Dealing with Abandonment in Relationships

Looking back, I suppose I’ve always had some type of abandonment issue. If you’ve ever read my book, “Unheard,” you’ll have a general idea of my childhood experiences with abandonment. Beyond that book, I had never written much about my adult life, and writing helps me to examine things that I have played over and over throughout my life.

I moved to the Florida Keys in 2003 and was told by a family member that my father thought I had moved there to “become a lesbian.” This was a surprise to me, considering I’ve only dated men and believe that no one just “becomes a lesbian.” I thought that was absurd and ignorant, as it only went to show that my father knows absolutely nothing about me, nor does he bother to care enough to ask me a thing about my life. In fact, the last time we spent any time alone together was when I was about 12 years old.

My father hasn’t spoken to me verbally or seen me since my grandmother’s death in 2003 – and currently, we only live about 10 miles apart. I can only guess it’s because I don’t live the lifestyle that he would choose for me – even though I’ve done nothing wrong – and he just assumes untrue things about me. Religion has played a huge part in this, which is why I have rejected religion since I was a teenager. My father and I don’t share the same beliefs, and I do believe that my stepmother is an extremely huge influence on his decision making or lack thereof. The reason I partly blame her is because my invitations, addresses, and the same phone number I’ve had for 15 years have always been “lost”. The last time I heard from my father was in 2007 when I sent a wedding invitation that he declined. I never even received a card. And to top it off, he has also avoided his first grandchild, my daughter, all of these years.

Bringing all of this into consideration, I can see that many of the relationships I’ve had over the years have replayed the theme of abandonment. It seems to have either gone that way or the complete opposite – the suffocating type. I have yet to find that happy middle with anyone, and now that I see things for what they are, it’s difficult for me to allow myself to get close to anyone.

After reading this article, “The Five Signs of Adults with Abandonment Issues” – I recognize that I exhibit all five of these signs. I know I have insecurity issues at times, but I never understood why – and people have commented to me and often question me about this. I spend a lot of time alone, more so than most people and a lot more than most people think, especially since my divorce. I’ve made some pretty bad decisions or started having panic attacks after being dumped (“heightened emotional response”) or rejected in some way – or even having thoughts of being dumped or rejected. I definitely have commitment issues and fear getting too close – or quite the opposite of attaching to someone too soon, only to get dumped.

I mean, I always knew there was something wrong with me and felt like no one would ever love me, but this really clears up a lot. Wow, do I have a lot of work to do, but how do I fix these things? At least for now, I’m glad I can recognize these traits.

Dating Mr. Disappointment

Expectations lead to disappointments, so I’ve decided that there’s no point in looking forward to anything anymore, especially when it comes to the world of dating. I have pretty much had it with broken promises and being stood up. This also comes from friends that make plans and cancel at the last minute or don’t bother to show up. How inconsiderate of someone else’s time! So I have stopped making plans with anyone in my life that does this to me.

Recently, someone that lives a distance from me that I’d been very interested (and hopeful) in meeting came onto me very strong. It was flattering, and we tried to plan a week to meet up. Supposedly, his work or something got in the way of things that week, so I offered to meet him at the halfway point across the state at a yearly event I thought we’d both enjoy. I had free tickets, and he agreed to meet me. A few days later, he suddenly wasn’t sure if he’d be able to meet. And then he just blew me off altogether, so I ended up telling him I’d find someone else to go with, because I don’t need bullshit in my life. I haven’t heard from him since, and he’s even stopped liking my Facebook and Instagram posts.

On the day we were supposed to meet and do some fun activities, he posted something on Facebook about having mimosas with people. Nice. Now I will be sure to remove him from my social media. Perhaps I will tag him on this post so he knows how I really feel.

If someone can’t meet me halfway, then fuck ’em. I’m not going out of my way for a man that clearly doesn’t know how to make a commitment and just gets my hopes up only to be let down in a big way. Not only do I not have time for that crap, I don’t deserve it.

The Worst Kayaking Date

Prior to my last post, I met a guy at the beach while looking for seaglass. He was my age, had grown kids, and liked to make creative things, so I felt we might have some common ground. We spoke about kayaking and made a date to do it the following week.

When the day finally arrived, he couldn’t get the kayak on his car, and he canceled at the last minute, so I decided I’d just go to the beach instead. I was a little frustrated with his lack of communication and planning. Then about an hour later he said he was on his way. I was confused as to what he was talking about since everything was by text, and his communication was unclear. He’d borrowed a truck to take the kayak. He had to come to my house to pick up my kayak, but asked me to drive my own car, because the truck was literally full of garbage and didn’t have enough room for me.

