I remember when I was a little girl about four or five having constant attacks of anxiety thinking that my parents would either abandon me or die leaving me alone and unloved. That fear of abandonment still haunts me and this is a ”part of myself I hate”. I blogged yesterday about entering this “The 30 Posts of Truth” that I found on Faerie Sage’s blog and this is my first post. I was thinking last night about all these things I hate about myself and they all rung true intellectually, but emotionally I didn’t connect to any of the ideas. If I’m going to blog about something so intimate, I want to really be able to feel it and connect to all of you authentically. Cathartic? We’ll see. Honest? Yes.
It’s not like my parents or anyone else in my family intentionally threatened to leave me, I’ve just always had this fear. I hate to sound like I’m constantly blaming my parents, but I know that the root of this issue started as a baby connecting to my mother. At least that’s what my intuition is saying. My mother as I’ve blogged before was in a really unhappy marriage with my father, exhausted by my two brothers (ages six and eight years older than me) and had resentment because she felt stifled. I had colic as a baby and I know that my mother was too emotionally bankrupt to ease and soothe me the way a baby needs. My father was left to walk me late at night as my mother closed the bedroom door to shut out the noise of my crying.
My oldest brother, Eric told me that sometimes he would just like to look at me in my crib when I was a sleeping. If I started to cry and wake up, my mother would get so angry and yell at Eric for waking me up and make him stay outside of my room listening to me wailing, while at the same time, walking away and leaving me alone to cry in my crib. As I said, she was very unhappy and while parents do the best with what they know of at the time, that doesn’t mean that children aren’t wounded in the process.
My abandonment issue intensified when I was eleven and while I was away at Summer camp, my parents had separated without telling me. I’ve blogged about my experience on eWitch. Basically, I came home, found my father had moved out of the house, was told we had to sell the house my mother and I lived in and I had to find another home for my dog “Frodo” who I loved with all of my heart. Frodo, was a Cairn Terrier, the same breed that “Toto” was from the movie “The Wizard of Oz“ . I still can’t watch that movie without crying. Yep, a tornado struck my house and I was plunged into a world that frightened me and left me feeling adrift.
I’m not going to go into the details of the why’s and wherefore’s of my parents divorce now, I’ll just say how it was handled could have been a little less jarring and emotionally healthier, as much as any divorce can try to be for a child.
So, how does my abandonment issue play out today? Every time I enter a potential romantic relationship I start panicking and get extremely needy which I think is so “ugly”. I get this pending doom inside telling me that I’ll be left and that my heart will be broken, even without any trigger on my partners part. I also have picked men who “love” me more than I love them resulting in detachment and superficiality on my part. My unconscious belief is that since I’m not as attached to them, I won’t feel as hurt when the relationship ends. Insane and destructive, right?
Another arsenal I use is to just not get into a relationship so that no chance of intimacy or hurt can occur. I have a blog friend who is so mistrustful of everyone he meets both on the internet and in his “real world” that he stops any chance of us getting to know each other on a deeper level. It’s painful to experience because I used to be as frightened as he is and also I really like him but he just keeps pushing me away. As sad as I am about the situation, I’ve matured enough not to think something is wrong with me or believe that he’ll eventually change.
In the past, I’ve attached myself to men who couldn’t love or appreciate me from the beginning which brings me back to the familiar place of feeling abandoned and alone. Nobody said that our defenses make sense or are healthy, but they originate from a place of
Wounds that we collect as children can eventually heal into being a scar which can bles us with courage and a greater capacity to love if we let it. At least that’s been my personal experience. I’ve been working on this knotted piece of abandonment issue for so many years through therapy, following my spiritual path, and other various salves to ease my pain and make me stronger.
Can I safely say that when I do find a man I’m romantically interested in I won’t fall apart from neediness and fear? No. But someone I really admire once told me that really, our fear of abandonment has nothing to do with the other person leaving us, it’s more the fear that we’ll abandon ourselves. I made a vow to myself a long time ago, that I’ll be my own
So, I’m going to change this post from writing about “something I hate about myself” to “writing about a part that needs my attention and compassion.” Hate is such an ugly word and action based from fear. I’m tired of being afraid and sabotaging myself when it comes to love.
There you have it folks, I’ve shared a part of myself that I keep locked deeply in the shadows. It feels kind of good to let you into my world. It’s all part of reclaiming and cleansing a wound from long ago.
I’d like to ask you, how are your abandonment issues triggered (because we all have them to some extent) and what do you do about it?
© 2010, Wendy S.. All rights reserved.