Abandonment and Friendship
One thing that is hard for me to swallow is that not everyone wants to be part of your life.
Certainly, this has given me the idea that my abandonment issues are more severe than I originally thought. I hold on too long. I cry too much. It’s okay to sit and feel your emotions. But I still feel abandoned by friends and family.
This is where it becomes a problem. It’s easy to feel too much with bipolar disorder or post traumatic stress disorder. It’s natural to have that inclination to feel abandoned by the people you love. But it’s a revolving door, people come and go.
People keep telling me that some friends or mentors are there for a season. I am grateful for every moment of acknowledgment and it truly makes me wonder…why? Why is it always for a season?
One of the keys to understanding abandonment and mental illness in general, is where did it begin? Research shows that depending on the age during development that it manifests differently. You can tell the difference in my large family. My sister who was a teenager has a completely different story than four-year-old me. I always had wondered why I developed bipolar disorder compared to my sibling. But the thing is…they might not have “bipolar”, but they do have lingering effects of PTSD and moodiness.
It makes you feel like a black sheep as you struggle through psychosis, mood disturbances, and flashbacks. It’s not fair that they can see me struggle but that they have rose colored glasses to keep themselves from getting a diagnosis.
I want to be understood.
This is where the abandonment issues come from. I want to be understood. My therapist and I talked about how my need for food hoarding because of lack of resources as a child. The loneliness felt as a child being homeschooled with divorced parents. I was raised in a very religious society and was ostracized because my biological father was abusive. But it didn’t matter to them because divorce was so taboo.
I don’t believe that my abandonment issues stem from the divorce. I believe it stems from the church and not being welcoming. All the friends that I had made during that season have disappeared. I recently left two jobs and each time, there is not contact between people that I felt very deeply for. My abandonment issues come from the realization that I will never see them again.
How do you fix this?
What added to my happiness is reaching out to people that I haven’t seen in years, since 2016. One of the things that I’ve incorporated is the idea that you must be willing to invest in what your friends are passionate about. I don’t like Taylor Swift, but I’ll still stay up with you to watch the teaser of her new music. As much as you invest in people, sometimes and it’s a specific kind of person, will reciprocate in the passions that you love. If they don’t, don’t waste your time even if it hurts. You can have opposite hobbies. But listen to the person who is willing to hear what you might be passionate about.
That is a beautiful thing.
I want to be seen.
That’s what stems from my abandonment issues because I was never seen as a child or as an adult.
If people are not investing in you, why are you friends?
It’s a hard process because of abandonment issues, but it’s so worth it to have genuine friendships even if they’re few.