HEALING THE ABANDONMENT ABYSS, PART 1
By CC Treadway
For those of us who have experienced this most intense of all wounds, we know how serious it is. I have found in my healing practice that when it comes down to it, everyone is dealing with abandonment, whether it comes in the form of the fear of rejection, the habitual pattern of love avoidance or good old fashioned codependency and love addiction. From my observations, even those that claim to not experience it really do, it’s just more shrouded.
What is so heartbreaking to see is the judgment and shame that people place on it, not knowing that their reactions are normal. It hurts to be left, but we usually internalize the rejection, making ourselves wrong and unlovable. The good news is that this universal wound is actually something manageable and healable.
One of my biggest teachers has been the abandonment wound.
Coming clean with myself about it and lifting the judgment around it has been one of the most powerful healing responses for both my clients and myself. I continue to grow and learn from it. The fact is codependency is the model we are given for relationship, so its not just the super wounded who need to look at it. However, people who have had early childhood abandonment or abuse will have a more difficult time coping with it as an adult, and yet their system will be patterned for it, so they may find they are reliving brutal rejection and mistreatment time after time, with no tools and no hope to recover or change.
Some events that can trigger this old and unhealed wound are a breakup, a death, being fired, a friendship suddenly ending or an intimate partner or friend who is emotionally unavailable. As a healer and a human, I wanted to dive as deeply into the healing of this wound as I could.
Coming Clean with Myself
Years ago, after a debilitating breakup that left me completely bereft, I devoted myself to healing it. I was sick of feeling awful and powerless, sick of feeling ashamed of my real needs, exhausted from covering up the pain for so long. Of course it wasn't just this breakup, it was ancient, it had always been with me. So I spent five full months tracking when feelings of abandonment would surface. Sometimes it was triggered by an event as simple as saying goodbye to a friend after a movie, other times it would just come over me with no warning. Mostly it was triggered by the loss of that relationship and what that said about my ability to trust myself, and as it turned out, God.
When you get hit by that wound, the mildest reaction is just feeling a bit of sad, lonely discomfort. The most intense reaction is that you feel as though you are completely lost and alone and you must be fed by an external source to survive, addictive feelings begin to control you. It feels like there is nothing supporting you, and nothing to fall back on. It feels like every person in your life doesn’t love you enough or the right way. You begin to try and control your environment and monitor other’s behaviors. It is unhealed child consciousness at its strongest. You must find a primary care giver or you will die. That is the intensity of the emotion.
Sick of trying to cover it up, I finally had to surrender to the experience. I wanted to know just how much it was controlling me. I knew that I would be healing it on a deeper level rather than just applying coping mechanisms, or talking myself out of it.
After this heartbreak, I felt an emptiness and hopelessness inside that was unending and inconsolable, but I had felt this before. Taking responsibility for and confronting the abandonment wound is saying that you are willing to face your deepest fear, your deepest pain. While many things happened in my life to assist in healing this pain, it was my unyielding commitment to the process that brought that about.
The Abandonment Abyss
In those moments where the pain would hit me, I would just sit with myself as the adult, caring witness. I found myself in a deep, black abyss of nothing. It was petrifying at first. And then my child consciousness would appear, crying her eyes out. At the same time that my child consciousness suffered, blamed and cried, my adult consciousness would witness with infinite love, patience and understanding. I had to be strong. I did this again and again and again, sometimes every few minutes in a day.
One time I had to do it for almost three days straight. It was not easy at all, in fact one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I did not let my child take over by affecting my adult behavior. I did not let her “go to the empty well for a drink” as my healer would say. The empty well would be something like trying to get attention from my ex-boyfriend, even if it was ultimately unsatisfying and hurtful. It would have been reaching for ice cream, or talking on the phone non-stop, or not taking responsibility and blaming him. For others it might be drugs, cigarettes or meaningless sex.
