Please Don’t Leave Me

I don’t remember large chunks of my childhood. My sister used to rib me for this. ‘How can you not remember what happened that year?’ She’d ask in complete astonishment. No I don’t forget small things like what colour teddy I used to cuddle when I felt lonely. Or those pens my Grandad would use to fill out his betting slips on an afternoon out. I don’t forget details such as the pattern of the tablecloth my Aunty Debbie would serve up chicken dippers and potato waffles on or the smell of the blanket I used to drag everywhere with me like a trusted friend. I tend to forget big things. Big things like the periods of time that my parents weren’t there.

Don’t panic! Luckily, they never left me down a Tesco aisle for too long or ditched me on the roadside after a particularly stressful road trip. Neither of them walked out or intentionally neglected me. However, there certainly were times, in my formative years, where attachments were trying to be made but were unfortunately being broken. Because of this, I fear abandonment.

It’s only as I’ve gotten older and I’ve become more reflective that I’ve been able to understand when and why the fear of being abandoned takes over. I can feel it manifest in many ways.

Don’t leave me because I’ve been an absolute bitch to you. I know I push. I have an acidic tongue. I’m testing you. I’m testing your patience. I’m testing your loyalty. I’m testing to see if you will leave me.

Don’t leave me because I don’t care. I feign disinterest as a way of putting a front up. I’ll make you feel like you’re not important to me. That I don’t need you. But that’s only because I fear you’ll leave me.

Don’t leave me when I need space. I need space from my own head. I need space from my thoughts. I need space from stress. I need space from life. If you give me space from you, it’ll feel like you’re leaving me.

Don’t leave me because I’ve pissed you off. I may have forgotten to do the washing up. Or I may have told you what I really think of your friends, but don’t leave me for a moment because even though it’s not a big deal, it’ll feel like you’re never coming back.

The problem with abandonment issues is that you can’t regulate what is normal distance and ‘never going to see that person ever again’ distance.

The fear of abandonment is felt in the closest of relationships. The funny thing about relationships is that when you’re close to someone, you mould together. You entwine your lives. You operate as one. So whenever space is needed for whatever reason, you feel it. Perhaps if you aren’t hyper sensitive to abandonment you take it in your stride. You accept that space is needed and you use the opportunity to inhale more deeply. But for me, for me it’s overwhelming. Hyper sensitive is the key phrase here. In fact, I’d say you become hyper vigilant. Your senses are so tuned into feeling that someone is distancing from you, that you can sense it the millisecond it begins to happen. The same feelings of looming devastation and gut wrenching loss are immediately there, whether the other person is just taking a breather or whether they are actually leaving.

This makes any relationship tricky. It used to make me needy. A full on Stage 5 clinger. If my first boyfriend wanted to spend the day at the football, I’d wonder what I did wrong. If my next boyfriend had to work overtime, I’d wonder why he’d rather do that, than spend time with me. If I opened up about my past to anyone and then sensed a slight change in their behaviour towards me, I’d immediately assume they were gearing up to walk away.

But not any more. Now I speak it out loud. Now I don’t let me fear control my relationships. Instead, I will tell people straight…

I am scared of people leaving me.

Because I can do that, because I am aware of it, I can regulate myself better. Not perfectly, but better. I can sense when I’m pushing someone away and instead of turning into myself, I turn to them and tell them what is happening. I can sense when I feel that someone is distancing and if they’re not someone important to me, I can just cut the tie instead of wondering and anticipating it happening. I can sense when I’m feeling needy and I can remind myself that, more than likely, I’m being irrational and that actually everything is fine.

The fear of abandonment will always be there. But with a strong network of support round me, ways to regulate my thoughts and the knowledge that I’m bleeding incredible and no one in their right mind would want to leave me, the fear will continue to subside.

Follow:
Share:

11 Comments

  1. March 15, 2017 / 7:42 am

    Beautiful post. I have abandonment issues myself. Because I was so paranoid that my partner would leave me, he left eventually. Fortunately, I was able to let my current partner know about my fear of getting left. Things have definitely worked out to be better.

    skinnydecxflatte.blogspot.com xo

  2. March 15, 2017 / 8:46 am

    “being abandoned takes over. I can feel it manifest in many ways.
    Don’t leave me because I’ve been an absolute bitch to you. I know I push. I have an acidic tongue. I’m testing you. I’m testing your patience. I’m testing your loyalty. I’m testing to see if you will leave me.
    Don’t leave me because I don’t care. I feign disinterest as a way of putting a front up. I’ll make you feel like you’re not important to me. That I don’t need you. But that’s only because I fear you’ll leave me.
    Don’t leave me when I need space. I need space from my own head. I need space from my thoughts. I need space from stress. I need space from life. If you give me space from you, it’ll feel like you’re leaving me.
    Don’t leave me because I’ve pissed you off. I may have forgotten to do the washing up. Or I may have told you what I really think of your friends, but don’t leave me for a moment because even though it’s not a big deal, it’ll feel like you’re never coming back.”

