Tag Archives: fear of abandonment

Deep Wounds ~ Feelings Of Constant Rejection I

This is a processing post. There are so many factors and life history that play into this that I am not covering all of my thoughts. I am sure it is going to spawn off into multiple posts. My mind has been racing, thinking, and connecting. I cannot get it all in one sitting besides I think I have to break this one up into two posts… I did. On facebook the other day, a friend of mine posted a paragraph of self-affirmations. The way she worded it was as though it was how all people talk to themselves, I had a moment with no filters and said something like, “Wow, I never talk to myself like that.” I added something about soaking in those words because I do not do that.

Part of it is my personality, I am not the type to tell myself great things about myself.

I understand that others do and it is good for them – it does not help me in anyway. It makes me feel awkward and I really do not think about those things. Even though I have my challenges with negative thinking I do not think negatively of myself truly. I do know that I accomplish a lot, I am proud of all that I have done and I have no doubt that I will accomplish  what I want to in the future. I do not think about whether I am beautiful or not unless it is brought to my attention in some way – then, I question what I look like not necessarily if I am beautiful.

I do not worry about getting older, I rather like it.

After living the life that I have, I feel like life has just begun. My healing journey has given me the opportunity to relive again. When I look back to my past, I have pain when I look to my future I have hope. The only time I start to feel insecure or think that I should look, act, or be something else is when my social confusion kicks in. If I see many images of a person looking a certain way and people rushing over to like them I will wonder – this has been throughout my life.

I watched the popular people and wondered what made them popular.

I wondered if I were to get the same clothes, shoes, hair style, personality would I be accepted then too? If I listened to certain types of music, watched certain shows, wrote certain types of things then, would I be accepted – acknowledged? The answer is no. It has never worked for me. In my awkwardness of trying to become something unnatural to me I would eventually, grow tired and others dwindled away.

It wasn’t that I wanted to be popular -

It was that I thought that was the right way and my way must be the wrong way because those people had swarms of friends and I had virtually none. I have to fight off the confusion of wondering, Oh, is that the right way? Is this why people ignore me? Am I supposed to be doing that if I want people in my life? Should I be talking about that instead of this? All sorts, of questions arise and lead me into a spiral of panic and fears that somehowsomeway, I am doing something wrong that everyone else knows, but is not telling me.

I am the one that no one notices has left the room, the group, the family.

Ordinarily, I go about my day without a thought of whether I am good enough, I know I am so I do not think about it … until, I am reminded that NO I am not – to some. On days, when I am feeling good and productive I do not give it a thought. I do not spend time thinking about my outward appearance or how I feel on the inside because most days I just am. I feel good if I accomplish things, I feel bad if I do not. When I do not feel productive or as if what I do has no purpose that is when I start to feel down and the negative thoughts come.

However, these negative thoughts did not come from me.

I was not born into this world filled with doubts, fears, insecurities, and the sensation of not being loved. Nope, that has been a long time in the making. Many people contributed to this. Many situations caused me to become so enamored with thoughts that who I am was not good enough, that what I do does not matter, that no matter how hard I try I am still invisible! It is kind of a catch-22 because many times I want to be invisible. I work hard at staying out of the limelight because so many of my family members fit and rage for it.

I do not need that attention, but it does hurt when I am ignored.

The other day Inner Aspie shared this Feeling Unlovable article. I knew that I could not read it on that day so I waited for this morning. It opened up some deep wounds in me that I did not want to accept. The reality is that I feel unlovable. I read this part and immediately had the thoughts of last night racing through my head. I will share those in a moment. Here is what I read.

“This phenomenon is called “rejection” in the therapy trade, but a more appropriate label from the child’s standpoint would be “annihilation.”  The child feels that her validity as a person in her own right has been shattered; she may as well cease to exist.  Since she doesn’t really know how to stop contributing to her own despair, the whole problem is insolvable.  These “feelings” become the attitudes that Julia carries with her into adulthood, and these mistaken attitudes predispose her to behave in ways that are not appropriate to the reality situation.”

Last night, I could not sleep.

It was past midnight and David came in and asked why I was still up. I did not know, I was frustrated because I had to get up early for the kids classes. All I knew was that my heart and mind were racing, I could feel the panic rising in my chest and I was working so hard at keeping myself calm. I was fixating on one word, “embarrass.” Someone had commented on my poetry blog that they would like to give some constructive criticism to one of my poems with my permission and they asked if I would prefer it in a private message as to not embarrass me.