We launched at a place near my house, found an island to eat lunch and listen to music. At some point he made it clear he wanted to have sex with me, but that wasn’t going to happen. I mean, we hadn’t even kissed, and he was just being… well, weird. He decided he wanted to leave the island shortly after. I had to pee in the woods before loading up, and when I came back out, he was gone. He totally left me, and even by the time I rounded the corner, he was clear out of sight. So he must have really been hauling ass. By the time I paddled back to the launch area, his truck was gone. I wasn’t sure how in the hell I was getting my kayak back to the house, so I just paddled to a nearby sandbar and slammed a few beers while figuring out what to do.

Then he texted me. Said someone stole his kayak. I said well that sucks, but thinking this is karma for ditching me. I tried to ask what happened, where was he when it happened, because his truck was gone by the time I came back. He said he went to use the bathroom, and when he came out it was gone. I suggested making a police report, but I don’t think he ever did. I managed to shove my kayak into my car and hoped I made it home safely.

The following day, he started sending me text messages accusing me of stealing his kayak. I literally laughed out loud, and said with what, my magical powers? I reminded him I was still paddling and he’d left me on the island. He tried calling me, but I was driving and let it go to voicemail. He was still accusing me of stealing his kayak. I couldn’t understand why in the hell he could even think it was possible. Then he said he had my neighbors check their video surveillance and a car that looked like mine had a green kayak like his hanging out of it. I said good luck with that, but I have no reason to steal your cheap kayak and could barely get my own kayak home. Besides, why would I suggest filing a police report if I stole the damn thing? I realized he was total batshit crazy.

He didn’t stop with the accusations. He even went as far to suggest I planned to steal it by having someone else do it. I said that’s ridiculous, and I’m not going to argue anymore so don’t contact me again. He kept contacting me and I eventually blocked him. Thankfully, I never ran into him again!

The Most Boring Kayaking Date

Sometime last year, prior to meeting Orange Crush, I met someone that lived a few streets from me. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea or not to try to date someone so close, but it sure made it convenient. We only saw each other a few times anyway. He was too young for me and incredibly boring. After the second meet up, I didn’t hear from him for about a month. When I did hear from him, he told me he had an extra spot open for someone to go on a kayaking trip with him to Marco Island… and everything was paid for. I didn’t ask too many questions about details, but it sounded like it might be fun. (At this point, I had been on two dates with OC.)

Since he said he had “an extra spot,” I had assumed there would be other people going. It wasn’t until the drive there that I learned we would be the only two on the trip. Of course, I had to ask the details of why there was this extra spot. It turns out he was actually dating someone that he had previously told me were only friends, but it was short lived, and they broke up. Interesting, I thought.

The 7-hour drive mostly consisted of catching up, with me asking most of the questions and initiating conversation. It was also seven hours of listening to country music, because he didn’t seem to like anything else. Now, don’t get me wrong – I like country music, but not for seven freaking hours. The only music that played that I really liked was Chris Stapleton. I was going to scream if I heard “Buy Me a Boat” for the umpteenth time.

The trip went nothing like I’d expected or hoped. The first evening was fine, and he was on his best behavior, but that changed the following day. Between the weather and him having us do all of the things he wanted to do, I didn’t get to experience kayaking to an island or somewhere that we’d talked about. Then he began doing some things that really pissed me off – just immature, rude things. For example, we had to put our kayaks in from a dock during low tide, so it was difficult to maneuver without tipping over. He helped put them in the water, I helped hold his kayak so he could get in. But when it was my turn to get in, he thought it was okay to paddle away from me and leave me struggling to get in on my own. I thought that was a dick move.

When we got back, we’d planned to find a place to eat. But he was also acting very strange and played on his phone – on Bumble, no less! He said he was trying to find someone else to hang out with us (another female), and I thought that was incredibly rude. When we went out to eat, he sat in the front of the Uber we called. Another dick move.

At that point, I felt pretty trapped. I was 3 hours away from my closest relatives and 7 from my own home. I just wanted to leave. I ended up paying for my own dinner that night, because I wanted nothing more from this asshole, and he’d already made some snide comments about paying for something. And then he asked me to pay for the Uber ride back – and again sat in the front seat! We’d discussed doing something after dinner, because it was still early, but when we got back to the room, he’d changed his mind. He was still playing on Bumble, and I guess maybe he got mad that someone he was talking to didn’t want to meet. By then, I’d had enough of his bullshit, and I asked him why in the hell did he even invite me if he’s trying to hook up with other women and act like a dick to me. I left to walk down to a bar around the corner. I was gone for a few hours, and he started texting me all concerned and apologizing.

