What are Abandonment IssuesJul 12, 2022
Free Holistic Medicine Courses Online
Overcoming Abandonment and Low Self Worth
Ande: Hello, Avaiya family. I'm Ande Anderson. My partner Ike Allen and I are teachers, mentors and the co-owners of Avaiya University. Avaiya is the creator of over a thousand books, films, courses, teachings and other supportive resources. Thank you so much for joining us.
Our fellow teacher Dr. Ameet Aggarwal is back with us today to talk about finding love after abandonment. Voted one of the top 43 therapists to follow, Dr. Ameet is one of the only therapists who combines naturopathic and functional medicine, Gestalt psychotherapy, family constellations therapy, EMDR and homeopathy to help people with trauma, anxiety, depression and chronic disease. His best-selling book, online sessions and Free Holistic Medicine Courses Online have helped thousands of people overcome difficult emotional and physical health issues because they focus on healing your mind and body together instead of separately. Dr. Ameet also helps poor communities and children living with disabilities in Kenya through sales of his Free Holistic Medicine Courses Online and books. So welcome back to Avaiya.
Scroll down to get to Dr Ameet podcast and YouTube videos!
Dr. Ameet: Thanks, Ande. Great to be back.
Ande: Always great to have you and I'm so excited that we get to talk about another great topic today. Let's dive into that. So what to you is a ... like what is abandonment for a child and how does it affect emotions in adulthood?
What does Abandon mean
Dr. Ameet: So abandonment for me is a huge topic, Ande, because I felt abandoned when I was dropped off in boarding school and every time I was separated from my mom and it triggered a lot of pain and confusion - confusion about my safety, confusion about belonging, confusion about integration. So abandonment can be anything from your parents leaving you or I also experience with my clients abandonment is when the family structure also changes. So maybe dad will leave or mom will leave or there's a separation temporary, but just that change in what you're familiar with can be experienced as abandonment because your sense of belonging and your identity shifts a little bit.
There are subtle abandonments where maybe mom was sick and she went to the hospital for two or three weeks. We see this in early childhood trauma. Or mom looks away for a while and when you're really reaching out to her, and so that sense of ignorance. And because I practice family constellation therapy as well we see a lot of abandonment issues are not being seen when either of the parent is busy or preoccupied with their grief or longing for one of their family members who passed away early, for example.
So if my mom's mom passed away at a very early age when my mom was young my mom might have a longing for her mother. And so now I come along into her life and, yes, I'm her child and she's showing me love, but part of her soul is connected to that longing. So there is a sense of abandonment or lack of connection with mom and it'll feel like neglect or an inability to connect. And I will sense that not knowing what it is. And that creates a real heaviness in a child, a pain, a difficulty to connect.
And also what happens is when we're abandoned or refused love we actually start refusing love ourselves, because it's too much to be rejected so it's easier just to cope with yourself. So we get these blocks to receiving life force and receiving energy. And that can also ... how do I call it? Stifle. Stifle your ability to thrive.
Ande: Thank you. I appreciate that and sharing a little bit about your personal story as well and your childhood. So let's tie this into the conversation of overcoming abandonment into also self-worth. So how could you help people ... or actually let's start with first why do you think self-worth tends to go down after someone has experienced abandonment? And then we'll get to the next one.
How to deal with Abandoment issues
Dr. Ameet: So our identity comes from validation often when we're young. The way we are acknowledged or received and the way we exchange information with the adult, with our caretakers, develops our sense of groundedness, belonging, identity and self-worth. Because it's like, "Gosh, I smiled and I get affirmations and it's like I get encouragement that the environment or the parents," the external environment, "loves me. So I get more and more comfortable and confident in myself."
After abandonment there's no feedback loop happening in my environment. (1) I'm alone so there's no affirmations going on, right? So there's nothing nourishing my sense of connection with the outside world because our connection with the outside world at a very young age is through our eyes and through love and through touch and through contact, when all that goes missing it's painful, there's pain. And usually what they say at a young age when things go wrong in the external environment children blame themselves. They think it's their fault, they're doing something. So that self-blame starts to creep in. "I'm responsible for this." And that immediately blocks this flourishing that's naturally meant to happen and this connection to the outside world. That flourishing I believe is your self-worth, it's full of good energy and that confidence.
