I’m always learning something new about myself. Sometimes, it’s a new personality trait. Other times it’s a deeper understanding of who I am and what drives me emotionally. The toughest part, however, is changing how I feel in certain situations. Though I no longer react like I used to (impulsively and at times recklessly), I still feel confused. Though I know why I sometimes feel forgotten or abandoned (daddy issues and daddy issues), I can’t turn off my brain.
You can imagine how tough this is on relationships. At one point or another, all my relationships have been affected due to my fear of withdrawal. I just learned this new term while speaking with Vicky Barrios from KindnessandKisses.com. She explained that most of us fear two things when it comes to connecting: a fear of engulfment or a fear of withdrawal.
A fear of engulfment is fear suffocation. If a person calls often, wants to see you often, wants to share intimate moments and get closer — you freak out. You want to keep people at a safe distance. You fear getting too close. You fear loosing yourself and your independence.
A fear of withdrawal is quite the opposite. You fear people pulling back. If a person calls less, wants to see you less, shares less intimate moments and communicates less — you freak out. You fear people leaving. You sense a shift and feel they no longer care. You fear abandonment.
I struggle with my fear of withdrawal daily. Friends, family, love interests, significant others – they often have to prove that they are genuine. I have a wall up. I guard my heart. I take note when I am no longer a priority. I observe when the calls are shorter and when dates and outings are cancelled. I know the date of the last time he or she called or made plans. I try to shake it off. I really do. But eventually, I withdraw. I pull back and become proud. I stop myself from sending a text or communicating naturally because I feel unloved. I feel myself worrying and questioning the entire relationship and asking, “Did I do something wrong?”
This is my burden. When I give, I give completely, When I love, I love hard. Whether you are a friend, a family member or a significant other, I am loyal to a fault and become your number one cheerleader. And I want to fill that role forever. Like I said, I know myself well. I learn daily about my motivations and my feelings. I just hope that one day I can transform these feelings. That I can love without a fear of withdrawal. That I won’t pull back.
Photo Credit: She Knows