Post 1 of the “30 Posts of Truth;” Something I Hate About Myself

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lonely catwomanI 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.

Newborn 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.

Dorothy and Toto

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.

LostintheClouds

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?

Betrayed

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 self-protection which can stifle us unless we become conscious of them.

trappedWounds 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 best-friend as well as being a loving mother to that crying baby inside of me.

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.

Angel Child

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.

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About Wendy S.

I'm slightly "mad" with a good shaking of whimsy thrown in for good measure. When I'm not up, I'm down and sometimes if I'm lucky I'm somewhere in between due largely to having Bipolar Disorder and crazy genes ; ) I'm pagan by nature and witch by choice and I have two very beloved and spoiled feline familiars, Miss Bella and her sister, Sele. Am I a crazy cat lady? I'm an introvert in the "real" world but I love meeting new friends especially in the blogosphere where I've been blessed to meet many of you. Please introduce yourself if you'd like so that we can get to know each other better, especially if you have a blog that I can visit. And thank you for flying the friendly skies of United Broom Stick Airlines with me. Hold onto your hat, it's going to be an interesting ride.
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25 Responses to Post 1 of the “30 Posts of Truth;” Something I Hate About Myself

  1. A brave and honest post, Wendy! You’ve clearly done a lot of introspective self-analytical work around this issue. I really like your approach of attention and compassion to this issue, not the simple but self-defeating characterization of it as a “hated” part of yourself.
    Debra She Who Seeks recently posted..Its the Witches New Year!My Profile

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      Thank you Debra for the acknowledgment. It seems just as soon as I have one layer worked on, I have to un-peel another issue like an onion. But that’s the way to live isn’t it? And one of my goals is to view myself and others with compassion which I’ve studied from Buddhism. So namaste ; )

  2. avatar Theresa says:

    This was such a powerful and honest post. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of yourself. Theresa

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      Thank you Theresa for commenting and appreciating me opening up about myself. It gives me more courage to keep doing what I’m doing when people like you comment.

  3. avatar Jeff Beazley says:

    Commendably frank and articulate, Wendy. Congratulations. No self pity; just a straight exposition of causes and consequences. Which is why, no doubt, I felt such pity for that poor baby being left to cry alone, not to mention sadness for the big brother. And I totally agree that there’s no point blaming your parents, because nobody else can live inside their heads and know what their state of mind was. I understand it all so well, because I have a similar problem. The fear of abandonment has always cast a bit of a shadow over my own life, and the causes are not dissimilar. It was nearly twenty years ago that I spent every day walking alone on the beach and learning to drop the blame and bitterness. It didn’t cure the fear of abandonment, but it did put it into a context that made it much easier to deal with.

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      Thank you, Jeff. I hate sounding like a whiner and I always appreciate your honesty as well. I heard once “You can blame your parents for what they gave you, but blame yourself for what you do with it.” That’s kind of stuck with me. I guess the fear of abandonment never completely banishes but we can transform it and “drop the blame and bitterness.” I like what you said. Understanding is a huge movement forward no matter how lonely the path may be.

  4. avatar Leathra says:

    Hmm…well, I wouldn’t say its abandonment issues for me so much as insecurity. I’m afraid that people don’t really care about me–that they’re playing me or it’s just superficial, whatever reason. My usual tactic would have been to manipulate them into expressing concern or caring for me. Triggers would be if people are ignoring me.

    I’ve actually managed to come leaps and bounds with my insecurity issues, which I attribute both to my maturing mentally/physically/emotionally and the amazing man that I have in my life. I no longer feel the need to force people to prove that they care about me. I can look back at what I did in highschool and earlier with astonishment–that is, how I manipulated people just so I could get a compliment, however insincere. I’m able to be much more true to myself.