Without those vices, I found myself getting to the ultimate wounds- first, abandonment by parents and all the psychology around that, and then inevitably, abandonment by God. That pain was the core, it was unbearable, it was gut wrenching. I felt I had been rejected and betrayed by God, that I didn’t matter at all, the pain was excruciating. I had no choice but to sit with those feelings, to really feel them, to let them out, to hear them.
I sat with this pain a lot. I wanted to be completely unafraid of it. And after some time it was enough. A huge relief washed over me. It was like the weight of the world lifted out of me, making room for the warm, comforting presence of the Divine. It happened automatically, with no preconceived idea that it would. I was overjoyed and felt so cared for. I could feel God within me, filling me, healing me. That was what I really wanted.
The abandonment abyss is what most people are doing anything to avoid, but the truth is, if you face it, it passes. And once you get through it, it gets easier and easier.
Abandonment as Your Ally
Now, the interesting thing is that abandonment has become my ally. Whenever it gets triggered, and it still gets triggered, an instant self love reaction takes place. I had no idea this would happen. Each time I am able to touch deeper parts of the beloved within. The best part is that it’s no one else’s responsibility, so I’ve got the power. Trusting that we are loved and cared for in the midst of chaos takes this practice to a whole new level. It’s challenging, but it’s the only way I know to feel safe.
Abandonment Is a Creative Tool
The other great thing about abandonment is creativity. The best tool we can have right now is our creativity. We will need it to navigate the new world. As our dependency on a corrupt system is crumbling, we need to create the new. Songs, writing, drawing, new business based on love…. all can fill up that seemingly empty void and there is enough for all. This channeling from my guide team describes how abandonment and creativity are linked.
You hold a lot of power as you honor yourself, as you love all parts of yourself. For so long you have tried to eradicate abandonment and now what you are doing is just simply letting go of the idea that it is wrong, it is a gift of story for you as a human, it is a great teacher and there is infinite space and colors in the wound of abandonment. Can you feel the limitless possibilities of creation in the space of abandonment? Can you feel that within yourself - how profound a feeling it is to sit in that space of longing, of emptiness, of pain that seems to stretch as wide as you could possibly fee? Well it is no accident, it is Creators choice, your choice to experience this pain and create within it. There are so many possibilities in life but this vacancy is the abyss. This vacancy is the abyss.
And so as you bring forth your creations in this void of voids, you heal, you make more room for yourself, for your expansion, for your colors, for your music, and as you bring in the creativity, divine love pours from your soul, reminding you of who you are, reminding you that this is all temporary and it is a gift. For creativity is divine. It is direct food, the elixir of your being. Feel the gratitude for such a unique expression of who you are, for such a deep experience of your fullness, your completeness in the vacancy. Do not fear this place, but use it now. Use it to heal. For you understand now, that it is not just there to torture you but to serve you into your highest potential. The abandonment wound opens up limitless space for your creations, for you.
You can bring in the love, let it shower the pain, let it heal the pain, but only when you accept that this emptiness, this loneliness is there as a gift to serve you as a human can you experience the joy of being abandoned, only to discover you are more than you were before. I know what you are thinking, “How could that be joyful?” but we tell you, humanity is just simply irreplaceable, impossible to replicate, it’s perfect. Thank yourself for choosing this crazy pain, this crazy bliss and create within it.
So the next time you feel someone has left you, the next time you feel you need someone else to fill that empty hole, make it bigger, make that pain as big and wide as you can and start to create. Fill it up, paint the canvas, pick up the guitar, cook a meal, or simply feel every particle of your being expand. This is experiential, you must try it. There is purpose in every experience here. Don’t waste it. Let it fill you, let it be you, choose it again and again, every day. Choose your creative longing to expand within. Choose your humanity. Be proud of who you are, even in your darkest moments you are so brave to live this challenge. We sit in awe of your strength, of your efforts, of your potential.
Coming Back into Community
That channeling was so reassuring to me. Through the healing of this wound, and the commitment to tend to it, create from it and love myself, I was able to receive true friendship, true partnership and true community. Life naturally opened up to the bounty of the Universe and I was never alone again.
(c) 2007- 2011 CC Treadway. A