As a counselor, I have worked with many individuals and families who seem to be suffering with generational abandonment; emotional pain, loss, and grief over never having a family that could meet their childhood needs. As these individuals grew up they felt unloved, inadequate, and undeserving of love. As a counselor, many clients see me because they are haunted by negative core beliefs about themselves and how these beliefs are affecting them as adults in negative ways.
I believe that many families try their best in loving their wives, husbands, sons and daughters; however, due to their own family upbringing they can give only what they have learned. Consequently, a pattern in generations can develop as the lack of emotional skills can affect the next offspring. This is what I call “generational abandonment”. Sometimes this can lead to bullying issues.
As a counselor, I have seen generational problems being handed down to the next generation. Often my clients are third or fourth generation family members who have learned how to feel unworthy, deficient, or defective without knowing what the reasons are. When I do get a clear picture of generational abandonment I like to tell my clients that this is no one’s fault not your- mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers and so on. Usually most families try their best at least that is what I have found; however, sometimes it is not enough.
The main issues that keep cropping up for clients is they feel abandoned, they lack emotional connections, feel victimized, have unnecessary guilt and shame, episodes of depression and anxiety, difficulty trusting people, and some struggle with addictions. The main reason I am writing this article is for all those who can relate to the experiences of generational abandonment and are struggling with the issues I have written about. You are not alone and I believe with work you can change this generational pattern.
When I work with clients I reiterate over and over again “this is not too blame anyone”, and it is not. This issue is about understanding yourself and how generational abandonment has affected you. If you are struggling to make friendships or have intimate, safe relationships because you cannot trust people for fear of abandonment I can help you. If you want to feel and express your emotions but you have not learned that in your family of origin I can help you. Struggling with depression and anxiety due to lack of social skills, isolation, and fear of getting close to people will continue the cycle that you are most likely fed up with, if this is true, I can assist you. I believe most people want to feel they are important, and matter to another, but just cannot cross that bridge and reach out it is because generational abandonment is alive.