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Anxiety over abandonment - is it unhealthy

So @DruidChild and myself (and @Sally-RO) have been discussing anxiety around people. Particularly around making people like us to the point anxiety becomes too much when we get rejected and people leave. So it kind of comes down to a fear of abandonment when people have had enough.


I have a history of unstable relationships (not romantic) so I have now almost convinced myself not to trust people - also not really that healthy.


The aim of the thread:


- do others have this fear of people not liking them, rejecting them and leaving them?

- do others try to stop people from leaving?

- how can we identify when we are doing this?

-what are some ideas to stop doing this and still have our needs met?


Hope this all makes sense Smiley Happy

Re: Anxiety over abandonment - is it unhealthy

Thanks for starting this thread @loves netball! Smiley Happy 


I have soo many strategies for trying to make people stay and a lot of the time it crosses over into what could basically be called attention seeking. I've kind of realised that part of the reason I need people to like me or feel sorry for me is because I don't like myself very much, or feel that I have any qualities that would make someone genuinely want to be around be unless they felt bad for me. So maybe working on our self worth would be a good first step? 


Ooh, those last two questions are super tricky Smiley Tongue I really haven't worked out how to tell in the moment what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, or how to get my needs met otherwise. Hmm. 

Re: Anxiety over abandonment - is it unhealthy

For me I think it comes from feeling empty A LOT, and yeah I unfortunately hate myself and love to tell myself everything negative that I can think of. Very counterproductive


@DruidChild I don't know how to answer those questions either; I seem to be thinking too much like a counsellor - I've been asked/told similar things before. I must spend too much time obsessed in my own mental health and not enough time living Smiley LOL

Re: Anxiety over abandonment - is it unhealthy

@loves netball I relate to the emptiness thing as well! They're really good questions to be asking...I just need to think about them a bit more before I have a go at answering them! Smiley Happy

Re: Anxiety over abandonment - is it unhealthy

Awesome thread @loves netball - the feeling empty is so spot on I am familiar with that one. I definitely think we all get a bit of anxiety over abandonment at times. I experienced it recently, I guess it is sort of finding the healthy balance between attachment and independence, if that makes sense? Smiley Happy

Re: Anxiety over abandonment - is it unhealthy

@Bree-RO would you mind sharing your experience? Sorry if this is inappropriate to ask Heart

Re: Anxiety over abandonment - is it unhealthy

Good thread idea @loves netball
For me, I've had lots of people come in and out of my life, especially people who said they would and were supposed to care for me, so the feelings of anxiety around people leaving can be quiet strong at times, I think I've learnt to deal with it a little better but is something I struggle with. I agree with finding balance like @Bree-RO said.
I also just wanted to let you know about a similar experience you are going through @loves netbal, ages ago I was contacting Eheadspace and the worker I had went on leave and actually never came back, they must of had a family emergency or got a new job quickly or something I had all these feelings being abandoned by somebody I trusted, shared everything with including details of abuse I'd experienced, and i felt so hurt, so please know that I don't think what has happened with KHL is your fault at all, and unfortunately in the mental health feild, or any feild things come up for people and it is really is not a reflection on you 

//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: Anxiety over abandonment - is it unhealthy

@j95 good point, can be quite a bit more painful if you've shared really personal things and then they are nowhere to be found. How'd you overcome it?

Sure @loves netball well I think it's a constant in life you know, people come and go. Sometimes I meet people and I connect with them so immensely that I just fear the concept of them going.. Friends and loved ones you name it! I think for me the key is acknowledging time in the present moment, taking it day by day.

Re: Anxiety over abandonment - is it unhealthy

@Bree-RO you sound so strong (I'm jealous).

I can't talk to people about this because then they say I have dependent personality disorder.


I refuse to go out and meet people because it will just keep happening. I know this might be kind of obvious but the whole past week I've been feeling determined to end things for this very fact. Like what @j95 said, I open up to people, tell them too much and they leave.


@DruidChild perhaps we need to look at what makes us feel less empty?

Re: Anxiety over abandonment - is it unhealthy

I didn't cope with it very well @Bree-RO and Eheadspace admitted to me that it wasn't handled very well, I was really old told that this person had left at the end of my "final appointment" which had to be taken by somebody else. At first I was shocked and confused and got angry at them but I guess i overcame it by looking back on how much I had learnt and how I went from not being able to trust anyone to opening up, which was tough for me, so I completley looked past the whole "I've been abandoned" thing and looked more at what the journey with them was like and the postives about it, what they taught me etc. and by changing my perspective from being angry about it, Eheadspace were able to work with me briefly about that abandonment stuff. It's all over now though, that was a couple of years ago.

I think what I've been doing to handle when people leave is valuing the relationships with people who have left and making sure my experiences with people leaving aren't always negative - I can't really control it that much but I guess it's about valuing it.

Like, all my carers when I was younger, left me and handed me on to someone else - negative
Dad left - negative
My counsellor who left a few weeks ago - Doesnt have to be negative, they helped me with a lot and it's time for a change (new counsellor)
Ex partner left me (ages ago) - Doesn't have to be negative, I learnt a lot of from them and was a good part of my life

Is what I'm saying making sense??

//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//