I have been keeping my emotional self wrapped tightly around me lately; too much has been happening – with me and those I care about. Experience has taught me that in these moments, because the emotional demand is so high, one can either expend as required (immediately) or hold in reserve in order to ensure sustainability; I have learned the latter is the wiser course of action.
As you know, school for me resumed on August 27th and like a baby at day-care, I immediately got sick; picked up a flu-germ somewhere along the journey. Thankfully I am on the up-swing with that. But as you know, having your physical health barriers attacked opens the door to your mental health being compromised; or as a friend pointed out, this could certainly be a “chicken-egg” scenario. My point is however that the past three weeks have been a study in an attack on my physical and mental immune system; for the one the cure was easier – thankfully our world has created a multi-billion dollar industry geared toward a myriad of choices – medicinal, homeopathic and natural from which to choose. The other cure can prove to be a bit trickier…
It’s a bit ridiculous for me to actually state the words, “I am a communicator” right? I mean… d’uh! I believe most of life’s beauty begins with the transference of words and the demonstration through actions; as well as much of life’s ugliness and misunderstanding can be resolved through effective communication. I have lived the reality that it is through (mis)interpretation that many unfortunate conclusions manifest; situations that are not given the attention and clarity they deserve. So yes, I am a communicator and, I constantly work to achieve the title of an effective one. Of everything I pride myself on and hope to be, this is at the top of my list. Truly.
So there’s that. I have laid my shit out there in an attempt to use it to highlight and address some of the issues we may all face but may be too shy, ashamed, in denial, unaware, embarrassed to admit or speak of. I am none of those things. Remember? “Making My Mess My Message…” Not to say there have not been those spaces in my life when I have behaved in ways I regret or wish I could have a “do-over” – there absofuckinglutely have been those! What I am saying however is that I have taken a look at them, apologized when necessary, done my best to make up for, asked forgiveness – from those I offended and from myself – learned my lesson and corrected my future behavior. Then, I have moved on… a better woman – for having been allowed the opportunity to behave like a jack-ass and redeem myself.
But here’s something we’ve never spoken about – abandonment. The physical kind that could then manifest itself emotionally. How are yall with that? Do you even know? And if you can admit to yourself you suffer from a tad of that, are you yet in the place where you are brave enough to admit it out loud – to either your family, friends, partner or therapist? Don’t laugh… this is one of those issues, those ailments that affect so many of us, yet is so misunderstood, so very misdiagnosed. The reality of this world now (hopefully future worlds will do better) is that, for one reason or the other, too many of our families are fragmented. Too often the word “single” prefaces the word “parent.” And, even as there are wonderful recountings of children who rise up and go on to achieve their fullest potential in spite of, there are sadly even more where the recounting is tinged with strife, with failure, with devastation.
Abandonment. The problem with the word is that more often than not when used it is coupled with, ‘issues” and, very few people are happy with being looked upon that way. The truth is however that it is an “issue” – it is a freaking epidemic (give me my props for saying “freaking” as opposed to its more graphic first-cousin)! Having feelings of fear of being left can be debilitating; it can and often leads to self-fulfilling behaviors. Oftentimes unconsciously. Listen, I am not speaking through my ass here… I have had serious abandonment issues. I vacillate between being afraid I will be abandoned and being the one to abandon… before it is done to me. See why it’s called an “issue”?
I have been keeping myself wrapped tightly around myself lately because one of the ways someone with my particular issue learns to deal with it is to learn to depend solely on self. See, if there is no external dependence that nullifies the possibility of disappointment. If you don’t expect someone to come (and I am not necessarily speaking of partners here – this also applies to family and friends), then you’re not afraid anyone will leave. Get it? It’s like not having condoms at your bedside – it either denotes you’re confident you’re in a monogamous relationship or you’re just not having sex – so, no need for them.
The good news is, feelings of abandonment can be soothed. There are people who can help – by listening and helping to identify the source and in leading you to resolution. Promise. What they cannot do however is erase the reality of the occurrence(s) that have manifested the feelings; those remain. The reason I point this out is to prepare you for the reality of the continued fluttering in your stomach that may signal the appearance of a past ghost; the speck of red in front of the dormant bull. Natural, normal, common. What you will learn to do though is recognize and acknowledge the feelings – maybe even be comfortable enough to share them out loud and leave them where they belong – in the past, ascribed to the actions and behaviors of others – not appropriate or beneficial to and in your future.
I have a friend – well, I guess it more appropriate to say, “I had a friend” who one day simply disappeared from my life – without warning, conversation or explanation. I attempted to communicate – because our friendship I thought was based on that – our ability to speak the truth, in spite of what it was. I was wrong and it hurt(s). My teachings with regard to this issue of abandonment have taught me something else however and it is this – not everyone is able to communicate as openly, as freely, as honestly. Oftentimes people simply do the best with what they have and part of respecting them is to not judge their “best” either by your standard, your need or your past. Sometimes people don’t necessarily set out to leave you; sometimes they just need to leave…