Real or Imagined Abandonment: IT FEELS REAL TO ME!

2:00 am

It’s the issue that I don’t know if there until my partner, B, says “I’m going to hang out with the guys.” My heart sinks, my chest tightens, my jaw clenches and I become angry and extremely uncomfortable. He’s leaving me.

I instantly feel abandoned and the amount of self talk it takes to not flip out (on him or myself) and get some sleep is unbelievable. The fact that I have to talk myself out of the physical and emotional stress is annoying in general. Tonight/this morning  I am having a particularly difficult time calming down and getting some sleep. So far, I’ve slept for 2 hours but it took me two hours to even fall asleep.

I feel that my severe emotional and physical reaction to my partner not being with me is stupid. I feel selfish and controlling and for some reason justified despite not being able to explain why I have such an intense need for him to always be with me. While I am not the type of partner to tell my significant other who and when they can hangout with friends this feeling makes me feel like I am. I have dated that person and I have sworn to never be that person in my relationships (speaking from a Wise place I know that I do not have it in me to purposely be abusive like that for purely selfish reasons).

It literally feels like abandonment. I feel like a ridiculous DSM criteria! I believe it would fall under the “imagined” category of Borderline Personality criteria 1. I am drastically limiting my “frantic efforts to avoid” it. Instead of texting or calling him accusing him of not caring about me I have settled for feeling uncomfortable. I tried thinking about why these strong feelings may be happening but I know they are not rooted in fact and that is enough soul searching for me.

The thoughts that go through my head when B tells me he’s going to hangout with his friends:

“He doesn’t care about me.”

“He’s betraying me.”

“He hates me.”

“He should be with me.”

Pushing through the emotions and using a Wiser Mind I know the following to be true:

“B does love me.”

“B has a right to hangout with his friends.”

“B will come home.”

It feels real though. Abandonment and Betrayal are the words that swim around in my head. For the first time, I’m stuck in how to approach this. I feel like the fact that this abandonment is not actually happening is going to make it more difficult to get over. I feel like talking to B would do nothing (although I’m fairly confident he knows I get uncomfortable by his promises of the next day being just for the two of us) which is why I have just sat with it. A friend suggested that maybe it’s because my relationship with B is still new, that I need to get comfortable before I stop feeling abandoned and betrayed whenever he goes out. She also suggested that the fear be rooted in my past although I’m having trouble tracing that one back but maybe I’m looking at it wrong.

Well, I do actually feel a bit better, at least for now, so I’m going to try this sleep thing again.


16 thoughts on “Real or Imagined Abandonment: IT FEELS REAL TO ME!

  1. Sometimes these negative reactions can feel stupid. If we act on them, then of course they manifest as selfish and controlling. The difference is you have not acted on them. Your awareness has maintained control and dignity.
    I think your mate is right when she suggested this might be to do with it being a relatively new relationship. Of course, those BPD characteristics may always niggle at the back of your mind, but awareness plus the security from an ongoing relationship, might just be enough to establish change.

    • I need to be nicer to myself.

      Thank you for the supportive comment. I can see that, while I had severe physical symptoms of anxiety, I did maintain my dignity, respect boundaries and show myself that I am capable of thinking first and acting second if need be.

  2. Abandonment issues are Powerful! I am sorry you are feeling that way! I suffer with emotional abandonment issues more then physical. The body of the person can be there, but they go out of their way to not talk to me~~the cruel hurtful silent treatment. It would be easier if they left. But that is not what you are talking about.

    It could be that you are picking up on something. Don’t always be so ready to blame your mental illness on everything that feels wrong. I really think we have intuition although we tend to stuff it down, push it back as far as we can because we do not want to see the truth of what is in front of us. Not that we need to run with it and freak out, rather listen to our thoughts from a distance, like a therapist. Ask the feelings questions, “be curious” as my therapist says.

    I write (with a pen and paper) my thoughts down, or draw pictures of my feelings, and answer them or I can just be with the feelings. Simple meditation or yoga type stuff has helped me a little. I try not to judge my (or any ones) feelings as good or bad. I just try hard to let them be like a train rushing by. They are loud, windy, somethings the energy of that train makes my eyes water and takes my breath away. but soon it is gone.

    Feeling abandoned feels so lonely and scary. When I get like that, I try to paint or weed the garden, ride my bike etc.(something physical). Something that make me have to think of other things and makes my body work. Physical exercise has been my saving grace for sure. I am a grandmother, but I can still keep up with the youngins!

    Abandonment or the feeling that go with it are sooo scary!!! Thank you for sharing. I never talk about these feelings, I feel so much shame from them. Like, somehow it is bad to be afraid.

    One thing I have noticed in most of my friends and myself is that we get into relationships that are not good for us. Not because of the guy necessarily. We put ourselves last and the other person becomes the center of our attention. Our needs become second and our lives become nothing but a shell so if they do leave for any reason, we have nothing.

    He is going out with his buddies, and that is a good thing, you also need to make sure you have some of your life separate from him. Not just your work and school, but to maintain your friends. That is healthy!!! I am sure you do that from what it sounds like.
    It is hard. I feel for you for sure!