    This whole part I felt. My dad left us before I even came out of the hospital (after an unsuccessful attempt at kidnapping me.) He then came in to my life when I was nearly 14 only to meet me three times and decide he couldn’t be my father. A bit of a kick in the teeth really. So everything in those inverted commas is exactly what I do, because I don’t want to feel the hurt of losing someone again so if I act like it wouldn’t matter, surely I’ll BELIEVE that it won’t matter if it ever does. I think that’s why I find it hard to maintain friendships, relationships (yes even my own marriage from time to time) and family. I don’t want to be let down. I really do feel like an island sometimes and that’s my own fault. Anyway, I’m rambling, but this is the only post that has 100% totally spoken to me in a long time. Thank you for helping me understand my own personal demons.
    Bee xxx

  3. March 15, 2017 / 10:41 am

    This has made me bawl my eyes out at 10.30 in the morning, it is everything I do and feel.

    Have you looked into borderline personality disorder as that has strong feelings of fear of abandonment?

    Thank you for this x

  4. March 15, 2017 / 11:15 am

    Oh my goodness, I’ve never related to a post more!! You pretty much hit the nail on the head right there!

  5. March 15, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    Totally get this. Don’r speak about it for loads of reasons but yes, totally relate to this. I am terrified people will leave me, particularly males and it means I simultaneously long for a relationship and am scared shitless by the prospect of one! I’m currently in scared shitless phase so very single and learning I am alright on my own and that – still means I’ll be scared that “he” whoever “he” ends up being will leave. Thankfully am better with this when it comes to friends now. Better but not perfect. Awareness is the thing though – you hit the nail on the head with that here. Good luck xx

  6. March 15, 2017 / 1:57 pm

    Yes. I feel like I struggle with this a bit, but as a result of friendships growing up and not family issues. It’s not like it even took a ton of instances to cause this issue with me. I would just have one really, really close friend here and there and they would always ultimately end up turning away from me without so much as a glance back. It’s really made it hard for me socially as a result because on the one hand I truly crave a close friendship, someone I can turn to at any given moment and have the greatest of times with, but on the other hand I feel doomed in the sense that even if a friendship looks promising – it’ll never last. I write it off before it can even begin so that every piece of enjoyment is overshadowed by this thought of “hm, I wonder how long this one will actually last.” I’m working on it, I truly am, and I find online relationships to be helpful in that they give me time to manage my thoughts in a healthier way. But ugh, how come no one taught us in school how to handle our emotions?

  7. March 15, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    I really have this fear, simply because I was terrified of ending up alone with a child. I seen how lonely my mum was growing up with it being just me and her, I really didn’t want it for myself. So when my ex left – it was like my nightmare coming true, I was left alone to raise our son. And now I really struggle letting people in because I am so SO scared they will leave too, so I push their limits and become a nightmare just to avoid being hurt, silly really.. so scared of being alone yet I find it so difficult to be with someone, sucks! 🙁

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  8. Sarah
    March 16, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    Omg. This is like reading about myself. I had a very…. Colourful, childhood and past and to say it’s made me scared is an understatement. Even people i know wont leave me now i can’t fully trust will be there when i wake up and i push people away like you’ve never seen before. I’m getting better, but it’s such a long process and I’m not sure I’ll ever be ‘there’. Good for you for powering through, writing about it and coming out the other side even stronger!
    Sarah xxx

  9. Abi Street
    March 20, 2017 / 8:31 pm

    I can relate to this post so much! Especially the needing space one, a lot of the time i’m so on the go with my life that i do need space, but not from people. My difficult past relationships have lead me to immediately think a certain way and always think everyone has bad intentions, just like he did before.

    Such a good post and i’m glad i’m not alone x

    Abi | abistreetx

  10. March 22, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    Such a beautifully written post Vix. I definitely resonated with the idea of pushing someone away and testing their loyalty even though you fear the worst, of them leaving you. Our brains work in mysterious ways. I think the best way to begin to tackle an issue is admitting you have one and I admire you for doing so, it makes it easier to understand why we do the things that we do.

    Lots of love. xx

  11. Wendy
    March 23, 2017 / 9:55 am

    This post is me to a T. It cost me my marriage and my current relationship is on rocky ground. Doesn’t help when he has mental health issues and goes distant which then triggers me off.

    Its just nice to know I’m not alone in feeling like this x