And so that emptiness, if we look at self-worth as an energy it could be just an empty energy. And so you think that you might be able to talk yourself out of low self-worth but sometimes you need energetic shifts, you need to be held in the right way with the right therapy or you need to go to that place of pain and really feel the pain and the abandonment and your vulnerability once again. And then get new feedback from a therapist or from the environment in order to reassimilate your energetic field, right?
And so I would definitely experiment with more experiential therapies, somatic experiencing, Gestalt, family constellations so you can really feel the energetic shift in you rather than trying to think yourself out of low self-worth.
Homeopathy for anxiety
Ande: And I love that you focus on anything to do with really like tapping into the body and the breath and somatics. And so here's a question, like this is coming to me in the moment, I have definitely been someone who has been affected by the abandonment wound and it's one of the biggest fears that comes up for me from my childhood and into my adulthood and sometimes I'll get into these spaces of just really being afraid, and I'm sure a lot of Avaiya students watching or listening could relate to that experience of just really like kind of going spiraling down into this fear of abandonment. So when someone is in that state like how do you help ... how could you help people overcome that fear?
Dr. Ameet: So good question. I practice homeopathy as well, I have some great remedies, ignatia is one of them when you're fearing panicking after a betrayal or abandonment. I cover other remedies in the Free Holistic Medicine Courses Online, homeopathic remedy specifically. The other thing to notice about abandonment, whether you're being abandoned as a young child by your parents or in a relationship as an adult or by people around you, as friends, abandonment opens up old wounds usually. It exposes what's not healed within us.
And so when somebody comes to me with abandonment issues I will look at what's been happening in their childhood and in their ancestral line, for example. So for example, if mom was abused by dad, for example, and she has this low self-worth going on and me as a child I am loyal to my mom and her sadness and I really connect with her inner sadness and I don't develop any source of resources for happiness, for independence, all those things, I have this codependent relationship with mom in her misery and her sadness and almost rejecting dad. Later on when I grow up and I go into a relationship and maybe I go into a codependent relationship based on my habits from childhood, I'm always taking care of my partner, doing things for them, ignoring my own needs, suddenly they abandoned me, the relationship ends - I am faced with a certain emptiness. I have no sense of self-worth because that person has gone away. So I'm not doing anything for anyone that would give me that feedback that I'm valuable or belong somewhere. So that will bring up a lot of pain and fear. That's one example of a wound during childhood or an ancestral wound in a family entanglement that can be exposed after an abandonment.
Homeopathy for depression
Others are like, for example, if my parents had a love affair and they were not blessed by their parents, their marriage was not blessed, this is constellation work now. And I actually have experienced this personally because my parents had eloped, like they had a love affair, and it was against tradition. And bizarrely I didn't realize how powerful this is, but because maybe my mom wasn't fully blessed by her dad about the marriage there's a sense of me that I don't really belong or I don't know, dare to exist in a way. That's energetics.
And so when I'm abandoned by a partner I'll feel this real fear of being alone because like, "Gosh, I have no support, no sense of existence, no permission to exist." Or if my mom left me a lot during boarding school or school and then my girlfriend leaves me, again, I'm exposed to all those wounds of the bullies and the mean teachers. So I look at specific wounds a person may have, different family entanglements, that open up when there's a crisis in their life. And usually the pain we experience is not so much the crisis in the life but those old wounds coming up again. So I combine EMDR, Gestalt psychotherapy, family constellation therapy and homeopathy to just ease the nervous system, release trauma and get them reintegrated into the environment, reconnect with a sense of safety and resources.
