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Anyone else with extreme fear of being abandoned?


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Hi.  I am dealing with this incredible fear of abandonment das well as life-long depression) .  I feel pretty clear on what it stems from. I am working with a therapist.  I just want to know what kind of (healthy) coping techniques others may use to deal with this kind of anxiety.  It really leaves me feeling so alone sometimes! 

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I've always had an extreme fear of being abandoned by people close to me. Even just people disapproving or not connecting with me over things. That fear has shaped so much of my adult life it's embarrassing. It's what made me vulnerable to domestic abuse.

The only thing that has made any difference is spending time alone, and realising that the world doesn't end. I've lost some poeple along the way though.

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Oh,  it has definitely shaped my life, too!  And I find it embarrassing, too,  because I am a grown woman and very often react (and/or feel)  like a really small child. I am still learning how to help myself get centered and how to get my adult self to kick in and take over when I start regressing. It's really hard to do bc then I am in a state of high anxiety and can't think straight! 

 

And recently I had a friend (who I thought of as being supportive and understanding) tell me in a really pretty stupid and mean way that I am not working hard enough. (While I was in the middle of a horrendous med change and just needed reassurance that things could get better). That kind of experience really hits me hard!  I think: why can't I just act like an adult? 

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I have often been abandoned, actually "ghosted" by friends that I cared about for no reason. It's to the point where I don't trust anyone and I try to stop disclosing anything personal. I always end up hurt when I try to take friendships beyond a superficial level, and end up ignored if I ever ask for support (yet I give & give anytime they need validation, reassurance or help). I have issues now trusting anyone other than my immediate family and my spouse. Everytime I try to build a friendship (in real life), I find that the person only cares about themselves or wants something from me. It's sad, but I'm personally trying to work through some of my sensitivity/anxiety and lower my expectations, maybe I'm attracting the wrong people...what else can you do?

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Blahblah, I am sorry about that!  There could be something to the idea that you attract people who aren't able to be there for other people. I've read a lot lately about this fear of abandonment and it seems that people who suffer from it often *do* choose people who can't give them what they need. 

Edited by amskray
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Geek,  I hope it was clear that I was trying to be supportive but I just re-read my comment and maybe that wasn't clear. I  guess what I wanted to say is that some of us may choose or may have chosen people who aren't capable of giving us what we need but that doesn't mean we are not worth having people who treat us with respect!  It may be that we don't feel or haven't felt like we deserved love and respect which has influenced our choices. And that is something that we can change over time. 

 

Now I don't know if I am making any sense... 

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Oh, amskray, you're fine. My comment was meant as commiseration with Blahblah rather than saying anything to your response. I think there is some truth to the idea that we may (unconsciously) choose people who can't be there for us. Unhealthy choices --> unhealthy relationships --> unhealthy choices, you know? Hard cycle to break out of. 

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@amskray @Geek  There's no way to know up front, who will be supportive & loyal to you (and not abandon you) and who will not...All you can do is continue to put yourself out there anyway, practice non-attachment and expect frequent disappointments and possible rejection.

I am very intuitive and I intentionally avoid toxic, judgemental, critical people. I am acutely aware of outwardly narcissistic behaviors,  and avoid those people too. But many of the so-called "friends" that have disappeared, did so suddenly - after we had already developed a close, supportive receptive friendship. Basically, these were people that I know have the ability to be a great friend and yet for some reason, when times get really really tough, they don't stick around. Maybe it happens so much because people are so damn busy these days, always on their phones. No time for anyone.

Maybe I have higher (or different) expectations when it comes to friendship? I find most people are perfectly happy with just light superficial conversation, only meeting up in person once per month for "fun times", sending short texts back & forth, going out for a drink. I always crave more. As I get older, I don't need a ton of friends, just at least a couple authentic, good hearted people that can listen and give support during certain times, meaningful interactions. I am abnormal in this way? I hate to only have my immediate family and spouse to really talk to, but it is what it is.

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BOAW,  that makes sense to me.  I was actually just thinking about my patterns of behavior, for instance, when I was in my 20's I was afraid all my friends/ acquaintences would move away after finishing college so I  moved away (to another country!) so i wouldn't be left alone. Now I live really far away from my family (which has benefits to be sure)  and my friends and I often feel lonely and abandoned.  It almost sounds comical when I put it into words... 

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When I was 7 my mom moved halfway across the  state. I missed her so much and growing up with abandonment issues, I came to realize it was because as a child I felt she abandoned me. So my relationships with people suffered because I'd push them away, not get too attached, "knowing" they'd leave me. Which would end up making them leave anyway. 

My wonderful gf i've had for almost 8 yrs now has helped with this problem. We've had lots of talks at length about it, and she's helped me grow out of this fear of being abandoned or pushed aside. I am sure talk therapy with a professional would help too.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/25/2017 at 4:42 PM, amskray said:

Hi.  I am dealing with this incredible fear of abandonment das well as life-long depression) .  I feel pretty clear on what it stems from. I am working with a therapist.  I just want to know what kind of (healthy) coping techniques others may use to deal with this kind of anxiety.  It really leaves me feeling so alone sometimes! 

Tbh, I think everyone has this fear, even if they won't openly acknowledge it or admit it.

Being left alone in the universe it a scary thought.

I'm fearful of my family members passing away for sure and getting on.  I mean, I'm already anxious and depressed now...

Edited by BrianOCD
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