a thread on abandonment recovery

reality SOM

This is a short yet rather long post, and depending on how I feel next week, I may count this as a double-header.

It’s because I need to focus on more reading than writing. Writers write and read, and typically, writers should be reading more than they write.

So, I haven’t been reading enough and if I actually want to start editing/finish writing my romance novel, I need to start reading some. How fun! 😉😈 I may find that it’s not actually a romance novel, but we’ll see. I’ll probably blog about this soon.

Topically, I may have also exhausted what I can write on grief and loss, which is a good thing! You’ll find no complaints from me here. 

And it’s not as if my circumstances have changed. I feel like, especially financially, things have been just as challenging as they were two years ago.

But at least right now, today, I feel like I have a lot less worry and a lot more ease. There’s still a lot of uncertainty, but I at least know that worrying about it has served its purpose. 

Somehow things work out the way they should. I’m learning to trust in that truth more every day.

This journey to wholeness and stability isn’t over, but I feel like I’m a less cranky traveler now. 

So, along those lines, this past week, I read and livetweeted a book on recovering from being abandoned.

It’s over 8000 words in length, so feel free to get cozy (although it should read quickly). It also comes with some screenshots from the book and some fun GIFs.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1095006897437057024.html

I highly recommend the book if you’ve ever experienced anyone leave you or have been excluded in any way. It really helped me to piece some parts of my life back together. I’ve written about abandonment before, so you can revisit those posts this week, too.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week ahead. 💖


If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here.

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal. Also, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

Thanks for your support! 💘

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resisting emotional erosion

feels.gif

The GIF above demonstrates my internal feeling state. I’ve always just assumed that this is how I’ll always be, that it’s as persistent as a personality trait. But lately I’ve been questioning that belief.

“Highly sensitive” is one way to describe this phenomenon. Empathic is another. Yet another is emotional overexcitability.

“Overexcitability” is a giftedness term. The following is from an article on overexcitabilities by Sharon Lind, a gifted education expert, consultant, and speaker:

Overexcitabilities (OEs) are inborn, heightened abilities to receive and respond to stimuli. They are expressed in increased sensitivity, awareness, and intensity. Each form of overexcitability points to a higher than average sensitivity of its receptors.

And I need to take a little side trip here: when it comes to hearing the term “gifted,” most people are familiar with the intellectual OE. But there are four others: emotional, imaginational, psychomotor, and sensual.

This is how Lind describes emotional overexcitability:

Emotional OE is […] is reflected in heightened, intense feelings, extremes of complex emotions, identification with others’ feelings, and strong affective expression (Piechowski, 1991). […] Emotionally overexcitable people have a remarkable capacity for deep relationships; they show strong emotional attachments to people, places, and things (Dabrowski & Piechowski, 1977). They have compassion, empathy, and sensitivity in relationships. This sensitivity may lead to interpersonal conflict about the depth, or lack of depth, in a relationship.

Astrological sidenote: Astrologically, I can explain the phenomenon of being emotional overexcitability as having a full moon in Cancer conjoined with a Jupiter retrograde in Cancer. Big, internalized feels.

The moon represents our emotions and our core, primal needs. Jupiter is an expansive planet, which can also pertain to big ideas (see: religion and philosophy). But for the sake of this post, consider it as an intensifier or expander.

The moon rules Cancer, and the moon transits through each sign every 2.5 days or so. So if you want to understand why your Cancer friends are moody, they’re experiencing personality shifts (of sorts), 12 times every month!

A full moon in Cancer is probably as moony as you could get, with maybe full moon in Taurus could be more, since the moon is exalted, or an honored guest, in Taurus.

I haven’t really felt like I could control how I feel about certain things, or for how long. Cancerian folks are known to remember everything, and that includes hurts and slights. But it also can be the more pleasant experiences in life.

But the holding onto hurts, frankly, has gotten annoying in my older age. There’s only so much brain space and heart space that I have. I don’t want to hold onto to old, dead things that cannot be revived or changed.


Although this month has brought a lot of inner peace and stability, even though my circumstances are still unstable, I haven’t wanted to go along for the ride anymore.

I’ve been playing this game online with others, and I kinda got thrown under the bus because I refused to do something stupid – even though everyone was asking me to do it. I watched as this dude was talking to these other people who were not a part of our group about me, but not by name.

That did piss me off and I vented to a friend about it. He wanted me to talk to the group about it. I’m probably going to leave because it’s a bit of an unorganized shitshow, but I was so annoyed earlier that I was dreaming about it. 

I wanted to play a game to have fun, not dream about the terrible group dynamics.

I cared too much.

So instead of confront thing guy talk shit to virtual stranges, I decided to just at vent for a limited amount of time because I was really heated. I really like winning.

