Thawing Issues that Cause Low Self Esteem

A lot of things can cause low self esteem, but the number one factor by far is negative child development experiences. This page is dedicated to covering the impact of unmet childhood dependency needs on people who, for one reason or another, do not get their emotional dependency needs met.

Issues Caused or Made Worse by Unmet Childhood Emotional Needs:

As you can tell, life complications are pervasive when kids grow up with issues that cause low self esteem.

New! Interactive Thawing the Iceberg Presentation This presentation has four parts and can be completed at several sittings. You will be asked if you'd like to resume where you left off when you last visited the program. You can jump around to various part of the presentation at will and with ease.

Thawing the Iceberg Video

The above list is just the "tip of the iceberg"...in fact, in the following video presentation I use the Iceberg as a model for exploring the full impact of growing up in a less-than-nurturing family and not getting enough of our needs met. The video is an abbreviated version of the above presentation (for those who would just like a refresher.)





Read an Abbreviated Online Version of The Iceberg...

Click on the following links in the order they are presented to read an abbreviated text version of the Iceberg Model.

The "Iceberg", Part I -- Abandonment Issues

The "Iceberg", Part II -- Codependency

The "Iceberg", Part III -- Addictive Personality

The "Iceberg", Part IV -- Overcoming Addiction

Healing Abandonment Issues Membership


Or Read Thaw - Freedom from Frozen Feelings, by Don Carter

Click here to learn more.


Get the Thawing the Iceberg Series with Audios & Videos!

Your Choice of CDs or 2Gig USB Drive Loaded with MP3s!


Let's Have a Conversation about Childhood Issues!

Are you a helping professional? Someone from a dysfunctional family? New to recovery from childhood abandonment issues? Or just want to learn more?

This Forum is a place you can share your experience, ask questions, tell your story, discuss ways to overcome the past, comment on others contributions, or talk about what works in your own recovery.

Sharing is EASY...No sign-up or registration process to go through... just fill out the form below, check a few boxes and submit! You can even remain anonymous if you'd like.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

I want to be free! 
Hello yall, I am Retha, and my twin sister and I are 39. First I would like to say how very grateful I am for being able to share a bit of my journey that …

This website is a great resource. 
This website is invaluable for someone who is an Adult Child of Alcoholic. I'm just starting my recovery and this website is helping me understand it …

Seek guidance, alone, no love support 
Upon reaching exercise 1 in Thawing ACS, a thought came to me with a shockingly intense feeling of panic, "These exercises aren't going to involve anyone …

Dysfunctional relationship / Toxic shame 
My boyfriend and I started dating about a year ago. We are both in our upper 40’s and have adult children. We have known each other since our teen years …

recovering from abuse, rejection, shame, guilt, depression, addiction, anxiety, fear.... 
My Dad said I was a 'dead loss' when I was about 4. He was an alcoholic under the influence but I had no grounds to question him so I grew up believing …

knowing & growing  
I am doing work with children who are using drugs living on streets having history of sexual, physical,emotional & verbal abuse. I want to know how to …

Does it ever really end? 
I'm 61 yo and was sexually, physically, emotionally, verbally & spiritually abused most of my life. First in a family of alcoholic parents and my adoptive …

BETRAYAL 
I HAVE HAD A HAPPY MARRAIGE FOR 25 YEARS, IM 52 NOW, HOWEVER MY FATHER WAS NEVER LOVING.. A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSMAN BUT NEVER SHOWD HIS AFFECTION.. i'VE …

Another abandonment issue,from a 70 year old. 
Hi, I am 71 and now realize why my life has been so painful. I was constantly abandoned by my mother, for months at a time, she would go on road trips …

My story of being abused and neglected and how I am still in the process of overcoming my pain 
Hello friends, I turned 25 last week and since then I feel like I have hit a hard, cold, and painful brick wall. I feel as though my time is runnning …

Hurting  
Hello, I am 39 yrs old & was first born of my father who abandoned me & my mom when i was between the age 3 & 4 i think...my earliest memory of him was …

Abandonment the destoryer 
I was sickly as a child woke up a lot pre - 10 years old in an oxygen tent. Had pneomina some 10 times. My parents smoked a lot, Dad 3/4 packs mom 1/2 …

Finding Me.... 
I think I may have figured out the root cause of many of my problems. It was triggered by something someone said to me yesterday...."Self-preservation." …

Abandonment Issues are making it hard to be in a healthy relationship. 
My father was an unreliable, angry, abusive (physically toward my mother, and verbally to all of us). My mom divorced him when I was three. During this …

Trying to find me! 
As a child I was sexually molested by my father when I was six or seven. My mother is an addict, so she was never really around during my early childhood …

my mom is my pain resource 
My mother abandoned me since I was small. I was hospitalized 3 times from suicide attempts. She does not play nice. I spent my entire life trying to be …

This finally makes sense 
I have just got to read the bit about thawing the iceberg and suddenly its like everything now makes sense. Why so many times I have felt the need after …

authenticity 
Quite pleased with myself. I started doing Cognitive behavioural therapy and have successfully begun stopping the emotional self abuse I have been levelling …

Wish these abdonment issues would go away 
I lost my mother and father as a child around age 12. They had many health problems. After my mother died I was sent to live with relatives. My 3 siblings …

FINALLY......I am facing this #1 issue underlying everything.... 
I just "ended" things with an extremely dysfunctional person. This person, a serious alcoholic, and also a childhood friend, has SO MANY problems, and …

wombat 
Wombat is the code I had to write in order to commit this entry. What a coincidence. I'm a 42 year old dysfunctional 'wombat'. Abandonment seems to …

The unexpected reaction which leads to mistrust of self 
I have just been reading over the abandonment page and in particular felt thought. I have experienced abandonment issues as a child and as a 35 year …

Trying to better myself 
Hi, I am a 24 year old female who lost her mother at 10 to a bad car accident. My dad was still in the picture but he was lost himself. He was always …

Hope in H.o.w 
All this time the answer was right in front of me. Faith and power in God. The love of Christ's truth will set me free. With God I have the courage to …

Click here to write your own.

abandonment issues still a problem as an adult 
I thought I was getting over my abandonment issues, but at lease several times a year they seem to come up and when it does it is awlful. I panic and …

resolution  
My father was an alcoholic. My parents didn't stay together. My brothers and I were very young when my father left, or don't exactly know how the separation …

