A close friend of mine said to me one time, you have a serious case of fear of abandonment. I hadn’t really thought about it as significantly as her words caused me to imagine, but ever since that day, I have paid close attention. Throughout my childhood, I can remember specific events all the way to nearly four years old. It was at that time, I watched my mother cry for four days and weeks afterward when our President was gunned down in Dallas. I remember watching the news with my family, and everyone felt abandoned, their hopes and dreams dashed with the loss of Kennedy. I only witnessed the tears, I didn’t really conceptualize anything else.
When I was six or seven I would be left home alone often. My parents wouldn’t go miles away, just to a neighbor’s home, but they would sneak away and I would hear the creaking of the breezeway screen door, and yell out to my mom through my window and she’d say we will be right back, and hours later I would hear them return.
When I was in 7th grade, I was pulled off the football team because I got a C in a class. I was pretty good, and it broke my heart. I played the trumpet until I was in 8th grade, really liked my instructor and then one day I came in for a lesson and there was a new guy, and he creeped me out so I stopped playing altogether. In that same year my cousin Billy died and his death pains me today. My mom almost died that year from medical complications of diabetes. I had three brothers, two living at home that all got married within a year of each other and left home. My sister spent two years in specialized care because of medical conditions. I was alone and I felt it wherever i went, whether it be at home, in my neighborhood, the county fair, any event where I could feel myself alone in a crowd, and I grew to loathe myself because no one wanted to be around me.
Later on in my teens it took my a long time to have the confidence to ask someone out on a date, much less have a set of friends I could commonly hang out with. I grew to live with insecurity and a certain sense of estrangement from everyone I encountered if it b family to teachers to students, to my dog if he didn’t come to me when I called his name.
It wasn’t until I was in college that I really met a woman I felt comfortable with. We grew very close, and many times I worried that she might be the one. I say worried because I wanted to be faithful to her and we had never consummated our relationship, and so I thought if we did, I would have to marry her. I wanted to so badly but I was so afraid, so we never did, and she left and found someone else to hang out with. It took me years to find anyone close to the affection and true elegance she brought to my life.
I grew confident in my twenties, but I remained lonely. Nothing really stuck, though I could catalogue 10s of 20s of people that would be there for me in a heartbeat but I couldn’t ever believe that myself. Think about that line for a bit before I finish. I remember dating a woman in my late twenties. We had a large circle of friends, most of them mine from high school. We broke up and she was embraced by that group an I became an outlier, a loner, and it continued to bother me. I always felt weird and out of place.
So now we shift to today. I recently lost my marriage of 30 years to a woman whom has been my best friend, albeit a huge support with whom I never felt completely in love with or loved by. We had some fun together but more tension. We knew it and we never did anything about it.
We do have two beautiful children whom are really the reason we stayed together. Today we are a loving family, but mom and dad can’t live with each other and it hurts everyone. Eventually we will come to terms that it doesn’t hurt as much as it feels like now, and friendships hopefully will evolve.
I have a very close friend whom I cannot see right now because they are too close to my own life, because I have openly shared my world with them Add my divorce to the picture and it is difficult to impossible for them to feel like they can be comfortable around me now that I have the freedom to be a companion rather than a test of will in regards to intimacy and love. That sounds confusing, I can sense it, but that also explains the irony of our relationship today.
My children are my most important influence today. I would do anything for them but I am pushing them away, and I can feel it. Pretty soon I will be completely alone in a one bedroom apartment, and basically I will just age. It is a scary reality, but when you add up all of my experiences, the sense of abandonment I live seems well defined. It lends to my self-destructive personality that often fantasizes checking out of this world completely. I have one person that I can talk about that with, and they are presently completely withdrawn from me.
These ar all examples of a few of the moments of abandonment that have occurred in my life. I have many more but this is a sufficient catalogue for now. I really haven’t any idea how to resolve this fear.
If I lose my children I will have nothing left, so it will fuel my need and desire to simply put an end to this, my cycle of the human condition.