At the same time, I could have left after this incident, but I feel intensely loyal. Yet it hasn’t even been two weeks – which is a great reason to leave, actually.

That was three days ago. Now I feel alright. I’m still on the fence about leaving, but I’m not dreaming about the gameplay or seething in anger. By the end of the that day, I was fine. And that choice – to vent for a little bit and then leave it alone – never seemed possible to me before until recently.


Another moment that took me off guard was seeing social media updates from a few friends about romantic relationships that I had no idea about or that I barely knew about and still didn’t know about.

There was an initial pang of sadness that I didn’t know, but then it melted into resolve, into that newer aphorism of “whatever is meant for you will not pass you by.”

The sadness comes from being closer once upon a time and now knowing that I was primarily close to these people because I continuously reached out. And that is exhausting.

Cancer moon folks really love to nurture and to serve, and I overextended that part of myself, not just with these people, but with everyone. And although I really love to serve, I do deserve to get as good as I give.

It does really suck that I’m not as close as I want to be with these folks, but at the same time, no one is really reaching out to me. But life goes on and the spaces that have become open can be filled with folks who do reach out, people I don’t have to be so open so soon with.

Before, seeing those updates would have rolled me into a major avalanche of sorrow and shame. It wasn’t even that I’m still single and they’re not anymore – thank goodness, because that’s another level of hell I need to spare myself from. It was just that the connection had faded from something strong and steady to practically non-existent.

But for the most part, I was the one carrying the current, ensuring that the line stayed open. Now, that energy that was moving towards them can return back to me.


Strong emotional attachments to people…it’s a heavy torch to carry, and I have never questioned that it was the right thing to do until last year. The way I was reacting to how awful 2018 was for me, it was making things worse, in a way that made life intolerable to live.

Taking a long social media break was the hard reset I needed. I needed to face, and embrace, that most people are never going to care about me as much or as deeply as I care about them. That still stings, to admit that to myself and to you mostly anonymous but valued readers. But it’s the truth, a truth that comes with choices.

So if most people aren’t going to care that much, if at all, then I get to choose who I give all this caring to. 

Some longtime mutual follower on Twitter unfollowed me this week and I was faced with a choice. Am I going to wallow in self-introspection, wondering which tweet of mine pissed her off enough to unfollow? Or am I just going to unfollow back, feel a little sad about it, and move on? I chose option #2.

I can’t just say, “it’s just social media” or “it’s just the internet”. There are real people who are at the end of these pixels, people with real feelings and desires. The internet is a powerful way to connect with people just like you.

As I was trying to explain two posts ago, I know that I’ve tried to make everyone close to me. It’s not a bug, though – it’s a feature of someone whose moon is in her 7th house of partnership.

But I don’t have to apply this feature to every single person I find likable. 


With the people who have gone last year, you may be wondering why I’m not trying to reconnect with anyone. I know from reading MWF Seeking BFF that friendship does involve a lot of initiating, which is something that comes and goes with me.

But with all the people who have faded or disappeared, I was a different person choosing then. In 2018, I could see myself catch up to the changes I had wanted to make in myself. And that could be why a lot of people left. Transition does that, causes relationships to shift or just plain ol’ die.

So ultimately, it all comes down to what I value in myself and in others. If I value myself, then I value my feelings, as broad and plenteous as they are.

But I don’t have to be swamped by my feelings. I can choose to engage in the swirling eddies, and I can jump out when it becomes too much.

In her article, Lind goes on to say that folks with emotional OEs need to accept all feelings as is, regardless of intensity. And that’s something that society has been trying to force me not to do since I’ve been alive.

And I’ve been helping in that effort to suppress my feelings. I’ve been biting my tongue. I’ve been holding space. I’ve been over-intuiting. I’ve been “anticipating needs”.

I’ve been bloody miserable.


It’s hard to interrupt automatic processes until something or someone else does. For me, it was the hellscape that was 2018. The way I was coping, self-berating which lead into abject hopelessness…well, if I was actually interested in living, this was not a way to live.

I made a lot of things that weren’t really about me about me.

And now that 2018 is over, and I’ve made a real concerted effort to not take 2018 with me into this year, I have more of a bird’s-eye view of my life. And that view gives me a better sense of control over how I see it. Being immersed in the everyday highs and lows can feel overwhelming.

But really, a lot of this stuff just isn’t that serious. And that’s a welcomed relief.

I don’t have to keep reacting in the same ways to the same people. But it can be so hard to break lifelong patterns. There’s a comfort in the ordinary lives we make for ourselves, even if they’re seeping with things we don’t necessarily need or even like.

I know, trust, and believe that the people who have left are not the only ones in the world for me to know and love. There are people who aren’t going to be weirded out by my emotional intensity, people who, in fact, love and will revel in it.