MEETING ABANDONING MEN 
I AM A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN INSIDE AND OUT, AND YET I FALL IN LOVE WITH MEN WHO WILL ABANDON ME IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER... WORK; DRUGS; WOMEN. HOW CAN I CHANGE …

Abandoned by both parents 
I was given away to strangers as a baby, and brought to my grandparents, who were loving but always too busy. And between relationships, my mother would …

I have been hyper vigilant my whole life.... 
My hyper vigilance has always been with me. It has always alerted me to danger and a frozen state of mind unable to move emotionally and physically when …

lost and scared 
I've recently experienced a life issue that has caused me to realize I have serious problems with rejection and abandonment issues. I come from a dsyfuncional …

Just What I Needed as I Venture into the Next Stage of Recovery! 
I'm a 37 year old female and, as my son says, I'm a bit of an overachiever when it comes to hitting emotional milestones. Five years ago, I made a huge …

Hard to move on 
A year ago I separated from a man who has since been diagnosed with a chronic depressive mood disorder. I was a "giver" and was exhausted of years of doing …

Why haven't I been able to find this after all this time, I have been in counseling 3 times over 14 yrs . 
It is funny but not that I have needed to put a name on all my Shame. I knew where is came from my father. at 15 yrs old and up to 16yr. Ran away from …

Sad 
My name is Michelle. I am 33 years old, I feel lost. I come from an extremely Dysfunctional family, my mother had me when She was 16, my father and …

can't let go... 
My bf is emotionally cold and sometimes abusive. He has been abusing drugs since he was 15 and he is 57. I'm putting stuff in storage and breaking up …

Becoming Aware of the Problem 
I am grown and mature and I am just becoming aware that there is a name for what I have been feeling all my life since I was 7. I want help. I can' understand …

Still a sad little girl at 55. 
I come from a dysfunctional family, with an alcoholic father, a mother who coped by emotionally tuning out, three siblings who seemed to have turned out …

Trying to Reach Out ... 
The honest to God truth is that I’m afraid to reach out. I can come up with this reason or that excuse but the truth is I’m just afraid. That’s why this …

Why was I effected by my childhood much more than my brothers and sisters? 
I wanted to ask if anyone else has had this happen to them as well... All of my brothers and sisters are married and for the most part happy. I am the …

abandonment issues and also emotional pain truama issues at 36 years old 
Hi everyone , thanks for reading this. ive come from a dysfunctional family where i being the eldest i should be the hero but i am not. My parents are …

I just want to be happy... 
All my life I have grown up knowing that I was adopted. As a young girl I never did quite understand what that meant,it was just a fact I grew up with …

Abandonment related to death of sibling at age 5 
My 17 year old daughter was such a fun loving, alway happy baby, toddler and preschooler. I had my son, Clayton when she was 3 and he was very sick. I …

Wanting to move ( forward) 
At 53 you would think that the past is just that...the past. I find myself to this day , feeling pangs of abandonment, and am paralyzed by these feelings. …

formative years 
Hi I come from avery poor large family(father had undiagnosed MS and therefore couldn't work and didn't believe in his wife working (not able to as having …

Am I on the right track? 
I used to stay with my grandparents when my parents were at work, and this went on like this until I started school. My grandparents were great people, …

still abandoned at 50 
I was abandoned at 11. Moved into foster home. The mother worked 3 jobs and the father was a teacher much loved by children. He was a wonderful man but …

Thoughts & Comments: On what to expect/how to deal with someone with abandonement issues? 
I have recently been getting to know a guy better that was abandoned - his father left his mother, older sister and himself when he was very young. …

new to this site 
have heard bits and pieces of this book before in a therapy setting. but lost the contact of the group I was due to the problems I have. I can relate. …

Down the drain 
I am 26 years old now. It has been a while now since my heart has been finished being scarred over due to my fathers alcoholism. I cried weekly and had …

Click here to write your own.

Slow melt 
How many have experienced loss after loss after loss because they think changing things will make the pain go away?

a shameful wasted life 
Q: I resonate with the shame game. I am an adult and don't have kids but have wondered why I have walked away from every job offer (my dream jobs included) …

I have abandonment issues, am a parent and want to break the cycle!!! 
I don't remember much about my childhood except that I was always very independent. I stopped drinking out of a bottle on my own and asked my mom for …

recovery stories 
Hi there: I'm interested in sharing success stories with other people. How we've overcome self-destructive patterns and how our lives are getting better. …

Really could use some helpful insight, advice, and prayer... 
My girlfriend had some pretty traumatic abandonment issues early in her childhood where her twin brother died. She was left having to deal with feeling …

New to healing 
I am new to recognizing and healing my abandonment issues because i just realized what was going on with me. I am 43 years old and have always struggled …

Healing from abandonment 
I have just recently reconnected with a girl I accepted as a daughter when she was born and was the only "dad" she has ever known. I am now an alcoholic …

Successful failure 
Many people call me a successful, happy, and confident person. Most think I am very kind. Very few know of the inferno that lives in me, though it has …

Always been this way 
This is BS. When I was born I was either happy or angry never an in between. (that's what my mom says anyway). Well I have a dad who worked most of the …

Dysfunctional Co-dependent 
My parents both left me with my grandparents when I was 5 and for the next 8 years I saw them periodically between jobs and other relationships. It wasn't …

14 Years Old 
My mom left when I was 14 years old which always led me to believe that I was old enough to handle it. I never thought that it affected me because I knew …

Co-Dependent, internalizer desperately seeking my TRUE SELF 
My father suffered depression/social anxiety AND was an alcoholic. My mother was totally committed to God, Husband and children, in that order. As a small …

Expressarte 
My life right now is basically coffee and a terrible melancholy.

