I remember one Sunday afternoon all of my family and I piled in the car for an afternoon drive
On occasion, when my father was in a good mood and relatively stable, we would go to the local Ice Cream Parlor and get milkshakes then take a long scenic drive in the country. I look forward to them as it was usually a fun time and I Loved "Milkshakes!" Who Doesn't? On this particular day as we were driving I don't recall exactly what I said or did but my father stops the car on this desolate country road and pushes me out of the car. I immediately think to myself, "This must be a joke or something." It was no Joke! He slams the car door and then continues down the road with my family, leaving me abandoned and all alone on the side of the road. I stand there for what seems like an eternity gazing in the direction my family followed eagerly awaiting to see the car turn back around and come and rescue me. The car was nowhere in sight.
I began walking back in the opposite direction as I had an idea as to where this road led. As I was walking I started to panic, tears streamed down my face, my heart was racing and my breathing out of control. I then started a slight jog and then a full blown sprint. Running as fast as my legs would carry me. I don't recall how long I was on that side of the road, alone and frightened but I do know it was for at least a half an hour. There is a lot of panic and stress that can occur within that time frame. My mother says she pleaded for my father to turn around and so did my siblings. He would not. But eventually, after he assumed I had suffered enough he did come back for me.
That scenario and the countless others I endured as a child left me feeling abandoned and not protected by those who were supposed to be my protectors. I do not blame my Mother; she was at the mercy of my father on many occasions. She tried her best to protect and care for us, but she too was a victim of sever Domestic Violence and often was fighting for her life as well. As an adult I have a fear of Abandonment and Rejection that is overwhelming most of the time. I know the emotions and thoughts and I try desperately to take every thought captive to the knowledge and obedience of Jesus Christ, but often I succumb re-creating the experience of being abandoned in my relationships. I am scared of connecting with people on any level for fear they will run away! If the relationship is of great importance to me the greater the risk and more is at stake which then leads me to act unhealthy in the relationship. I try to control them; I am hyper-vigilant for anything they do that appears as withdrawal and constantly seek reassurance that they are not going to leave me.
Most people who are unfamiliar with how the effects of child abuse damage the adult with almost every area of relating in relationships, emotions, thoughts, self-esteem and will run! They see our behavior as "weird" and "crazy," when all we are trying to do is ensure that they love us back, care for us and will stand by our side no matter what. I have driven many close friendships and relationships away because of these behaviors.
I am learning to live in the present with my Relationships and not look into the future where fear and the unknown reside. I am learning to accept the Relationship and friendships where they are presently are and not focus on the gamble of them leaving me. It is a hard lesson to learn and I have lost a lot of meaningful people in my life as a result of my fear of Abandonment. It is a never-ending process and one that I have yet to master. It is part of the recovery, part of self-examination. I want desperately to have people who love me in my life, but the fear and rejection is so strong that it is a constant battle. In a few select friendships, I have managed to trust by them proving they are people who will "Stick". Those successes help me to strive again in trying to build positive Relationships. I want friends/relationships and desperately need them in my life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CW Seymore, read more at CW Seymore Shards of Glass.
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