I don’t have to be so desperate. I don’t have to seek my ultimate security within relationships, even my natal chart is like…um, yeah, girl, that’s how you roll. I feel like I’ve been able to seek it within, more and more.

That isn’t to say that I haven’t been wanting to be a part of something close. I honor those pangs of longing, but I don’t have them dictate my identity anymore. I just let them inform me as to what I’m valuing at the time.

I’ve been choosing poorly because I haven’t valued my journey enough, and a lot of it is marked by abandonment.


I’ve been revisiting a book on recovering from abandonment, and it’s not that even feel that abandoned anymore…but I have in the past, and I want to lick this wound so I don’t make bad choices in the future. If you’ve ever had a bad breakup you can’t seem to get over, then I highly recommend that book and any others by Susan Anderson.

One thing the book talks about is how feelings of abandonment aren’t meant to be feared, even though they are at the core of all of us. We can better handle when people unexpectedly leave us. We don’t have to haunt the graveyards of our past relationships forever. We can return to the land of the living.


I’m still on my The Divine Comedy kick, and this song, “Love What You Do” has become a bit of an anthem. The band/Neil Hannon doesn’t usually sounds like this (but I tell you, that look he has circa 2001 is still somehow the aesthetic I prefer! 🤣). It’s a lot more orchestral and lush. He’d be a great lounge singer, and I mean that with all respect and affection.

Musical sidenote: This sound is Nigel Godrich’s doing, the famous producer who has worked with Radiohead and Thom Yorke’s solo work. And if this sounds like Kid A and Amnesiac, then you have a good ear, because this album, Regeneration, was created right after those two.

Fangirling for foreign boys and the lovely bass groove of the song aside, it’s the lyrics that stick with me.

Hannon can get very clever and literary with his lyrics (e.g., he has one song just listing out a bunch of authors). But this is pretty straightforward, maybe even too straightforward for his arch lyrical style:

If you want it, you can have it
If you need it, go and get it
Whatever it is you’ve got to love it

That’s the chorus. The song is basically like: live your life, don’t let yourself get in your own way, and don’t settle for shit that you don’t love.

It’s interesting how strangers can sometimes give us permission do to the things we need to do, like live a life that isn’t steeped in misery and heartache. Like wow, there’s a different choice I can make here.

This song somehow became a permission slip to embrace the beautiful parts of life, however brief – and that includes feeling good and thinking about the people who allow me to be my full, “too much”, loquacious, overly sensitive, multi-faceted self.

And, I don’t need to wait to be open to the good and to express those feelings. I don’t have to keep fixing myself to be acceptable. 

#SmartThingsASuperScorpioTaughtMe


So what do I want and need? To let go. I choose to hope for things to get better – however cautiously I’m doing that right now.

I want and need to let these intense feelings rise, crest, and fall. I choose to not let the feelings carve into me like some sort of wearying tidal emotional erosion.

I want and need to be separate from my feelings, for these messengers to not be little tyrants I try to stuff down and hide, controlling me from the inside.

Even more so, despite that I’ve had to separate myself from mostly everyone (and vice versa), I want and need the right people to be around me. And I don’t have to try to contort myself to be overly accommodating, patient, and sometimes obsequious. I can be patient with myself, with the unfolding of ourselves.

I can look at being alone and be content while still desiring community and a partner that finds all of this ever so charming, not something to be withstood or tolerated.

Separation and loss and isolation: all of that can still feel bad and at sometimes excruciating, but that doesn’t have to be my complete story, as it has been for the past few years.

I want and need to lay down the resentment, shame, and bitterness of this decade, of this life. And based on how I feel right now, it looks like I’ve gotten closer to getting those wants and needs met.


If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here.

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal. Also, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

Thanks for your support! 💘

booster rockets

rocket som

For years, I’ve been thinking about the concept of booster rockets as metaphors for personal and spiritual development – but in the most depressing and isolating way.

This may sound self-indulgent and self-piteous and haughty all at once. That isn’t an apology. Just a heads up.

2019 has been a pretty chill year so far until Friday night. And even that isn’t disastrous. Just inopportune. But even that assessment is a (blessed) shift in perspective.

It’s been chill because there is barely anyone in my life right now–at least anyone constant. It’s very empty.

My relationships with people have been like booster rockets. They’re intense, fiery, and then they drop off and I’m a million miles away from where we started.

And, I’ve been feeling guilty about it. That has never been my intention. I feel like I use people, but in retrospect, it’s typically mutually beneficial.

It goes back to the idea of me being a catalyst in people’s lives and how I don’t like it anymore.

Last year, when so many people dropped away or were cut off, it was really jarring because it was the exact opposite of what I (thought I) needed.

