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Do I Have Abandonment Issues?

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From the U.S.: I am a 14 year old, I barely have any friends only one I’m remotely close to. Mostly I make online friends and for some reason I get intense fear and anxiety when one of them gets angry at me or something I say doesn’t settle well with them. I’d go far as to start bawling and self-harm till I bleed a little before I feel less guilty, like a self-punishment of some sort.

This one person who is a few years older than me started becoming way too close and when I felt like I was being dependent I immediately cut off all connection with them from thinking they would leave me and use me etc. I’d try to find ways to cut off my emotions and make myself hate them.

It’s not just my friends but specifically my mother, I don’t like remembering my past even though I don’t remember anything bad.. when I do i get anxiety and panic and confusion, i start shaking and sweating all over and my lungs/chest ache.

My mother and father never abandoned me or abused me, the worst she’s done is dicipline by lots of yelling and sometimes hitting or slapping, I’ve gotten scared a few times and ran away for a couple hours but nothing too intense. But she was going through a rough time and just wanted me to do well. So why?

I think it began a few years ago when I started hating any connection or closeness to my mother, I was cold to her and tried my best to cut off any emotions. I’ve always been dependent but suddenly I started getting really scared of it.

When I was around 2 I was sent to live with relatives in another country for various reasons mostly from parent’s stress and my horrible health. I spend years 2-4 away from my mum and dad, but i shouldn’t be able to remember right? I barely do. So why am I so afraid of relationships? I recently cut off all connection to my friends and blocked their numbers, I lie to my mother often to keep a distance and whenever her movements are too fast I panic and flinch like she’s gonna hit me.

Was I just overly sensitive? Why am I feeling this way?

Do I Have Abandonment Issues?

Answered by on -


I don’t think you are being overly sensitive. You had a tough beginning. You had to leave your parents at age 2 and then leave the relatives at age 4. As a result, it could be that you developed a distrust of attaching to anyone. On top of that, your mother has had a hard time and hasn’t always been warm or supportive. Hitting and slapping is not a way to make a child feel safe. It’s simply not okay.

It makes sense that you are cautious about getting close but it is definitely something to work on. Not everyone you befriend or love is going to leave you. In fact, acting like someone will leave might make them do just that. We do tend to get what we expect.

If you can’t let yourself develop close relationships, I do suggest that you make an appointment with a mental health counselor who can help you both understand yourself better and can guide you as you work on being more comfortable in close relationships.

I’m very glad you wrote now, when you are 14, instead of waiting. Waiting on issues like this one tends to make it more difficult to fix. Getting into some therapy now will help you have a much happier social life in school and will set you on a more positive course for relationships in your future.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Do I Have Abandonment Issues?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Do I Have Abandonment Issues?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 9 Mar 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.