Total Abandonment

by edge
(nz)

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. I realized that this is because I was consciously abandoned. One way of imagining this is to see the line defining abandonment rising as I grew older.

I certainly experienced many of the abandonment messages from my parents in my early years, but at 7 I was physically and consciously abandoned. By the time I was 8 the line had topped the Iceberg and I was totally abandoned and I knew it.

My question is - if the whole of the self is abandoned is it all false self, even the conscious self? Where do shame and contempt, the natural reactions to abandonment fit into this model?

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May 08, 2010
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The Whole Iceberg
by: edge

Hi Don, A further update on my progress in these last months. I am undergoing 1-on-1 and also trauma group therapy so have plenty of professionals behind me. What I have discovered is that in my case the whole iceberg is false self - something which I could not conprehend when I first saw the model.

I have had to look back carefully. First I discovered that I do not have a primary emotional system like other people. In particular I don't have fear, but also don't have most of the other emotions. I think I have a sense of humor but it is pretty black - however I don't laugh when other people do, I laugh at things that no one else sees.

My emotional world exists only under a rational filter. There is a delayed reaction while I think about something and then I will have an emotion in a few hours or a few days. I do have immediate somatic reactions.

The next thing I discovered was that my earliest recollection of myself as a precocious 4-yo child that was always supposed to be grown up, was not accurate. I assumed that there was a lot of child in that 4-yo, but I now realize that the 4-yo was all adult.

I had thought that there was some part of me that was intact - but I now know that my 4-yo child had no child integrity and was a creation.

This now makes sense as it explains why I did not react to things that happened later in my childhood the way any (normal) child would. It also means I have the rug pulled out in terms of a recovery based on some authentic remnant of myself. I may just have to accept my predicament as I understand it.

Mar 23, 2010
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Take what you need and leave the rest...
by: Don

You're welcome Edge...I'm sorry you couldn't find what you are looking for. As you probably already know, no "model" is perfect.

It would be unwise to try to make one "fit" so I am not even going to try. It's like trying to force on a pair of shoes that are 3 sizes too small -- Even if you managed to get them on it would do more harm than good.

As to your original question about the Iceberg, one thing I can say is that the "false self" (in this model) is not really a "self" at all. It represents emotional pain and woundedness. This model presupposes there is a true self underneath the woundedness.

Good luck to you and I hope you find the answers you seek. It sure sounds like you deserve a break!

All my best,
Don

Mar 23, 2010
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Surviving the Unsurvivable
by: edge

Thank You Don for your response. I can understand your reaction. Trying to imagine such a feeling is quite impossible and I would not expect anyone to do that, or even to try to. I did indeed experience the loss of the will to live. I have an intimate understanding of that state. I don't believe we are looking at the model with different sets of glasses. I believe that my interpretation of the model is quite fitting and I understand what you mean when you say that such a state would be fatal. However I did physically survive it. I suspect my psyche did not. I understand your unwillingness to engage with my question directly but to try instead to deny it is valid or possible. That tells me a great deal about the extent of the work I will have to do to recover from my experiences, and the problems I may encounter along the way.

Mar 16, 2010
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Different Model...
by: Don

Hi Edge,

I think we are operating on different models... In the Iceberg, total abandonment means "failure to thrive" syndrome and even death in the worst cases.

I think we must be looking at things through "different glasses" and I simply cannot imagine the emptiness you must feel to describe is as total abandonment.

Perhaps it would help if you tell us more about yourself...then others who may be able to relate can give you some feedback.

Welcome to the Forums!

Don

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