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To ‘Abi:’ a Letter to My Fear of Abandonment and Borderline Personality Disorder

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To my abandonment issues – or as she will hereby be referred to as, “Abi.”

Abi… we’ve been together for a very long time — since I was a child, in fact. You never understood why people left, why they argued, why they got mad and said mean things or why they slammed doors and left vibrating rooms empty. You felt lost in the silence. We both did.

I’ve carried you with me for years, Abi. Every new school, new job, new smiling face and new conversation, you’ve been sitting there right next to me, pulling me back with strings so I don’t lean in too far or say too much. You’ve always looked out for me.

When Mum left, you grew. You grew so fast I couldn’t keep up, sucking all the energy from me until you were the host and I was attached to you for survival. You shielded me from pain and hurt, making sure no one could get by your gnashing teeth and claws.

There were one or two who managed to slip through the cracks. They spoke our language and whispered things in the dead of night that made tense shoulders ease just a little. They scared you more than anyone else because you’ve always believed that good feelings don’t last and familiar faces will never stay too long. Everyone leaves, eventually.

We’ve been betrayed before, quite a few times. You battled valiantly against my need to forgive and you lost once or twice. You’ve always tried to protect me, you’ve always been watching my back.

Abi, I know you’re protective and you don’t want us to get hurt, but we’ve got to talk about this fear – this fear that comes across in sharp words and short snaps, this shove of fear that people misconstrue as anger, or a want to destroy.

Abi, I know you’re scared and I’m so scared too but we have to put some trust back into the world. You’re not that scared little girl anymore and you’re not that colossal monster. You’ve changed and I’ve changed, because people can change.

There are people who love us, both of us. People who see you cowering in the corner and just want to make it better. There are people who don’t see you too, but they feel your fear and they’re scared we want destruction. I can’t let them believe that and you have to help me show them.

Show them that, with a little time, love, reassurance and patience, we are healing from the years when it’s been just the two of us. Help me show them that we’re loyal, loving, generous and that we love those we hold close so unconditionally that the very thought of being without them weakens us.

Abi, we’ve been through so much but yesterday is gone and tomorrow is ours. If we work just a little bit harder and push just a little bit further, we’ll see that we are worthy of love and that there are people out there who cherish us just as much as we do them.

Abi, we’ll be OK, I promise. And even when we’re not, we will be again. Through everything, Abi, we’ve still managed to see and create so much beauty in this world.

Everyone may not understand, but if you help me explain and help me work on our issues, we’ll be able to ease tense shoulders and lay our head somewhere that feels like home.

Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

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Photo by Brandi Redd on Unsplash

Originally published: January 31, 2018
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