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What is Self-Abandonment?

and how to recover from emotional trauma... by Danielle Wright

“If you find yourself becoming emotionally invested in someone or you have decided they are the only person you want to date, find out if the feeling is mutual. You don’t have to ask him, “What are we?” or “Where is this going?” Simply state how you are starting to feel and ask him if he feels the same way.” – Relationship Coach, Kevin Darne.


Many women knowingly enter into situationships in hopes that their partner will eventually change their mind about the circumstances and give them their heart's desire. Did you know that this tactic is a form of self-abandonment? We abandon ourselves when we don’t value ourselves, when we don’t act in our own best interest, and we do not encourage and comfort ourselves. Friends with benefits or a situationship more often than not serve to benefit one party, not both. Your male counterpart is not showing up for you emotionally all while you’re still expected to show up for them physically.


In most cases, this is not honoring your needs. When you do not recognize that your needs are valid or fail to practice self-care and feel unworthy of self-care you are abandoning yourself. In essence, you are inadvertently showing this person—the man you want a relationship with—that you are not the one for them.

When you conform or abandon your needs early on, or anytime really, you are telling the other person that they are more important and valuable than you are. No one wants $1 if they can have $100. What attracts most women to men is their ability to be selfish and their high standards and boundaries. Men do not rationalize bad behavior, they leave.


SELF-ABANDONMENT IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS/ SITUATIONSHIPS COMES IN THE FORM OF:

People Pleasing – Telling yourself that you do not want a relationship when in fact that is not true. But speaking of this may cause you to lose the person you like.


Hiding Parts of Yourself – Wearing makeup in the morning and before bed whenever your crush is around. Not staying true to yourself and your natural beauty.


Not Trusting Your Instincts – If you do not feel like a priority to your person but you are rationalizing this behavior by telling yourself, “He’s just busy” or “I don’t want to seem needy so I will wait another 5 hours until he responds.”


Not Acting According to Your Values – If you wish to have marriage before babies, do not compromise this! Find a man who wants the same. When you compromise this standard of yours the likelihood of your person changing and giving you what you want at a later time is slim.


Codependency – Focusing on their needs while again, abandoning your own. If you don’t drink juice but your crush does, you go and purchase juice for your home so he can have it when he comes over. This is not your boyfriend, why are you catering to him?


Showing up for yourself means having more self-control over your actions and emotions. Having intent and the self-discipline needed to stand your ground. Samantha Saunders, owner of movingbeyondyou.org says, “If you find yourself in a situation where you are not sure about the other person’s feelings or intentions, don’t be afraid to walk away. It is better to end things before they get too complicated or confusing.”

Related articles: 7 Stages of Trauma Bonding


WHERE DOES SELF-ABANDONMENT STEM FROM?

According to Live Well With Sharon Martin, “Self-abandonment begins in childhood. Likely, your parents or other influential adults did not meet your emotional and/or physical needs in childhood—they abandoned you emotionally or physically—causing you to feel unworthy or unlovable.”


This is most common with eldest children from middle-class or lower-class families. They grow up having to cater to and raise their younger siblings leaving themselves neglected in the process. As an adult the same rings true, catering to a man and ensuring that his basic needs are met: sex, food, shelter and sometimes clothing. Oddly enough the women who cater to men in this manner very early on do not end up being the woman he marries. This can lead to a person experiencing emotional trauma from this one-sided relationship ending.

Recovering from emotional trauma and learning to re-trust men again can be very difficult, but it starts with you, showing up for yourself! The time it takes for a person to recover depends on the kind of trauma they’ve endured and how hard they work at getting their life back on track. It is important to see a therapist during this time and talk about your abandonment issues, and how to overcome the fear of being alone to stop rejecting your needs and eradicate your boundaries.


Other things you can do to begin your recovery are meditating and exercising daily. It’s also important to talk to people close to you when you feel the need to keep your feelings to yourself. Emotional trauma coupled with self-abandonment can be extremely destructive in several ways. If left untreated this type of trauma can last for many years. Do not let that be you. Start your healing journey now.

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