And it’s not just been last year. It’s been years and years of having these really short, intense encounters with people and then the encounter abruptly ending.

And although it would be lovely to go into detail here, I don’t want to, really–and that’s a story in it of itself. It feels tender to try to probe into this space. 

I’ll try a little, though.


I think (I hope) I’m finally over the incredulity of what happened with my love life last year. It was so absurd and I feel separate from it now. That was another lifetime ago.

And maybe last year has made me able to finally write about this constant loss of people. People were either lost in conflict or lost through consistent absence. Both felt pretty violent.

Now, there’s silence and space. And relief, that the fighting is over and that the battle wounds are healing.

And…there’s a nagging fear that life will always be this way. And another fear: that I will get used to it and become the Capricorn I’ve always wanted to be: independent and needing no one.

But as I’ve watched another perfectly good relationship drop into the ocean and I keep heading towards space, I wonder:

Where am I actually headed?


Maybe there’s no real purpose to all of this, to how I relate to people. Maybe this period of solitude just is.

I know there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with me. There are tons of people who are complete assholes who have more people in their lives, people who actually care about them and actively love them.

But there does seem to be a purpose, at least right now. And that’s what I feel guilty about. Although, again, as a catalyst, I know I’m serving the same purpose.

I’ve grown so much from last year through learning about myself, what I’m good at and what I’m not good at. And it feels like those lessons have started to stabilized within me.

I’m still here. I’m not dead in any way. I no longer feel brokenhearted. I’m further along.

Also, this time alone has made me realize how much energy and effort I put into relationships and how a lot of times, that energy isn’t returned. It can be the most casual relationship to the most intimate – I am grinding. And frankly, that’s just wasteful.

Part of me is just wired to care for others. But writing this, in my head I sound like a martyr. But that’s definitely not what I want, a cross to be up on and people to pity.

I nurture, I guide, I help to heal. But last year, I saw my efforts hilariously and spectacularly fail and flail.

Even this past weekend, I reached out to a couple of people and they don’t actually need my support in the way that I want to give it – booster rocket style.

Although I’m at peace and am feeling better about my life, I’m no Happy Cappy…at least if I compare myself to what everyone else is doing.

I don’t have friends I text or call often – or really, at all. And that’s really weird to me.

But what’s even weirder: I can’t really think of anyone where we’d talk even every week on the phone or via text and it’d feel natural. I don’t think I’ve met those people yet.

And that’s OK. In fact, it’s encouraging. They’re still out there.

I only start to feel like a complete loser when I look around, I think – wow, if this is it, this is really bad. This is not good. I may have always had some existential loneliness, but prolonging this would be bad. 

It’s not good to be so disconnected.

A big part of this experience has to deal with poverty, which basically makes me a shut-in. But then if I had more money beyond basic expenses and had more the time to be out there again…it’s exhausting to think about.

I have been balls to the wall about people since I got here on Earth and I have very little to show for it except, wow, I know humanity pretty well and I’ve discovered that we don’t vibe that well together. Yay?

I was a lot happier as a misanthrope, back in my 20s. Maybe it’s time to bring that bitch back!

But having all this space now, I can appreciate the good times without resenting they ended. Yet I’m still quite bewildered by where I am now, at my age. And as it is Aquarius season, I feel extra alien and unrelatable.

But who gives a shit? Who really gives a shit?

I do. Thank god, I do.


And, I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this here or for my patrons, being so exhausted in giving, there needs to be a break, a shift, a disruption in this cycle of outflow and barren reception.

So as I take this rocket ship to nowhere, I believe one of two things will happen, or possibly both.

I will get used to people just popping in and out of my life and just be surprised if someone sticks around longer than a year. Or, more people will stick around longer than a year.

The thing is, too – out of all the people who have ghosted or left or have been cut out by me, I only miss one of them, but it’s not even in a painful way. It’s more like…well, it’d be nice if you returned. But I’m not going to put anymore effort into it because yowsa.

Too. Much.


To pull back with a wider lens: I live in a society with rampant loneliness, with fragmented relationships, with companies that throw people away like yesterday’s garbage, in a country that has immigrant children in concentration camps.

I live in a land that barely values me as a person with full citizenship – and I mean that in a personhood sense.

So honestly, it’s a miracle, a remarkable miracle, that any love gets to me, or any of us, at all. 

Even though my life looks like a wasteland of used up people, a wasteland of me being used up, somehow, I have some optimism that this will all make sense later. 

For now, I feel like I need to put this nurturing impulse to better use. That doesn’t mean I have to change who I am. The times are just different now and I need to find out what “better use” means – without rushing it.


