Abandonment overlaps with bereavement in that they both involve loss. For the abandonment survivor, the loss is just as disruptive and painful as it is for any other type of grief. Closure is incomplete because the person has not died, but has chosen not to be with you. Rejection, withdrawal-of-love, criticism, and desertion create a devastating personal injury. 'Being left' cuts us all the way to the core. We lose not only our loved one, we lose our sense of self.
As abandonment grief progresses, it burrows deep within where it can silently leech away at our self esteem. But abandonment has not been legitimized as its own special type of grief. Everybody seems to know about the initial pain caused by abandonment. It is the latter stages of its grief that have gone unrecognized. Yet it endures, generating sadness, self doubt, insecurity, and fear - - sometimes indefinitely. Unresolved abandonment can interfere in future relationships.
The feature that distinguishes abandonment grief from all others is the damage to self esteem. We turn our rage about being rejected against ourselves. This accounts for the severe depression and self-injury involved in abandonment.Additionally:
"The prelude to suicide is accumulated, unearned 'Guilt' and the abandonment by those in whom all of one's trust has been deposited, plus the sense that one has failed in all things."