Customer Review

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Transforming!, November 27, 2007
This review is from: The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life (Paperback)
Having been through various stages of life experience, with accompanying counseling, self-help work, reading of books too many to count...I experienced a situation over the past few months that sent me into an emotional tailspin. With all the work I had done - family counseling, grief work, overcoming an eating disorder, etc - I couldn't imagine what was working on me. I suffered the breakup of a longterm committed relationship about 5 years ago, did the grief work, went out and created a whole new positive life for myself, and felt I was fine. Then I started having feelings for someone again, and found myself in a meltdown one day when I felt something had happened that made him want to push me out of his life (1, I completely misinterpreted what actually happened with him, and 2, I didn't know at that point that I was crazy-making in my mind thru reliving every past abandonment situation that had hurt me). I didn't want to do any more self-help work, I was tired of it, and I was a little angry to be on this emotional roller coaster again. Nevertheless, after a few days of stewing, I knew I didn't want to be in pain any more, and I had done enough healing and recovery work to know that one best be at it. I realized although I had dealt with the grief of the breakup, I had not dealt with the abandonment issues, which also triggered some ancient stuff for me. I have never wanted to identify myself as a victim, and I feel one has a choice of how to respond when things happen. So far so good. But I had a hunch my pain and my overreaction to a simple event that took place involving someone I care about was ripping open some old wound, and I thought it must have had something to do with the breakup. I started surfing for "abandonment" and there was Susan Anderson and this book. I also purchased her "Black Swan." And I learned she pretty much founded the "abandonment recovery" movement - who knew? This book is truly life changing. I remember once, wondering if it was possible to have some kind of post traumatic stress from emotional "battles" as well as combat (you can)! When she started writing about flashbacks and what unaddressed abandonment issues can do to you in an ordinary situation - I got it, immediately. I was a classic kid whose troubled parents cost me my childhood. Because everything looked good on the outside and I was given many privileges, and I knew that I had worked through a lot of guilt issues and knew I was not responsible for them and I had right to my own life and that I had to learn new ways of interacting with others, I had pronounced myself cured. I didn't want to go thru life blaming my parents, either, and I haven't. Until I read this book, though, I did not realize I was abandoned in my own home as a child. I was abandoned by an emotionally indifferent first husband. I would always leave, not only that marriage but subsequent relationships, before someone could leave me. Until I really fell in love and made a major commitment. For reasons that are immaterial here, he ended the relationship. I thought with all my coping skills, I could be fine - I would have a great life anyhow. And I have. But when that vulnerable emotional spot was recently exposed, flashbacks is the only word for it. Anderson is the first person I have found who addresses this particular wound. She tells the story of one of her clients whose fiance left him, and after unsuccessful dating, he decided to just be single and have a great life - and TEN years later, he was attracted to a woman, went out with her once, she didn't return a phone call, and he fell apart, ended up in therapy. His story was so close to mine - yes, you can carry this stuff for YEARS and be a fully functioning human being. Then, wham! I have done Anderson's exercises and continue to - she says it is easy, and it is. In a few weeks - I realize I have come off of my "fear of abandonment" alert. She not only talks about the Inner Child (and I had done some of that work) she identifies the Outer Child who is the one who acts out, and she does not only have you address your Inner and Outer Child but also your "Best" adult self, and you monitor all the levels of this interaction within yourself. It sounds kind of like multiple personality! - but the amazing thing is how it works, and how really simple it is. It really hit the nail on the head for me - I completely realized that all I was going thru was going on in my mind, not with the other person at all. I cannot recommend this book enough, and I know this is a very lengthy review - but this truly is a unique issue and she explains it so clearly, and has such practical solutions - you can read the book in 2-3 sittings, and you can do the exercises morning and night in about 10 minutes time. I have been liberated from a death-grip fear finally, and its consequent masks, of many years. Get this book, do this work, if you have any possible reason to think you may have abandonment issues.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 17, 2007 6:24:26 PM PST
BJBOBBIE -- thank you, I ate up every word of your story and now
I'm off to get this book.

Posted on Jan 12, 2014 10:38:26 AM PST
LYDIE says:
Very thorough review. A lot of what you mentioned frequently happens to me. Because of your review and a couple of others, I am going to purchase this book.

Posted on Jun 12, 2014 9:07:33 AM PDT
Leslie Cook says:
Thank you SO much for this review. I was googling about recovering from abandonment issues (which I know I have from countless therapy sessions) and up pops this book on amazon. At first I read varied reviews in no particular order and of course, I came across some not so great ones. So I clicked off of this book and did some more googling. I saw some more links and when I clicked on another one it brought me to Anderson's other book Black Swan. I read your review on there, which directed me right back to this see where I'm going at this point. Needless to say, I am purchasing this book today in hopes that it will help me to continue on my path to healing. You review and the words you spoke really hit home for me.....I almost felt as if it were me writing it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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