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The 5 Stages of Abandonment


Whether formed in childhood, or through life experiences, abandonment is something that affects just about everyone, and in different ways.


Understanding what is happening is the first step to coping with and overcoming your individual abandonment "issues."


The following are the #5StagesOfAbandonment:


Note, the stage lengths vary greatly depending on the individual. Some can last weeks, months, or even years..



1. Shattering: This is the first stage that comes as soon as you receive the initial shock of the act itself. (Your lover informs you they are leaving, a loved one passes away, a close friend says they are moving away, etc.) Your sense of identity has been rocked, and with that comes a variation of feelings, like, pain, shock, hopelessness, and panic, to name a few. Suppressed, old feelings, will resurface at this time, triggered by the new similar experience.


Due to feelings of overwhelming despair, suicidal thoughts are very common during this temporary period.



2. Withdrawal: Just like a drug or alcohol withdrawal, you crave the connection you are now missing. You yearn and ache to have it back, fueled by the strong human instinct of attachment. The loss actually temporarily intensifies our need for connection. Redirected correctly, this energy can be life-changing.


Inability to sleep, fatigue, weight changes, and anxiety are common symptoms of this stage.



3. Internalizing: This is the stage that can be very damaging long term, if not addressed correctly. During this stage, there's a tendency to turn the anger towards your partner inward and critique yourself and all the things you "could have done differently." You begin to belittle yourself and end up idealizing the person who abandoned you. You believe them when they say it was your fault and agonize over regrets.


It's most important to maintain your sense of self through this process. Remember, this experience doesn't change who you are as a person.


This is the stage where you begin to develop a whole new sense of self. Make sure it's an accurate one.





4. Rage: This stage won't be the first time you encounter anger, but initially it was useless "victim rage." In the 4th stage, your sense of self is tired of the beat down and is finally ready to fight back. This rage is of the far healthier, empowering kind. Fueled by your natural survival instinct, this rage comes to defend and solidify your new sense of self.


Be mindful not to let it get directed inward, in a sort of "agitated depression" but instead use it to fuel achieving the new life you desire and deserve.




5. Lifting: As your anger helps direct your energy outward, you begin to emerge into this new life with a sense of fullness and freedom. You feel your soul lifting to new heights as you transcend through and grow wiser from your journey through life's lessons.


Everything is as it should be, and everything happens for a reason. One far greater than our minds can currently comprehend.






The first letter of each of the stages spells out S.W.I.R.L. Like the endless swirl of a cyclone, our grief process is never-ending. A continuous cycle of highs and lows. However, with the right mindset and determination, you can make the length of the low points a lot shorter.


These feelings are very normal and completely natural. In fact, absolutely everyone should feel them to some extent, and in their own way. It's an instinctual human (living) need for connection, that evolved with us to ensure our species' survival.


We may not be able to control Mother Nature, but we can control our mindset while Mother Nature runs her course.


Find and embrace your most important connection, to self. It's the connection that will bring you more fulfillment and joy than any other connection in the universe. It will also never abandon you.



-Borderline Brooke

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Thanks for stopping by!

Hey! My name is Brooke. 

I'm a Borderline diagnosed at the age of 17; a full-time employee and mother of 4. 

I've decided it's time, though I have a busy schedule, to make time to share what I've learned about BPD not only from my research but from living with the disorder myself. 

I created this blog to help others with Borderline Personality Disorder, as well as those who have someone in their life that suffers from BPD.​

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