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  • Writer's picturehannahhogan221

Your Abandonment Issues Are Showing

I notice for me I battle a lot with fear and doubt when it comes to relationships and

even break ups. I feel as though if someone rejects me, maybe I am not good

enough. Maybe because he can’t see my worth, it isn’t there. Or maybe he sees

my worth but decides it isn’t enough for him or maybe it is too much for him. It

stings. I can replay scenarios in my head—trying to figure out what I could have

done differently, if anything at all to keep him around. I doubt myself. I spend so

much time second guessing and doubting myself that I don’t let myself entertain

the truth—the reality is he just isn’t right for me. No matter how great he or the

relationship seems to be, in the end, God has another plan. He has someone else

in mind for me...possibly even at another time. Maybe what I truly need is a season

of singleness before that other person can come into my life.

I can remember in relationships past, I spent a lot of time living in this fear I would

be dumped-as if it was the worst thing that could happen to me. I glorified the

relationship. I let it take up so much of my time and I let fear live in my mind rent

free when it should have been evicted a long time ago. I spent so much time

worrying about the demise of the relationship and concocting things in my mind

that would keep him interested in me that I didn’t let myself enjoy the newness of

the relationship. I wasn’t in love with anyone. I was in fear of losing someone. Can

we confuse fear for love? I think so.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Fear tells us we are failing as partners. Fear tells us if

he doesn’t ask us to be his girlfriend quickly or if he doesn’t tell us he loves us on

our timeline then the relationship is doomed. We are unlovable. Fear will have us

over compensating to keep someone around. Fear will have us compromise our

morals, our relationships with other people, and our values to keep an unhealthy

relationship. Love is being accepted for who we are without having to prove

ourselves to someone.

I remember being a virginal youth and being raised in the Church, I wanted to wait

until marriage for sex, but all it took was my older boyfriend’s coercing and my

raging hormones to get me to compromise. I thought if I gave him everything he

wanted, he wouldn’t ever leave me, but that wasn’t the case. He eventually did

leave me....for another girl. I drove by his house everyday consumed with anger

and filled with a deep feeling of rejection I had never felt before the breakup.

Eventually, my emotions needed an outlet and I chose to take it out on his new

girlfriend’s car with a carton of eggs. To my surprise, my attempt at a woman

scorned didn’t patch up our relationship. It just left me feeling filled with regret

and embarrassment.

Later in my twenties, I believed my sexuality would keep men interested in me, but

unfortunately that was all they were really interested in and frankly, they could get

that anywhere. I even let myself smoke black tar heroin on a date with a guy I

wasn’t interested in just so he would be happy and the date wouldn’t have been

awkward. As if my dry heaving all night made the date romantic and endearing. I

could have just left. That is always an option. I could have ended the date, but fear

wouldn’t let me. Fear had me convinced that maybe this drug addict was a really

nice guy and I needed to give him a chance. After all, a mutual friend had set us

up. Maybe she saw something in him I didn’t and I, being the people pleaser that I

was, didn’t want to let her down.

Sometimes this confusion of fear for love will keep us attached to people we

should have let go months, if not years ago. Just because we are attached to

someone doesn’t make them the one. Sometimes it’s just an attachment. If we

dissect the relationship, we can see we are just hanging onto the idea of someone

or what the relationship can bring us. We are afraid of being alone so we project

that fear onto this other person. “Surely, I love him. I can’t be without him!” But the

reality is, you believe you can’t be without anyone and he’s conveniently the

person in your life. And when he is gone, you can replace him with someone else

and in six months you’ll be saying the same thing until hopefully your friends point

out to you that you’ve confused fear for love.

The truth is you can live without someone. People do it all the time. Sure, sometimes people die from a broken heart, but this guy whose been in your life for 6 months, two years...his absence

ain’t gonna kill you, girl. Get a hobby. Find something to do outside the

relationship. He isn’t your whole world. You’ve just let your world become very

small. Call up your girlfriends and get brunch. Get you some eggs, just keep them

on your plate. You need perspective. You’re addicted to your relationship. There’s

no love in addiction. There’s only obsession and a fear of loss.

But what about when everything is going right and fear sets in? How do we battle

that? Fear will say, “it’s too good to be true. He’s going to leave you soon.” “Don’t

let yourself get too attached. Nothing lasts forever.” “Don’t make it public. You’ll

jinx it.” Anything that goes through our heads that insinuates we will be left is fear.

It’s a lie and we have to get real with ourselves. There is no room for fear in love.

No one wants to be with someone who is insecure all the time, afraid they will be

abandoned. No one wants to schedule consoling you every day, assuring you of

their undying love and affection for you. This is something you have to work on

yourself. We have to let ourselves enjoy the moments we have in a relationship and

chase those thoughts out of our mind. The right person will stay and if they don’t

stay, they weren’t meant to stay forever and that’s ok. Life is full of seasons. Allow

yourself to get comfortable with the idea that the relationship may be seasonal

and not evergreen.

If you’re noticing a trend in yourself that you are consumed with the idea of being

left by every partner or if every break up feels like the world is collapsing on you,

do yourself a favor. Let yourself be single! Get used to it being just you and your

friends and family. No one can complete you. It’s a great line from a movie, but

that’s all it is. No matter how great your relationship may be, I promise you that

you are complete without your partner. We have to get to a place where we love

ourselves enough to not let someone else’s presence or absence define who we

are or how we feel. Once we can get to a place where we are happy with ourselves

THEN we are ready for a relationship. THEN we can get to a place where we don’t

want to see our partner go, that the idea of losing them doesn’t consume us. We

have been on our own before and we did just fine. We can do it again. It may be

hard for awhile, but being dumped is only a season and seasons change.

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