Make Room For The Stuttering

On Abandonment

Posted on: March 22, 2009

I have been thinking of the whole concept of abandonment a lot. I have experienced some in my life. I recently tried to talk about what that means for me, and my feelings connected to abandonment. I found it was easier to write it.

I have always been afraid that whenever I get close to someone and bare my soul with them they will leave, so I have been very guarded in my relationships.

I had the courage to share with J (mentor’s name) that I was afraid he was going to abandon me. I have shared with him more than I have with anyone else, even myself. And I began to worry that he would slip out of my life. He assured me he still has space for me.

I felt abandoned by my father long ago. He was never there for me in the way I needed and wanted. Our estrangement lingers. After he survived a brain tumor, I thought some reconciliation was near, but it has not happened. I thought I was a terrible person for not being able to forgive him. I don’t have to forgive. There are no rules when it comes to feelings.

I have felt abandoned by my partner. He does not know the real me, the thinking, feeling me. He wants me to be the submissive caregiver, the same role I played in my childhood home. I am fighting to free myself. When he tugs me backwards, and I fall for it, I feel abandoned.

I have also been abandoned by my mother. She was not there to protect me as a child. When she finally found sobriety, it was too late. I was gone.

And strangely, I felt abandoned to her recovery. As she freed herself from alcohol’s grip, she plunged into her sobriety and new life, and I felt she made no room for me. She poured herself into helping other alcoholics. She attends meetings, sponsors other addicts, hosts conventions, runs groups, and drives all over to bring hope to those caught up in the alcohol fueled world.

Every time I try to talk with her about anything I consider important, she changes the subject. I respect that. Recovery has changed her life. But growing up in an alcoholic home changed my life too, and we have never really talked about it. She tells her story to strangers but not to me.

I have sometimes also felt abandoned when stuttering. When someone made fun of me, or looked away, or tried finishing my sentences for me, but didn’t say what I was going to say. That made me feel that I wasn’t being appreciated or heard for who I was. Abandoned by a world in too much of a hurry to listen.

I am certain my mother carries around a lot of guilt. That she has told me. My sister has told me that my mother has always felt guilty for not doing more for me about the stuttering. That she should have stood up to my father and insisted that I get speech therapy.

I hope that by acknowledging my feelings of abandonment I can finally put some of this to rest and find my balance.

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3 Responses to "On Abandonment"

Wow, I used to feel annoyed when someone tries to complete my sentence during my stuttering… I felt, it insults my intelligence… But, Now I learned to acknowledge & Let Go my destructive feelings… :o)

Wow–it’s amazing how far you have come to acknowledge all the feelings about your stuttering. I think it’s such a scary thing the thought of abandonment however.. I just think that with all the work you’re doing on you–that if it were to happen you could handle it.
I think it’s hard when you’ve been forced into a role for so long and now you’re slowly starting to break down those walls and reject how other people see you and readjusting how you see yourself and how you want other people to see you.
I understand now that those experiences growing up hold so much power to shape our lives. Some are those challenges we have to overcome, others recognizing our talents but throughout it all-our character is being built. At the time you don’t truly reflect on the lessons/experiences until later and some of those wounds from childhood resurface over time make themselves known seeking for healing.

Shaun, thanks for the great feedback. I think sometimes we learn best when we truly reflect on where we’ve been and where we want to go. Self-actualization is really a process, that may take a life time, as I am seeing.

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