Late Bloomer with Moderate Abandonment Issues 
I felt connected with my mother when I was a little child, at around 10 years old and under. Once I hit my teens, I felt very neglected by both parents. …

I had to leave my two year old son as I am called to duty 
My family had relocated to China. My husband traveled quite a bit. Very soon after my son (third child) turned two, I was recalled to Active Duty and had …

abandonment cycle 
We, my daughter and I were abandoned by her father when she was small, we were left to fend for ourselves, his input was often violent, but my daughter …

Please help me help my 5 year old daughter 
I recently split from my boyfriend of 4 years. My five year old daughter called my boyfriend her stepdad and they were/are very close. She is devastated. …

REPEAT CO-DEPENDENCY WHEN WILL I LEARN 
I keep meeting the same man in a different body over and over and over who triggers my childhood issues from not getting my needs met to abandonment. I …

Jeanette and relationships 
So how do we get our relationships restored? How do we accept parts of us that have been neglected and told are not good enough? It's all so confusing …

Just pokin around on the internet 
Writin to y'all. Should say more than this? Forums are an interesting forum. Just hi might amend this thread if I get into it here.

I can see clearly!!! 
For many years I was in an abusive relationship, I finally realized the reason was because I was use to being treated like that from my mother. I have …

Joyful World 
I know that underlying all this pain is a joyful world of celebration and love. Why does it keep disappearing? I feel alone. I am alone. I take care …

When Will it STOP! 
Kinda nervous. :) I just turned 48,female, youngest(twin),6 of us all together, oldest 58. I can honestly say I think my family has cornered the market …

life is not fair, but as the cliche goes, "the show must go on" 
So, I found this site as I have been recently trying very hard to understand all the inner critics that I deal with on-going, inside myself, and am so …

Lost in the Crowd and the Family Dramas 
I am exhausted - finally after 53 years totally exhausted by the family dysfunction, anger and dramas. I am one of 6 children, the only girl and the oldest. …

Click here to write your own.

2012 - The Year of Me 
I am 64 years old. All of my life I have felt different, unloveable, isolated and lonely. I grew up an only child. My father and mother were the best …

My life in a concentration camp, only it was called home 
My earliest memory was when I was 3 yrs. old. Seems hard to believe I can remember that far back.I think that may be why its so hard to move forward in …

Abandonment then and now 
Gosh so many of us struggling to work it all out. In my case, an emotionally abusive childhood with a manipulative mother who desperately wanted to be …

Thank you! 
I am so grateful to be reading this at this point in my life. I am in fact thawing, and the pain from my childhood is coming up regularly at work, interfering …

As A Child 
I am beginning to dissect the pain and abandonment of my childhood. I was only 11 when my mother, father and 10yr old sister were killed instantly in …

Abandonment issues 
I am feeling very emotional, I realize I am mostly an internalizer, so that means I keep things to myself, but I am in emotional pain, and it has been …

I don't want to wreck my life again. 
Ok. So I have been trying very hard to deal with myself for a few years now. I've hit a roadblock and find myself reverting to unhealthy behaviours. I …

I am scared to live - scared of who I am not - you can't see me 
That little blonde girl with the finger curls cocking her head to the side with a faint smile and sky blue eyes - looks so sweet and adorable - so why …

Oh the agony of the moment! 
So I was drawn here, 4 years ago I met with a counselor and during one of our sessions she effortlessly said "you have abandonment issues" and was on to …

I relate to the whole abandonment syndrome 
I have been battling this all my life. There are many abandonment issues as a child, Dad went into service the day I was born and was gone for 15mo. Then …

I'm defective. 
Here's my life in short form. 1-5 years old: Spent every waking second with my very affectionate, loving, downright amazing mother who has been through …

Do I have Abandonment Issues??? 
I'm 15 almost 16 and I started noticing that when I'm alone I get very "angry" and lonely, it's not just boredom, when I get home from school no ones here, …

Help!!!!!! 
At the ago of 8, I came to the US with my father and siblings. My mother stayed in behind with her mother. At that moment, I felt some degree of abandonment …

help for a husband who is "a selfish, coldhearted **bleep**"" 
I am going into my 20th year with a woman 10 yrs my senior. I am 43. She was adopted at 6 mos of age to work a holic parents. Her dad is very nice, …

Solving the problem..... 
I have identified myself as an internalizer, by definition according to your description. Literally all of those characteristics without exception. I have …

abandonment issues 
my mother was hard, cold and distant and my timid father died when I was 15. Many relationship failures and my mothers death has resulted in me on the …

Coping with Abandonment Issues 
I hate being alone, especially if I had my own place and 2 dogs with me. I feel so alone even though I have some friends and some in my family to talk …

Is boarding school the right option for a distant child who has been abandoned by her mother?  
I am the eldest of three children. I live in New Zealand and my mum moved to the other side of the country with her partner. She left us to live with other …

Funeral grief 
I'm finding that I get more emotional at funerals then I would like and would like to control this and even more, want to understand where this is coming …

Should I still want "daddy" to be a part of my 18 mo old son's life? Biological father is now entering the family.. 
Here's the background. And please, forgive me ahead of time for doing what I've done with my marriage. I care about my son more than anything though …

birdie6 
I'm having a problem with a relationship. I feel I am no longer feeling attracted to my partner, but I don't know if this stems from my own issues with …

Not even my real family! 
My mother had a lesbian relationship when I was born, and they "raised" me as my parents. It was good until I began to be exposed to others and had to …

A psychology degree holder dumbstruck by this VERY INSIGHTFUL website! 
I, as a psychology degree holding adult, always looked down on "Self-Help" books and sites, but this (despite being filled with jargon I see as Freudian …

Lost 
I'm lost regarding where to go from here. My childhood abandonment was complete.

