Brenda, My daughter shows signs of abandonment like the ones you mentioned in your writing. Even though I don't have it together yet, what can I do for her? e.
The best approach when you're able to do this is to address it in such a way that allows her to be honest with herself, as well as with you, about it. We all are going to leave debris in our children's lives. The liberating gift we can give them is to initiate a conversation with them about it. Example: "I've been thinking about how things were at times when you were growing up, and am realizing I didn't do things as well as I wish I had. I'm wondering if there is anything I did, or failed to do, that still bothers you...?"
You have to be in a place where you can receive their honesty and deal with it openly and without being defensive or "on the floor" about it. When parents initiate like that, it may give an adult (or even a teenage) child the chance to talk through things with us that otherwise they might not find a way to do. It also allows the possibility of further discussions about it and opens the door to getting help if they choose to.
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Question: I was wanting to print out the info so I can reread it. Do you already have copies printed out?
I do have information printed in the larger work, "Heartsong." It is much more complex and involved and might feel daunting. I will be happy to copy what is on the website if your efforts are not successful.
AND: Under PERCEIVED ABANDONMENT shouldn't it be "unavailable" to the child rather than "available"?
I do mean "available" in the "perceived" abandonment section because it deals with the perception of abandonment even when the parent is truly there for the child. When the child holds dark secrets, the parent is unavailable to the child, not becuase of the parent, but because of the emotional mote that wraps itself around the child who carries a secret no one else in the family can know. Especially if a threat has been used by the abuser to maintain the secret, the child will not approach the parent with what has happened. The child now lives in an abandoned state while the parents are often dismayed by what has happened to the child they once knew and baffeled as to what to do.