Similar to when I’m feeling sick, the other day I decided to reach out to google to see what was wrong with me. However this time, it wasn’t to research what illness I had contracted, it was to figure out the issues of my love life, or lack thereof, haha.
So as I was googling my ‘symptoms’ or whatever it was I was experiencing, it brought me to a page full of articles on abandonment issues.
‘Abandonment issues. Abandonment. issues. Abandonment issues?!’
That’s precisely what crossed my mind when I read those first couple of words. It just didn’t make any sense to me. I was trying to figure out how I could have possibly developed abandonment issues. I have an extraordinarily loving family, my parents are still together to this day, they’re unbelievably supportive in everything that I do…
Then it dawned on me.
When I was younger, I was living a happy little life in California with my parents and grandparents. One day when I was about 7 years old, I remember I was playing with a couple of my friends at our apartment. My mom told me to come over & give her a hug because she had to go. I remember thinking ‘really mom?‘; I was too busy playing with my friends.
I didn’t think too much about it, I thought she’d be coming back as she usually does. But as it turns out, she was leaving to catch a flight to Minnesota to get herself situated before eventually bringing me along too. I remember when it came time for my friends to leave, I went into my room feeling confused and that night I quietly cried for my mom in my bed.
My mom was not physically present in my life for approximately a year but I really don’t remember much from that time. I’m not exactly sure if I blocked this event from my memory or if I just didn’t consider it significant, but I rarely ever think about that time of my life. I remember feeling a little sad & confused, but I don’t really remember experiencing any feelings of abandonment per say. But then again I was a child who never experienced abandonment, so how would I know what I was feeling? That’s why I was puzzled when my google results came up with ‘abandonment issues’. But it all is slowly starting to piece together.
From being a psychology major, I understand the significance of childhood events and how important of roles these events play in sculpting you into the person that you are today.
This gives me a better understanding as to why I am the way I am. Why I act the way I act. Here’s a little bit of what I’ve learned about myself:
I don’t ever want to be completely emotionally available to others because when they leave, it hurts. I’ve learned to keep a wall up as a protection mechanism. Because if I never allowed myself to fully attach to this person in the first place, when they do leave, it won’t hurt as much.
I seek out unhealthy relationships to avoid the emotional intimacy. Avoiding emotional intimacy means a smaller chance of getting hurt.
I try to hurt those I love most so that when they eventually leave, I can blame them leaving on my actions. And my actions are something that I could control. Because if they ended up leaving without me hurting them, it would feel like they left me because of the person I am. Does that kind of make sense? Or maybe it just make sense in my head?
I also find myself sabotaging healthy relationships to almost reinforce or justify my ‘abandonment issues’. Because in my mind, everything is temporary & everyone ends up leaving eventually. And this isn’t a healthy mindset to possess when stepping into a new relationship. I have to enter the new relationship with an open mind and not let actions from previous partners cloud my judgement of this new person.
As they say, the first step is acknowledging that you have a problem. Now that I’ve determined what my issue is, I can start working on the healing. I’ve got to allow myself to feel my emotions and open up to others. Yes there is definitely a risk of getting hurt, and yes, it is extremely scary. Quite frankly, I’m terrified. But isn’t it so much worse to not permit yourself the experience of love all because of fear?
You guys, I honestly feel like my own personal psychologist sometimes. (I mean I majored in psychology so I’m basically a psychologist, right?)