Logically, I found this a positive thing.

I think the poet is very good and if they are willing to take the time to help me improve my writing that is awesome! However, I was already in a wounded state because this weekend was my youngest sisters baby shower and I chose not to go because I knew that I would have all sorts of triggers, trauma, fears, and anxieties being around her and my other sister. We basically have non-existent relationships. I have many wounds in regards to that. It sucks. They do not get me at all and I do not get them.

I would probably not even be concerned about it – we are very different and have very different interests.

However, I am told by my father and my step mom that I am part of that family, but I do not feel like it and that causes me to think about it and try to understand things that my mind cannot understand. I cannot shake those feelings. My sisters do not acknowledge me in real life or even on facebook. They have made it evident that my life is of no concern to them. They do not acknowledge my kids birthdays, anything that I share basically. If there is a photo of my other sister, aunt, and me they will ignore it, but if it is my sister and aunt they “like” it. These types of things feel childish and I hate the fact that I am even affected by it.

On a regular, it does not bother me.

I have too much going on in my life to worry about that stuff. What gets me so upset though, is that my sister not acknowledging my message to her about not coming can derail ALL of my accomplishments and make me feel as though I have not done anything with my life or that ALL that I have done and do has little value. This from people who do not even think about me? They have never commented about the books I published, my blogs, what I do with my kids, autism has never even crossed their lips to me. As far as I am concerned, based on their actions and lack of acknowledging my existence I have no value to them.

Why does that bother me?

Why am I concerned about people who do not even think of me? I can only attribute it to my constant feelings of being rejected by my father and my mother, and the rest of the people who have influenced my life. There are things that I cannot shake. The true root of this particular issue has to do with my dad. My sisters represent my feelings of being in favor and falling out of favor with my dad throughout my life. They have a dad that I never had, they have relationship that I will never have, they ignore me the way that I felt my dad has ignored me.

I have similar feelings with my mom and my other sisters.

Part two continued tomorrow …

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Fear-Anxiety-Stress-Autism III

Continued from Fear-Anxiety-Stress-Autism II

I admit I do feel rejected in a sense because I feel that I cannot share with the majority of my family that I am autistic.

thoughts-e1317945585137It causes me anxiety to think about that. I cannot talk very much about Daniel, or share about the traits that Ariel and Joshua have because, it’s-just-not-talked-about. That feels like constant rejection to me. Even if it is because they do not know what to say or how to act. Because they do not interact with this part of my life, it feels like rejection. My anxiety forms Cognitive Distortions. I was nervous about sharing my poetry books with them. I decided to do so, while I did get initial responses and a couple of them purchased them I did not hear anything back.

This feels like rejection.

Several of my other family members did not even respond. I do not know how to take that. However, what I decided to do instead of carrying this pain and feeling as if I am being rejected, I looked at it all as guide to healing. If I do not continue in this direction, it will spiral into anxiety, because it is a fear of rejection. It causes unnecessary stress and turmoil. I prompted myself to make my anxiety into an entity. It has taken on its identity as the “Conspiracy Theorist.”

Conspiracy theories were a short-lived special interest of mine.

I decided to look into the psychology of conspiracy theroies to give me a visual to help each time my anxiety starts to take hold. What I found has helped me understand a great deal more than I expected. I researched cognitive dissonance. Anxiety causes me to become conflicted in rational and irrational beliefs. It makes it difficult to know what is real and what is not. It leads into a path of motivated reasoning,  “rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.”[2  I will seek information that feeds into my “fear” based thought. Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.[Note 1][

The conspiracies that are formed in my mind stem out of fear of being hurt.

It can unravel all sorts of fears and phobia’s. My anxiety cycles can “attack” at any moment. Sometimes I can feel them rising up other times I feel a mad rush of flutters in my brain. I feel out-of-control, flustered, and unable to think. Because I feel out-of-control, I feel unable to protect myself from the perceived threat. In my case, it is usually fear of rejection and abandonment. First, there is the “attack” the fear of something and then, comes the anxious/panic feelings of “OMG! What if this time it IS true?” This melts into stress and causes a distorted view of my world.

At times, it has made it impossible to see the difference between rational and irrational thought.