Before I started writing this, I thought, what if I became the object of all this nurturing and care? It’s something I’ve been doing lately, but as I reach out to others and don’t have that effort reciprocated, I need to continue to focus on myself, as awkward and sad as that can feel.

There’s nothing wrong with the path of least resistance. And there’s nothing wrong with learning how to shift my focus towards myself for a while. I need to heal up from the losses, losses and abuses that go all the way back to high school, or even further back than that.

And it’s not that I’m reliving and ruminating over the past. The exhaustion is cumulative.

I swear I’ve written about this before, about how sometimes this feels like this is some cosmic punishment. 

Here is what I hear the Universe say to me (but I am completely mishearing them):

You’re too much for people and We’re putting you on an indefinite time out! Sit here and be alone until you’re ready to play well with others!

🥺


Some of these experiences, I really don’t understand what it’s for. And maybe it’s as simple as that I’m incredibly unlucky.

But I will not pathologize myself any longer. There’s enough pain with loss without making it all about me and how wrong I allegedly am.

Last summer, there was one person who left kept telling me, as he was leaving me, before it got ugly: “You’re such a lovely person.”

But. (one of his favorite words, by the way)

It was like it couldn’t be that it couldn’t work between us because I wasn’t an asshole. So he became the asshole.

It wasn’t me. It was him. And we both know that.

He’s not the person that I still miss, either.


My path is strange and there’s still a lot of shame around it. I’m not doing what I consider to be adult mature things that I expect for myself, like traveling, hanging out with friends, being with someone who knows I’m a lovely person and didn’t commit self-sabotage seppuku (actually, yeah, that’s pretty adult, so I guess I’m adulting).

I’ve done all of those things before.

Instead, I’m super isolated. And now I’m mostly fine with it. 

I guess I wish my life wasn’t so weird and unrelatable. It makes it hard to be a writer if no one understands what you’re experiencing (or at least openly says so).

But hey, I feel less crappy about not having anyone local around who cares because I sure as hell fucking tried, for years, to connect.

And as I was trying, I was evolving.

The gazillion dollar question: I really like who I am now, but did it come at the cost of all these people who aren’t in my life anymore?

It’s probably more true that the changes that I went through couldn’t be held within the relationships I’ve had with people. Or the people I was in relationship with were also changing beyond the scope of how we related.

And that is OK. I just want it to fucking stop eventually.

And maybe I finally know and believe that I won’t be poor forever. I know I’ll find the people who will stick around.

But right now, for once, mercifully…I’m really reluctant to open up and get to know anyone new – at least the way that I do it, which is a deep sea dive into one’s soul. I feel like that’s a healthy response! I’m not running headlong into anything, great or godawful. 

There’s just me and for now, that’s all I need. But I look forward to when I have the strength, and the means, and the heart, to open up again, whether it’s to someone new or someone from the past.

So thank you to all the former friends who help me get to this place of emotional self-sufficiency. I literally couldn’t have done it with you.

All through my life there have been
Many rare and precious things
I have tried to call mine
But I just cannot seem
To keep hold of anything
For more than a short time


If you liked what you’ve read, I’d love your support as a patron on Patreon. Tiers starts at just $1/month. I blog about things that I don’t post here.

If you want to give a one-time gift or monthly gift, hit me up on Paypal. Also, here’s my Amazon Wishlist.

Thanks for your support! 💘

 

the greatest wound, the greatest healing

site of greatest wound SOM

The above quote is from a book I found yesterday called The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson, a psychotherapist who specializes in abandonment, grief, loss, and trauma.

I was looking for something about this topic because I had felt stymied yesterday when I was trying to do this marketing homework for my business–writing an email series for potential and current clients to get to know me better. It was writing about my origin story–basically, how did I get in this biz of writing.

This month hasn’t been that fruitful, despite a lot of effort in connecting with prospects. Lots of “sure things” in terms of projects became very unsure. There’s been a steep and expensive learning curve with having my own business–let alone saying and really embracing that I have my own business.

But the issue wasn’t the lull in business, or even getting out of the lull. It was writing about this journey. It’s been hell, albeit a now stabilized version of hell. I hit a wall of deep shame when I tried to think about how I became a writer, let alone a freelance writer. It’s something I’m not really proud of yet.

As I sat in immobilizing emotional pain, I started to look back on just this year. One pattern that really started to emerge was how I had opened up deeply to so many people, but how most had bailed, mainly to tend their own shadow work and growth (and maybe I was a trigger for that impulse, too). But I took it personally–and still kind of do.

I then just started thinking about my whole adult life and looked at all the dropouts from my life. This was indeed a long-term pattern, and I was tired of it. As whiny and pouty as this may sound, I know I have helped a lot of people in the way I wish I could have been helped. But it really hasn’t been fully returned to me in the ways I needed, in the magnitude that I needed.

