A.J. Mahari has written several articles on the issue of abandonment. But this is a good one to start with.
It is the core wound of abandonment in those who have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) that is the source of insecure or non-existent attachment that leads to the toxic and unhealthy ruptured relationships that have at their centre emotional enmeshment and an insatiable need for love.
This explains so completely what has happened to me:
The primary relationship, in essence, the first love relationship of your life - the relationship with your mother - is ruptured when primary needs are not satiated. It can also be ruptured by neglect, anger, abuse, inconsistent and/or incongruent parenting. It is this ruptured relationship that impacts the pathological relating seen in and experienced and perpetuated by those with BPD that only continues to recapitulate and reenact this most traumatic loss and the feelings of helplessness and abject terror that accompany it. This repetition compulsion of the original core wound of abandonment sees the borderline cast anyone that he/she tries to relate to into the role of the person (mother, caretaker) that generated this unresolved and traumatic pain.
She explains the cycle of dysfunction so familiar and common amongst people with BPD:
The truth of the matter is that when you have BPD, you are conditioned by the very pain that you are in that you do not know how to cope with, and feel that you must avoid at all costs, to continue to choose the pain and suffering. For many, if not most with BPD, this is truly what is familiar to you. It is what is known. In the absence of a known identity it feels safer to continue to abdicate your personal responsibility and re-play out your original core abandonment wound - and the helplessness associated with it.
I like the way she calls for taking responsibility as an adult. It's too easy to blame others for the way we are, for the things that have been done to us, but I definately agree that change can only happen when we decide to do something about it. It is within our control, even when it doesn't feel like it.
However, now, you, and you alone are responsible, as an adult, for your life, regardless of your past. When you can admit this, sit with this and understand this, you can then make new and different choices to recover from your past.
The thing is, I've taken responsibility. I've admitted this, and I'm sitting with it, and I do understand it - I'm just not quite sure HOW to get rid of that emptiness and continued "insatiable need for love".
It is a relief to know I'm not alone in this. But it is indeed a "core wound". It is a wound of the soul.