    Please do not rule out intuition.
    cyber hugz

    • I believe in my life that physical abandonment would follow a period of emotional abandonment. But I’ve had many people come and go in my life but I figure that’s just life. Somewhere along the way I translated my relationships lack of social life/controlling nature as being PROOF that I was worth something because they always wanted to be with me so now when B goes out I start thinking he doesn’t care.

      I’m not trying to blame any disorder as I try not to ascribe to one. I was curious and was trying to be real with myself. Why am I so upset he’s going out? The answer was simply, “He was working all day and I didn’t get to see him and he should be spending time with me.” He did something I didn’t want him to do. I tried multiple things to calm down and nothing was working. Even when he came home I didn’t calm down. It’s strange to me.

      I did tell B how I was feeling and he told me that he isn’t leaving me and gave me hugs. We had a good day together yesterday. I have no issue going out with my friends and he doesn’t have a problem with it either. It’s not like I morally disagree with seeing friends in a relationship. I always encourage my partners to see their friends which is why the feelings feel extra stupid.

      Thanks so much for the comment! It was really helpful 🙂

      • i am curious, and maybe there is no answer, but what would you need from him to feel at peace when he leaves you? did the hug and the reassurance do it for you?

      • A hug and reassurance usually make it better when he gets home just this one time it didn’t matter. I think my body was too charged.

        I don’t know what I need from him. I know I do like concrete things so like if he told me before he left, very firmly, that he loved me and that he’s not leaving me, would probably help. I should suggest that too him. It’s worse when I know he’s going to be home after midnight. I have given this imaginary cut off of acceptable and stress free time out (I know that has to do with a past relationship because the longer he stays awake the longer he’ll sleep in and not be spending time with me).

      • this got me to thinking about why i felt safe with my deceased husband and not the x. the x was only gone when he went to work and always came strait home. i felt so scared just before he came home. what mood will he be in? should i have made a roast instead of the casserole? gawd forbid if dinner was not ready! or maybe i forgot to clean something? what will he yell or beat me for today? or will he just go to his room and drink himself into oblivion? i never told him i miscarried a baby because i was too afraid to tell him i was even pregnant. when he found out (after the divorce) he called me a liar. i wished evil things on him every day. he was a cruel man . . . still likely is.

        whereas when my loving h left, i wanted him to be near me, not because i worried he’d leave for good, but because i loved being in his presence. when he left, i always knew he’d come home to me if he could and i always looked forward to it, but also worried a lot while he was gone. i worried he’d get in a car wreck (lost a bother to being smashed under a tree and two other brothers injured from car wrecks with brain damage), my worry is different; something bad was going to happen when he was gone.

        i would venture to guess that the stress of that worry is likely as intense for you as it was for me. i never told him that worry, but i know he’d laugh in his loving way, put his hands on my cheeks and say something like, “i love you so much, i will be as careful as i can because i want to be with you as much as you want to be with me”.
        now he is gone, reality of his being gone is here. now i am learning to be strong . . . alone. it’s not easy.

        i hope you will find peace in this subject. it is torture to worry. what will be will be. with my T’s help, i am learning to accept things for what they are.

      • If there was one thing my ex never expected from me it was to make dinner. That was his job. How I made food was always criticized. Your ex does sound like a horrible person. I can relate to the fear of the homecoming. With another partner I would sneak onto the computer (even at my own house) when he was at work to talk to my friends and then quickly get off when he came home. My heart would be pounding, I was so nervous he would find out.

        I guess some of my worry is similar to yours with your late husband. Why would I not want such amazing love around me all the time?! I think there is also a little insecurity in it as well because I do not feel worthy of B and don’t want him finding someone else (despite our history showing he was always coming back to me and I to him).

        Thank you for sharing your experiences. I understand that recalling both memories can be painful but I’m so glad you were able to experience real and unconditional love.


      • omg yes, i forgot that heart pounding dread/fear that we’d be caught! ha! Sure don’t miss that!
        oh my, the thoughts running through my head of all that happened. I can’t believe I am alive really.
        so yes, i’ve had the worst and I’ve had the best, can’t imagine trying the rest! 🙂

  3. abandonment feelings can be some of the most intense for me and I would say 99% of the time when I have ended up in hospital or ruined a friendship it was because of this.

    I got lucky with my current partner, she has some mental health issues as well and really understands what its like, and we are 2 peas in a pod and neither of us likes being apart from one another, so we do like 95% of everything together, other then work we are always together. Would drive most people nuts probably, but its really a comfort for both of us, and probably why after 1.5 years now we haven’t had so much as an argument. I still get the feeling, but I am able to better deal with them now because of how good our relationship is, so its comforting and soothing.

    I hope that makes sense. I reply in the middle of the night, and sometimes I am not sure my replies make sense.

    • It makes sense!

      The only time in the past I experience abandonment issues were when a break was occurring or I believed could occur such as during a fight. I have never felt it this severe when I knew things were safe. New experience.

      I’m glad you have found some peace with tour partner!

    • Oh Justins123, what a delight to hear you have a relationship that fits you so well. It brings me back to the happier times with my husband. Thank you. It puts a smile on my face.

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