Ending the Cycle of Abuse

by Kathy
(Phoenix AZ)

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 due to his father's family, distance and things like my own dysfunction and inability to stabilize my own life, (coming from a family with severe problems of my own). It effected both of us obviously.

We are very close now and I think that is making both of us much healthier. I'd like to be able t help him overcome the feelings of abandonment so he can make better life choices and live a more fulfilling life.


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Feb 09, 2010
To Angie
by: Kathleen D. Cone

What I mean by changing the past is to rexamine it and see it for what it was, (right or wrong, good or bad, painful or joyful) which changes who I am now and thus the furture. And that I've been given the time and grace to do this, in this life time. For that I am so grateful.

Feb 09, 2010
I had an epiphany yesterday
by: To Angie

I just realized something very profound, I have been given an opportunity that many people never get, the grace and the time, to change the past. I am truly humbled by this epiphany.

And of course it made me cry!

Angie, thank you for your story and it's honesty! Right before I started working in this forum I sent a link to this page to my son... excited that I'd found something that I thought would really help with the abandonment issues he has vocalized to me in the past and even recently and he said something similiar, such as, "Why would I want to drag all that stuf up right now in my life, I have enough problems I'm trying to deal with."

He knew I was coming from a position of love and just wanting good things for him, so he he was kind about asking why I kept sending him different links and I explained how much I loved him and wanted him to be fulfilled in life, but had to promise not to keep sending anymore for now.

I will keep doing my own work and as I overcome he will be able to overcome... He's so much like me and admires me as a person and because we were 'kept' apart so much over the years, truly wants me in his life. So I just know that I've been given the grace to change the past (within myself) by changing the future, by learning to live now!

Thank you and Don for this forum, it is amazingly helpful!

with love and gratefulness, Kathleen

Feb 09, 2010
To Kathy
by: Angie Carter

I also have a son who has been abandoned - by his biological father, physically and emotionally, as well as being abandoned by me at various times throughout my addiction. I was a single parent and did pretty good in some areas but lacked healthy skills in other areas.

He realizes that he has abandonment issues has has been able to verbalize these issues over the years, but not really get in there and do the work it takes to really heal. He is currently active in his addiction but trying to control it to the best of his ability. He will be 30 this year.

When he was younger (late teens - early 20's) I pushed and pushed and pushed as to why he would not get in recovery or at the very least "go talk to someone and deal with his issues."

One day after another battling conflict and head butting about the subject he says "You just don't get it do you???" I said, "what??" He proceeded to tell me that it felt like to him that if he went inside and got in touch with all "that stuff" that he may just curl up in ball on the ground in the fetal position and not get up.

Another words, it wasn't time yet. Just because I was able to start doing inner child work (I was in my 30's at the time) doesn't mean HE was able to start this process in his 20's. I could respect that AND understand it.

So for now, I am doing what both you and Don talked about - just continue with my own process and try to be an example. He frequently has questions - which of course I am happy to answer! :):)

He will get there, in his time and in God's time. Too bad God and I don't have the same Timex though!!!
Angie C.

Feb 02, 2010
As I work to know who I am, he will then have a mother that can by example offer to him this same gift of life
by: Kathleen D. Cone


That is exactly the conclusion I came to after typing the question out in your forum. By example, because our children, whether they are adults now or not, model themselves after their parents. And even more so an adult/child who has been part of the cycle of dysfunction. It's as if the inner message to my son will be, "My mother overcame, I am a part of who she is, I can overcome". It should ultimately give him hope to see me recover.

I'm proud to say that I did not abuse my child the way I was abused, but it is obvious traits inherent in my behavior over the years transferred into him... this means they can be altered as I work to know who I am, he will then have a mother that can by example offer to him this same gift of life.

Thank you, for being here and listening to what I am saying.


Feb 01, 2010
Show him how to do it...
by: Don Carter

Hi Kathy, welcome to recovery and thanks for your post.

The best way to keep things moving forward with your son is to keep learning, talking, and asking questions about abandonment so you can recover from your own woundedness. By doing this he will watch and learn.

Recovery is about attraction rather than promotion. When you heal he benefits from the resulting relationship and sees that it is possible.

Take care and keep coming back!


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