IS IT ME OR HIM 
I KNOW I AM IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH SOMEONE WHO SUFFERS SEVERE ABANDONMENT PROBLEMS. He is in total denial but i feel all the affects of his behavior and …

Click here to write your own.

child abandoned by mother 
my grand daughter was 3 years old when abandoned by her mother I have raised her since then she is now 8. She sees her mother once a month. Her mother …

Adopted child looking to release 
I was given up at birth, fostered briefly and then adopted into a household where the mother would rather have had boys. Grew up in a moderately abusive …

Crying on the Inside 
I have been working with serious abandonment issues all of my life after my mother left my sisters, brother, and me in an orphanage and ran off to get …

Father - boyfriend 
Hi there, I really enjoyed reading the information on this website, I feel like I am gaining a better understanding of 'abandonment issues' I am planing …

Codependent Man Searching for Help 
Codependent man searching for answers. My issues are causing trouble for me professionally and in my marriage.

feel the fear 
feeling frightened and traumatised for the last four or five days. It is a feeling of impending doom. I obsess over certain things that have happened to …

therapy 
While i agree with the theory of what you say.I would like to tell you that a NHS therapist i saw told me,he said my development was stymied and that …

Invisible! 
I am 52. I am very talented in my field and have been very successful. I have always had a little voice inside telling me my success was luck. It wasn't …

Is it okay to just leave? 
I want to leave, go away, start anew, try again. Is it okay to do that? That thought gives me peace. I have been married for 30 years. We have 3 grown …

What Now???  
I am in awe as I read about myself in all of these descriptions and explanations...and I find a sense of clarity descending upon my soul the more I continue …

WOW! 
I sit here at work, mind you, with racing thoughts and flashbacks of my childhood. I just recently left my husband of 7 years, we were together for 15 …

My adult son wishes he could feel his emotions and show them.  
Today I received an email from my 35 year old son. He feels badly that it's so hard for him to show his emotions. He writes that "he wants to let his …

Starting to heal the abandonment wound - yey! 
I am 34 years old and have battled codependency, addictions, shame, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self mutilation and more. This site is wonderful …

Getting help 
Dear? My husband had a severe heart attack and stroke over one year ago, I have been his main caregiver for that time. We have a Christian ministry, …

Whats the best way to help someone heal these abandonment issues 
My son is 14 years old and his mother doesnt contribute to the parenting very often and when she does I feel its hollow and counter productive. Weeks without …

Finally recognizing abandonment as an issue 
I am 55 years old but still feel like a 12 year frozen in my tracks like a deer in the headlights. I am able to function at my job (barely these days) …

Trigger While Pregnant ? Why have I regressed? 
- I'm 32 and pregnant (1st child). - I think I was abused as a child (emo & a little physical) - As an adult, I thought I was strong, "over" my childhood. …

Doing much better now, partially thanks to this site 
Well it has been a long time since I have been here so I thought I would drop by and let you all know how I'm doing. I've been diagnosed as bipolar with …

Seeking More Freedom 
Learning what I can to foster my part of growth in relationships I am involved with.

I have a problem I can't control any longer 
I just don't know how to feel anymore, I feel out of control and having symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. My husband has left me and we share …

Raised by my grandparents 
My grandparents began raising me at a very young age. They were very supportive and encouraged me to do anything that I was able to do. I felt very loved …

Advice am I an enabler ? 
My boyfriend of almost 2years used to be a heroin addict, well I say used to he has recently relapsed. He used to be so kind and loving now he is so cold …

Just Chriss 
Wow... I'm so happy that I was 'led' to search this issue this week, only after facing an 'abandonment' issue myself. I consider myself a great father, …

My twin and I were three years old.  
Our mother left when we were three. I still don't have the whole story but at three, she was out of our lives. Dad kept us and our brother, who was 8 at …

Self Worth vs. Illusions of Self Hatred 
I just realized that the pain of abandonment, the tendency to try to control my environment so I won't feel the pain out of mere survival, the lack of …

Click here to write your own.

Realizing Bigger Picture  
I am realizing how the pain of abandonment, the level right before the true self, is the culprit of many losses in my life. What introduced me to even …

Truth and Love (self-love) Can Set You Free 
I am the first born of an alcoholic agoraphobic father and an alcoholic borderline personality mother. I was the hero that took care of everyone -- mom, …

AWAKENING  
Oh my God, this has helped me so much, I'm 58 years old. I am a christian, I believe God loves me, but obviously only when I felt like I was pleasing …

Abandonment seems to never leave me 
Grow up on a dysfunctional home with an alcoholic father left me codependent my whole life one bad relationship after another. Been in counseling several …

Once Loved 
I grew up in a broken home. My parents had been separated since before I could remember. It was just a way of life for me. Both my mother and father loved …

Just the facts 
I am 33. I have a daughter. I have a good job. I seem pulled together on the outside. I separated from my husband February. I do not talk to my parents …

Body Sorrow 
For all of the life i remember - my body has been a target for pain and aggression. at this time in my life after having been told how "wrong" this body …

I'm a 20 year old thirty-er, what can I do? 
Born in a dysfunctional family, where violence and daily being cursed, downtrodden and ridiculed, I was a very insecure boy in my teenager years. Did not …

Adoption is Abandonment 
I was abandoned at birth, fostered for 2 months, then adopted out. My parents adopted 4 children and were always hailed as heroes for "saving our lives"; …

Healing Abandonment 
I have tried to put my childhood issues behind me and forget it. However it has affected my life in a terrible way and I want healing to get to the root …

Loosing my Son 
I was meditating to the sound of tranquility falls 3. I was at the side of a beautiful brook in the meadow that Don describes. Suddenly it reminded me …

Can you be addicted to depression itself? 
I have been depressed all my life, it is my comfort blanket, I identify with so much that is written on this site and as I cant identify with any other …

Repetative Abandonment 
Most drs I saw could not relate to my situation and understand there was a problem at all. I'm 66 yrs old but still feel afraid. Orphaned early and mentally …

Grieving the losses 
When I was around 16 years old, I had a kind of psychological awakening that rocked me to my core. I can remember sitting on the sofa staring at my mother …

Just Getting Started. 
I am just getting started through this abandonment recovery. I've always knew it to be an issue but my boyfriend & I have had some changes that should …

DOUBLE ABANDONMENT 
When I was five years old my mother and father split up. There were four children involved. My brother and I were put in a foster home. My older sister …

Trust in a higher power 
As the pain from my childhood abandonment issues surfaces i am filled with fear and trauma. This fear seems to manifest itself in a fear of the future …

Need to Feel Needed 
I had a mother who became busy with my brother's children when I turned 14. His wife had a serious disease. I became jealous of the attention they were …

Auto Childhood Response 
My 4 sisters and I were raised by a mother who did not show any type of loving affection or nurturing. She was efficient in making sure we were fed, cleaned …

Daughter and Abandonment 
When my daughter was only three months old, she was taken from me by her father. We had been married for three years. I was only 22 years old he was …

Call Aunty Vi 
I am 64 and still find it hard to comprehend my mother and father's pure neglect towards myself and my three siblings. I never did and still don't feel …