I felt, and still feel, that I have a blindspot when it comes to my relationships. It could probably be explained astrologically, or even in some Big Picture way about the journey I’m on and what I’m being prepared for in my future. But to make it even more brass tacks, as someone who has studied psychology formally, as well as someone who’s a bit into the “woo”–this seemed like something I was perpetuating, since it was cyclical. To borrow from a Caedmon’s Call’s song, I had a long line of leavers.

I’ve known about my fear of abandonment for some time and some events still stick out in my mind, like when my mom left me at school as a teenager and I sat there waiting for her for over an hour as dusk started to fall, not knowing why she hadn’t picked me up. And this was in the age before cell phones were widely used. The wondering as darkness fell, although my mom was very apologetic about it. It’s still a feeling of abandonment that I will never forget.

Years ago, I visited now former friends and going out to see the husband play with his band at a show. The wife was standing with me–and then she just wasn’t. I was an out-of-towner. I didn’t really know anyone except some members of the band and my friends, this couple.

After the show, my friend just disappeared and I was just standing there, in this sort of warehouse space, surrounded by people. I was in a panic, trying to look for her. I’m an introvert and I’m not one to just start chatting up random people.

It felt like an inhospitable act, ditching a friend who had come to visit you, not even telling her what she was doing or introducing her to people you knew. She had wanted to talk to other people but decided she didn’t want to bring me along.

I don’t remember what I did, but I did bring it up to my friend. She kind of blew it off–I don’t even remember her giving me an apology. But it was a bit traumatic for me. It was probably also a good sign that our friendship wasn’t as great as I thought. These same friends came to a theme park near me and never even mentioned being in town. Although that’s a pet peeve for me, this friendship was years long.

We had gone to church together, done Bible studies together, worshipped and sang together, had ridden out emotional upheaval (read: panic attacks), had long talks. These were not just friends but companions. Somehow, though, I had missed the signs of unraveling and just kept pushing forward, trying to be the friend I wanted (which apparently meant ignoring the actions of others).

This isn’t the first time I’ve had that happen, where I’ve been blown off and I’ve ignored the signs leading up to it. Another long-time friend, a woman I grew up with in church, blew me off when I decided to visit her for Thanksgiving almost two years ago. I had bought an expensive plane ticket to fly out to where she lived, which I had to cancel, and not in enough time to get a full refund. We had made plans in August and then she said almost near when I was going to fly out–oops, we’re visiting in-laws out of state, sorry. Also, no offer to cover the cancellation fee.

We had a long Facebook conversation about it which ended with her taking a rather hard line: my relationship and my job come first. And that was that. I told her that she knew what she had to do to restore the relationship, and that she’s chosen her path. We haven’t spoken since. Over 20 years of friendships came to an unexpected, but totally predictable, hard pause.

That event didn’t just come up out of the blue. I had been the one initiating a lot of our conversations and visits (she had never visited me). I said as much, that I had been holding a lot of the space for our friendship–and I owned it. That was on me and I should not have been doing that. I deserved reciprocity.

My tenacity and drive may work really well for overcoming obstacles, but it seems to overlook since of wear and tear in a relationship. It makes me wonder how I came to where I am this year, what I was ignoring and avoiding.

With the friends who have taken leave and have somewhat come back in my life, it’s been strange and strained. It’s not the same and it never will be. Something (beautiful and real) got lost in the interim and it’s most likely irretrievable. And I want to know what part I played in the demise of all these friendships.

My transparency, along with my almost chosen ignorance of how the other person really feels about me and the relationship through their actions, have become huge liabilities in terms of how I relate to myself and to others.

So how do I stop this cycle of prematurely undressing emotionally as well as holding onto dead things for too long?

I have to go back to the beginning.

When I think about my mother, I don’t feel anything. That’s another good sign of trauma. And trauma here isn’t about abuse, but about neglect. I may feel more of a motherly bond towards her, as if I’m her mother and I’m looking out for her, than the other way around.

This fear of abandonment goes back to my birth. My entry into the world was a rough one. My mom thinks we both nearly died thanks to a jonesing-for-a-malpractice-suit anesthesiologist. I just don’t think she and I really bonded.

I know when I was four years old, I got lost in a mall or shopping center. That may have been another traumatic incident, but I don’t remember it.

And not to get too psychological, but when a person doesn’t have a bond to their mother, that’s a big ole hill to climb in terms of developing one’s own sense of self. I don’t know if I have anyone to individuate from, or to mourn that they weren’t there. It’s eerie and unsettling, but that’s been my life.

So I am pretty darn sure I have repeated this dynamic by choosing people as friends and lovers who aren’t that interested in intimacy or I push them away somehow if they are. Yesterday, I hit what I hope is that final wall with that Sisyphean journey.

