I am going to tell you a story about a 2-year-old who felt abandoned and how it actually affected her whole life.
This little girl was born in a war zone with all the stresses and anxieties that caused but when she was two, her mother was put in hospital in a town for six weeks because she may have had problems with a complicated birth during an air raid when there was no help.
This was all very sensible except that the two-year-old felt abandoned. She was very unhappy where she was staying so she was moved and stayed with her aunt and uncle. In the first place she stayed she was expected to walk quite a lot but was in pain and couldn’t walk.
Then when she came home, she found Mum busy with a new baby.
Two weeks later the family moved to a new house in the main city and they travelled there in a taxi, Dad, Mum, the new baby and his pram plus our two-year old but her doll and dolls pram were put in the lorry to come up separately. She felt even more abandoned.
After they got to the new house, her parents decided to take her to the hospital to find out why her legs were a problem with the result that she had to wear callipers up to her waist for the next 3 years.
They were all very sensible decisions by her parents but a 2-year old does not understand. She just felt abandoned and she never developed a strong relationship with her mother. As life went on the family moved to a new house, country and/or state at least every 3 years so all her close friendships became abandoned too.
What a surprise. This little girl grew up to have three disastrous and abusive marriages. Feeling abandoned as a baby or very small child is a severe trauma. Little people are so dependent on having a close safe relationship with their parents. It is essential if they are going to feel safe throughout their life.
I work with quite a lot of people who felt abandoned. In most cases there were very good reasons for this, but they did not make sense to the small child.
Our greatest need is to feel safe! I actually feel very critical of politicians who whip up additional fear to control people. For someone like the little girl in our true story, building up additional fear can have disastrous consequences… but we won’t go there.
Growing up in domestic violence is another situation where kids do not feel safe.
Just keep your little ones feeling safe and if you or people you know have problems like this, please come and see me. I can help.