Ande: One thing I always love about talking with you, Ameet, is you always bring in these things that kind of blow my mind as far as ancestral stuff and how your experience of being born into a family where your grandfather didn't bless the marriage or whatever, how that impacted you, and it always like I think makes so many of us like look at all the different dynamics in our families in new ways and how that can influence our emotions and overall health. So I appreciate that, that was awesome.
Dr. Ameet: My pleasure. Thank you. Yeah, it feels a bit exposing but, hey, I'm ready to teach it so it's okay.
Emotional eating therapy
Ande: There you go. So let's talk a little bit more about food and eating since you're also a naturopath, so what would you say is the connection between low self-worth and eating habits for some people?
Dr. Ameet: What comes to mind first is that our connection with mother often comes through food. I've seen that a lot of people, because mom fed us. So our comfort is through that eating it's like we're associating with mom, it's like if mom goes or mom's disappearing or mom's not around it's like, "I need that love, I need that comfort," and we automatically go to eating especially those sweets or pastries, whatever we were fed as children.
And so when we are going through low self-worth after an abandonment we are reaching for comfort very fast, and a lot of people will binge eat. Some people will not be hungry at all after an abandonment, in a lot of trauma and pain they lose their hunger and there's specific homeopathic remedies for that as well. But a lot of people in their depression or their anxiety will eat for comfort. And that doesn't help our brain chemicals, usually when they're eating the wrong foods that creates inflammation in the body and inflammation messes up your cortisol levels which then messes up your brain chemicals - serotonin, dopamine, GABA, melatonin. I cover all this in the Free Holistic Medicine Courses Online we'll talk about at the end if you want to understand how your liver, your gut and adrenals and brain chemicals work.
But the important thing to remember is that when your brain chemicals go off you experience more anxiety, depression and negative thoughts which are directly connected to your sense of self-worth, right? Suddenly I'm feeling low, I'm feeling horrible and then I've eaten all this terrible stuff, then I feel worse about myself, maybe I'm putting on weight, maybe I'm breaking out into acne or I just look puffy because of all the inflammation and toxicity, right? And so it's just a downward spiral.
Adrenal glands inflammation
And all this inflammation then exhausts your adrenal glands as well, so we got life stress, so relationship breakup, the abandonment, family issues from childhood, all this is stored in the nervous system. And when you go through a crisis these wounds get opened up, your fight or flight, your stress response gets triggered so you drive your adrenal glands into exhaustion, (1) through that emotional memory and emotional trauma as well as through the inflammation that comes from eating the wrong foods. When your adrenal glands get wiped out your cortisol levels get out of balance affecting your brain chemicals and therefore contributing to these negative thoughts.
So what I do is I help clients heal their emotional trauma with the Gestalt, etcetera, and the homeopathy. And I also make sure we correct the diet, removing like the gluten, the dairy, healing the gut with probiotics, vitamin D and other remedies that I'll talk about. And detoxifying the liver for sure, that's super important, because the liver affects the mood immensely, immensely. Low progesterone, for example, it has been connected to a lack of GABA in the brain or reducing GABA's efficacy in the brain, and the liver is a balancer of hormones, so often liver stagnation causes progesterone deficiency. That's a side track.
But going back, we need to heal the gut, the liver and support the adrenal glands. And that we do through herbs and, of course, reducing the inflammation and releasing trauma. So an integrated approach I think is super important to help people get out of depression, low self-esteem, low self-worth because it could be a biochemical reason combined with, of course, emotional trauma from childhood.
Ande: Got you, awesome. Thank you. Thank you for going into all of that. So you kind of already touched on this, Ameet, but I know you also work with EMDR, family constellations and homeopathy, so is there anything else you can talk about regarding those and how you would combine those to help someone with this abandonment wound and low self-worth?
How to improve self esteem in therapy
Dr. Ameet: So I encourage vulnerability in my practice, I encourage you to feel more before trying to feel better. Feel more, feel more and own your stuff. We have a lot of stigma around the feelings we get, stigma around feeling helpless or weak and then we try and block those feelings, and we don't really go deep, deep into our vulnerability and our soft spot. And I promise you, Ande, when we embrace those places through the right therapy with the right therapist holding the space safely for you then you become comfortable with those hidden parts, your shadows. And when you make friends with those parts I promise you life gets better, you're less afraid of abandonment, you have more self-esteem, you're more comfortable with those parts.
