#SoulSharing: Dealing With Emotional Abandonment

October 21, 2019

Had a therapy session today. My first one in years. Not because I don’t like or don’t believe in therapy….of course I do. I just tend to self-process pretty well and, honestly, just don’t have much to talk about in therapy.

But this last depression episode hit really hard and opened up some wounds that I really thought I’d finally healed.

This time, I needed help.

Everyone has their own traumas and triggers. For some it’s physical abuse. For others it’s sexual assaults. Mine is emotional abandonment. Specifically, being dropped/dumped/ghosted/left behind by people who were very, very close friends. People with whom I’d built strong connections. People with whom I was intentional, authentic, open, and loving. People who were the same way with me, who valued and cherished and loved me.

Until one day, they didn’t.

More times than I’d care to count (yet I continue to obsess over), I’ve had dear friends suddenly end our connection out of the blue. Either with no explanation at all, or with a feeble reason that had absolutely nothing to do with me. Just like that, they were gone from my life, and I was left in a surprised and heart broken stupor, trying to figure out what the hell just happened.

Relationships are one of the most important things in life to me. So when a disproportionate number of them fail, it cuts to the core of my being.

Over time and repetition the pain has gotten internalized, and I ruminate over what’s wrong with me that I’m so easily disposable to the people who claimed to love and care about me. Mentally and logically, I understand that it’s more about the other person than about me, that people are inconsistent and can be uncaring because of their own inner issues. But emotionally, all I know is my friend isn’t my friend anymore. And years later, it still breaks my heart.

So enter the counselor. Someone to help me truly heal, cuz I’m phukking tired of hurting over people who give zero shyts about the trauma they’ve caused. I need help to fix this, because I don’t want this pain to be what takes me out, what makes me finally give up on life like it so nearly has many times before.

I rehash all this with the counselor, annoyed at my Self that I can’t talk about it without tears welling up in my eyes. I should be over this. I should be stronger than this. I shouldn’t care anymore. And yet, here I am.

She talks about how the rhetoric of being strong and moving on is classified as healing when it really isn’t. How getting over pain and getting through pain are two different things. She gives the example of falling and skinning your knee, and putting a bandaid on the wound without removing the dirt, using disinfectant, etc. Sure, it’ll heal, but it won’t heal properly.

Ultimately we get to reframing my thoughts. My current thought cycle is:

  • “That person left me, and it hurts.”
  • “This has happened numerous times, so there must be something wrong with me.”
  • “I’m a worthless person.”
  • Cue depression spiral and suicidal ideations.

I have to reframe this. I have to focus on the fact that I’m a phukking awesome friend, and that those who opt to end their friendship with me don’t take away from who I am. My new cycle:

  • “That person left me, and it hurts.”
  • “That’s a shame, cuz I’m a phukking awesome friend.”
  • Repeat as many times as necessary.

It’s a first step, a seemingly simple step, yet a key step. There’s still more to work on, like being able to handle seeing those former friends continue their relationships with others. That’s hard a hell, because it emphasizes the thought that there’s specifically something wrong with ME and not other people. And to be honest, seeing them happy with other friends pisses me off, because I want to see them hurt as badly as they hurt me. I think that desire is only human, and I have no shame around admitting it. But one step at a time.

I hope therapy will help me find different avenues of healing that I haven’t tried. I want and need them. I don’t want other peoples’ decisions to treat me like trash continue to make me think I am trash. I don’t want to doubt my worth or my ability to create lasting connections because some chose to end theirs with me. But most importantly, I don’t want to carry this heartache with me anymore. I want it to heal permanently, so that even a major depression episode can’t reopen old wounds.

We’ll see what happens.
Pray my skrength in da Lawd.

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