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Essential Oils for Abandonment Wounds

By Jodi Cohen

A person with long hair sits on a wooden chair facing the sea, with a second empty chair beside them. The scene is ethereal, with waves gently lapping at their feet and a misty, overcast sky blending into the horizon.

As I shared last week, your core wounds can lie at the root of emotional over-reactions.

When a core wounds from childhood have been triggered, it can compromise your ability to regulate your emotions.   This can present as reactivity, emotional manipulation, controlling behavior, or generally unstable emotional reactions.

A core wound may define who you believe yourself to be and influence your thoughts, beliefs, and stories which in turn might cause you to create and attract painful experiences that feed the wound.

Core wounds can form when pain and emotions from a traumatic experience or some form of emotional neglect have been suppressed and internalized.


What is an Abandonment Wound?

Emotional abandonment is very common core wound that can occur in childhood if a significant adult in your life neglects, ignores, dismisses, devalues you fails to acknowledge you.

We all need emotional connection that make us feel nurtured and safe to ensure a better chance for safety and survival, especially as children when you depend on your caretakers to feed and protect you. Abandonment meant you were not safe which understandably triggers primal fear.

As children, if we were physically, mentally or emotionally abandoned we would die so our brains perceived and stored that experience as traumatic.  In addition to needing a safe physical environment, you also to be emotionally seen and heard, as well as having your emotions taken seriously, and being appropriately disciplined (offered boundaries).

Mentally you need to be acknowledged and validated. Healthy self-esteem develops when your parents regard you and what you have to say as being worthwhile, and your efforts as being worthy of acknowledgment. Most importantly, you should know that you are loved even in your failures and do not require achievement to feel approval and acceptance.

Your childhood experience form beliefs in your brain that may include: I’m not lovable, I’ve been abandoned, something must be wrong with me, the world isn’t safe, I can’t trust love, I have to do everything alone, I’m only lovable if I behave a certain way and so on.


What Triggers Abandonment?

Abandonment can be triggered by any of the following emotional or physical triggers:

  • Birth trauma (separation at birth, c-section birth, incubators)
  • Being dropped off at a relatives or even summer camp or boarding school
  • An absent or sick parent
  • Death of a parent, close family or pet
  • Emotionally aloof, narcissist, distant or unavailable parents
  • Childhood abuse, sexual abuse or verbal insults
  • An emotionally cold environment where it was unsafe to express yourself
  • Being put up for adoption or not knowing your birth parents
  • A divorce
  • A workaholic parent who is never home
  • A mentally ill, alcoholic or drug addicted parent
  • The birth of a younger sibling who you feel replaces you


How an Abandonment Wound Feels

If your parent was absent or emotionally unavailable/ immature, they are likely self-absorbed and uncomfortable with their own needs, which means they may become nervous and angry if you as a child becomes upset and they may default to punishing instead of comforting. This, in turn, teaches a child that feelings like sadness and anger are not okay, so we learn to hide and suppress them.

Some of the feelings we might experience with this kind of abandonment wound include:

  • Neglected
  • Ignored
  • Unlovable
  • Unworthy
  • That you are not enough
  • Empty
  • Invisible
  • Striving for attention and validation
  • Rejected or not belonging
  • Question your right to even exist
  • No boundaries
  • Very low self esteem
  • Put others needs before own or diminish own needs
  • Settle for emotional loneliness in relationships because it feels familiar
  • Struggle to ask for needs to be met out to avoid “bothering others”
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Addictions to numb feelings (drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, exercise, binge watching)


Abandonment Wound Symptoms

Abandonment wounds may prompt you to develop protective mechanisms to guard your heart against experiencing the pain of future abandonment that may present as:

Fear of Intimacy: When you feel emotionally unsafe, you learn to repress how you feel which can prevent you from allowing your heart to fully open and surrender.

Fear of not being “good enough”: You may feel that in order to be loved, you need to try harder, be better, love more, give all of yourself. Something is wrong, so you need to “fix” it.

Fear of boundaries or poor boundaries: When you are afraid of being abandoned, you also be afraid to abandon others, so you sacrifice your needs and settle, staying much longer than you want to in unhealthy relationships or situations that you know are bad for you.

Fear of Rejection: Abandonment can feel like rejection which may then be internalized and directed at yourself. The fear that you’ll be rejected may perpetuate feelings of shame about your past choices or guilt about honoring yourself or your truth.

