the choice to do that versus if he had died makes a huge difference...but it is a factor.

You know, to this day my Dad profess's that what he did was the "best thing for us boys". I have done two things within the past 17 months that make that statement and belief sting less. My Father in law never has even admitted he disappeared from his daughters life.....just thought of that right now.

First, I have accepted I have real pain from my Dads decision....the pain is old pain...and I have started to process past it.

Second, I have done a lot of study on "feelings"....and the fact is my Dad FEELS this way. I have tried in vane to argue logic and points with my wife to invalidate her feelings since her A. What I have witnessed is the only real change my wife has accomplished has come about from her OWN searching and desire to change......I had zero net affect on her changing and I do believe my attempts actually SLOWED her desire TO change.

Truthfully, pre-A blakesteele would invalidate my wifes feelings. Hate that I did that, hate that I still stumble and do it again. Hate it especially NOW that I realize how my wife operates. She avoids her feelings....especially those that are not really good feelings. So when she DOES bring up and talk about her feelings.....even if it is just one sentence.....this is BIG for her. It is scary for her....and when I get into any sort of challenge or invalidation mode when discussing them with her....she is quick to drop out of the conversation and retreat inside. That is her FOO journey to explore and process through...and she is doing it.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:35 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

Morhurt posted 1/23/2014 10:04 AM

I never in my pre A life considered that I had abandonment issues. At all. It's so bizarre to have these childhood pains resurface. Like AML04 I was capable and didn't need much looking after. Or so I thought. I know I have unresolved feelings on this because it feels so bad to think about. (On my phone which sucks, going to post and then edit from the laptop)

Ok, back now and using a real keyboard...
I always thought my mom and I were a "team" and I felt so lucky (my parents split when I was a baby) to have her on my side, I never thought my Dad leaving was an issue for me. They got back together when I was 12 or so and I didn't really care, it was nice because the financial situation was better but that was it. I remember my dad would buy me lots of stuff and it made me angry that he thought he could buy my love. I'm guessing that's because I felt emotionally abandoned?

But truthfully I'm most hurt by mom. Over the years she consistently failed to protect me from potentially (or actually) dangerous situations. She allowed (or forced) me to make choices that were not reasonable for a child of my age. It hurts. Now that I have kids myself I can see that never in a million years would I allow them to be in those situations! It makes my inner child feel scared and unloved.

Uuuummmm.... Sorry BlakeSteele... not sure why I'm unloading this on your post. I'm late and need to go and yet feeling so "feely" and like I just need to get it out into the cyber world.

An example was that a family friend (of my grandparents, we lived with them at the time) that was staying with us touched me inappropriately when I was about 10. I didn't tell my mom until the next year when I heard he was coming to visit again (he lived over seas and came for months at a time). I asked her not to tell my grandparents or anyone and she DIDN'T!!! He came back and stayed in the same house as us again! And guess what, my mom did nothing to protect me from him. I protected myself but I quickly realized he had turned his attention to my 4 year old brother so I spent the next month keeping my little brother safe from him. I had to go everywhere with them (yes, my mom let him take us out on "dates" ). Sigh... I apologize again, wrong place to be venting this.

I told her years later that this creep had changed his attention to baby brother and she was surprised but that's it. When I told IC I was still defending Mom, I still felt so sure that she was my protector so she must have done the right thing. IC said "how would you have dealt with the situation if one of your kids told you that?"...

Right. Not like she did.

Ok, stopping now. whew.

[This message edited by Morhurt at 10:21 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

sisoon posted 1/23/2014 10:05 AM

I'm writing to share my own experience and to remind folks that we may think we know how we'd act 'if', but really, there are almost always lots of potential responses.

The child defines abandonment, so even the best parents can raise a kid who feels abandoned. And the kid decides how to respond to abandonment. My brother has the same parents as I did, looks exactly like me (and our father and his father), has some major beefs about the way he was raised, and is dysfunctional in much different ways than I am.

I used to have major issues with abandonment. If my W or son came home late, I became a wreck without realizing it - and note that I lived most of my life in the pre-cell phone era, so I went through that a lot.

I resolved it long before my W's A, and I didn't throw my W out. Resolving the issue allowed me to stay in touch with reality on D-Day and stay in touch with what I thought I wanted, with options and scenarios, etc. Not feeling abandoned allowed me to see W's A was about her, not about me, and that we might have a good future together if she fixed what was broken.