Because low self-esteem is really an attack against parts of you in a way. You're not comfortable with certain parts of you, you're hiding them because of what your label against them or you haven't had the right kind of support to embrace those parts of you. Because those "weak parts" or those painful parts are often associated with difficult times in your life, so suddenly if I feel weak my body will have a visceral memory of being bullied, for example, and too exposed, so I don't want to go to that weak feeling because I'm too exposed. My mind's not associated with the old memory but my body will, and so I'm blocking those vulnerable feelings 24/7, 24/7, and that burns out your adrenal glands as well.
So I would say encourage vulnerability. Allow yourself to really go to those places where you don't go. Feel fearful, feel anger, feel hate, feel all these things fully and explore what's the sensation and the memory behind all these feelings rather than force yourself to be like a good person or politically correct or whatever all that stuff that blocks our natural flow of energy. I'm not saying abuse people are acting appropriately, it's just using your own body, your energetics, your mind, really dig deep, dive deep into things you're afraid of feeling and you'll get some answers there as well.
Ande: Beautiful, I love that. Yeah, feel more before you're working on feeling better. That's good, that's good. So here's just a question as like overall question, if someone has had this abandonment experience and then they do want to find love again, let's say it was a romantic partnership or something, I mean, you've covered a lot of that - be vulnerable - but like if people have fears around getting back into a relationship after something like that, any other thoughts there to ease their minds?
How to heal emotional trauma
Dr. Ameet: What comes up for me is don't expect the other person to heal your wound or rescue you from your pain. That's what's coming up to me totally. Because I think, of course, we want company again and there are rebound relationships all the time. There's nothing wrong with them, Ande. They help, they help integrate you back into relationship. They don't necessarily last though and don't expect them to last. So if they fail again don't blame yourself that you're not good enough for relationships, look at each next relationship as practice on integrating yourself into a relationship, healing your wounds and also getting familiar with what are your real needs in a relationship, what's disappointing, what are your patterns. So this is all a journey.
And the mistake a lot of people make is labeling themselves as, "Gosh, I'm not worth it. I just can't do relationships." So I would say rather than give up on yourself and label yourself it's like, "Great, I have a pattern." So failure is an identification of something you might be doing - picking the wrong person, for example, having high expectations or not feeling good enough in yourself and being codependent, for example. So if I was taking care of my mother a lot as a child and doing things for her or even an illness and I did that a lot maybe because I didn't have another role, I wasn't appreciated for just who I was as a child then I will go into an adult relationship maybe thinking I should be giving a lot because that's how I get appreciation from my family. And the person might appreciate it in the very beginning but then it'll begin too much, it's like, "Gosh, I don't have space to give back. I don't have space to even experience myself because I'm overwhelmed by all your giving." And so there's almost an imbalance that each part ... there's a guilt actually, the receiving partner actually feels a sense of guilt. And in constellation work we often see that sense of guilt leads to actually betrayal or an abandonment.
So do your inner work as much as you can but don't think you cannot get into a relationship until you do all your inner work. Mix them both up, but don't expect everything from one relationship, for sure not.
Ande: And I'm so glad you started that answer with don't expect to be rescued by that next person or have those wounds be healed, because I think that ties back into our last conversation around codependency and in that belief that we can fill the lack of wholeness from someone else outside of us as opposed to just recognizing our wholeness to begin with. So that's very important and a big step in the world of recovering from that.
What is the best therapy for self esteem
Dr. Ameet: And I also want to remind viewers that there's a bit of a cliche going on that you have to be whole first before you get into a relationship. I don't believe in that so much because sometimes we need relationship in order to feel connected. It's both, right? You can feel connected and grounded for sure and relationship adds something, so it's not one plus one equals two. One plus one is three and we get a whole different experience of ourselves and of life. So be playful when you're getting into relationships, don't be so hard on yourself thinking, "I got to fix this, I'm not ready." I mean, yes, if you don't feel ready don't force yourself but don't be hard on yourself to become the perfect person before you can let someone into your heart.
