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Old 07-08-2018, 01:52 PM   #1
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Default Unresolved Abandonment Issues


Here is what happened in my wife's past (she's now 47)...

- When my wife was a child, she cared for and watched her mother struggle with breast cancer.
- When she was 13 or 14 (and while the mother was dying), her father divorced her mother. (What a guy.) :-(

- Her only other sibling - a sister - was away at college when her mother finally passed away. She was 15 years old. As a result, she was left alone and would bounce between being alone and staying with her Aunt, on and off.

- The father would not even attend the mother's funeral. (Again, what a guy.) :-(

In general, can you tell me what can one expect if something such as above happened and went unresolved (even unrecognized)?

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Old 07-08-2018, 07:44 PM   #2
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Hello Harold: I noticed this is your first post here on PC. So... welcome to PsychCentral!

My personal opinion, with regard to your question, is that how a person might react to having had the experiences your wife had would really depend on the person. I really doubt there's any blanket way, one could point to, to say this is what you would expect.

In general, though, I suppose what one might anticpate could be something that might look like complex post traumatic stress disorder (cPTSD). Here are links to some articles, from PsychCentral's archives, on that subject as well as on the subject of the effect of childhood trauma, in general, on adults:

Perhaps other members, here on PC, will have other thoughts with regard to this. There is a forum, here on PC, dedicated to the subject of CPTSD. Here's a link:

And another forum that may be of interest would be the childhood emotional neglect forum:

My best wishes to you & your wife...
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Unresolved Abandonment Issues

I think the topic of abandonment floats around quite often not that you have but in my personal experience in my life and swirling in lives of those around me, off these types of forums.

She was a teenager through all of this and is now 47 and reaching an age that women reach as women age.

You mention, unresolved? Did she not ever vent angrily about her father? Did she not ever grieve the loss of her mother?

Typically in psychology the abandonment is one surrounding early childhood before 3 that sets the ball in motion for a personality disorder--pretty much. Not always, but pretty much.

One angle that could be is this was a trauma. Did she not get comfort through her aunt, other family or even friends or school?

Is something currently coming about in marriage? How long have you known each other?

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