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.

Don't know.

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?

Views: 214

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on May 2, 2016 at 3:57pm

I think we're to move forward w.o chains to people for whose lousy decisions we had and have no responsibility. I can think of no other way.

Comment by nerd cred on May 2, 2016 at 5:00pm

He is a strict strict believer in the very straight and narrow.

Do you see how funny this is? So who tf is he to judge you or anyone? And in light of that you don't really need to give shit what he thought.

If you can stand solidly alone, does it matter that much if a man you love is reliable or not?

As to all the general abandonment crap - women must, biologically, have a greater need for and attachment to relationships because - babies. Keeping the ever-present bell curve in mind, of course. Then we are immersed in it all our lives because culture isn't happy unless it's going to ridiculous extremes. Illustration, knowing I watch too much TV: if I hear one more woman say that every woman dreams about her wedding day all her life I'll ... gaaack. I know I'm a bitch and all but I sure didn't. But the fact that so many say it and so many more accept it tells me, at least, that getting your man is given far too much emphasis in girls' upbringing.

Comment by DaisyJane on May 2, 2016 at 5:21pm

Jonathan - That seems right.  I have to somehow fix my thinking.  I will talk to my therapist about changing the tape in my head.

Nerd - wait, you mean because he obviously strayed from the straight and narrow when he had a baby out of wedlock and abandoned it?  That is a really good point!  That is NOT the straight and narrow!

As to the dream of a wedding - I HAVE had that.  But - really super interesting (to me) tidbit - once, as part of a class, I was to write down my perfect day, from the second I woke up till the second I went to sleep, in as much detail as humanly possible....  No husband appeared till AFTER dinner, and only bc, the whole time I was picturing my perfect day, there WAS NO HUSBAND!  When I was nearly done envisioning the day, I said, "oh wait, I didn't give me a husband."  And I added him in.  Was very surprising to me, even back then.

Comment by nerd cred on May 2, 2016 at 5:42pm

There you go - you have it in you! Maybe you can also get your therapist to help you realize her!

And yeah, not so straight and narrow, was he? Like many, like the exhole, the bad stuff only matters when someone else does it. Deviating from the s&n is essential and very, very good when they do it.

Comment by DaisyJane on May 2, 2016 at 6:13pm

Thank you, Nerd!  Nobody ever noticed that minor hypocritical detail before, and it never occurred to me, either!  The therapist has several essential things to help me with - I hope she is up for the long haul!

Comment by JMac1949 Today on May 2, 2016 at 7:28pm

I got nothing.  Family is something that totally makes me crazy.

Comment by Zanelle on May 2, 2016 at 11:44pm

crazy making for me too.  I think you are a very strong person and maybe all that insecurity makes you extra special.   

Comment by DaisyJane on May 3, 2016 at 5:29am

jmac, me too!  

zanelle  you made me smile.  sending a smile all the way out there to hawaii.

Comment by alsoknownas on May 3, 2016 at 9:59am

DJ,

I meant to get this yesterday but got walloped by work.

Family? Too nuts to figure out. I mean mine, not yours. It would take a book. The formative years were hilarious in hindsight in parts, but certainly by many standards they were tragic. I think it's far more common than we most can imagine.

In fact, a friend has recently published a book in which he details his life at 14 when we met. We are in touch still a couple of times each month, he trying to get me to move to his city. His life was a mess and so we hit it off. In fact I'm a central character in the book. It was interesting to read from another's perspective.

The point of my rambling here is that choices are over rated. Destiny gets in the middle of it all and after awhile it's hard to tell which one is which.

How are we supposed to know, for absolute sure that a choice we made sometime back was the correct one? At some point a decision has to be made and then you play it out.

I like how Rodney Dangerfield summed up this dilemma :

"I can't get no respect. I asked a guy for directions the other day. He says to me " At the fork in the road, go straight" "

Comment by koshersalaami on May 3, 2016 at 10:26am
You do understand that you weren't in the obituary because his family didn't want inheritance issues, right? Chances are the guy didn't write his own obituary. Not that his family is likely to want to talk about his indiscretion.

But that's specifics. Jon's right in general. You haven't been abandoned because of you.

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