I re-evaluated an old struggle today, during an intense meditation session.
I’ve had difficulties forming lasting relationships with people, due to a number of incidences in which I felt abandoned by the people I most relied on. Whether I blew it out of proportion or not, it has still been extremely traumatic for me.
The instance in particular that I’m thinking about, one that, in one form or another, haunts me on a daily basis, is when my mother and father finally split. It was an unpleasant relationship when they reached the end, that turned into a nasty break-up. He walked out of the house one night after a huge fight with my mom that almost turned into violence, and he never came back. In the sense of he never came back to live with us; he moved to a place that was about twenty minutes away and started dating a young secretary that worked in his office. Today, I am the proud older sister of a three-year-old ball of terror, Mya.
Even though I still maintain a relationship with him, there is still that feeling of abandonment that is coiled in the pit of my stomach that I can’t seem to shake. Besides that whole incident with my family, I have had a number of close friends come and go, due to things such as changing interests, different personalities, and little fights that ultimately broke us up. This was before I lived with a mood disorder. As my illness fully bloomed, I began to exhibit more unhealthy behaviors, such as canceling plans last minute, leaving in the middle of spending time with friends, not talking to people for months at a time, and getting agitated over little, meaningless things. Meeting a potential person I could see in the future as a friend, I give them a bit of a heads up about me and my personality, how sometimes I can be flaky and irritated but they shouldn’t take it personally. And they shrug it off or underestimate how serious I am, and when these traits inevitably rear their ugly heads, suddenly they turn tail and run in the opposite direction.
This new challenge of bipolar disorder has exacerbated my issues of abandonment drastically. It is at the point where I have simply barred myself from forming any close personal connections with anyone; I may joke around and smile and play nice, but I can’t help but immediately pull away once I realize that there is something friendly, or even something romantic, in their interactions with me. I feel like I can’t help it. I’m stricken with terror when I think about letting someone get close. Because I’m afraid that when they see what I’m really like behind closed doors, without medication and therapy and meditation, they’ll be horrified by who I am. That they will be disappointed because I lack so much. I don’t think I have very much to offer. I don’t think there’s much to me besides the mood disorder, depressingly (no pun intended). And I think that I am unworthy of love.
I’m not sure what to do with these blunt statements on how I feel about myself. I felt this way for a long time, but I buried them deep down and convinced myself that I was happier being alone, that I was content with the friends I had, that I had better things to worry about besides romance. The truth is, I’m really not. I want to be the person that lights up the room. I want to fall in love with someone, and look forward to sending them good morning texts and midnight phone calls when we’re apart. I want to experience all those things that I missed while fighting an internal battle. I am in the process of treating my bipolar disorder so I am able to function normally, but if I want to do these things, it is crucial that I also find ways to heal from these feelings of abandonment. I’m unsure how to do that, and the task seems so daunting at the moment, but I will do it one day at a time.
Stay safe, everyone.