    Wendy, my wish for you…..Confidence. You take so much courage in baring your soul to us. You see, it isn’t courage that is the issue–from where I’m standing, you have plenty to spare. Perhaps it is confidence… (what if he doesn’t like me? what if he leaves?) Yes. For you, my dear, I wish you confidence…take your courage in hand and find the confidence within you that I know is ready to grow. Best wishes….
    ~Leathra
    Leathra recently posted..I finally got a new phone!My Profile

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      Leathra, thank you, thank you and thank you. I’ve done that tactic too when testing out a person and their motives. It’s funny that as insecure as I am, I’ve learned to trust my intuition more and can now discern if a person genuinely likes me. So my wish back to you, is to find people who openly express their appreciation and love for you. You offer so much and are so beautiful. I think it’s wonderful that you have a partner who really helps you to shine. Someday, I pray that I’ll find him. And it’s funny how each Witch’s New Year I focus on a word as opposed to a “goal set in stone or resolution” which I hate. You just gave me a great gift with the word, “confidence.” I LIKE it : ) Many blessings and hugs back to you, Leathra!

  5. avatar Ace says:

    It’s good that you don’t blame your parents, it serves no purpose to blame others. Still….it is easy to see where your fear of abandonment got its start. I can probably tag my mom for the roots of my issues in this area, too, but these days it’s my kids that trigger the real fear. One of my absolute worst fears is that I will end up old and alone with no one caring about me. The issues we’ve been talking about with my son and his wife have me shaking in my boots and while I know my daughter would be there….she may physically be nearly 1000 miles away if she has anything to say about it and that KILLS me. I have been struggling a lot with my feelings of rejection and not putting them off on her. Some days that goes better than others.

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      Ace, you and I have talked about our mother issues which easily can shift onto mothering our own children. The fact that you’re aware of your fear and esp. with all the trouble with Matt recently shows you are capable of overcoming the sadness your mother passed onto you as well as the inability to really be there for YOUR children. They’re lucky to have you and it is extraordinarily painful to have one’s children shoot out hurtful words and actions. Keep reminding yourself about how much you offer your children and know that you’re a loving and wonderful mom. And don’t worry about ending up old and alone, we’ll spend our days together laughing and traveling the world as old goddess crones ; )

  6. avatar Faerie Sage says:

    Try 2 lets hope my computer lets me post this time! Wendy thank you so much for your open and honest blog post! I can understant that fear of abandonment! My fear in this area stemmed from a silly thing really when I was very young I saw a show where the main character (same age as me at the time) lost both thier parents and was orphaned, from then on I was terrifed that I would loose my parents and or my sister. The last thing I would always say before going to be or before parting was I love you, just in case. When this fear eventually subsided, as I grew older I never left behind the habit of I love you. To be truthful it is still a fear I have, fueled by the death of my best friend and the serious case of survivors guilt which I suffered afterwards. So I to fear abandonment, not necessarily the same way but to be left all alone in this world, one of my worst fears. Wendy thank you for being so open and honest it allows me the courage to do the same on my own blog.
    Also thank you so much for all of your wonderful and encouraging comments on my posts as well as the kind words for Truth 3 it is good to have friends who can understand grief.
    Blessings
    Faerie Sage recently posted..Truth 3My Profile

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      You do know that Merc. Retro is coming up Faerie Sage, don’t you? It starts about two weeks early and effects all bands of communication which is why not only you, but myself and another friend have lost words we write on a computer. Email me and I’ll tell you about a fantastic extension that Firefox (the browser I use) which saves all the words you write automatically anywhere on the computer. A real life-saver and helps with all the damn frustration I experience. O.k. moving on to less non-techie. stuff. And I don’t think it’s silly at all to be influenced as a child to develop fear when watching a show where parents die and we’re left alone. I mean as children we’re extremely sensitive, some of us more strongly than others. And you have had a lot of loss and I think of your incredibly painful and beautiful post about losing a best friend. And thank you for always showing me love and encouragement by being truly authentic on your own blog and commenting here. You’re a valued person, Faerie-Sage and right back to you with the love and blessings. We’ll support each other through the difficult storms and celebrate when the rainbows appear. : )

  7. avatar Susan G says:

    Good sharing, you dove deep, and I appreciate that. I’ll be back…but wanted to say now, that I bet your mother was also suffering with post-partum depression. I have known several women trapped in unhappy marriages with children. Including my own sister. The children were not ignored or blamed. Usually when a mom can not bond properly or care properly for her new baby, it is post partum depression. I do not know what year you were born but depending on that time frame. People would DARE NOT admit to feelings of hopelessness, and not being happy with or being able to bond with their new baby.
    Many Gentle hugs,
    Sue
    Susan G recently posted..Spreading the Sunshine! or is that BullChips LOLMy Profile

  8. avatar Lyn says:

    This is such a beautiful, soul deep post Wendy. Thank you for sharing. I love the way you’ve turned around hate into something that needs attention. If we all realised hate is a call for nurturing we would all live much more peacefully and happily.
    Lyn recently posted..Are You Your Best Or Worst Own WitchMy Profile

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      Thanks, Lyn! You’re always there to lend a sympathetic ear and have shared so much of your own struggles. May we both have deep peace of the soul and heart.

  9. Wendy. Isn’t that a shame. I know exactly how you feel on the fear. I to have a deep fear of abandonment. Which has seeped into my relationships with everyone now.
    I know why I have it. I used to wake up crying, because I’d dream over and over again of my parents leaving me. My mom would get lost and I couldn’t find her. My dad would go into a store and the car would drive off on its own with me inside, no more dad.
    I think its because my father was in the military. And the first 6 months of my life he was gone to the Middle east on exercise. People probably don’t think these sorts of things have effects on children. But they do. Babies/children are very observant.
    I grew older, I became jealous / possessive of my friends and family. Because if they got a new friend, I thought they’d leave me.
    Its wasn’t until recently ( 3 year now’ish) that I came to realization. That if someone left me. Its probably for the best. Everyone deserves happiness and other friendships. And if I can’t provide them with what they need, they should seek it out from someone else. I know now That no one is leaving, unless its for a really good reason. And anyone who truly cares for us. Will be back one day.

    :) I hope you move past this fear one day with great success Wendy. And when you do or even if you never completely make it to free from the fear. I’m all ears over here if you want to talk.
    Jaimie- Lyn Oldfield recently posted.. What HappenedMy Profile

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      You’re a woman of true strength and grace, Jamie-Lyn. I can’t even imagine how confusing and scary it must have been to have your father gone and your mother having to hold down the fort. I love what you said that if someone leaves us then it was probably for the best. Even though it hurts like hell when it happens, I know that hindsight there’s always a divine plan. Thank you Jamie-Lyn for your honesty and being such a good friend.

  10. avatar Pamela Sweet says:

    Wendy, thank you so much for sharing yourself with all of us. It touches my heart. I went through a long cycle of choosing men who were not right for me as you did. Even being married to the most marvelous man now, there’s a nasty little voice inside that badgers me with questions about him eventually leaving. It seems that you’ve done a lot of work on this issue and are an inspiration to me and others. Thank you.

    I am putting together a blogroll of those working through the 30 Posts of Truth and have added you to it. If you know of anyone else, will you please let me know? My blog is at http://blog.sweetsoliloquies.com.

    Hugs!

    Pamela
    Pamela Sweet recently posted..30 Posts of Truth Blog ListMy Profile

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      Pamela, thank you so much for stopping my blog and leaving such an open and touching comment. I love the idea that you’re putting a blogroll for people who are following “30 posts.” I think I’ll do the same and then that way we’re encouraging all bloggers to take up this challenge. Do you mind if I do that? It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone with those painful voices we have about abandonment, even when we’re in a relationship where we feel truly loved. And thank you for including me on the blogroll. I feel a really special connection to all of us who are baring our souls with beauty and strength!

  11. Thank you for your comments and kind words. This 30 Posts marlarky is definitely harder than it looks! A real challenge- although it’s great for meeting fellow bloggers and reading their trials and tribulations. I thought this was a beautiful and honest piece.

    FF xo

    http://fully-fashioned.blogspot.com
    Fully Fashioned recently posted..Christmas may well come earlyMy Profile

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