I do believe that it is my autistic mind that makes it possible for me to link and connect things at rapid speed, as well, as analyze information in a way that others may call “obsessive,” (I call it, “purposeful.”) works in my favor to feed my anxiety as well as pull me out of it. Side note: I had been confused at how I could be completely rational and capable with dealing with others, while in my mind, anxiety was raging and soaring about a specific issue. On most days, unless I am extremely overwhelmed, no one has a clue that I am panicking on the inside. I can continue to act “normal” with my kids, strangers, even family who are causing the anxiety. I believe this has to do with cognitive dissonance and how I can disconnect from certain parts of my emotions while at the same time feeling them. (?? I do not know how to explain that.)

In the past, I have not had the right resources or understanding in how to deal with my anxiety.

Now that I do, I can redirect my anxiety and not spend time on endless, nonsensical paths trying to figure out a puzzle that never existed. I have concluded that if a person is actually spending that much time on trying to purposely hurt me then, I have no need for them in my life. I sure as heck do not need to waste my time trying to figure it out. I continued to try with certain people because they are family and seem to be so close to each other, except me.

I have been in a perpetual state of hurt, confusion, and spent countless hours trying to figure out why.

I want to note here as well, that facebook is not a healthy means for gauging relationships. Part of me understand this, but there is another part that does not because it is my form of having relationship and interacting with people. Just like email and texting, to me these are valid and very important means of communication, to others it is not. My other anxieties do not send rippling fear through my body like my social anxieties. I am trying to work through this by stepping out more. I decided that I would devote more of my energies on my fb page for my blogs.

I feel more comfortable there.

I share many common interests with people on those pages. I am not afraid of the people. I do have anxiety when meeting new parents/people virtually because the autism community has been a bit divided at times; I think all of us can feel that type of anxiety. I want to feel free to talk openly about autism and what it means in my life. I do not want to feel as though I should be ashamed or hide myself. I also want to share with all of my many interests. I do not feel afraid when sharing and connecting with people in regards to say, poetry, science, or the arts. I think the more I build my confidence in this area, I will no longer feel as though I need to be “on constant guard.”

Here are a couple of resources I found that helped me a great deal, they gave me perspective, and I can go to them whenever I feel the anxiety.

50 Common Cognitive Distortions

Fighting Cognitive Dissonance & The Lies We Tell Ourselves

For the fun of it.

The psychology of conspiracy theory

The Science Behind Why We Deny Science: Motivated Reasoning

Conspiracy Theories Explained

Personality and Conspiracy Theories: What Your Beliefs Say About You

Field Guide to the Conspiracy Theorist: Dark Minds

Conspiracy theory

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Fear-Anxiety-Stress-Autism II

Continued from Fear-Anxiety-Stress-Autism I

Instead of instant anxiety, while going through what could be considered a “major” trauma event, I can go through stages of anxiety. After I was in a car wreck, it was not my fault; my car was sandwiched between several other cars. I felt fine. I got out of the car and started to check on everyone else around me. I went to work despite the back pain I had. I worked all night, but became increasingly anxious that my manager was going to be upset about the amount of work that still needed to done.

I can stay calm in the face of major traumatic events, but I see a picture of my family on facebook and I can go into a panic ridden mess?

puzzledI witnessed one of my friends in a car wreck, I pulled over to see if it truly was her, and it was. I ran through the paramedics and went to her. I guess it was so chaotic that they did not see me. She was in the driver’s seat, unable to move and in tears. I told her that I was there and I prayed with her. They were setting up to pull her out of the car and take her to the hospital when they finally realized that I should not be there. I was calm and knew exactly what to say to bring my friend comfort.

These types of things have puzzled me throughout my life.

It was not until the other night that everything clicked. I have been reading this book, Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool and it goes through the science of what I am talking about. I like that part of the book, but as I mentioned on FB, I like my books to be more direct and this one is more story based for my liking. (It is just my preference.) I am not finished reading it yet, but so far, I have found some helpful information.

Let me say, it is great that I am gaining understanding, but it does not stop the anxiety.

I have to gear my brain to change what it has always done, to help me gain some control over my anxiety. It is not going away, but I can learn to live with it in a healthier way. I believe the other night was the start of truly finding what works for me.

I got a hold of my emotions and said it aloud, “I am afraid of my family.”

