Facing Abandonment

Bonnie’s* Story:

Abandonment is a hard word to accept as part of your life. I am nearly 60 years old and still struggle with abandonment issues. My father left my mother, after 19 years of marriage, for another woman. He pretty much wrote off his own children: my sister, my brother and me. Of course, he was glad to see us if we went to see him, but he never went out of his way to see us.

There was one particular instance when he and his new wife were visiting one of her grandchildren at a hospital which was less than 5 miles from my home. They were there for several days and never called or came by to see me and my family. In fact, my father never saw my home – the home my husband and I have lived in for over 30 years. He passed away last year. I did have the opportunity to see him two times before he passed – however, it had been over 20 years since I last saw him prior to then.

My mother remarried about five years after my father left. The man she married is a very hard person for me to be around. They have been married almost 40 years and he and I are like “oil and water.” We just don’t mix well. My mother has pretty much abandoned her children, as well. Not long after they married, they kicked me out of our home. I think my mother was just afraid to stand up to this man for fear of being left again.

As a Christian, I know I’m supposed to love others, but it is just so hard for me to love this man who is my stepfather, although he hasn’t been a father to me at all. Since my father’s death, I have grieved the loss of that relationship and all the lost years. Lately, I have begun grieving the loss of relationship I have experienced with my mother as well.

She is now 80 years old and I’m not sure if I will ever have the kind of relationship I long to have with her. I am grateful God has blessed me with my husband and my daughter. Also, I had the blessing of a wonderful mother-in-law who loved me like her own daughter. She and I both felt like God had brought us together, because He knew we both needed each other. She has been gone for five years, now. I miss her even now.

It is so hard to comprehend how both my earthly parents chose to leave me. Over the last several years, I have had the blessing of working with a Christian counselor. She has helped me to see that my parents were both emotionally unhealthy people. Their leaving was not because of something I did. And, she helped me realize my parents were not good parents.

Because of the way my parents treated me, I have tried to parent our daughter in a healthier manner. As I’ve gotten older, I keep thinking I should have this all worked out and settled in my heart and in my mind. I’m really ready to be done with this abandonment issue. But, that doesn’t seem to be the case just yet.

One verse I continue to hang onto is “God will never leave me nor forsake me.” I know that in my head, but sometimes my heart forgets. I have to keep reminding myself that my heavenly Father is nothing like my earthly parents.

*Note: The author’s name  is a pseudonym. 

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