Ande: Right, because I definitely know that some people could wait forever if they're really thinking they're going to have it all figured out before they get into a relationship.
Dr. Ameet: Relationship will help you figure that out. And be gentle with yourself if it doesn't work out. That's really the strong especially I can find out right now.
Ande: Beautiful, I love it. Well, thank you for that. Let's talk a little bit about your gift, you mentioned it a few minutes ago, so you have a gift for everyone as well as an offer and everyone there's a couple buttons below that link over to Dr. Ameet's site. So what do you have for us?
Dr. Ameet: So the first gift, free completely, is how to heal your gut, your liver, your adrenal system and your emotions together. There's some beautiful emotional healing exercises you can do there where you feel it's safe to feel certain feelings once in a while. The word once in a while is very important and you'll see why in that video. And just understanding how to connect your gut and your liver and your adrenal glands is super important if you really want to heal the pillars of your health.
And then the second offer is a bunch of my interviews where I'll talk about different emotional healing experiences, different tips on healing your gut, your liver, your adrenal glands. So it's all integrated, all these interviews integrate mind and body medicine. So enjoy.
Ande: Awesome. Well, thank you for that. And everyone, again, those buttons are below. And do you have any last insights before we wrap up?
Dr. Ameet: Gosh, love yourself and love your spiritual self whether it's God, whether it's Jesus, whether it's, I don't know, your spiritual divine ... I don't know, presence. There's something about your spirituality that I'm getting in touch with right now. And if you have a belief about something bigger than you and stronger than you don't poo poo it down because society is going against it. Trust in your heart and what your ancestors gave you as well.
Ande: Beautiful. Thank you. Perfect, perfect ending. Thank you so much for doing this, Ameet.
Dr. Ameet: Thanks again, ciao.
Free Holistic Medicine Courses Online
Ande: All right, thank you. Everyone, Avaiya students who are watching and listening for showing up for yourself today. We'll see you again real soon. Take care.
Hey, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us for this latest class with Dr. Ameet Aggarwal. He talked with us about finding love after abandonment. I really enjoyed this conversation, I always enjoy talking with Ameet and exploring all these really great topics. And some of the big things that stuck out for me was when we talked about don't expect let's say you've had a relationship fall apart, since we're talking about finding love after abandonment, don't expect the next relationship to rescue you or to ultimately heal you. And simultaneously while keeping that in mind it doesn't mean you shouldn't get into a relationship necessarily if it feels right for you to get into a new relationship, because relationships can reconnect you to being in relationship again. Relationships can help in many ways.
So it's kind of this interesting balance between being responsible for ultimately doing your own rescuing and your own healing and your own inner work on yourself while simultaneously not being afraid to get back into relationship if it's something that feels right for you right now and you feel ready for that. So I just kind of wanted to touch on that again because I think it's an interesting balance and dynamic between the two of those.
So also if you enjoyed Ameet's conversation today, he is in many, many other master classes at Avaiya University including conquering codependency and finding self-love which is definitely heavily related to this topic of abandonment and self-worth as well. He's also been featured in breaking free from toxic relationships and many others, so if you want to check those out they're on the home page of avaiya.com. Thank you, everyone. We'll see you again soon. Take care.
Outro: Avaiya has changed my life. Avaiya has made me the woman I am today. Avaiya is my home. Avaiya is personal freedom. Avaiya is the reason my life continuously improves. Let everyone in your life know about Avaiya. Everyone needs to know about this amazing company. Thank you, Avaiya, for appearing in my inbox. What Ike Allen and Ande Anderson have created at Avaiya is what the world needs.
Free Holistic Medicine Courses Online
Overcoming Abandonment Low Self Worth
Listen to the full interview on Dr Ameet Podcast
Watch the full interview on Dr Ameet YouTube Channel