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When Feelings of Abandonment From Childhood Lead to Insecurities in Adulthood

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

It all started a week after my 16th birthday. The feeling of abandonment that left me feeling empty inside and alone in this dark world. My mother had died by suicide. The person who was my entire world, my best friend, my rock and support system, decided to end her life and left me here to face the world without her. In her mind, leaving us behind would be for the better. It will be 10 years this Halloween, and the uncomfortable knot in my stomach has never really gone away. Not only did I lose my mother to suicide in 2007, but in 2012, my father who is also my rock, attempted suicide. Luckily, he is still with me today.

I was diagnosed with a mental illness in 2012, just four months before my father attempted to end his life. Since all of this has happened, I have been doing an incredible amount of research around mental health and have learned that although no one was to blame, this trauma has caused many negative traits to surface in my life that I didn’t previously have before.

I’ve learned over time that none of it was my fault. So many thoughts have gone through my mind. What if I had stayed home from school that day? Why didn’t I see the signs? What if I could have prevented it? My mother loved us all with everything she had, but the demons inside had taken over and took control of her way of thinking. It wasn’t my mother who wanted to die. It was the dark voice inside telling her she was worthless and that everyone around her would be better off without her. My father’s experience was similar. He tends to hide his emotions well, something I have also inherited. He remained strong for too long and couldn’t bear the pain of living without my mother in his life any longer. He didn’t intentionally do it to cause anyone harm. He, like my mother, loved us with every part of his being but again, was overtaken with the same false thoughts my mother probably had that things would be “better” if he were gone.

Another thing I have discovered is that this trauma would cause me to have major trust issues in the future. I’m not blaming anyone for this, however it has caused me so much unneeded heartache because of it. I now see how it affects my everyday life. I second guess myself a lot. I’m extremely insecure about my looks and never feel good enough. I allow these negative thoughts to get the better of me and in the long run, they only cause me harm. I live in constant fear that something’s going to happen again to someone very close to me. When people give me a thousand reasons to trust them, I still pull back and convince myself that no one can be fully trusted, all of the time. It causes unnecessary conflict in my current relationship and forces me to view life through negative eyes. I need to constantly be reassured that the ones I love will never leave me and that everything will be OK. When life gets in the way and my friends and I drift apart, I instantly feel it’s something I have done. Did I say something wrong? Did I irritate them? What if I wasn’t a good enough friend during the times that we did speak often? An overwhelming amount of self-blame stems from something that probably isn’t even true. All of these foolish thoughts race through my mind, constantly. The problem is, because my insecurities and lack of self-worth are so deeply rooted into my brain, I feel as though they will never really go away. They will continue to consume me and take away any little bit of kudos I give myself for accomplishments, big or small.

At times, it feels like I’m drowning. As if someone else has control of my mind, body and soul. Before I have time to think, I bash myself or accuse others of not being trustworthy enough. In reality, I know it’s my own insecurity speaking, telling me things that aren’t actually true. It overtakes the logical part of my brain, telling me this reasoning is unrealistic. I feel unlovable and unworthy of others’ affection. I fear for my future. With a mind that tells you 24/7 that you’ll never make it, you’ll never be good enough and everyone will leave you, how do you reason with that? If you truly believe this to be the truth then how do you go about living a happy, long, fulfilling life? I knew these traumatic experiences would harm me emotionally, but I never expected the feeling of abandonment to cause this much damage. It destroyed my past, is damaging my present and will likely continue to consume me in the future. The only thing I can do is take one step at a time and realize I am not “damaged goods.”

If you take the time to share how you are feeling and explain why you are feeling this way, others may understand more than you think. Don’t let anyone look down on you or frown on the fact that you seem “too insecure.” If we had full control over our insecurities, then why would we utilize them? They’re the ugly monsters on your back whispering in your ear that you will never be enough. You are enough. And although it’s hard to believe this when the voices are too loud, you will get through it. One breath at a time. One day at a time. Please, never give up on being yourself.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via Transfuchsian.

Originally published: June 6, 2017
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