Abandonment in adult life  
My situation is that I was sexually abused by my father and I remembered it only in 1991 and I dealt with it in therapy. But I just cannot deal with is …

Damn my childhood. 
I am suffering hugely from a sense of abandonment because my GF wants time to herself. I know the logical reason for this, but I cant stop being upset …

My baby brother died when I was 18 months old (he was 4 mos. old ) 
I have abandonment issues. My little brother died when I was 18 month old. He was only 4 months old. My father was away on a trip and my mom was caring …

Abandonment FL 
My four siblings and I were abandoned by our mother, (we were ages 1-5 at the time) and after a year, our father. We were then separated and lived in …

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Loving your Inner Child 
Hi everyone I have been married to a lovely girl for the past twenty years. We have 3 wonderful, special children. They are growing up too fast. …

Getting help for the caregiver in abandonment... 
I have a friend who is caring for her to great-nephews who have been abandoned several times by their mother (no father in the picture, so there is abandonment …

Greetings! 
I came across this website almost a year ago, and only noticed the opportunity to share in the forum, so I'm signing up! Hoping to share more soon! Thanks! …

Struggling 
I come from a birth family of 6 girls - the oldest was born Epileptic. There are 6 years between myself and the next oldest-the next youngest was born …

Withdrawal 
Everything I'm reading in this article has been enlightening, educational and interesting but I would had like to have read something about the role physical …

Repression Onset of Mood Altering Substance 
As a CASAC working in the field of alcohol/addiction for the past 15 years, I’ve completed more that a 1000 psychosocial and have notice that 80-90% of …

Strong Enough to be Vulnerable 
Hello Everyone! I'm a mother of four children. I lost a son 5 years ago. I'm committed to learning how to better meet the emotional needs of my children. …

In the Process of Healing 
Hi Everyone, I have also been through a very rough childhood not having both parent there and also being sexually abused as a child from a family friend. …

Abandonment Revived 
A couple of weeks ago a colleague of mine left her job at work. A group of us went to the pub after work and at the end of the evening we all said goodbye …

Buried Feelings Don't Die! 
I try so hard to distance myself from all the family Drama! thought it would End when Father died, but my own Mother is the Ringmaster of all the dysfunction. …

I was a victim too. 
Although I wasn't a direct victim of sexual abuse, I'm learning now that being a witness to it may have been a big part of my own lifelong pain. My sisters …

New to Recovery 
Hello all! I am very glad to have found this forum. I am a 28-year old woman dealing with some emotional pain from what I've read is deemed "emotional …

Prison with no walls.. 
I have been trying to solve and understand my life ..Is it Karma, God ? past lives? I have been meditating almost 12 years...There were times I will stay …

Comments on "Thaw - Freedom from Frozen Feeling-States" 
Wow! Your new Book "THAW - Freedom from Frozen Feeling-States" is great. It is your best work so far. The first two paragraphs really got me (and several …

I just can't let go 
I was almost 13 years old when I last saw my father. His last words to me, I'll see you next weekend....next weekend never came. I was just starting …

I want a better life for myself. 
I went to see my mother and brother at Christmas time and ended up staying much longer. My mother had signed power of attorney and everything she owned …

Giving up the chance for friendship 
I try very hard to form friendships, but I find that the process of getting close is always very painful. Usually when people start to pull away it brings …

50 YEAR JOURNEY 
I have managed to live my life not addressing the issues caused by my parents who physically abandoning me at 2 yrs old. I am now 52 and I can tell you …

New Level of Understanding about my Childhood - and Adulthood 
I'm reaching a new level of understanding about my childhood and the source of my inner struggles. Unexpectedly, my stepmother has opened up to me …

Dreams of Family ~ Letting go 
Dreams of Family - Letting Go I was born into a large family. One of 6 children. Yet I was never really part of this family. I was a Christian for many …

It's only taken me 40 years to realise I have abandonment issues! 
I have had a sudden revelation and it's only taken me 40 years to realise I have abandonment issues. At the age of 8 my parents were advised to send me …

Fear of Abandoment 
A little about myself first. I am a male, in mid-40's. I was born on SW VA in 1963, and grew up on a farm. I lived with with my Mother, my Aunt, and her …

I'm not okay, you're not okay 
I Broke up with my Son Today Well, I called just to talk to my son because I love him and he came off treating me like dirt, telling me all sorts of …

Want to do things differently 
For as long as I can remember I have believed that I was no good, stupid, hopeless, a failure. Stupid, I know. My father was a harsh disciplinarian who …

Looking at the Past changes Now and thus the Future!  
I just realized something very profound, I have been given an opportunity that many people never get in life and certainly one that my parents weren't …

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Perhaps I can help another. 
There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders. How many times I have heard this at AA? Now when I get called on to speak I …

Total Abandonment 
The Iceberg Model of abandonment is fine for the situations described. Personally I found I could see no similarities between my experience and the model. …

Abandonment Issues over ex-boyfriend 
I just broke up with a guy who I originally said I forgave for playing head games prior to us getting together. We had been together 2 1/2 years ago and …

Childhood Development of Codependency 
After being in a continual process of recovery for the past 14 years using therapy, books, and 12 step programs such as CoDA, A.A., & S.L.A.A. I still …

I talk and I talk... but I never talk about 'it'.  
I'm a 55 yr old woman who recently began having panic attacks... If any of you have ever experienced a panic attack, you know how horrifying they can be! …

Ending the Cycle of Abuse 
I have an adult son who has expressed that he has abandonment issues. His father and I broke up when he was very young and we were kept apart alot …

Just Listening 
I am new and just want to listen to begin with.

