Fear of Abandoment
by Zane Thomas
(Greensboro, NC USA)
A little about myself first. I am a male, in mid-40's. I was born on SW VA in 1963, and grew up on a farm. I lived with with my Mother, my Aunt, and her Husband. I never knew who my real Father was until later in years when I was 25 years old. My Mother stayed @ home and helped on the farm and my aunt worked at a secular position in the apparel industry.
The reason my Mother moved in with my aunt (her sister) was because prior to my birth, my Mother did not have another place to stay, and my Aunt and her Husband welcomed her into their home.
Growing up I had two Mothers (Aunt & her Sister), and my aunt's Husband that I called Daddy, even though I had been told that he was not my real biological Father by my Mother. Even my legal birth certificate had the name of my Father as being "Ralph" which was not the name of my Aunt's Husband.
As I grew up my curiosity to know who and where my real Father was starting to tug at my heart, which prompted questions from me to my Mother. When I asked about "Ralph" my real Father she would become very defensive and say that when she got pregnant that he left her to go off to the Army, and never returned.
My home life was fairly OK and stable for the first few years of my early life,however as I grew older things changed. The husband of my aunt became a raging alcoholic. Physical & verbal fights between my Mother, my aunt's Husband, and my aunt became frequent. His drinking and rage became very scary at times. As a young child I would run and hide under the couch and cover my ears, scared to death that he was going to kill the two people (Aunt & Mother) that I loved early.
He was a very good man when he was not drinking, and I did look to him as a loving Father in my early years, but as the drinking and the fighting became worse, I began to detest him, especially
for hitting my Mother and my Aunt. I can never remember him hitting me as a child but the fear
I felt when the fights would break was just as bad. It was a very dysfunctional family environment during my ages of 7-15. I always feared when the fights broke out that he was going to kill the two people that protected me and loved me.
After years of alcohol abuse my Aunt's husband passed away when I turned 16. I can remember having very little emotion at the funeral. He just drank himself to death. I was then left with two people that I loved, and even sometimes blamed for keeping me in that type of environment. My mother and aunt has threatened to leave him but he always told them he would kill them if they ever left. Looking back I guess they feared for their lives, and they would always try to appease him in order to try and keep the peace.
After his death I later graduated from High School, went straight to work. Was married when I was 23, and then divorced 6 months later. I met another girl when I was 24 and I married again, and I have been married to the same woman for 20 years. Upon getting married for some reason my curiosity returned wanting to know who and where my real Father was. My Mother showed the same defensiveness that she had always showed when I would ask her about my Father.
My Mother had gotten married about 1 year before I did, and her and her Husband was having marital
problems, only after 1 year of marriage. For some reason her Husband would come to see me and tell
me about their issues, hoping that I may be able to help, and talk to my Mother. One visit from
my new step-father was a life changing moment. He said that my Mother has told him that my Aunt's
Husband was my real biological father. At 25 years of age I was shocked with unbelief on what he had said, however after much prodding from my Mother I did find out it was true.
My Mother has had an affair with her Sister's Husband and became pregnant. I lived with the man for 16 years and never knew he was my real Father, until I was 25 years of age, and he had already passed away. My aunt never knew either, and if she did she never let on like she did.
The real reason that I am posting on this site is not to share my crazy childhood, but I believe
I have some real abandonment issues, and self esteem issues. My wife had an affair on me about 7
years ago. When that happened I almost freaked out of my mind. I blamed myself, begged her back,
and became very clingy. I felt absolutely devastated and out of control when this happened, and I felt like I succumbed to being a door mat. I could not sleep, was very angry, and felt rage at the world.
We separated temporarily, only to get back together later. We are now together but I still have feelings of anger, especially at myself for allowing myself to beg and plead for her return, even though she was the one that had the affair.
This post is not to downgrade my wife. There were things that were going on in the the marriage that may have precipitated the affair. I was not prefect either. We are now still married but I still have resentment more at myself than her on how I acted, and lost control during the affair.
I never, ever want to go through what I felt when she left me again. The abandonment fears I felt
was overwhelming, and I did not handle them well. For some reason I had built my life around my
wife. Anyone that may be able to offer me some advice on why I felt such extreme abandonment fears I would appreciate. I would like to help myself, and to heal whatever it is inside of me that causes me to feel such fears.
Thank you so much and I appreciate you reading my life story. I know its crazy, but I did survive
to turn our fairly OK. A little wounded, but I survived. Thank you again.