What is an abandonment injury?
Valérie Beaufort: This emotional injury refers to the feeling of abandonment, real or imagined, by one of the parents or both parents. It can be a real abandonment when the parent has not been able to keep the child, or the feeling of an abandonment which acts as if one has really been abandoned when, for example, the father or the mother is not. ‘were not present enough. The important thing here is what you feel. To grow up, the child needs love and tenderness. When his needs are not met, he accumulates emotional suffering that can be reactivated in adulthood, in the form of a wound of abandonment. The injured adult looks at the world with his childish conscience, through a child filter and needs that are not those of the adult.
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How does this injury manifest itself in adulthood?
VB: This suffering manifests itself in the fact of not feeling lovable or worthy of being loved, of feeling the last wheel of the coach, of being in a situation of emotional dependence. This can be expressed in different ways, for example by being very demanding with others or, on the contrary, by letting oneself go, by accepting the unacceptable. Another possible manifestation: a trigger makes the person relive an emotional state that awakens a trauma, with an injury behind. For example, someone yells at you, you are paralyzed, in a state of bewilderment, in fear. You switch to your child consciousness, when you adopt this defense and survival mechanism, so as not to feel the initial hurt.
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How to get rid of this suffering?
VB: By welcoming the injured part of oneself with kindness. Which is different from accepting it. It is not a question of running away or of being in denial but of opening up to what is. Be aware of what we are, of this facet that has remained in the shadows, as inside nesting dolls. We do not repair our childhood but we can restore the memory, free it so that we dare to live our life, give ourselves the right to live. For that, it is necessary to welcome his emotions, to recognize his legitimate suffering, to accomplish an interior path to release his repressed emotions and to discover his resources. This path can be done with the help of a therapist. The broader perspective he offers allows us to re-read his life in a different way. How to turn lead into gold? By becoming more humble, more aware, more empathetic. We learn to love each other in this way, we are no longer afraid of suffering. There is no longer any victim, or executioner, or savior. This journey is comparable to the different stages of mourning. Over time, the wound gradually heals. Taking care of yourself in this way brings peace and love back to the family system. We can make peace with our loved ones, even if they are deceased.