In life things happen. Changes come. Life is ever changing. There’s certain things in life that we look forward to. As a mom you hope your children will grow up and graduate from high school, go to college, move out, get married and the list goes on. Not only with our children, but with us. We volunteer, work, coach and the list goes on. We know that through those experiences changes will come. It’s all a part of life.
Several years ago I said to my brother in law that I hate change. I hate things changing and he said why would you hate change? At the time I didn’t completely understand it, but now I do. I understand myself a lot better. I understand how my life experiences have shaped me. How my mind processes things. Abuse at a very young age and several sexual, physical and emotional abusers over many years changes you. Has long term effects on you - even if you think you’re alright keeping it all locked up inside. You can do this.
About 18 years ago I was PTA President at the elementary school. I put my whole heart and soul into everything I did there. I had met a lot of people. I got to know all of the teachers, so many parents, the students and became super close to many of them. As the year was starting to wrap up I couldn’t handle it. I was scared to death. Now what? What was going to happen when I was done. I wouldn’t have any of these friends anymore. I wouldn’t be important to them. Would I even be allowed back in the school? The feelings of fear and loss were so deep and I honestly couldn’t see past these fears. I remember going to the year end luncheon with all of the faculty and they thanked me and I was even going to be coming back the next year as PTA President and I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed - like a child. I was coming back. People would ask me what was wrong and I couldn’t explain it. Things were changing. My board was changing. Would I be able to live up to what I did that year? It was like neither way was comforting.
The years have gone by and I could share many other experiences of change, loss and my insecurities, but I had become really good at not crying, moving on and tucking away the fears. I just moved on and didn’t share all of the insecurities that were building in me.
Then counseling comes along and I’m healing. I’m learning. I’m understanding myself. One year and 8 months into counseling I lost my dad. The worst thing that I could ever go through. My emotions are on the surface. I cry daily over things. I’m learning to let myself truly express my feelings, whatever they are. The feelings of abandonment tenderness are close to the surface. I get it. I get what I fear.
Due to all of the abuse and life experiences I have massive abandonment tenderness. I've always had friends. I've always been surrounded by people. I've always been involved. It's appeared I've had confidence, but honestly that was just a mask. I was scared to death. If I was in charge of a meeting I would be up sick the whole night, the night before. I wanted to do everything perfectly and not mess up so that people would like me, so that I could have value in people's lives. I felt that was the only way to have value. I didn't value myself.
2 years ago as I started counseling it was a very rough road - I was facing alot of demons in my life - so many fears and insecurities. I was starting to take down the cage I had around my heart. I was starting to let people in closer. I found myself trusting. I found myself loving and then I found myself loving deeper. I let a few people in much closer into my life.
The last 3 months have brought much loss in my life. First my dad, he died. Until a few weeks ago I would sob as I would say he left me and if he didn't have a choice, then Heavenly Father took my dad and how is that showing love. I can now say that my dad died, but the abandonment tenderness is very real and painful.
I know I'm gaining a daughter who I love soooo much, but in my childlike mind at times I'm losing a son. I'm super happy for them and wouldn't want it any other way, but deep down there's a loss, a hole in our home. This is a battle I have with myself, because of my abandonment tenderness.
A couple of weeks ago I was ghosted. I really didn't know this term until my boys told me what it was. Circumstances have been rough for a little bit, but I didn't see this coming. Someone I counted as a very dear friend, that I thought we could have an open and honest conversation. Someone that I trusted. I let my guard down. I let myself be real. I made lots of mistakes. I wasn’t on my A game at all times. In fact, I failed. I failed a lot with this friendship. I had hoped that love and care for each other would carry us through the rough times. I had believed those feelings were there, but they weren’t.
I had hoped that after a couple of weeks we could work through things, but a couple of days ago as I felt to ask where they were at with things I got, "I don't want to spend time on this relationship at this time."
Now what? Now what do I believe? I failed. I let my guard down. People do leave if they get to know the real me. I just couldn’t be enough. No matter how much I hoped I could “fix” things I kept falling down. Those words have stung. I’ve played them over and over in my head this weekend. It still hurts, but I’ve got tools. I’m working on moving forward one step at a time and striving to live for those right in front of me that do love me. That do care about me and not try to write the next script.
I'm at peace. I'm good. I'm going to be alright, but tonight the feeling of loss and abandonment has gotten the better of me. It's painful. I doubt myself. I wonder why I trust. Why do I open myself up for this pain? Why do I feel this is the better choice than keeping my heart locked up?
Thursday evening I took a dear friend of mine on a roller coaster of emotions with me. It was pretty bad. My abandonment tenderness was out in full force. I was grateful that when she and I said goodnight I scrolled Facebook and one of the first things was a post that connected with me. I had to read it. I feel like it was a direct answer to my prayers. To my pain. To help me see that there is light through all of this. That the Lord is in the details of the details of the details of my life. Right now I hurt. Right now I'm not sure how to process all of the pain, but what I do know is I'll keep praying. I'll keep pressing forward and know that there is peace and greater happiness.
A wife and mother of 4 boys and 2 daughter-in-law, I have spent my entire adult life devoted to my family. I have been busy in their schools, supporting them in all of their school work, sporting events, activities, etc. I spent years heavily involved in the PTA, church callings, etc Life for me has always been overwhelmingly busy. While I thought this was my sanity, the truth is it masked issues - real issues - that I needed to work on to gain true sanity. I am sharing my story in this blog. I do this so that I might be able to help other women find their true sanity