I deem them as a threat to me at times. I feel that I cannot trust them. I do not know how they feel about me and that makes me afraid. It helped me to start to separate family members by doing this. After I said these things, I asked, “Who is it that I am afraid of and why?”

This opened my eyes to understand why I was afraid of them and how I could change my thinking.

I am not afraid of ALL of my family members. Not ALL of them have hurt me or rejected me in the ways that I feel the other ones have. It is not EVERYONE. As I went through this exercise, I already knew that the majority of my anxiety issues had to do with social confusion. I have generalized anxiety disorder.

I do go off on anxiety tangents to where I think I am dying or someone else around me is.

I worry about the car breaking down when I am driving it and what I will have to do if I have the kids with me. If I get on a plane, I am convinced that it WILL crash. I do check my doors several times before I go to bed, BECAUSE it only takes that one time that I did not check for someone to come in and get us!

I am not afraid; I already have a plan of action.

See, those things I can prepare for, I can make multiple plans and feel as though I can protect myself. I CANNOT protect myself from the actions of others. All of my other anxieties, I can work through and see how irrational they are – it does not make them go away. My social anxieties are what I fear the most. I have been afraid of people because of all of the fear I have accumulated from the few family members who have continued to hurt me throughout my life. I have felt fear of people because of being in abusive relationships and because I was bullied throughout my life.

If I strip it down to the core issue, it is simply this, “I am afraid of being hurt.”

My insides rage with every social encounter, “Please, do not hurt me.” The other one is “Please, do not let me hurt another person.” We all know this is unrealistic. It is impossible not to hurt or be hurt by people, indirectly we can hurt people and never know. It is irrational expectations.

I admit I do feel rejected in a sense because I feel that I cannot share with the majority of my family that I am autistic.

Apparently, I had a lot to process there is a third post. Fear-Anxiety-Stress-Autism III

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Fear-Anxiety-Stress-Autism I

The other day, I posted something on my personal Facebook page. Here is the quote:

“When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.” — Steve Jobs

I had seen several things throughout the week about conspiracies.

One conspiracy being about President Obama being a terrorist and wreaking havoc in our country and government, again. If I recall, I believe there have always been conspiracies flapping about our Presidents throughout the centuries.

Americans seem to love them BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Americans Love a Conspiracy, but Why?

I grow tired of seeing such things and being linked to people who continue to believe or even spend time thinking that they are real. If it were only one person I could easily brush it off, but on my personal fb page there are quite a few who fall into the spell of conspiracy. However, I admit, I do at times enjoy the research and dismantling of a conspiracy theory or two.


What does this have to do with fear, anxiety, stress, and autism?

Well, when I posted it, I was fine. I was finished on the computer and walked off to take a break. I walked the few feet from my desk to the living room and sat down on the couch. Within about two minutes, my anxiety was in full hyper mode. I started to feel fear. My chest was pounding. My head was racing. I could feel the anxiety like a bunch of bees swarming all through my head to my heart. I started to have problems breathing then, swallowing.

tumblr_m52mm06lC61rwucz9o1_500I wondered what could have happened to cause this to manifest.

I decided to try something different. I normally allow my mind to race and wander, desperately seeking answers as to why I could be feeling anxiety. This time I sat there and said to myself, “Feel it.” I allowed myself to sit quietly feeling everything that the anxiety was causing both my mind and body. I did not try to stop it or understand it.

I just felt it.

It only took about five minutes for it to settle. After it was over, I asked myself how I felt. I felt afraid, but I was not sure why. I took a deep breath and thought about what I could be afraid of, it did not take long. A family member had posted a video about a conspiracy theory regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary and President Obama.

My post came directly after theirs.

Any news about that school is a trigger for me. It caused me a great deal of pain, confusion, anxiety, fear, and stress on multiple levels.

Not only did I have that trigger, but I also had my family trigger.

There are certain people in my family that cause me a great deal of pain. From my perspective, they have continually rejected me throughout my life. I do not understand why and many times, it feels deliberate. I feel this on facebook in great multitudes. When I post things, they are rarely acknowledged.

They do not “like” any pictures of me or my kids.

They do not acknowledge pictures of me with my sister or aunt, but will acknowledge pictures of solely my aunt and sister if they are together. I have for the most part stopped liking, acknowledging their posts because I do not feel that they care, or even want to be reminded of my existence.

There are basically two people who do this on a “regular basis,” but there are several who do it too.

