Monday, March 12, 2012

The Abandoned

My wife asked me the other day if I had ever felt that I had been abandoned by my parents.

I thought only a short while about this and said that I didn't.  She wondered if I really felt that way or if that was a product of me burying really intense emotions as I have been taught to do.

A point duly noted.

I guess I was looking at my past through my [slightly clearer] present lens.  Those people, the life from which I came, didn't hold great meaning for me.  I don't miss my old life.  Not in the least.  My wife pointed out that, at the time, those people did mean something to me, even if it was a very fleeting, hollow sort of meaning.  But to be abandoned, one would have to feel like one really fit in, belonged wherever this being was.

I never felt that way.  I don't remember feeling that way.  I only remember floating through my existence and were a wind to push me in another direction, such would be the direction I would go.

What about betrayal my wife asked.  There, I could only answer her one single time where I felt really betrayed - my mother's affair which I brought to light.  I still feel betrayed, as she has never really apologized and I suspect never will.  But your "friends" she pressed.

Ah yes, my three "best" friends.  Two of them chose to side with my mother, the last is too wishy washy to do so (he's more like me than the other two) but did side with his wife who chose to disrespect us entirely.  I would say that I was abandoned by those friends however, I still feel that I didn't have a super-strong connection with them, else I would have reacted differently (sad/angry/etc)....right?

Perhaps my lack of feelings of abandonment had its roots in my conclusion that my mother didn't really want me as a child anyway, which resulted in her very natural dismissal of her child's very basic emotional needs.  She turned the tables on her child, never should a human being need her like this child does, rather, she will use this child to her advantage.  Do my bidding, she says.  Subsequently, this child does not develop a deep emotional anything with anyone, only a parasitic bond with the mother.  How can this child feel a sense of abandonment then, when he wasn't made to feel that he belonged, that his only purpose was to feel the insatiable thirst of his birth mother's emotional depravity.

Still...at one time, the people in my life meant something to me.  Meant what though?  Perhaps I used them for attention, to feed some of my developing narcissistic needs.  Hell, I picked them up from a person who knew how to get what she wanted all too well.  Shouldn't I feel terrible though, looking back at this little boy who, right from birth, was abandoned by his mother?  Perhaps.  Or perhaps I've used my self-induced callous creator 1100 as a defense mechanism to either A. help me get through or B. protect myself from an inordinate amount of suffering.  Maybe both, maybe neither.  Maybe.

During the time where I was beginning to set boundaries when I was in a relationship with my wife and my mother was acting the "woman scorned" part, I did not feel abandoned.  I felt many other things, but abandoned was not one of them.  I suggested that was due in part to my in-laws' behavior.  They took me in as one of their own.  Loved me in spite of myself.  Shoot, my father in law said right around the time that my wife and I started dating that he had another son (me) because he could see how much his daughter cared for me, and likewise, I for her. 

Abandoned I was not, even though an emotional orphan I was.

14 comments:

  1. I also struggled with the idea of being abandoned because they're right here, but emotional orphan is exactly what it feels like!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, that was the only way I knew how to describe it.

      Delete
  2. I don't know about you, but I was abandoned along the way in about every sense of the word. It became so second nature to me that I can compartmentalize myself up and away from just about anything.
    I wouldn't say that I ever felt entitled to expect loyalty from any one else. I could be as disappointed as any body else when I was betrayed.
    But expecting emotional absence and betrayal from loved ones became second nature and shoving my way through it with denial became my default. Back then and as an adult.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emotional absence was my day to day reality. I didn't know any better and such is why I question if ever I felt abandoned. Then I go back to...well was I ever really made to feel like I belong anyway. Perhaps right from birth I was abandoned so I never had a chance to feel otherwise.

      Delete
  3. No pain and no "feeling" of abandonment either, still. I wonder if those emotions will ever really surface - or am I really as cold and unfeeling as I've always thought?

    I've intellectually understood I received no real love from my parents, but emotionally this fact means little to me - I haven't expected love from them in the REAL sense for as long as I can remember.

    I also expect everyone to potentially abandon me - and rightfully so.

    And I have no idea how to transcend this indifference - to them, and, potentially, everyone who might abandon me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure I was ever close enough (possibly 3 "best friends") for me to ever really feel that I was abandoned by them. Betrayed, sure. They chose my mother's side and not mine - she played their weak minds very well. I hope you are seeing that not everyone will abandon you, especially those that care about you enough to see that you're worth it. And those that have similar experiences.

      Delete
  4. Rather than abandoned I think I felt cheated when I began to realize what "normal" families were like. Now, I accept them for being what they are and always will be.

    "Fuck 'em!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought normal was life as an open book - where everyone knew everything about everyone. And yet, there were still dirty secrets and lies amuck. That, as I see now, is not normal, but I still must have had some sense of that else I wouldn't have been able to break away.

      Delete
  5. So I guess you didn't feel abandoned when you met Jonsi and she took you away from your crazy family.

    Funny thing is, isn't an emotional orphan by definition someone who was abandoned? That's what an orphan is. Homeless, parentless, and set free to the winds alone, a little child in the alleys.

    Maybe your whole life is set on abandonment, like a movie you're watching and already've seen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've successfully rebutted my entire philosophy of my life!

      But now that you mention it and the more I've thought about it, I do believe that I was abandoned right from the beginning. And then I was living on the premise of never receiving the nurturing I needed to thrive. How could a child then have ever felt abandoned if he never felt any other way. I'm not sure if that makes a whole lot of sense, but it was the best I could do.

      Delete
    2. No, I get it. Like the analogy about how does a fish know it's in bad water if it's the only water it's ever been in. But that's sort of like saying the bad water has no effect, like if someone had loving parents, they wouldn't feel love because they don't know any other way. But...I don't think anyone never feels abandoned or that anyone feels abandoned 100% of the time...and I don't think there's anyone who isn't afraid of abandonment. So I don't know, if not feelings of abandonment, then what are the effects that your parents had on you? You don't have to feel sorry for yourself, I don't think you're callous, just remember things.
      Tbh, I don't remember feelings of abandonment but I do remember a lot of fear. It wasn't until recently that I started caring a lot about abandonment and suddenly started noticing how awful it felt every time someone pulled away. Maybe because back then I worked my ass off to not be abandoned by shitty people who weren't even worth it. Then when I got sick of it and just wanted to be myself, I had to be abandoned and my biggest fears came true. Abandonment is scary. The risk is scary. The risk you take by not doing what you thought you were always supposed to do is scary.

      Delete
  6. I think I'm like Mulderfan, I feel cheated by my mother. Can't lose what I never had. But I feel abandoned by my father.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I sit here...trying not to let the tears well up...my Husband..my sweet...lonely...mistrustful husband...raised by an emotionally and psychologically abusive narcissist mother...and a physically abusive father...abandoned by his siblings and his "friends"...for daring to confront the disease within his family...your posts give me, as his wife, the strength to go on with this relationship...he, too, has brought his mother with him into our marriage...and it is incredibly hard to deal with...when I read your posts, I feel as if their is hope for his internal healing and our marriage...Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, you absolutely must read my wife's blog: http://jonsi-jonsi.blogspot.com/
      I think you'll find more of what you're looking for there at her blog, in particular what it's like living with someone like me (and your husband) and her experiences. I hope you find continued strength as you read through these blogs, Lisa. All the best to you.

      Delete