I remember once, when I was really young playing at the park on the swing. I was having fun and I didn't want to leave when my parents were ready to go. So, understandably they left be behind. This was very upsetting to me at the time, I didn't know how to get home so I sat on the swing crying till a man approached me. He asked if I was ok, and what was wrong and where were my parents. Through my tears I managed to tell him that they had left me.
Now, I just want to clarify. My parents are good parents, I was a stubborn child and I'm a stubborn adult. I don't blame them at all for leaving me that day. I was never neglected, in fact I was probably a bit spoiled. However, this may have been my starting point with Fear of Abandonment. It was not by any means the only incident to contribute to this fear, but it's fair to say at this point, my young underdeveloped brain decided that my parents had broken my trust for the first time.
That's what it all comes down to, trust, it's the starting point of building connection to other people. The foundation to building relationships, without it we have a feeling of disconnect, not belonging, being the "outsider" and distance between ourselves and other people.
Another memory I have is travelling in the car on family trips. I would get car sick (nauseous) and on arriving at our destination would have ended up with a severe migraine. I would be excluded from any activities, going straight to bed in a dark room. This induced a sense of loneliness, which I have since learned is a leading cause of suicide. People feel as though they can't connect, they think that their problems are very unique and that there is no solution. They feel that the pain will never end and that the only release or reprieve is to take their own life. Logically, we all know this isn't the case. Many of us have had, or will have the same problems as other people during the course of our lives. If we would only reach out, be vulnerable, receive empathy and trust someone to help us through our troubled times.
Unfortunately, our subconscious is ruled by our emotions not our logic centre of the brain and, we have very little control over this. I have learned from a very young age to cage my emotions inside. Jack's beanstalk surrounded by thorns, this is the vision I have of my heart in my chest.
Today, I took the first steps towards removing some of those thorns. Today I took the first steps to removing some of those thorns. This week has been about practicing vulnerability, I need to be seen.
My regression on the Secrets of the Mind by Marisa Peer revealed one final scene to me (which was actually over a period of time during intermediate and high school years) of constantly being left out. When we had to choose a partner for a school project I was one of the last ones to be picked, there were a small number of us that the other kids referred to as the "rejects". I wasn't picked for significant roles in school productions and the kids in my year would ridicule me to the point that I would shy away from anything new. I preferred instead to remain inside at lunch periods and read books instead of going outside to play with the others.
I had some friends at high school, but only one or two that I considered close. Each year, each new friend I opened up to and became close with either left town (family moved) or were sent to boarding school. A few decided we weren't friends anymore, myself to blame as I allowed my desperation to be included influence my actions at the time.
I don't blame any of my classmates for this, as by this time, my beanstalk around my heart had well and truly taken root. My beanstalk was producing thorn's, very sharp thorn's (funny, I don't remember beanstalks having thorn's, but mine does.... did....) and I have this image inside my chest of my heart being overrun with this black vine covered in thorns, completely surrounding and protecting my heart. And not just from other people either, it was protecting itself from me. My own heart doesn't trust me to protect it.
I've always held people at arms length, allowing very few people to see and know the real me. So, what does this all mean?
Broken trust throughout my childhood in many forms has led to fear of abandonment, fear of loneliness and fear of being left out. The end result;
- I love being on my own;
- I'm not going to abandon myself;
- My animals will never make me feel lonely;
- I can't be excluded because I prefer to be alone.
- Strong feeling of disconnection with my family and friends;
- Secretly I'm longing for real connection;
- I'm ready to cut down my beanstalk;
- I've cleared away the thorn's.
I'm in the middle of a circle, a really wide circle. Just outside the circle are people who think that they know me. It's time to let those people in...Come on in, it's a thick beanstalk and I'm going to need all the support I can get.