There could be reasons for it; maybe they do not see my posts? However, on several occasions, I have directly posted in the comments while others did too and they did not address my comments at all, but did the other people. It has been too many times to consider it a coincidence at this point – it has been well over a year since it has gotten so blatant.

As I thought about this, I realized that I am afraid of my family.

I would state whom specifically, but I do not feel that needs to be written out. I can say that the real fear is of rejection and abandonment. (I know that I have talked about this a lot, but my mind is finally “getting it.” If you know what I mean.) I feel that I am constantly ignored, my kids are constantly ignored, and when I do try to step out I encounter too many confusing social situations or actions. I have no idea how these people feel about me. And that is what causes the most anxiety. I do not get afraid of serial killers, terrorists, nuclear war, robbers, or things like that.

No, I get panic ridden fear when I think I am going to see a family member.

Especially, one that I have not seen for a while or who has caused me hurt, confusion in the past (present), and who have made me feel like I was doing something wrong. If I had understood some of the social dynamics that I do now I may have been able to dismiss emotional outbursts, or plain manipulation. I really do not know, I still struggle with this – I cannot make sense of people not doing and saying what they mean, or trying to manipulate another person. I am shaking my head; I just do not get it. It is such a foreign world to me. I know we all manipulate to some extent.

I mean manipulate to make someone else look bad or to control the situation through lies and cons.

As I sat there thinking about all of my triggers being set off, it occurred to me that my anxiety has its own conspiracy theorist. Whenever the anxiety starts to arise it pulls up all of my past encounters that are similar, if it is with a specific person it will pull up every single negative encounter we ever had. Once, the visuals start going it will then, manifest all of the pain, fear, and stress that were occurring simultaneously during the time of the negative encounters.

I become bombarded with fear, anxiety, and stress.

Even if it was something that happened when I was 9 years-old, I will remember how they treated me. Along with what happened at school that day, the music I heard on the bus, what I was wearing when I ran home to get away from the bullies, whether my mom yelled at me that night, if I had a nightmare, I will feel and see everything onto the current year. I have gotten a grip on this. I manage to control my mind “time-travels” if I am not bombarded with sensory overload or other types of stress.

I find it very interesting that I can go through other traumatic events and manage to not become affected in this way.

The second part will come tomorrow, this post became much longer than I expected! Fear-Anxiety-Stress-Autism II

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My Mechanisms for Self-Preservation

I have been thinking about the things I do to try to protect myself. Here are several of them that I thought through. I am sure I have more but this is what I came up with so far.

Constantly looking for data and patterns: I have gathered a lifetime of data, and in my mind, any behavior that closely resembles or relates to past experiences of hurt will trigger and tell me to be on guard and be prepared to be hurt.

Constantly analyzing myself: I analyze everything about myself, every negative or perceived negative comment about me has been stored and can be pulled up at any point in time. I use this to help me prepare for possible rejection or abandonment. If I know what is wrong with me, no one can surprise me, and then I will know why they are leaving or rejecting me.

Combing over words: I look up words and definitions and have since I was a child. Because I do not understand what people mean by body language and other cues, I have relied on their words and actions to be my source of understanding. The problem is that people still do not use words with their “proper” definition, and it is based on interpretation. A lot of the times, their actions do not align with their words, and this has caused me a lifetime of confusion. It also brought about the constant feeling of being wrong. I finally get it! There are always exceptions to the rules! Also, people give themselves license to do the exception when it’s convenient, but often judge others for breaking the same rules. I don’t understand it, but I get it.

Making rules: I have given myself strict rules to follow to protect myself. An example is when I became a Christian, I revamped my life completely. I stopped drinking, smoking, cussing, dancing (for a while, until I found churches with dance ministries), listening to secular music, and watching R-rated movies. I got rid of TV, I read nothing but the bible and Christian books. I stripped  myself of me completely so that I could stop myself from feeling. Movies, music, literature, books about science, poetry, and biographies that I read often made me feel. They made me think, they made me question and in order to protect myself from operating out of my perceived past identity of “Wrong Angel,” I adopted what I thought was “Right Angel”. The truth? I thought I could “fit in” if I could just pull it off. But I could not pull it off, so then I felt like a failure and went into more self-preservation.