My Abandonment Issues 
Childhood abandonment issues (literally). Not wanting to place blame on anyone. More curious as to why it took me until almost 40 years old to start …

The Iceberg is helping me help others! 
This is the story about how your website has helped me with teaching a class called "Letting Go of Codependency" to incarcerated women. I am a recovering …

Gestalt Therapy Doesn't Seem to be Enough For Me 
I have a wonderful therapist and some of the Gestalt therapies have helped somewhat. However, in reading a "self help" book, recommended by my psychiatrist, …

Don't Give Up Hope - PART II 
...Here, I must talk a little bit more about my father. My father is and has always been violent. He's been like that since he's a child. Therapists believe …

Do Not Give Up Hope - PART I 
I come from what is described here as a "dysfunctional family". My parents got divorced right after I was born. I believe they both have abandonment issues …

Indifference 
I wonder why parents are so Indifferent to Children's thoughts, hopes and dreams. As I have suffered emotional abandonment from my parents my reaction …

Very Tired 
My husband grew up in an alcoholic home, we are now in mid 40s, drink regularly "like Europeans", wine with dinner, but seems to be more. Some addiction …

Fear 
What I learned growing up in a dysfunctional family is FEAR. Plain and simple. Fear. I know there is healthy fear - like when you learn to be afraid …

The Role of a Higher Power 
I was sexually abused by my father for about 14 years, my mother would set me up for the abuse. Although we weren't religious, really, I must have learned …

My Addiction to Partners with Personality Disorders 
My story. I came from a low nurturance childhood. My much loved father died suddenly when I was 7 and I was brought up by my angry, workaholic mother. …

How to Stop These Feelings of Abandonment and Shame 
I write this today as I have had enough of these feelings. I am 30 years old and have been dealing with these feelings all of my life. I am looking for …

How do I help my son 
I have just read part 1 of the Iceberg and it has made me believe what I already thought was going on for my 19 year old son. He is a lovely boy who is …

I'm rock bottom 
I've hit that rock bottom, and here I am. With a history riddled with almost every addiction in the list, I have gotten to the point where I don't really …

Someone knows without me having ever told them 
The Iceberg is the best explanation of what happens to an abused child that I have ever came across on the internet. It is from this that I am learning …

Have I done something wrong? 
"I have never felt good enough. Nothing I do is good enough. If I would just....." I come from a very dysfunctional family, my birth family and …

Abandonment MO 
I am from a very large dysfunctional family and I always felt that no one truly cared for me while growing up. I felt that I seldom had my parent's attention …

Tired of Chasing After Connection 
For over thirty years my wife and I have been involved in the Distancing/Pursuit dance. Not only has it left us both extremely tired from trying to figure …

Joining 
Are there a lot of people in the members area? I like what I am reading here but want to know if there are a lot of people here to receive and give support …

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amazed 
I have been trying to quit smoking cigarettes - the more I think about quitting, the more I smoke. I can't figure out why I smoke. I have a grandson who …

My anxieties are going to destroy what I have 
I am "finally" after years of failed attempts in a healthy relationship. At least the healthiest one I have ever had. The gentleman and I are both in …

All messed up and I feel completely hopeless and helpless... 
Where do I begin? I've have been messed up all my life. I've been suicidal since I was 13 and still very much think of it even to this very day at the …

This is pointless! 
What is the point of expressing oneself when there are no replies to our posts or any sort of help at all?

I NEED HELP! Trying to rebuild a relationship with my 16yr old son him 
I am trying to rebuild a relationship with my 16yr old son. He feels i was not around for him. Truth is that it is partially my fault, but his moms family …

addicted to a person with psychopathic traits 
Your "iceberg" information is on point. It is clear and rings true. I had to read it twice...my defenses are rigid. I am recovering from not a substance …

this is me and my story 
I have read quite o lot of the information on this site and it rings so true, I also have 2 young children and fear so much of repeating unhelpful parenting …

recovering from abuse, rejection, shame, guilt, depression, addiction, anxiety, fear.... Not rated yet
My Dad said I was a 'dead loss' when I was about 4. He was an alcoholic under the influence but I had no grounds to question him so I grew up believing …

Crying too much Not rated yet
I've never had friends or even one friend from about 10 till present, went to Vietnam at age 17 as a medical corpsman, made two friends then but they were …

abandonment CA Not rated yet
I am a well educated woman of 52 years, and have experienced so much abandonment and rejection, in my life, it doesn't seem fair. In the process, I have …

Types of Trauma Not rated yet
I was born in the 1950s in a British Colony in SE Asian country and was sent away to a boarding school at the age of five then sent to another boarding …

Emotionally Unstable; how do I fix these issues? Not rated yet
I’ve had all these things said to me recently. “You don’t show your emotions.” “You’re a suffer in silence type, huh?” “You always let me make all the …

YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF FOUR IN CHAOTIC HOUSEHOLD  Not rated yet
Im the youngest of four children. Now 26 and have a long history of mental health issues. I had no sense of security at home from a very youn age and it …

Older childhood trauma Not rated yet
Is it possible to experience the iceberg when everything in life falls apart at 19? Like mom dying and dad abandoning then? Just wondering if those uncured …

Abandoned by dead mom, then living dad, then finally step mom Not rated yet
I'm a 34 year old African American woman that has seen a lot in life, however, it has not hindered my career...just relationships. My birthmom died when …

Both rebel and entertainer Not rated yet
This is my first step writing about this and getting some help. I found the Thawing the Iceberg to be very apt to my situation yet I found I being youngest …

This information is so amazing. Not rated yet
I suppose everyone has their own personal "Waterloo" and they have to be desperare enough to think outside their normal comfort zone. I'm just glad …

Need to understand Not rated yet
Many years ago I met my wife and life partner of 28 years. Our relationship has deteriorated to the point where she only sees separation as the solution. …

Please Help: 2 Abandoned boys Not rated yet
I volunteered in a children's home 4 years ago and have a built a very close relationship with 2 of the boys I met at the home. At the time they 10 and …

Shame attacks Not rated yet
Could this lead to an eating disorder?

