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.