And how I deal with them now that I’m aware of it
I grew up as a dreamer in a single-family home. I wasn’t that different from my peers. However, most TV shows depicted two parent families or co-parenting which involved parents that were separated but did whatever they had to do to make it work out. The sad thoughts that come with the idea that someone that should want you like they do on TV, starts young. It’s not an obvious thing. The TV parenting style sat in the back of my mind while the humor was in the forefront. But at bedtime right before I’d fall asleep, I’d wonder why no dad would fight that hard to be in my life. Why no man at that point would do anything to ensure that I grew up with a mom and a dad.
That’s a glimpse of where my abandonment issues began. Everyone has at least a small dose of abandonment issues in their blood because people leaving us high and dry is a part of life. Some may have lost a loved one from death, some from a heartbreak, or some from losing their best friends when they got into high school. Loss isn’t easy on anyone and it looks different for everyone.
Yes, sad sad, but I grew up and slowly began to understand relationships and how unrealistic it was to have that family dynamic. (Not impossible, unrealistic) I understood both of my parents and my disappointment slowly fizzled out with age. But the wondering why no man would fight like hell for me, did not fizzle out. I unconsciously decided I’d never let someone feel that way. That I’d fight like hell for the people I knew I wanted in my life. The problem with this mindset is that this is where codependency rears its ugly head. Someone once said, you’re bound to lose the things you hang on to the tightest. And so far, that has been a consistent truth in my life. On the upside, I do believe the things that are meant for me will come regardless of my efforts, but that’s another story for another day.
So now as an adult, I have to call out the abandonment voice right when I hear it. Sometimes that voice isn’t a voice. It’s more like an idea and I’ll immediately act out to ensure our relationship will continue. Nothing else matters in that reactive moment. The only thing that matters is protecting what’s mine. The relationship doesn’t matter, their feelings don’t matter, mine don’t either. It’s a sort of jumping on the bomb to keep them at all cost type of reaction.
How I deal now that I’m aware of it
Now, I have a quote hung on my wall that says, “You can never abandon yourself, keep showing up for you.” I don’t know if that quote will serve me in a month, but it’s a great affirmation for right now. When I feel myself grasping for people to stay in my life, I take a moment to remind myself that I very much like being alone. Because I do. And in that moment I am frustrated that someone is trying to step away from me but the truth is, it’s not like I’m going to clear my own schedule for them.
I think the best way to avoid being reactive is to be proactive. Then when I’m triggered by someone, I’m already in the proper mindset to observe the abandonment voice rather than obey it.
A few ways that help me to be proactive is knowing what abandonment behavior looks like , talking or journaling about it, being honest with myself that I’m reacting because of my own fear of abandonment, affirmations, and fully accepting this is a legitimate fear-based behavior that I’m trying to heal. Through all this, I’m going to mess up. I’m going to be reactive. I’m going to have to get back on the horse a few times before I heal this part of me. It’s kept me “safe” for a long time, so it’s going to feel like a part of who I am, but it isn’t who I am. It’s not part of my personality, it’s not who I was when I was born. It is a developed behavior that my mind is going to cling to because it feels like it will ensure my survival. But that is a lie. I can and will survive without them.