How do I heal from being abandon by my father when I was a baby? Not rated yet
When I was about 1 year old, my father abandoned me. I met him when I was 14, and then he abandoned me again... all my friends throughout my life have …

I want to release the hold that emotional abandonment has on me! Not rated yet
It has been very challenging for me to create healthy intimate relationships. I feel I can never fully open my heart to someone for fear of getting hurt. …

My messed up life. Not rated yet
My mom and dad are drunks and drug addics. My moms currently in jail. I have no clue were my dad is. I havent seen my mother in 5 or 6 years and im 13. …

Thought I had everything figured out! Not rated yet
Until my father died a month ago, I never could figure out what my core issue was, that was holding me back from reaching my full potential...After at …

Dave Not rated yet
My wife and I are about to separate due to my lack of self esteem along with a caravan of child abandonment issues I never dealt with. I am relieved in …

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I am beginning to open my eyes... Not rated yet
A bit young to realized but as 20 year old .... I never noticed all of this. I knew I had depression but from reading this. My eyes have opened. The …

GD Not rated yet
Just Starting the healing process of abandonment. A positive start that I now know what I'm dealing with and things are falling into place. Now sitting …

help Not rated yet
i am a single parent with a 5 yr old son. he was forced to live with a father hes never known for a yr. i was incarcerated. i now have my son back its …

opening up old wounds Not rated yet
Yesterday I went to my first therapy session with a psychotherapist. I told him I am finally ready to deal with my issues head on because my inner demons …

Anger towards Parents Not rated yet
Lately I feel sad and alone. I have had some recent explosive interactions at work. I feel this comes from childhood, family issues and from what I know …

Just want to feel loved. Not rated yet
I'm 17 and when i was just a newborn, my birthmother abandoned me. She left me with my great grandmother, and decided drugs and prostitution, were more …

Trying to hold my family together.... Not rated yet
My boyfriend of 10 years, now fiance and getting married in a week has deep wounds from his abandonment issues as a child. His mother did cocaine before …

A nagging question Not rated yet
Ok, I understand how these feelings of: shame, defectiveness, inadequacy etc… can be triggered off and how this is felt. However I still don’t quite understand …

is help ever to late Not rated yet
my boyfriend is 44 years old and still had hudge text book abandoonment issues.I just told him he needs help as it is wrecking every thing we have.He left …

Behavioural bosanova Not rated yet
I've had panic attacks since I was 14 and am 49 now. I've been through twenty years of therapy with some great results. But I haven't directly dealt with …

Unsure Not rated yet
Hi I am a 33 year old male, I am curious about abandonment issues as I have sort after answers for many years and its only now that through reflection …

Want to break free Not rated yet
Hello i have been emotionally abused all of my life and as a result i turned to alcohol, drug experimentation and a severe addiction to cigarettes, i am …

Newbie Not rated yet
Hello, I am an adult child of an alcoholic who still struggles with abandonment. I'm sure that MOST, if not all, of my decisions are unconsciously led …

controlling depression and feeling lonely Not rated yet
Im now in my 30s and want to stop a bad cycle of behaviour in relationships. I over idolise my partner and can be obsessive, fearing they will dump me …

troubled Not rated yet
my mother left me in the hospital 4 days after she gave birth. consequently i stayed in the same hospital for more than a year. after sometime some generous …

I can't help but hate my mother Not rated yet
At 21 I have been diagnosed with a plethora of mental disorders, ADHD, Bi-polar, BPD, BMD. I just don't know what to do anymore. Knowing that it was my …

all alone  Not rated yet
it started when my parents died, it was my tenth birthday and i had gotten into trouble at school the day before, so my parents cancelled it. i snuck out …

Curiosity  Not rated yet
information needed hi i go to school and for my "research project" i am studying abandonment, it's really big it will decide weather i pass school or …

hello there Not rated yet
Wow, what a model. It makes sense of what I think I am and makes sense of my family growing up and makes sense of what my life is today. I am 28 and have …

Now what?! Not rated yet
I've realized I've major abandonment issues. I understand the power of the sub conscious mind. I affirm, visualize, and try to do things that keep me …

Hello Not rated yet
My problem started with my childhood; from a young age I lived with my grandmother, since my parents never really stayed together. I grew up feeling neglected. …

Adult issues from childhood stuff Not rated yet
I am writing about my husband who is almost 60 who was abandon as a child.(infant). He struggled his whole life with worthlessness. So sad! Shame has …

Just hit bottom... struggling to find a path to healing Not rated yet
I just hit bottom and am ready to admit to being an alcoholic with internalized abuse/abandonment issues. I don't know if I hit it or was pushed there, …

emotionally abandoned for life Not rated yet
I am 16 and have struggled with addictions throughout my life so far. My Dad has narcissism although we don't live with him anymore his actions of scarred …

Poster child or self pittier? Not rated yet
My father kicked us out of "his" house when I was 6 or 7. He was having an affair. Minimal contact thereafter. My mother never discussed it. I recall promising …

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Identifying issues and necessities for a healthy infant development Not rated yet
I am currently in a custody dispute with the mother of my child. We were never married, we were friends at one point in time which lead to having a child …

At the ripe old age of 62 I still have a slight fear of being left. Not rated yet
After many years of talking with people, not all professionals, I still have what I call a fear of being left. I know now this came from a very early time …

Out of the blue Not rated yet
I was talking to a colleague that showed me a video of her daughter at piano recital. All of a sudden, I remembered my mom and I having a fight right …

I'm too old to keep getting my feelings hurt. Not rated yet
I am a 55 year old female with two adult children. My daughter is 33 and my son is 30. When they were 6 and 2 I became addicted to cocaine and became …

It's all so new yet so familiar Not rated yet
Hi I just recently came across this knowledge of why I am the way I am. It is chilling how accurate the descriptors are of my personality and how those …

inappropriate romantic relationships Not rated yet
I would like to know what the connection is between abandonment issues and choosing a partner. I understand codependency and the need to be needed but …

Agoraphobia  Not rated yet
I was a middle child 'independent' and creative but the scapegoat so made myself scarce most of the time. I have been agoraphobic for a number of years …

I'm so proud of my daughter!!! Not rated yet
My adult daughter is going thru some serious emotional issues and has been told by a therapist she has "abandonment issues". I am feeling extremely guilty …

I am trying to understand how my family break up has affected me in my adult life and why Not rated yet
My parents split when I was 12 years old. I was forced to remain with my father and to look after my then 5 year old brother. My father was a volatile …

Brining Colors to Lives Not rated yet
Bringing People to life is all about helping others who are not truly enjoying their life's experiences. i want to do just that.

seeking therapist Not rated yet
I'm seeing some very strong threads from my husband's life, and the destructive impact it has on our relationship. Is there a way to find a local therapist/marriage …

looking for answers Not rated yet
well, I will try to make a long story short: I grew up, I have always felt, in a healthy family situation, the youngest of a large family. We were all …

Ready for a change Not rated yet
Not sure how to do this. I am 28 years old and for the first time in my life I am actually feeling pain. I have so much deep hidden hurt and all I want …

Put into boarding school at age 5-Never lived with whole family again Not rated yet
I was the youngest of 4, sister's 15 yrs. & 8 yrs older, & a brother 4 yrs. older. I was taken to a boarding school at age 5 & told to go play on a hill, …

once you give "it" a name Not rated yet
You're half way home. It is that uneasy feeling that you can't put into words that binds When you open yourself to the pain of discovery grieve the past …

THANK YOU Not rated yet
What a gift you have given to share this road to healing freely with the world. God bless and reward you richly for your work.

