What does it really mean to be abandoned? At its core, it is a relinquishing of responsibility that changes the status quo. It destabilizes what was once known, sending people through emotional and physical withdrawal. The lingering, fragmented emotions make up the pieces of a disassembled puzzle. In examining our own abandoned spaces through time, care, and attention, we can learn to heal.
Such a method appears in writing. Communication is the acknowledgment of emotion and thought. As such, I created Abandon In Time, a journaling book with the intention to help those sorting through their emotions of abandonment and loneliness. Each page features an interactive prompt to provoke memories and encourage documentation. Activities include: drawing, writing, or collecting— all tools that are used in art therapy. This derives from Emotion-Focused Therapy, which proposes the centrality of emotion in meaning-making and adaptive behavior. In search of community and kinship, this project should naturally live online as well. I created a website that centers around collecting, displaying, and distributing the materials and stories of other people. Here, those interested can read into stories of solace, pain, and emotional validation. Whether they be positive, negative, or anything in-between, the simple act of being heard can help mitigate the distress caused by abandonment.