It is so exhausting to chase, to spurn and be spurned, to yearn and wonder, to leave and to be left.

Desperation is never an attractant.

I got all this from some homework that I didn’t feel ready to do (and still haven’t done– yet).

This is also to say: a trigger can be an invitation to healing, not something to avoid. I RSVPed yes yesterday and googled about abandonment and found Susan Anderson. And now I’m reading her book.

Today, I woke up to overcast skies, but later on in the morning, the skies became brilliantly clear. That transformation is how I feel about dealing with this core wound and my hope that it can be healed. There’s an alarming and amusing alacrity I have about it–like this time, I really am gonna get this right.

I’m sure it’s been hijacking my happiness, causing my business to be a bit halted, and has prevented me from being truly successful. It’s like being stuck in survival mode, no matter what the circumstances are. That is truly exhausting and not really living.

So as I heal, I will focus on the friends who aren’t leaving, and really work on my emotional self-reliance–and I won’t resent having to re-create it.

As Susan Anderson says in her book, a lot of our lives are lived alone. I don’t mean that in some dystopian, post-modern way. Even in community, we still have our own individual lives and journeys.

Through all of my harrowing circumstances, I’ve become a highly resilient person, but yesterday reminded me that I have to learn new, healthier ways of being, and loving, myself.

Coping mechanisms are just that–for coping. For thriving, we have to learn how to find our inner grit, to loosen the grip of codependence, and be fully ourselves as whole and healthy, interdependent people.

I don’t have to feel doomed with existential loneliness. I can now choose to learn differently so I can be a better friend to myself and others.

It’s time for this long line of leavers to end. It’s time for me, and for others, to stick around.

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break

breaking

When everything falls apart, it is a good sign that everything is about to come together.

from Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser

It’s been said that you should write from your scars, not from your wounds. Welp, this is a wound with a scab forming, and I don’t have time to wait for this to scar over.

Earlier this morning, after tossing some trash in the outside garbage bin, I walked down my now bare driveway and went to the mailbox–something I used to do every day before my car was taken back by the car lender. It was a daily way for me to stretch my legs which doesn’t happen enough for me as a writer.

It’s been raining almost daily. It’s rainy season in Florida and we desperately need the rain since we’ve had a severe drought and subsequent brush fires for months. Usually, the weather wouldn’t deter me from my daily little walk. But I haven’t been interested in getting the mail. Maybe it’s because I’m still little heartbroken.

Although the mailbox was closed, the mail was damp from all the humidity, which can reach full saturation (100%) especially in the mornings. One of the letters I received was from my now former awful car lender, telling me how much I still owe after the car was auctioned off. The amount is basically the interest of a high-interest loan, which would have been OK 9 months ago when I was working a full-time job with an employer. But that four-figure now just another drop in the ocean of debt that doesn’t even reach my shore much anymore. I live in the small lagoon of survival now.

This car situation has been a tough one to overcome, and it’s not because I no longer have reliable transportation. Sure, part of it is the pride of being a self-sustaining adult and not being able to hold onto what seems to be a basic necessity in a city that has some godawful public transportation.

Admittedly, though, when this first happened, I felt some instant relief. I no longer have to deal with this money drain for a vehicle I used like maybe 5 times a month? Based on what I make now, I can be just fine as I build my freelance writing and editing business, even with the occasional Lyft ride.

Through another bill that I’m actually fighting since I was not driving the car, my toll transponder told me when my car was taken: early in the morning, in the 1 o’clock hour. That night, I actually slept so well–how ironic.

Also, I’ve been here before, 2 years ago when I was teaching and making even less than what I make now. I could take as a moral issue in one of two ways. The first is a (self-)judgmental, (self-)blaming route–how can you have this happen to you again? You’re irresponsible with your money. The other route is just seeing the larger landscape of where I live right now. I’ve done the best I can in a shitty job market and lower income people are routinely taken advantage of. I’ll take route #2, because route #1 is a well-worn path that doesn’t head anywhere except to more heartache.

The heartbreak isn’t over the car, per se, but what my cries for help represent to me–only three people helped me: a total stranger and two friends.

My cries for help went unheard and unheeded.

There are so many reasons why: race, gender, the lack of a cult of personality online, the bootstrap mentality that isn’t applied equally. Not really here to dive into all of that, into the politics of what gets funded and why.

I’m also not here to make this about abundance, prosperity, believing enough (or not), manifestation, or any other things that many times just seem like American capitalism dressed up in spiritual garb, but has no semblance of compassion or empathy.

Over a month later, there’s quite a lot of resentment that I have to burn off or hand off to the Universe. As I try to gain a better perspective, I am accepting what is.