Resolving this issue had one negative effect that I can think of - when I felt abandoned during my W's A, I chalked it up to old shit coming back into my awareness, and that caused me to miss the fact that W was actually abandoning me. If I had interpreted what was happening more accurately, the confrontation would have occurred earlier.

If I had confronted hard before W was ready to end her A, I don't know where we'd be today - but that's not an issue for this thread.

On the whole, resolving my abandonment issues was one of the best things I ever did for myself. If you're afflicted with the issue, I recommend resolving it, without reservation.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:10 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

blakesteele posted 1/23/2014 10:24 AM

Cool addition Sisoon. A good reminder to me that I can't change the past nor predict the future.

With regards to my brothers.....I see many traits that are similar, but some that are starkly different. Same thing with my wife and her sister. We share FOO issues...but they are like we are.....different but related.

There ARE more to us than FOO issues. Just trying to open the eyes of others who may not have realized ALL that could be influencing them.

Interesting how your processing of abandonment actually created a sitch that prohibited you from realizing what was going on. My IC session revealed my LACK if processing and continued use of FOO coping mechs blinded me to do the same thing.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:28 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

AML04 posted 1/23/2014 13:16 PM

I'm definitely going to get that book, thanks for the rec!

My siblings and I all have very different FOO issues. I guess it makes sense because we are all different people. I have always been a stuffer. I don't know how many times I heard how strong I was but really, I wasn't dealing with anything. It would come out in different ways but eventually I would recognize those things weren't healthy and move on. I finally have come to realize that I still have a lot of healing to do.

[This message edited by AML04 at 8:22 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

AFrayedKnot posted 1/23/2014 19:15 PM

Sisoon- How did you resolve your abandonment issues? I have come to view them in myself as unresolvable kinda it is what it is situation.
End T/J

blakesteele posted 1/24/2014 06:36 AM

Gently Chico......."it is what it is" was an area that my former IC would focus on. I see you are too....just wanted to encourage you to don't stop at that keep going.

The way my counsellor viewed this was me trying to make feelings.....facts. I would argue my feelings as facts....must have been frustrating for her.

I read a book on feelings vs facts. This is when I really started to get what IC was pushing.

Then, through many conversations with my wife , I saw just exactly what she was doing as she continued to choose adultery . That whole relationship was spawned and nurtured by her ability to act on feelings as facts. It was not just her ability to compartmentalize and ignore facts.....she told herself her feelings were facts. And even discounted facts, like fAP giving her a poem early on, that told her she was on a slippery slope.

Just a friendly nudge....take what you want.

Peace .

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:40 AM, January 24th (Friday)]

cvs2kkids posted 1/24/2014 07:42 AM

Thanks to all who shared on this post.

I have been mostly trolling the boards, taking bits and pieces as I can.

My WW was a survivor of suicide (her dad), lived with a mom who cheated on him and moved in with a POS who wasn't kind to her (she was 10 at the time). A mom who is still has issues of her own.

My WW has a year long affair, which she ended before I even found out. But the overriding guilt caused her to push away and we even separated for a few months. She's now in intensive IC and healing on her own, but still regrets what happened beyond words.

I am starting to see her traumatic childhood has greatly shaped her and I was a fool early on thinking I could "fix her" with enough love.

After reading some of these FOO stories, I have wept for her.

We are in a great spot right now (1.5 years post Disc Day) and getting better.

RipsInMyChest posted 1/24/2014 08:06 AM

Another good topic. I have these issues as well and several months into healing, I realized how much my FOO issues were playing in to and being rolled in with my current crisis.

My father split when I was 1 so I never really knew him....he's still alive somewhere. My mother was a drug addict, alcoholic, and payed the bills by spreading her legs. I was Molested by several of her "boyfriends". In spite of this, I have always been strong, responsible, and goal oriented. Put myself through university and married well. Never acted out or rebelled. Never did self destructive things. I loved myself and respected myself. Everyone thinks I am a pillar of strength....and I thought so too...until my H's ONS.

I now realize the deep fear I have that no one sees my worth and that if I am not PERFECT, people won't love me. I realize how much I kept my feelings from my H so I wouldn't be a bother to him. Gotta be "low maintenance". If I am not, he will leave and find someone who isn't so needy.