Fear of being seen: You may think you cannot be rejected if you turn within and avoid being seen.

Fear of loss of love: This includes both losing someone or something that you love as well as losing yourself through sacrificing your needs.

Fear of losing control: The thought of letting go, surrendering or releasing control is anxiety-inducing, which stems from a deep fear of failure and associated rejection.

Fear of your own power: If you were raised to think that your needs do not matter, you may struggle to step into your power.

Fear of Being Vulnerable and receiving love: Opening your heart again to receive love requires vulnerability. The fear of being vulnerable or worse, making a mistake may cause you to shut down. Similarly, an inability to fully love and accept yourself may cause you to feel trapped, wanting to escape when things get challenging.

Self-blame: When you’ve been abandoned or rejected, you might develop an internal feeling of non-acceptance, assume you’ve done something wrong and find it difficult to trust and not blame yourself.


Essential Oils for Abandonment Wounds

Essential Oils can help you  access and release emotional trauma by way of the emotional control center in your brain – the amygdala.  As you may know, your sense of smell is the only one of our five senses that is directly linked to the lobe of the brain that houses our emotions and is shown to have a direct effect on the limbic system, where emotions related to abandonment such as fear, anger, depression, and anxiety originate.

The following essential oils blends can help you work through and release some of the emotional holding patterns that may keep you trapped in the abandonment wound.


Lung Support™ to Process Grief and Pain

If you have an abandonment wound then you may be carrying deeply hurt and feelings of loss. Essential oils can help you grieve and release those feelings.

Feelings of grief, bereavement, regret, loss, remorse can obstruct ability of the lungs to accept and relinquish, impeding their function of “taking in” and “letting go”.  Grief that remains unresolved can become chronic and create disharmony in the lungs, weakening the lung’s function of circulating oxygen around the body.  Vibrant Blue Oils Emotion Support Lung Support™ was designed to help overcome grief and let go of negative experiences.

Lung Support™ contains Bergamot which is uplifting, has natural anti-depressant properties, and helps you to relax, regain self-confidence and support self-love, self-worth, self-acceptance. Bergamot helps you step out of your own fears of not being good enough, and habits of holding back for fear of rejection. It instills validation within, allowing you to release abandonment wounds, accept your own authenticity, and release the need for approval, any worries about the opinions of others and relieve feelings of incompetence, inadequacy, or worthlessness by helping you step into our own confidence and empowerment.

This blend works best when topically applied over the lungs or around the ears.  It can also be deeply inhaled and allowing yourself to gently release intense emotions with your exhale as a powerful strategy to allow you to micro-dose emotional release.


Small Intestine Support™ to Set Strong Boundaries

To heal abandonment issues, you need to tap into your true inner sense of self without the influence of those who abandoned you. This means learning to set strong boundaries and advocating for yourself.

Boundaries can also help  you release people pleasing and over-giving tendencies so that you can prioritize yourself and stop prioritizing other person’s needs above your own.

Small Intestine Support™ helps support positive boundaries and confidence to assist in bringing a sense of peace to our lives.  Abandonment issues may impact your boundaries with others.  For example, if you feel like you need to subvert your own needs to make others happy or perform certain roles for others, your boundaries get compromised.

The small intestine plays a critical role absorbing and assimilating nutrients while preventing harmful pathogens and toxins from entering the body. On an emotional level, the small intestine plays a similarly discerning role, helping to maintain healthy boundaries. It is also an area where we can hold abandonment wounds fueled by feelings of lack of self-worth, low self‐esteem, loneliness, neglect and anxieties about survival and success.

Small Intestine Support™ can be smelled or applied around the ears.  You can start on the bottom of the ear at the earlobes and gentle massage upward along the exterior of the ear, hitting many of the major reflexology points.  This article and chart show specific points on the ears for specific issues.


Open Heart™ to Support Vulnerability

Your heart center helps you regulate your emotions and access feelings of love, forgiveness, acceptance, and confidence to support vulnerability.

Heart™ blend was formulated to balance the heart to support, integrate and reset all the systems of the body, including mental clarity, physical health and emotional balance. The heart is our body’s reset button.  By applying Vibrant Blue Oils Heart blend over the heart, it helps return the heart to balance, and strengthen our ability to heal abandonment wounds.


Featured Oils:

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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.