I have a dear friend who has dated two women in a row with extreme jealousy issues. I don't have jealousy issues, but I do have fairly extreme abandonment issues.
My friend says these women's insecurity is in their own heads, nothing to do with him. I agree.
But where does it come from, this fear of losing love, and where does it go?
I am not a jealous girl - other women don't scare me. I know that even now, I am stellar enough. It's not that I think someone who loves me will love another woman, instead. I just plain old worry about them deciding they don't love me after all.
So where did my abandonment issues come from? Did I always have them? I think I did.
And reflecting on things, it would be nigh on impossible for me not to have them.
I have always been different from my family. Smaller, brunette, smart as a whip, sloppyasallfuck handwriting (every other woman in my family has nearly indistinguishable big curliquey handwriting), pasta-loving, hot tempered. Very slow to temper, but when I do, holy shit.
I blame my temper on being sicilian. I have some friends who tell me that's a copout, and reinforces stereotype. But I see it this way:
When I was 10, my dad yelled at my mom during a fight, "and furthermore, she's not my daughter!!" and pointed at me.
Turned out it was true. He had adopted me, and raised me as his own, and aside from that one fuckup when I was ten, never brought it up ever again. Quite a miracle, really, if you knew how volatile the man was. I actually greatly admire his restraint, and I mean that. It must have been incredibly important to him, and he treated me exactly as his daughter, always. I never felt negatively distinguished in that regard.
I cried that night, not because he wasn't my dad, but because Mommy was gonna go to hell, because she had sex with a man she wasn't married to. That's what elementary school religious ed. did for me.
So my biological father lived in a neighboring town. From the age of ten to the age of 21, I would look at men and wonder if they were my biological father. When I was 21, I met him, on purpose, at a diner. I called and asked to meet, and he agreed. He was as short as me, and had black hair that went back on his head in perfect oceany waves. His eyes were the same very dark brown as mine. Now I knew what he looked like. I didn't have to wonder anymore.
We had dinner, and I didn't see him again for several years. The next time was when I was loading up the car to go to college. I couldn't get the trunk closed, and he was driving down the road and stopped to ask if I needed help. I said no thank you. He went on his way. I don't know to this day if he stopped because he recognized me, and like me, didn't have the courage to approach it. Or if he didn't realize it was me before he stopped, or if he didn't realize it was me even after he stopped, and went on his way.
Then, after my mom died, I got in touch with him again. I was 26. I went to his house for dinner. This is where me being convinced my temper is Sicilian comes from: my first time in his house, he couldn't find a phone book. He was slamming in and out every drawer, then bellowed, "Now goddamnit! we have more phone books in this house than I am years old! Where are they??" And my stepmother muttered, "We only have two phone books." I saw myself in that moment, unlike my whole big giant family, ten brothers and sisters that I had been raised with. In my head I said oh, that's where it comes from.
And I was more and less, usually much less, a member of his family after that, for some years. He never liked me, and I don't have to go into all the illustrations of how I know that. We don't have time. Suffice to say, it is not in my head. He did not in any way admire who I am, or even like who I am. He is a strict strict believer in the very straight and narrow. That's never been my path (never mind I regret that now. That's irrelevant, and for all I know, it wasn't an option for me, ever, and I just thought it was my decision). We won't discuss the talk about his will, when he was worth nearly a million dollars in the stock market. I have told that story before, and bits of this one, as well. I just never connected the dots to today's discussion. Least, I don't think I did. Who the hell knows. Most things I know, I have had to learn over and over again.
For a few years before he died, we were mostly out of touch. I did try to stay in touch. I remember calling a couple times to invite him to his grandson's birthday party. He never returned a call or came.
Then I got a phone call from a friend - she had seen in the paper that he had died. A month before. It was jarring, but my first thought was, "MAYBE I can stop being mad at him all the time, because now he won't be able to hurt me anymore!" That was my very first thought. I am sorry if you think it should have been more noble.
We got off the phone and I went and looked up the obituary. Stupid move. Neither I nor my son were in it.
Huh. I would say my temper reached a ten. Only because my hurt had reached a ten.
So anyway, now when I love a man, I live in fear of him deciding "oops. my bad. never mind."
This fear categorically cannot result in a healthy relationship.
Throw in the fact that anyone who is to my liking will have a very wide streak of unreliable in their personality, and that surely does not help.
So. Great. Now we see this whole great big picture.
What are we supposed to do about it?