Having rituals: Another form of trying to protect myself was creating a home with no chaos. I kept my apartment spotless and everything was perfect. Once I had kids, that was impossible and it made me a nervous wreck. It was the only thing I could control and it was out of control and was a constant reminder of failing. If the house was not cleaned and organized, I had failed at being a good housewife. I nearly drove myself to a nervous breakdown in our last house trying to keep it perfect. Let me just say having three toddlers, one on the autism spectrum who was not talking or feeding himself and having meltdowns all day, taking him to therapy, serving in three ministries, writing bible curriculum, and being emotional support to my mom, my husband and people at church nearly caused me to lose my mind. Not to mention no one listening to me about Daniel being autistic. AND my biggest worry was keeping a clean house? Yes, it was the only thing I could control. A clean and orderly house gives me peace of mind. However, I have learned that it just cannot happen right now. :-)

Saying it before anyone else can: My way of dealing was constantly pointing out what was wrong with me and how I failed before someone else could. This recently came to mind when a friend told me to stop with my “crazy” talk. I had called myself crazy quite a few times in an email and didn’t even realize it. That interaction made me realize how often I say negative things about myself that I don’t really even believe but I just say them so that no one else can. I am trying to protect myself from them saying it first. David has asked me throughout the years why I say certain things like that, but I have not had answers. I know that other people often say things negative about themselves to get positive reinforcement, like “Oh, I look so ugly” – they may just feel that way for the day and want someone to make them feel better. I do not say it for someone to make me feel better, I say it so they can’t say it to me! Because I can’t read them, I am unsure as to what they are going to say. So I automatically assume it will be negative. I then go over all the possible negatives and then say them out of protection. I don’t even feel that way about myself, I just don’t want to be surprised!!

I am gaining a lot of freedom here, and I sure hope others can relate to this as well.

My “Fix Me” story is not me directly at this time, it was the feeling of wanting to understand. I captured the desperation of giving up because the world was just too hard to understand. I did pray that often throughout my life but I believe I am receiving the answers to my prayers by making the choice to face this stuff. I believe I am being fixed by getting a whole new perspective on what “fixing” means. Being fixed is operating in your whole self. It also means dealing with all of the past hurts that have caused parts of you to hide away out of fear, build boundaries and rules out of fear, and form your own cage. It is a cage that locks away all of the greatness hidden inside of you that can help others and help them to walk in their wholeness too. We are not alone in our fears and we do not have to live in our own personal cages. We are free to face these hard fears and deal with the hurt in order to gain true pleasure.

If we are not willing to face the real hurt inside of us, how will we really know what joy is?


 

 

 

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Self-Preservation:Unlocking My Cage

I have a post in my drafts waiting, I am not sure I will ever share it but it helped me to see my patterns of protection. The title of the post is Fear of Abandonment. I would like to share the difference between fear of abandonment and fear of rejection.

Definition: The fear of abandonment is the persistent dread and extreme anxiety of the loss of someone or a group that is extremely valued and important to the individual.

Definition: The phobia and fear of rejection is defined as an irrational and abnormal anxiety about the possibility of being made to feel rejected. This might be feared during a variety of situations such as social gatherings or relationships. This phobia often affects individuals who have low self-confidence or low self-esteem.

The first one seems to manifest the latter. Being abandoned in any form, physically or emotionally, whether it was real or perceived, a root gets dug deep into the fears of one’s heart and mind. After a lifetime of having people continue to abandon you, it definitely will give just cause for fear of rejection, especially when you have no clue whatsoever as to why you are being abandoned or rejected. A person will begin to protect their true selves at all cost. The concrete slabs begin to fall with loud thunks at each moment of hurt. Gradually, the person you once were no longer exists and fear and the need for protection are your only source of survival.

For a very long time, I felt as though I was the only one feeling the fears.

Now I am seeing that many people all live with some sort of constant fear of something and a lot of them have the fear of abandonment. It is not isolated in humanity, it is not only the weak or fragile that have this fear. The difference is how the self-preservation manifests. We all operate out of fear differently, we all interpret differently. So here I am facing my fear of abandonment and in order to do so I have to unlock the cage of self-preservation that I have been surrounding myself with since I was a child. You know, I never lost myself – I only locked me away and several years ago it was the final straw that caused me to shut down memories of who I was and all that I enjoyed. I lost all hope in people. I lost trust completely and I could no longer allow it to happen again.

I was careful with my trust always.