When I got back to the room, he spent the rest of the night playing on his phone. The next morning, he’d planned an offshore fishing trip in which I was super glad I didn’t go, because they got back late, he caught nothing, and it was chilly that day – plus there was no canopy on the tiny boat. We had to leave that afternoon, and I couldn’t wait. It was mainly seven excruciating hours of listening to country music and silence. After he dropped me off, he hugged me, I thanked him, and we never contacted each other again. That evening, I had my third date with OC.

Dating Mr. Mixed Messages – the Final Rose?

After watching last night’s episode of The Bachelor and seeing two women get their hearts broken after being told by Arie over and over again how much he is in love with them (at the same time), I realize if you give a man too many choices, he can’t make up his fucking mind. Newsflash: Women are not menu options.

A few months ago I met someone through friends. It was the first time I’d even considered dating anyone after Orange Crush, so it was a big deal for me to open myself up to someone and be seen in public on an actual date. I wasn’t sure at first how it would go, because of being so doubtful about relationships, so I kept my safe distance. On two separate occasions, once after a two-week separation from him being out of town, Mr. Mixed Messages told me he had missed me. I was surprised to hear it coming from him, because I wasn’t sure how he felt about me, and I didn’t think he was that into me.

Mr. Mixed Messages and I had the rare opportunity (due to his obligations) to spend some quality time together over a weekend. We had a great time going out for dinner and drinks, watching bands, playing games with friends, and snuggling in the cold weather. We had some intimate talks and moments that I thought made us closer. For the first time since Orange Crush, I was excited to finally move onto someone else and, well, crush those feelings for OC. I could see that I could easily develop feelings for Mr. Mixed Messages and eventually maybe even love again in time. But as he was leaving that weekend, I didn’t know if he just wasn’t feeling well (he had a bad cold) or if he had changed his mind about me. I asked him when I’d see him again, and he said the following day. But I had a hunch that may not happen.

Then I did something stupid. I had a few too many beers and got emotional and sent Mr. Mixed Messages some mushy text messages relaying my feelings. Normally, I would never do that, because it was too soon, BUT it was my true and honest feelings. Besides, after Orange Crush, I had decided I wasn’t going to waste time holding back on how I felt only to have the rug ripped from under me again. I don’t regret sending those messages, but I think Mr. Mixed Messages took it the wrong way.

Instead of waiting to hear from him, I texted Mr. Mixed Messages some casual chat the following day and apologized for the beer-induced mush from the night before. He said he would talk to me later. Later came along and I didn’t hear from him. I tried some casual chat throughout the day, but I felt as if he was blowing me off. I wanted to know NOW if he was, because I certainly wasn’t going to waste anymore time, and I refuse to chase after a man. I never did see him that evening, so again I asked, when am I going to see you again? He said Wednesday, which was two days later. I decided to leave him alone and see what happens, give him some space.

So what happened? Nothing. I never heard back from him. Clearly, he wasn’t into me as he acted or told me that weekend. I figured if he wanted to see me, he’d make the effort to at least keep in touch.

I saw Mr. Mixed Messages at a place we both frequent, and he ignored me. I wasn’t about to put myself out there to make the first move only to be rejected. After all, he’s the one that stopped contact. Then I saw Mr. Mixed Messages a couple more times the following week. On these two occasions something really fucked up happened. He said hello to my friends sitting right next to me, hugged them, looked me right in the face, and said nothing. Yes, that’s right. Nothing. Everyone around that witnessed it thought it was a dick move, and no one could understand what the hell his problem was, because I had done nothing wrong. It felt cruel and undeserved, so I let him know in a text, asking him what the hell was his problem and what did I do to deserve that. He ended up turning the whole thing around on me saying I’m the one that didn’t contact him, that he sent the last text – and he sent me a screenshot of him saying “Wednesday,” that it takes two, he didn’t want a relationship, and to basically have a nice life. Wow.

So not only did Mr. Mixed Messages send mixed messages, he wasn’t even man enough to speak to me like an adult, playing games like a middle school girl. I reminded him that if he didn’t want a relationship, he should never have pursued me and led me on, and I don’t chase after men that clearly aren’t interested in me. Since, I have yet to revisit one of my favorite places, because I don’t want to see his face anymore. It’s obvious to me now that he has some pretty big issues to be such a jerk. Not someone I need in my life.