Ghosting & Abandonment Triggers

No matter how much work you do, there are always going to be little things and shadow work for you to face and shift. Mine recently has been focused abandonment.

Abandoned tree by Jennie Adams
Abandoned tree by Jennie Adams

Ghosting: the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship (from

This is one seriously messed up game that people play. I have a friend whom I love very much that I have known for around 7 years. He plays this game with me regularly where he gets closer, I allow him to hook me, then completely disappears. Since I choose to keep playing with him and allow him to repeatedly play this game with me, I know what is going to happen each time. I have been working through layers of my issues with abandonment through this game.

I have never met anyone that does not have issues of some sort around abandonment. They originally occur when we are children with our parents. In my case, it was my dad not being around a lot in my youth. I was nourished by other healthy male role models that were present so, unlike many, I was not fully dropped. For a long time this part of my programming was hidden as I chose to be around people that did not trigger this.

This shifted when my son became ill. All of the sudden people started disappearing as they were not comfortable being around someone with a sick child. When my son passed away even more disappeared as they could not handle that. This reoccured when I divorced and even after my previous partner attempted suicide.

The shift for me occurred with this last occurrence as I had myself surrounded by a group that believes in the idea of, “staying connected no matter what.” This created a very different dynamic. I was able to feel and experience how I push people away – better to hurt others before they hurt you, right? Not so much. Some of my friends fully ignored my pushing away no matter how hard I tried to prove I was being abandoned. In fact, one physically held me until I surrendered and allowed their love in. Now I have incredible relationships where this does not occur.

Which brings me back to my friend that I have been playing this game with for 7 years. He chose to run it again over the last couple of weeks. This time I wanted to finally clear it from my system and delved fully into it with a little assistance from a coach. I already knew I was putting him in the role of my father to work through this. What I did not realize was that because my step-father promoted us being friends, that I had another layer of looking for approval from my step-father by staying connected to this individual. In other words, I had set this entire dynamic around receiving approval and love from my dads. When he ghosts me, I have then not only not been able to maintain my dad’s love and my little one feels rejected, but I have also disappointed my step-father, in my mind, which creates my little one feeling doubly rejected. It ends up being a game I can never win.

As soon as I was able to feel and see all of this, I was able to shift things in my mind and was ready to set a boundary. My adult refuses to allow my little one to be treated in this way by anyone. I sent this man a message stating simply, “bored with this game.” It is an unhealthy and toxic little finite game which serves neither of us and going forward I am choosing not to play it anymore. I choose to play infinite games which are fun for all involved.

I have a few questions for you to consider related to this story:

  • How are you working through the layers of your relationship with abandonment that we all have?
  • How are you showing up for your little one?
  • When others hook you, do you do the work to remove those hooks or do you leave them in?
  • Do you have healthy boundaries with others?
  • Are you one who ghosts or one who has been ghosted?

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