3 Reactions to Loss and Abandonment

We have all been there. Rejected, hurt and at a loss for words. Perhaps it was a miscarriage, a separation, a failure, or a job loss. Sometimes it can be hard to sort through all the feelings and wounds and process it all. If any of these reactions resonate with you, take it to prayer and try to look interiorly. Why is anger at the root of my resentment? Why am I in despair and struggling with perfectionism over this heartbreak? Why am I trying to distance myself from everyone that loves me? Dig deeper. It will be tough but don’t stop seeking because seekers find. Here are 3 reactions we can face consecutively or independently:

Protest and anger: in rejection, we can reprimand the parent or our partner or friend for disappointment and we experience anxiety over unstable love and this comes out in revenge or hatred. This anger can be towards God as well because we blame Him for our suffering and we think He never comes through for us. It can be easy to think that God’s purpose is seen as making sure nothing goes wrong but when things go wrong, we blame Him and that perpetuates our anger.

Despair: in dealing with loss, we can lose purpose and stop caring for others because “nothing will change.” Perfectionists are prone to despair because they like control and are critical and define their worth based on their success. Anxiety is amplified with worry and compulsive perfectionism makes already worried people irritable and uncooperative. Perfectionists are uncomfortable with showing emotion and experiencing physical touch or intimacy. They value order and logic and attention to detail over feelings. They can be stingy with time, money and resources and are reluctant to delegate to others because they think others are unreliable.

Detachment: When facing rejection, sometimes we can detach to people and attach ourselves to addictions (Netflix, sex, food, substance abuse). We can disguise these attachments with a mask of independence and self-sufficiency. This perspective is very isolating and in distress, we can be consumed by work, resentment and addictions that make us feel in control. We can be disconnected from ourselves and can become cold, distant, aloof and extremely introverted. In this phase, we look to fantasy and TV for comfort to escape because we can control it and prefer it to reality. Detachment aids selfishness and fending for ourselves because we believe that only we can give ourselves comfort and depending on others for support can bring anxiety and vulnerability. In the stage of detachment, we cannot identify our emotions and we long for intimacy but fear being controlled and overwhelmed. Those who are detached can also prefer listening to music than talking to people because they were not checked on by their parents as a child. They were left alone and used music to self-soothe.

Many of our wounds come from our childhood – we learn self-preservation very young and those good and bad habits carry into our relationships as adults. If you need counselling or need to talk to someone, don’t be afraid. Talking about it is deeply courageous. Reach out – people want to help you and support you. We, at Made4More, are praying for you.