Abandonment Revived

by Georgio
(UK)

A couple of weeks ago a colleague of mine left her job at work. A group of us went to the pub after work and at the end of the evening we all said goodbye to her. As I did so, I suddenly felt this strange sensation coming over me, as if something had suddenly been released inside. By the time I got home I was in emotional turmoil, feeling totally abandoned by this person, wondering how I could survive without her in my life.

For the past two weeks this feeling has continued, interspersed with sudden periods of crying, wanting to get rid of this feeling of despair and wanting to talk to somebody about it who would understand what I am going through. I have felt very alone, on the outside carrying on with my life perfectly normally, yet on the other hand on an emotional roller-coaster inside trying to work through this.

Getting to know me.....

I'm in my early 40's, married/in a relationship for over 14 years with two beautiful kids. As a child I was often left by my parents who worked away from home. I was looked after by a nanny before going off to boarding school. It all seemed quite normal to me, for the most part I was very happy, that was how life was.

However, what I didn't allow myself to feel was how much I was hurt by my parent's 'abandonment', emotionally I learnt to believe that if I was good and did what other people wanted then they would stay and they would look after me. Of course this didn't happen. So I grew up emotionally dysfunctional in many ways, always feeling not good enough, under pressure to succeed, having very low self-esteem, always very nervous and anxious, finding it hard to make friends.

When it came to more intimate relationships, I was unable to allow myself to get really close to women, looking, irrationally, for someone who could offer me the unconditional love that would make everything alright. A lot of the feelings became magnified as I grew up and interacted with the world around me.

My dad died suddenly in my late teens, emotionally I shut out the pain I felt to look after the rest of the family. Blocking out feelings was something I had learnt to be good at, it hiding any vulnerability I might be feeling would keep me safe I felt.

Into my twenties and as I tried to cope with life, all this baggage just made things worse. I managed to hide from people, though I became aware of a slight eating disorder - the more anxious I became, the less I ate, I suppose it was a cry for help, hoping people would notice. Eventually I became depressed, not that I was aware of it. My doctor diagnosed it and suggested therapy which came as a real shock to me, I thought I was fine.

Initially I was on medication but came off this as I learnt, after 25 years or so, to really get to know myself, who I was, how I felt about things, meet the little me inside and find out how I had ended up like this.

I was in and out of therapy for 10 years or so. During that time I fell in love with a girl for the first time. Sadly our relationship came to an end when she had to go back to her own country. After saying goodbye, I was overwhelmed by a sea of emotion. For the next 6 weeks I cried almost everyday until it was all out, the pain of all that happened over the years finally finding a release.

My time in therapy allowed me to experience these feelings, all those years of emotions being held inside, suddenly able to come out in a safe environment. In group sessions I met people with other issues who I could relate to, a relief to know it wasn't just me feeling like this. At the end I was a stronger person, I don't claim to be cured or feel 100%, but I do now know why I feel the way I do, and how to deal with it, that these feelings are OK, they are part of me, descended from my childhood and I can embrace them and listen to what they are saying. Pretending they are not there or trying to shut them out is not the answer.

So, what happened a couple of weeks ago?

My own thought is that a number of things conspired to come together. Saying goodbye to this colleague felt very similar to the scenario where I said to goodbye to my first love and maybe tripped a switch. For the little me inside, this person shows all the attributes little me is looking for, she's very caring, loving and warm, she ticks all the boxes of someone who would look after me and make everything OK. And now she has left.... and little me is distraught, this isn't how it's supposed to be. For little me, it was the unwritten, unconditional rule that she would always be there that had been broken and is so hard to accept.

I suppose it just shows how fickle our emotions are, I was really amazed about how powerful this recent event has struck me. When you least expect it they through your world upside down. I'm just glad I know why and that I now how the capabilities to care for myself, however hard it can seem.

It's felt a big relief to be able to write all this, I don't know if it makes much sense to anyone reading it, to be honest I don't mind if no one reads it, to me it's been an opportunity to get this off my mind and out in the open.








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Jan 10, 2012
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I relate
by: Anonymous

I have been strugling with abandonment issues all my life. It has caused me alot of trouble. The most recent is my dad dying, and we were not close, they divorced when I was a very young child. I saw him off and on, but very superficial. He was probaly alcoholic. I have been thrown into grief, and it hurts, It is off and on, but I know it is the child in me, who is feeling os abandoned, and wishes so much that she had had a dad. But she did not get what most ittle girls got. Someone wo cared and showed it. So I have isolated myself afraid of getting close to anyone, always afraid I'd get hurt, adn guess what I am hurt. I hurt alot. I am glad I understand what i am going through, but it hurts so much, tell little Patti it is ok to cry to feel the pain, and sorrow of it all. I let myself feel these thing, but one day I feel ok and the next I am just out of it! There is a man that is on the perferials of my life too, who has triggered alot o stuff. I would like to be with him, but I don't trust. I ish I could, but I don't know how. It is like I have a ll up that protects me, but then I feel lonely. I want that wall removed, and maybe this grief can clear it all out. I have been in recoery for many years, and have felt alot of growth, but now it is like wall of pain wanting to overwhelm me. But it won't because, I know that I can work through it now. In the psst I did not know what was going on with me, why I felt like I did, but at leat nwo I do. That is progress. I can feel, and I can heal.

Aug 21, 2010
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Grieving is good.
by: Con


Your writting made perfect sense to me.It seems like you are grieving the losses of your childhood. I to have grieved those losses of what should have been but wasn`t.I am always amazed at how much i have underestimated the amount of pain inside me from being emotonaly abandoned.I started my recovery over fifteen years ago and have finally finished healing the wounds of my childhood(DO YOU EVER FINISH?)only to find i am now in the process of grieving the adult years that i wasted in adiction running from that childhood pain.I wish i had a time machine and could go back and not loose my apprenticeship, not go to prison, not been so weak and selfish.But alas,Time waits for no man and i must keep going forward with hope in my heart.After the pain there is peace and serenity on the other side. Good luck on your journey.

Aug 01, 2010
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Release to Spirit
by: Anonymous

Wow! Its sounds like you have excellent insight into what happened to you with the departure of your workmate. May I suggest that that you try to let these feelings move through you instead of holding on to them? A simple method is to put your hand over your heart and ask your higher power to release them. It only takes a minute or two and I get immediate relief. Thanks for sharing.

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