Though, when I accepted someone I completely accepted them and would share freely…well, up to a point. Year after year and hurt after hurt, I still managed to have the walls surround. It is funny how this “fear facing” has manifested. I recently had an email interaction with my dad, and for the first time I realized that I was not wrong. He loves me, this I know, but he does not know me and he has never taken the time to get to know me. I do not know if this is out of the guilt or shame he has carried my whole life because of the things he has done or not done, or possibly how he feels in how he treated my mother. I don’t know if it is because I am a constant reminder of the woman that he loved and still loves but was unable to stop destructive behavior to be with her.

I don’t know. There could be a million reasons, but it doesn’t matter.

I am not bound to someone else’s rejection or abandonment. That is what I am working through, understanding that I do not need to fear that. It is not gone. I feel it, I fear it, but now I see it and I am understanding my triggers. My mind has collected every pattern and situation that actually was or perceived as abandonment. I have been abandoned and betrayed by family, friends, in relationships, and churches. And I know that others have been too and may not even realize why they have this fear. It could stem from a heartbreak, loss of a family member, even  by words, such as those suffering from depression having someone say “Well, others have it worse than you, so get over it,” or “Just focus on the good, it will all work out.” That is emotional abandonment, someone you are trusting and value has just devalued you and left you alone in your hurt.

For me, in order to understand all of this I have to process through writing.

I write stories and poems to process. In the last few months I have written quite a few and the other day I shared two of them that I have been sitting on and processing. I find it so funny when I start to process something and then connections just start to manifest. I want to share my process because possibly it could help someone – I hope it can. I wrote a story called Soon. The word soon for me has deep-rooted triggers from my childhood. My dad would say that to me and then would not fulfill the ever promised soon. It also represents  the constant promise from my mom, except her version is “We’ll see.” The majority of the time “We’ll see” meant “no” and “soon” meant “never.” Both of these statements can have the veiled hope of a promise or the lingering threat of never. There is no way to discern what it means. It is not concrete and therefore can leave someone with a pattern-thinking mind to start to gather evidence and data to see if it is yes or no.

It is so funny that the word has popped up several times for me lately.

I was already pondering the word “soon” when I watched a movie in which the main character used the word soon with a “friend with benefits.” It was clear that soon meant never. Also in the movie there was a scene where the main character’s love interest used “We’ll talk soon,” and it implied never because later you discover that they never saw each other again. It seemed to confirm my feelings of soon being another word for an evasive “No.” This for an Aspie mind can be very difficult to grasp. There is nothing concrete or understandable in words like that. I say that because a child on the autism spectrum may get upset with you if you use words like “soon”, “in a few minutes”, “in a little bit”, “later”, “we’ll see”…all of these are evasive and do not give clear, concrete time frames. These words and phrases cause anxiety in both adults on the spectrum and children.

I did not truly understand all of this until I wrote it out though.

The story helped me to process and face my fear of the word and the past scenarios. The same thing happened with the story Fix Me I have been writing that off and on for about a month. It is a culmination of various events in my life but I captured the feeling. In order for me to capture the feeling and face it, I have to understand what it is and why I feel it. I have had myself locked away for so long that I have forgotten how to feel. I stopped writing what I was feeling for a while and in 2009 when I started this blog I didn’t realize that I was trying to regain myself. This is the place where I have felt the freedom to be myself. I have shared more on this blog than I have with most people. I have slowly been working through things and expressing myself, and it is no wonder that I worked my way to having to face all of the things that I have written, but not fully understood emotionally.

When I wrote them before I had no true connection to it.

I have been writing to connect with me again, find out who I am and where I went and I didn’t even realize it. I preserved myself with the physical but gave freely here. My actual fear is fear of abandoning myself. If I face myself, what will I see? Well, you have been reading it. I have been afraid to feel and process all of this, and I have been associating my fear to others. Their rejection of me has been a lifetime of rejecting myself, abandoning who I am. I have used various means to protect myself, but when I thought I was protecting myself, I was actually causing me more harm and forming false opinions and ideas about myself. These are all falling away and I am starting to see through each new memory of my past through new eyes, what has been causing me fear. When we realize our fears, we have a choice, we can face it and conquer it or we can continue to allow it rule and reign.

Once I see it and realize my fear, I cannot let it reign no matter how painful it may be. I am a fighter. :-)


 

 

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