Emotional abandonment has been a huge issue for most of my life. When I was younger, I spent a good deal of time placating and pleasing those around me in order to ensure that they would not leave me. This behavior led me into a series of very bad relationships, which I would not leave myself due to the fear of loss and being viewed negatively by others.
During my journey to healing, I started learning how being alone does not necessarily mean lonely or unloved. I have also learned that leaving a negative relationship will not make me a bad person, or make others think less of me. Even though it has taken a great deal of time, I have also learned that different people have different levels of engagement when it comes to the world around them. Some people may be less engaged than others, but that does not always mean that they care less.
Even still, there are times that silence and distance eat at my confidence and make the internal dialogue kick in. My mind begins racing with thoughts I have sought to quell, like, “What did I do to make them not like me anymore?” “Why are they ignoring me?” “How can I fix it?” And although I KNOW that the situation may not have anything to do with me and it may not even be as extreme as I feel it is, I have the irrational (yes, I know it is irrational, but I cannot convince myself all at the same time) fear that I did something wrong. I want reassurance, yet I know that if it is not about me, I am being inconsiderate and needy…..
It is the seeking reassurance without being needy part that I seem to always get stuck on. How do I express what I think or feel without it coming across as all about me? How do I make someone understand that their silence or distance, while it may be nothing, is flipping me out – without sounding crazy? How do I fight the urge to throw my hands up in the air and say, “Forget it.” because I don’t know what else to do?
And once more I realize that there is much work to be done. My childhood comes back to haunt me, and I feel all of the emotions of my youth rushing in. One day I will overcome it all, but right now I am overwhelmed….