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Q: How do I cope with my abandonment issues?

A: You're asking about one of the subjects I'm most interested in, and one area in which I deal with a lot of hurting people in my counseling practice. It's certainly been a big part of my own life story and recovery. Abandonment takes many shapes, such as the obvious example of a parent physically leaving the family. Often, however, abandonment occurs in more subtle (though not less damaging) ways. A parent can emotionally abandon a child, for instance, whenever he or she relinquishes their biblical responsibilities in terms of leadership, nurturing, teaching, and modeling Christ. Another example is one parent failing to intervene when the other parent is being abusive, thereby enabling the dysfunction to continue. The ways in which we abandon or can be abandoned are as diverse as are the families themselves. And all abandonment is abuse.

It is, however, a difficult thing to pin down for description. Ideally, I like to work one on one with someone, looking into their past, family of origin issues, history, etc. For you to accomplish this effectively, it is best to work with a counselor face to face, someone you can really trust to make this journey with you.

First, you should probably educate yourself a bit on the subject (if you haven't already), and I've included a few on-line resources below. Keep in mind that there are many approaches to therapy regarding this topic, and rather than my actually recommending these sites or any related therapeutic methods to you personally, I'm instead just pointing you to some available materials. Please be prayerful when discerning God’s specific directing for your path to healing.

Following are some links you may find helpful:

www.abandonment.net

www.familytreecounseling.com

New Life Ministries – 1.800.NEW.LIFE

American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC)

 

 


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