FEAR OF ABANDONMENT IS A REAL THING!!!
Whether it is Real or Imagined Abandonment, it doesn’t make a difference in how one feels about being left alone.
One of the most prevalent areas of dysregulation that we deal with at our home is definitely FEAR OF ABANDONMENT. It is also the one that as a CAREGIVER I struggle with the most.
The jury is still out on whether my daughter HC has BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (BPD ) according to the professionals but If I had a say in the matter I would say YES INDEED she does have BPD. But until the therapist catch up I can deal.
Just a brief list of the top FIVE areas of dysregulation that one can find in BPD according to Robinson, Ivanoff and Lineham, 2001.
The post today will be dealing with the INTERPERSONAL DYSREGULATION. I hate these big words that are used in the medical and psych world so if you don’t mind I am going to make it relate to my world. Keep It Simple is a motto of mine. The best way for me to describe the relationships that HC has with other people is screwed up and at times very intense. This can be towards anyone that she has any sort of relationship with but today I will focus on ME. MOM, Caregiver, Supporter (HCM)
One article I remember reading referenced it to OVER THE TOP efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
I can only speak from my experiences but there is some REALNESS to HCs abandonment issues since she did lose her father to cancer at the age of 46 (a youngun). She was in her prime middle school and high school years when he became sick and fought for over 4 years. It was hard for anyone to watch but in her case I can kinda get it. Although it certainly was no fault of his, the point is still valid that he left!!
Now it is true that CANCER SUCKS and yes it stole a great guy from her world way too early but I don’t have cancer and I don’t expect to get cancer but what makes her have such a FEAR of abandonment from me.
Somewhat My Fault
Over the course of time a reader of this blog will get a sense of my personality. It is probably too early for that yet so please don’t judge me too hard with what I am about to say.
I think the three girls would have had a more loving, compassionate, cuddly, lets talk about anything with their father. Not that I don’t love them as much as he did but perhaps because of the fact I was raised with three brothers and didn’t have a clue what to do with a girl, let alone three.
Still, to this day I am not a huge fan of hugs and cuddles and all that “stuff” but I do try more now that I did before. I never send smiley face EMOJI’s EVER. He would have filled his text with them all the time.
That is the background that may help understand where this blog post is going. I had WORK to do to be able to help ease these fears of abandonment and I am still learning more every day.
I will try to stick to my relationship with HC as we go forward BUT keep in mind it also affects boyfriends, girlfriends, sisters, cousins, grandparents, and even sometimes the DOGS.
YES we all know her dogs love grandma more!
Five Issues We Found
- Overanalysis-This is from her perspective as well. WHO out there besides my daughter knows that TEXT MESSAGES have a tone? And the use or lack of use of Emojis is CRITICAL. Using CAPS means you are yelling.
- Reassurance-Or in my case lack of reassurance
- Bad Moods-My bad moods MUST be caused by my daughter.
- OK I sometimes admit I am CLINGY
- Unrealistic thoughts of abandonment
Five Solutions We Found
- Overanalysis. I guess I am OLD SCHOOL and like my tone to be heard in person and not perceived through a text message. But having three kids who all prefer to text 24 hours a day, I just need to keep up with the times. I am NOW very aware that everything that gets sent to HC is going to be analyzed. I do try to be more aware and I have found that a “no text” means I am busy at work and a short one word answer usually means I am mad??? Who knew. And NO I still do not use those smiley face things.
- Reassurance I can kinda see where she is coming from but Once again I was not the mushy parent. I am trying to get better at making sure I add a tag onto the end of all my communications. Things like love ya, proud of you, miss you can go a long way but watch out if the one time she expects it and it is not there…her world will crumble.
- Bad moods. Perhaps because I think I have them so rare they seem to be a big deal when they do happen. I would say that 99% of the time the bad mood I am in is not directly related to her in any way. I just need to be aware and IF I am a little OFF when I come home from work I will start the conversation about how my day went. It takes away the guessing game right up front.
- Clingy. Not my thing. I would have to say that all my kids know that I will not deal very well with CLINGY. Because of that I am not really bothered by it, but I have seemed it rears its ugly head with a few past boyfriends. Notice I said past.
- Unrealistic thoughts. We all have them at some time or another and while I was writing this HC was with me and once again I told her that I am NOT going anywhere. Health screens are done. Trying my best to eat healthy and exercise. And yes, I plan on still being here in the morning.
I am sure there are more we can add to this list but I like to keep it simple. Every day, I try to do something to improve the way we communicate and I tell her that. And there are some days she will call me out but that is good.
It has been hard being the MOM and the DAD and the CAREGIVER and the SUPPORTER who will always mess up at each role but I always try to learn from my mistakes and I think that is all anyone can expect.
Just because we talk about this subject a lot in our home and have identified many of the triggers associated with this fear of abandonment…it does not mean we have fixed the problem. Improved for sure but we still have a long way to go. If anyone has any suggestions or comments please feel free to send them our way.
Keep fighting the good fight.