Simply put: no one likes being inconvenienced. That’s the ethos of America. It’s the heart of innovation, but it’s also the heart of our mores and social structure. It’s the mentality that tells you that asking for help is some sort of entitlement. Even the way Social Security is framed is as an entitlement vs. an investment that people make so that they had some income for their twilight years. How dare you ask for help for your basic needs! You should just get a job (or else you’re clearly just lazy and want a handout). There’s someone in the current administration who said just that about Medicaid recipients, millions of those being children. It’s a pervasive mindset, no matter your political leanings or religious beliefs.

What has been really hard but necessary to do is to not make this seeming failure be about me or my worth as a human being. Even knowing that culturally, there’s still a lot of shame in asking for help, this still stings, a lot. I’ve been helped in the past, so why am I feeling abandoned now?

How this all happened still marvels me, which makes me believe that something bigger is going on.

At the time I started to think about writing this particular post, I felt very broken. There are still parts of me that feel very shattered and irreplaceable. I was concerned that I was depressed–and if I was/am depressed, then of course, it makes sense after such a loss like losing reliable transportation.

Nothing seems to be going right and things seem to get worse as I spiritually grow leaps and bounds. There are synchronicities all over the place. I know that Spirit is moving in my life–and maybe it’s because of the destruction left in its wake.

Then I remembered a book that I read, Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser (yes, it’s basically a book about manifestation–but there’s nothing wrong with writing down what you want and need and leaving it up to the Universe how it provides those things to do).

Klauser has a chapter aptly called, “Handling Breakdown.” It basically talks about how things may have manifested in a way you weren’t expecting; or, if your desires haven’t come to fruition yet, that you shouldn’t give up.

Two key quotes: “There is no failure, only a delay in results.” and  “There is no failure, only feedback.”

Why I remembered the book wasn’t for those quotes. It was because she talked about how when everything isn’t working out, that you are close to a breakthrough. She compared this to the process of childbirth, ten minutes before delivery which is called the “transition.” It’s the toughest part of labor.

I saw this happen recently with this reality TV star who filmed a special about her pregnancy. She wanted to have her baby at home, and while she was in labor, she hit a wall of exhaustion. She was just done, just through, no more. She got up to go to the bathroom, but before she and her midwives could leave to go to the hospital, she had the baby on the toilet!

So maybe I’m proverbially on the toilet right now, wanting to go to the hospital and have this baby of a profitable writer’s life. I know I need to keep pushing, even though I am exhausted.

So who is holding me up as I push? I do have a few good online friends that have been of great emotional support. But I have no one local like that in my life right now. Astrologically, I can easily blame this Pluto in Capricorn transit that is transforming me from the inside out, as it has run roughshod over my very essence and ethos.

This struggle is beyond the car now. Yet the car was a breaking point for me. Like what gives? I know I’m supposed to be a writer, to be a writer here. But I can’t connect to anyone permanently here. I lost my car twice. Grad school was a nightmare, so was life afterward. I’ve survived horrible living conditions–and I’m enduring one now. How many L’s can I take, and then take them like a champ?

What gives?

I’m not used to things being bad for this long, especially not with work. Eventually, I find the community, I find the better job, it all comes together. To have the reverse Midas touch is not my style. I always find help. I always Mentos commercial or MacGyver my way out of shit.

I’m super can-do-without-you, and that’s by necessity. For better and for worse, I grew up highly resilient, priding myself in not needing others. I’ve been humbled since I moved down here in 2012, realizing how I can’t be who I need to be without some help. And, for the most part, I’m actually quite OK with asking for help now, even as I face the fear of rejection.

So rejection has come and I am starting to be able to accept what is–I don’t really have the supportive community I need, not yet. I can also see the thin yet gleaming silver lining of this tough circumstance–I’m saving hundreds of dollars.

That brings me back to the spiritual support that I need to access. Yes, the loss of my car brought me to my knees. It was sad to repeat a loss like this, thinking that I would be better off this time around. Can I rejoice and be happy like Klauser says? Can I “count it all joy” like the writer James of the New Testament? Can I be grateful for my faith being tested and producing patience?

It’s really like holding onto a seedling, knowing one day it will be a tall tree. Depending on the day, the hour, the minute, I can hold onto this tiny hope or I can drop it and drown in despair.

At least in the spirit realm, I’m not alone.

My cries for help were heard. I matter. To be able to really believe all of that, in the face of disappointment, of loneliness, of heartbreak–emotions I’ve felt often in my life–it takes some faith, faith at times I don’t have or want to conjure up, faith that something new is breaking through, something better that I could ever imagine.

So I have two choices. I either keep playing this shitty game of Tetris where I feel like none of the blocks are clearing, or I quit the game altogether.

The latter doesn’t even feel like a choice, so game on.

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