I guess I’ve been in denial my whole life (I’m 34) about the effect my father had on me when he left the country without saying goodbye when I was in high school. I’ve been in nothing but unhealthy relationships and always thought it was because I just haven’t met “the one.”
Recently, I’ve been unhealthily obsessed with a girl who was physically available but emotionally unavailable. I’ve dated many times, but this girl seemed to key in on the exact same buttons that my father pushed. I’m moving on because I realize this relationship is toxic (to me at least), but it hurts so much. How have you learned to deal with this? Have you been able to have a healthy relationship?
Dear Abandonment Issues,
Thank you so much for reading my post about how to cope with abandonment. As you read, it has been a struggle and a long journey to get to a healthier place in my life and in relationships. Like you, I attracted and embraced relationships with partners that were emotionally unavailable. Inconsistency and lack of love is what I learned from my father – the man who was supposed to teach me how to be loved.
I cannot say that I’ve overcome all issues stemming from abandonment. The insecurities and fears that it triggers still manifest within. The difference now is that I don’t react because of it. I know where it comes from. I know why I feel terrified to get close to a man. I know why I panic when patterns and behaviors change in a relationship. It is all due to my father’s abandonment. That knowledge allows me to pause – think – before I act. That awareness is what keeps me from scaring men off, as I once did.
Have I been able to have a healthy relationship? Sure. You just have to be honest.
Tell the next woman who is in your life (a woman who deserves you) where you are coming from, your history, and how it has and still affects you. Be honest with yourself and you will experience better relationships than those that have come before. It takes time to become aware but you will get there. You will become less attracted to unavailable, cold and inconsistent personalities. That’s what abandonment does. It pushes the abandoned to seek love from those who cannot give it. We become involved with men and women who resemble the parent who abandoned us to feel worthy of love.
So, go on with your life and leave this unhealthy relationship behind. Take time to heal. Take time to be honest with yourself about your relationship patterns, who you are, and what you need in a relationship in order to feel fulfilled and truly loved. If I can move past unattainable partners, drunk dialing, and feelings of unworthiness , then you can too. Just remember we are all a work in progress.
Love stronly and wisely,
DISCLAIMER: The advice offered by Sujeiry Gonzalez are solely the opinion of Sujeiry Gonzalez and should not be considered as a form of therapy and/or diagnosis or treatment of any kind. If counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]