Fear of Abandonment- Losing the ones I love most
Well, when I was thirteen I stopped seeing my father and his side of the family. We never got to say goodbye to my family. I missed them of course, but I wasn't too upset at first. Then I started to worry that someone would die before I got the chance to say goodbye to them, and tell them how much I love them. That was like a small fear in the back of my mind, one I could control and ignore. At first it was hard to deal with, I had a couple of panic attacks and cried myself to sleep, but I got over it for a while, I was in therapy at the time.
Then I got older, and things were iffy. My mom and I weren't getting along, we fought all the time, or what seemed like all the time. She told me I was annoying, I annoyed people and I manipulate people, everything that I became insecure about. I am a strong person, but I'm terrified deep down. I lost a whole family and my father, so what makes anyone think I won't lose my friends too? This is what I'm going through. My friend "Janice" and I were really close, we would talk pretty often and she was there for me. Then she got busier and busier, but I could see online that she was talking to other people. So why doesn't she talk to me? Why doesn't she respond to me anymore? She can call them, but why not me? What did I do, or what is she thinking about me that makes her avoid me? Then I started to wonder if I had done something wrong, maybe she is annoyed with me or doesn't really care about me anymore. So I sent her a message trying to explain how I feel, this was before looking up things like "I'm terrified to lose my friend." The ones pertaining to the death of a friend came up, but that's not what I wanted. Anyways, I'm terrified that I will lose "Janice," I afraid that my occasional emotional flares will drive her away, that she won't understand. She is a great person, but I'm angry because she hasn't replied, even though I know she might be busy. Couldn't she just send me something telling me she was busy, or something letting me know she read it? I don't know what to do, my chest feels tight, my heart races, I get dizzy, I can't eat or sleep when I start to feel the fear coming back. I can control it sometimes, but other times I just have to deal with it. What do I do?
What you describe are classic abandonment issues. Your friend Holly is providing you with “triggers”---letting you know by your reactions (getting triggered) that you have these issues in you.
I can’t tell you how to keep her or anyone as a friend. We don’t get to control life that way. All we can do is heal our triggers, heal the underlying reasons from the past that are being triggered.
Ideally someday you will be able to stand in your own center and face the realities of life and of relationships with other people.
I help people with that. If you’d like to schedule a session and begin the process of finding your inner peace and strength, your real truth, just let me know.
Life is full of “abandonment” and we need to heal the places inside of us that experience it so painfully. It is a paradox. The more healed and secure we become, the more we attract people into our life that are available for us.
By Laura Frisbie, M.Ed.