Wow, typing that out makes me seem like a mess. You would never know it if you Met me.

So much work to do. I am so sad for all of the pain we all are going through.

sisoon posted 1/24/2014 08:14 AM

How did I resolve my issue? Alas, a lot of group therapy with good therapists. (It wasn't quick.)

I felt abandoned. I felt I deserved to be abandoned because, in Berne's TA terms, I was 'Not OK'. The cure was to believe 'I'm OK, you're OK, and they're OK. That's true now. It was always true. It will always be true. It's true even if I don't believe it.'

Note: Being OK doesn't mean problem-free, perfect, better than anyone else, or anything like that. The day I changed my belief I had the same problems and same imperfections as I had the day before. Alas, many persist until today....

To me, being OK means something like 'loving, lovable, and capable'. What more can a human being offer? What more does a human being need from someone else?

AFrayedKnot posted 1/24/2014 08:32 AM

Thank you Sisoon- OK, We are on the same page, changing the attitudes, ideas, and behaviors that came from abandonment. Not necessarily resolving the abandonment itself. I tried that, thinking it would magically make the attitude ,ideas and behavior stuff go away. It didn't work. When reading your comment, I got all excited again thinking there was a magic bullet. Back to awareness, courage, and vigilance for me.

jupiter13 posted 1/25/2014 02:06 AM

Hello first time to speak up or post here. I understand this completely. I started triggering while driving. While it started off normally the next thought took me completely by surprise as it was related to abuse I had gone through some 28 years ago. Abandonment issues and rejection have always been a part of who I am. I associate this to being adopted. We were always told to talk to our babies, play music for them and protect them even before they are born for fear that they could be damaged. Well no one wanted to address the unloved, unwanted baby that was placed for adoption. As an adopted child you are expected to be grateful that you now have a forever family to love you. By this time the seeds have been planted just as the happy love baby is brought into the world too. I do believe these feelings are intensified each time you experience abandonment and rejection. You are extremely sensitive to these emotions. When you experienced the betrayal and abandonment of adultery you are not as prepare to handle these issues as a person who has not dealt with them before. I also think you experience these emotions on a much more deeper level and they are just that much more crippling and harder to recover from. I am feeling totally destroyed by this on so many different levels. I am also by-polar with panic/anxiety disorder and somewhat agoraphobic. My fear of strangers has increased even to the point that talking on the phone will trigger an attack.

AFrayedKnot posted 1/25/2014 07:48 AM


I too was adopted. My fear of abandonment and its dysfunctional defense mechanisms are recognizable in even my earliest childhood memories.

It has been a life long struggle to let people in. And then when we finally do they too abandon us. It reinforces or need to self protect. Ultimately what we lose in that self protection is us. We lose our freedom.

Find yourself. Be true to yourself. Then and only then can we be secure with or without the security from others.

sisoon posted 1/25/2014 10:43 AM

(((Jupiter))) (((chicho)))

I have lots of thoughts about what you've posted, but I expect writing them they won't help. I will just say this:

You're still loving, lovable, and capable, and you always have been.

That's a generalization I will stand by.

jupiter13 posted 1/27/2014 05:59 AM

Thank you for not minimizing my perception about adoptions issues.
Chicho I'm glad you can relate I like to know where my issues come from and knowing it's not my fault, that this is something that is actually normal has helped me to work around this shortcoming I like to call it now. As it is something in me I can not fix it can be worked around and understood to be whit it is it does not define who I am but rather gives me a different perspective on how to deal with life on life's terms.
(((sisoon)))) Thank You for your wonderful words of who we are. You are right every last one of us is capable of loving, and being loved once we accept it. I have a lifetime of abuse and have worked very hard to over come it and thought I had when I married. On my D-DAy my WH not only told me about what was going on he did so by putting his hands on me. This had made the process of recovering much harder and taken me back to old history. I have had to relive those abuses and place each one back where it belongs. I just this is what the PTSD is from. My Wh is not responsible for all of the pain I have had to go through and I do not hold him to it. His part alone is all I have asked him to be responsible for. I know who I am I know what I believe in and what I stand for. I am a very strong person most of the time but this has rocked my world. These issues have to be dealt with one way or another but I so don't want too.

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