i have abandonment issues. not because of anything that happened to me during my childhood. i wasn’t left in a mall by accident or forgotten at the end of the school day. none of that. but i definitely have abandonment issues. if i were to guess, it probably stems from the dozens of people who have walked away without so much as a whisper or a wave.
i am sure everybody knows this but i was never popular. i literally walked through the first three years of high school silently. when i lost forty five pounds the summer before senior year; i walked into school on the last first day of high school and a girl stopped and asked “hey, didn’t you used to be fat?” that sums up how invisible i really was. i never had a boyfriend. never got asked to a dance. never went on a date or kissed anyone. i was as unpopular as it gets. my first boyfriend wasn’t until i was nearly nineteen. he was sweet. a firefighter, friend of my best friend at the time’s boyfriend. he knew the color of my eyes before we ever met. i never knew anyone could pay attention to me like that. we dated for like eighteen days. he split when his ex girlfriend texted saying she had “made a mistake” and “wanted another chance”. that was it. he chose her instead of me and my teenage heart imploded. and after that, i legit believed that i didn’t deserve anyone. and here we are a decade later.
my first boyfriend certainly isn’t the only person who has walked away from me. since then, friends have blocked my phone number. first dates have dropped off the face of the planet. even people who came to my wedding or have sat across from my mother at the dinner table have walked right on out of my life. i know it seems silly; but abandonment is something i expect from people. it happens so often that i have started to think that there must be something so obviously wrong with me, that i don’t deserve anyone.
this past year, three people walked away from me. one broke my heart. one fueled a rage. one was a blessing. and the truth is, buried somewhere beneath the surface, abandonment was always hiding under the surface. it stayed quiet, rarely showing itself. but see the thing is, it doesn’t lurk beneath me. i don’t walk away from people. i don’t drift off in the middle of a relationship or skip back through my past just to see what a second chance looks like. maybe that makes me a better person. or maybe it just means i am too much for some people. but i know for a fact that no matter how many times people walk out on me; no matter how broken my heart is; no matter who leaves me behind- i still struggle to wipe the tears.
abandonment comes with hurt & betrayal & just a huge lack of decency. i have watched people slink away from me because i am too much for them. i am too supportive. or expect too much. or want them to be honest. or want them to be loyal. or want them to stop cancelling plans and be a real friend. i am too much for some people; actually, i am too much for most people. and my heart is so very broken. and my light is so very dim. and despite knowing that the reason most walk out is because i am too much and that will never be a bad thing; i can’t help but think that i don’t deserve to be loved.
i have abandonment issues. not from childhood. not from some scary situation. i have been abandoned by people. and in turn, it broke me. while my abandonment issues still linger; just under the surface and buried deep beneath; i am working on a few things. the first is self worth; knowing that the heartache that comes with each door closing is just a reminder that sometimes you are too much for some people and those people are just not your people. but also, that i can keep everyone as close as i want but if they choose to leave, that’s on them. i can’t control anyone and i certainly can’t control who lets the door hit them on their way out. not everyone is meant to be forever.
abandonment is hard. it’s something i deal with all the time. i will always wonder why and i will always think it must be me. but it’s not always me; in fact, it rarely is. so if the door recently closed on your ties without someone, just remember that you deserve the best. in all the people that walk along your heart and carve their footprints into your soul. and it’s okay for the door to shut on those who break you.