Can time heal old wounds? Not rated yet
I'm 49 yrs old and my mom abandoned my siblings and me when I was 10.5yrs old. Lately, I have been very depressed and have thoughts of suicide. I feel …

Taking my anger out on my new boyfriend Not rated yet
I have just met a great guy after being single for 3 years. I know hes amazing because we talk about everything, and omg list goes on. I have realised …

abandonment at childhood Not rated yet
Now 43 years old, just had an affair and through the exploration of why, how etc. I have discovered that there is some core issues linked to childhood …

A marriage of 18 years with abandonment issues Not rated yet
My wife and I have been married for 18 years, we both grew up with abandonment issues, her mother left her from the age of 12 and I lost both my parents …

Where to start - Life is good but I know I need help with this issue. Not rated yet
I have been through so many forms of abuse that at times I really don't know how I've dealt with it all. I'm married to a man that also suffered a lot …

Who am I Not rated yet
This is just for the fun of sharing something, to say I have told someone who I am, not being just a little secret, or a subtle feeling of it deep inside …

Box living! Not rated yet
I am 39 years old, happily married to a wonderful husband, a mother of one amazing 11 year old. I have a beautiful life now, but for as long as I live …

God Loves Me..........Yes Me......I am so important to him, that he cares about me! Not rated yet
I know I am so blessed. Thank you for sharing this information. The impact you have made in my life, just in the past few minutes of reading and the …

I'm 3 years old, where's my mommy Not rated yet
Due to a childhood disease I was place in a hospital 100 miles from my home for nearly one year at age 3. Because of the distance my mother was only able …

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Dying to live a true life! Not rated yet
It's complicated. I was born to adversity... love child... daughter of lies... mother emotionally handicapped, she married an abuser who made my childhood …

I learned a lot about myself  Not rated yet
I would love to know the real me. I know my false self and my pretend self very very well but the real me remains hidden. I learned alot about why I …

this hits me in the gut Not rated yet
I have dealt with this for over 30 years. My abandonment issues have exploded in the past two years. I had an alcoholic abusive father and an emotionally …

Wow I'm beginning to understand ... Not rated yet
Wow I'm beginning to understand why my relationships have been so negative I think back to when I was about 6 years old and so wanted my Mom's approval. …

Uncanny Not rated yet
Reading the material here is like reading my own bio. It's uncanny, but so relieving to have your disposition explained, isn't it? I am due to deliver …

Dysfunctional Family Holiday Not rated yet
My extended family are corporate capitalists of the worst degree, mother and brother-in-law. I have been paid to visit across the Irish sea for 2 weeks …

Still enjoying this website Not rated yet
I don't comment often but I just thought I'd let everyone know I appreciate all that is shared under the Forums. There is always something that I can …

Losing my marriage Not rated yet
I just recently separated from my husband who believes these are his issues, and he let go of a perfectly good marriage that had lots of love. A wife he …

No i love you's when i was a kid Not rated yet
Just came across this site as I scramble and google words that relates to my dying relationship. Been asking myself and seeking how come my relationships …

Abandoned by death Not rated yet
Both parents died when I was a child and then I was raised by my oldest brother and his bipolar wife. So not only was I physically abandoned, but emotionally …

Should Have Known Not rated yet
I did not even know what abandonment issues were..now 3 therapists have left me one moved one retired and one needs a break..they all told me I have ptsd …

The Anger-Pain-Fear Sludge Not rated yet
I have been dealing with this weird combo of the anger-pain-fear sludge for almost 58 years....I became an alcoholic/addict over it all...but I am "recovering"...IT …

I am a middle aged female recovering alcoholic Not rated yet
I cannot believe the accuracy of some of the things I have read on this website. It is incredible. It feels like for the first time someone looked inside …

Abadonned by mother - Anger and guilt arising  Not rated yet
I am currently in a similar situation and am very lost as to what to do,My mother had me very young 17 and had my sister 2 yrs later.soon after my father …

Healing Abandonment Not rated yet
As the oldest child in a catholic home. I stood up to my sociopathic, alcoholic abusive parents and they sent me away when I was 14. I lived in a group …

I can't understand why Not rated yet
I'm attracted to people who have problems...I guess I'm a codependent person... I have problems of letting go things, I hold on to people and memories... …

Serial Abandoner? Not rated yet
My splintered family tree has always been a source of so much hurt in my life, and I place 100% of the blame squarely at my father's feet. My father was …

Abandonemnt Issues... Not rated yet
Abandonment Issues, my own as well as questions of the male side of this issue: I have had abandonment issues much of my life, both my parents died …

Return to happiness Not rated yet
An aunt recently told me that when I was a baby my parents treated me horribly, "I don't know why,because there was nothing wrong with you' she said. Well …

smoking Not rated yet
Hi everyone, i think i need some counselling! I never could understand why i smoke so much, or if I stop I get addicted to other stuff ... shopping, eating, …

My son's anger to his father escalated to his General Anxiety Disorder Not rated yet
His father and I separated when he was e years old. I thought that would be the best for Sean so that he will not grow up seeing his parent fight all …

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Click on the links below to read this Free Four-Part Preview of "The Iceberg" Online,

The "Iceberg", Part I -- Abandonment Issues

The "Iceberg", Part II -- Codependency

The "Iceberg", Part III -- Addictive Personality

The "Iceberg", Part IV -- Overcoming Addiction

Related Links

THAW-Freedom from Frozen Feelings

Go to Core Issues that Cause Low Self Esteem

Self-Harm & Trauma Echoes





This information is not a substitute for professional evaluation and/or treatment. Reading the information contained here may trigger strong emotional reactions. If you have an emergency, call 911, other local emergency contact, your local emergency room, or law enforcement agency.
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