Introspection After Abandonment

It’s been quite a bit since I’ve updated here – my apologies. Last semester proved more challenging than I thought it would be, and not just in the academic way. I was stretched to my thinnest strand emotionally as I dove back into severe anxiety and depression. Despite all of this, I sought out therapy and am in my last days of it for what will hopefully be the rest of my life, or at least a good long while. The thing I want to talk about here is abandonment issues (and sort of commitment phobia).

Until just a few minutes ago, I never would have thought I had abandonment issues. I thought the cause of my anxiety and depression was definitely due to social situations of all kinds, including with the people I’m closest to, rather than something more deeply seeded than that. However, as I got to thinking on this lonely Friday night, I realized that abandonment issues is just what I have, and they’re not always severe or crippling, but a lot of the time when they are these abandonment fears can lead to further anxiety attacks that only propel me further in a self-deprecating cycle.

As of late they have been affecting what I share with my boyfriend. Come this August we will have been together one and a half years, and while it has been the best one and a half years of my life it has also been the biggest challenge. He often feels bad because while he feels I help him through his anxieties he thinks he doesn’t get through to me with mine, that he doesn’t make me feel better. This is both true and not true. He helps me a lot with his loving and patient presence, but there is a part of me always trying to push him away. The problem in that is that he’s not allowing himself to be pushed away so easily.

Now, you ask, if I have a fear of abandonment then why am I pushing him away? I’m pushing him away to fulfill the insecurities and self-deprecations that needle at me, to let me know that I am not worth being around. I think I have these feelings now with him (and in the past around certain friends I’ve had) because somewhere in my past I have felt abandoned both emotionally and from a physical presence standpoint. I won’t delve into exactly what it is, but it makes me act almost atrociously to my love because I have an intense anxiety over his leaving me. In my clearer thoughts, I can understand that he won’t, but more often than not I’m not entirely sure. I want commitment but am afraid of it. I desire intimacy but also don’t know how to tell him what I need, him or other friends, and so I descend into madness and whirling thoughts, essentially, on how worthless I am and how no one really loves me, both of which are not true.

I’ll write more on this subject later. I’m glad I’ve figured out my issues now, though. Here are some references if you’re curious about the logistics of abandonment issues:

When You’re Afraid of Abandonment But You Also Choose People That Are Unlikely To Stay

https://omgrey.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/the-impact-of-abandonment-fears-on-self-esteem/

Cheers. We can move past these fears, but it just takes time and patience.

Published by Alyssa C.

Writer & theatre artist from Iowa. Currently quarantining in the Pacific Northwest. MA in Intercultural Communication Studies from Shanghai Theatre Academy (expected 2021).

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