Understanding the Scars Left When Children are Left Behind

The western world has been at the brunt of a sustained attack on the basic unit of society – that of the nuclear family. This has manifested itself in dysfunctional families, dysfunctional lives, and dysfunctional childhoods: all of which result in serious and potentially far-ranging circumstances for everyone involved.

This sense of abandonment, whether physical, emotional, or psychological, creates an internal environment of fear due to the lack of support or protection in these three aspects. And from this fear grows a sense of shame – the shame of being worthless, the shame of being put up for adoption, and the shame of not being wanted around.

Young children need to be taken care of and be afforded comfort and safety. The moment care and safety are taken away from them means they will eventually suffer from a combination of thinking that the world is unsafe for them to be in (which may or may not be a bad idea), and that people cannot be trusted (which arguably is a valuable life lesson), and that they are not deserving of others’ time, care, and love.

This poses a Pandora’s Box of psychological issues that can and will haunt them throughout their childhood, adolescence, and eventual adulthood.

Let’s understand and find out how this pain manifests and persists throughout life.

Low Self-Opinion…And Low Self-Esteem.

Abandonment during childhood and the formative stages has far-ranging consequences on that child’s present and future self – we’ve all seen this too often, for instance, with parents who expect their children to follow the same path as they have, and expect them to be mirror images of what they were growing up. This occurs when a child’s coping mechanisms are unable to do so in the face of traumatic or otherwise painful or stressful situations, leading to a host of other symptoms as we will find out.

Emotional Coldness.

A common symptom of a child with abandonment issues is that of their unwillingness, or downright fear of sharing his or her emotions – again stemming from the fact that their self-estem and self-opinions are low. They’re probably thinking to themselves that no one really cares about their feelings because they do not matter. And this leads to them bottling up their emotions, and deeply mistrusting anybody they are dying to share their true selves with, even when there is nothing at all to fear.

It means all the world for them to know that you, as a parent or as a guardian, love them unconditionally regardless of how bad he or she is feeling. Let them know you are proud of him or her, and be trustworthy of what they share with you. Always make sure that you take the time out, or rather make the time, and foster an environment of trust wherein he or she can feel comfortable about him or herself, and thusly share and express their true selves. Set aside an hour of your time over a nice glass of juice and just being totally open to him or her (test reports prove that juicing provides a sense of well-being and happiness, so you’ll catch two birds with one stone).

It makes a world of difference when you foster this environment that enables your child to share his innermost feelings and himself at his most open; you owe him or her no less than that as a guardian.

Fast And Frequent Flights Of Anxiety.

Attacks of anxiety can manifest in a child’s future self – especially if they grew up with the knowledge that they were in fact abandoned by their parents or their caregivers. Regardless of whether they were adopted by caring and loving families or couples, children could still be reeling from the sense of shame and guilt and low self-esteem, which will then translate into anxiety in all shapes and sizes – and can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder especially if the trauma is very intense.