Abandonment is a big issue in many of our lives, and many have experienced it. In fact, my daughter, Lawonna, grew up feeling abandoned by me, and the two of us recently had a candid conversation on a previous episode about that very thing (link). After that interview, I talked with Lawonna’s daughter and my granddaughter, Trinity, about the impact of abandonment through generations. It took me to a level of understanding abandonment in a way I honestly never thought about before.
It was such an interesting conversation that I really wanted to bring Trinity on the podcast to talk about it with her. So this week on Overcome With Auntie Anne, I’m talking with my granddaughter, Trinity Goedhart, about generational abandonment and its impact on her life. You might be surprised by what you hear.
Listen to the podcast to hear our entire conversation, or keep reading below for the highlights.
Trinity Lee is my first granddaughter, and she currently lives in Austin, where she works in escrow services with a title company. If you go back and listen to my conversation with her mother, Lawonna, you’ll see that Lawonna experienced tremendous abandonment from me as her mom.
While Trinity has heard Lawonna talk about abandonment before, that podcast was the first time she listened to the two of us talking together about it. And when she heard it, she realized that abandonment really is, or can be, a generational thing.
Although she never intentionally abandoned me, I have my own story of abandonment with my mother. When she and my dad were still relatively young, they left the Amish church. And as a young, married mom, she was somewhat abandoned by her family because of the Amish culture -- she and my dad were shunned.
Because of my mom’s abandonment, I felt abandoned by her as I grew up, even though it was never intentional. And then, when I had kids of my own, I carried that abandonment on to the next generation, and Lawonna felt abandoned by me.
But Trinity’s experience was different. She says that abandonment came full circle in her life -- but in a positive way. While the circle started with my mom, then continued around to me, then to Lawonna, Trinity believes the circle was closed with her mom.
The closing of the circle happened, Trinity believes, because of intentionality. Because Lawonna had experienced abandonment and knew what it felt like, “she was extra cautious” about being intentional to make sure Trinity didn’t feel the same.
One of the ways Lawonna did this was with words of affirmation. “My mother spoke to me growing up right out of the womb,” Trinity says, “[saying things like], ‘You are loved, you are special, you are important, you are one of a kind, you are a daughter of a king’ like every single day.” And Trinity believed the things her mother continually said and affirmed.
These powerful words are what Trinity says helped to close the circle of abandonment in her life. “I think that was my mother’s biggest parenting tactic in this whole abandonment issue was words of affirmation.”
But it wasn’t just the words; it was being a role model too. Trinity saw Lawonna living out in her own life the things she affirmed in Trinity. “She was telling me all these positive things about who I am in my character and my value, but she also lived that,” Trinity says. “She was a strong, confident, powerful woman.” The telling and the showing together are what Trinity says instilled “confidence and reassurance” in her life.
Lawonna also surrounded Trinity with others who would be intentional in affirming her daughter. “I was just surrounded by so much intention and so [many] positive words of affirmation.” Even when Lawonna wasn’t around or wasn’t spending time with Trinity, she ensured she was getting the affirmation she needed.
And Trinity believes this was key. As she rightly says, people who are abandoned feel unnoticed. And when we go unnoticed, we crave attention. And when we crave attention but aren’t getting it, we go looking for it, often in the wrong places.
But Trinity says, “Attention was something that I never had to crave because I had good people surrounding me.” She continues, “I never once had to scream and shout at anyone to notice me or look at me or care for me or ask me how I was feeling or anything like that.” And Trinity never wondered whether or not her mother loved her because all of this reassured her that she did.
What’s amazing is that Lawonna was a working mom, and often Trinity was with babysitters and nannies growing up. But Trinity never thought about the fact that her mom wasn’t home a lot because Lawonna put good people in Trinity’s life that became a part of the family when she couldn’t be there. And because Lawonna was intentional when she was around.
Things can change
For Trinity, the abandonment I experienced and then passed on to her mother brought nothing but goodness into her life. This shows that we can break the generational curse of abandonment if we’re intentional about doing it like Lawonna was.
“It’s been completely eradicated from [my generation],” Trinity says. “And I really feel like you and my mother paid the price for that and acted right to cover my life from that.”
Trinity says that one of the biggest things she learned is to speak up when something doesn’t feel right. And that’s the advice she’d give to those feeling abandoned. Start with talking about it. “Speaking about it is key,” she says. Words are a very powerful thing.
Trinity says that today, her mom is one of her favorite people in the world, and she’s lucky to have such a good relationship with her. “She’s truly one of my best friends, and I am the person I am today because of her.”
The post The Impact of Generational Abandonment with Trinity Goedhart appeared first on Auntie Anne Beiler.