Monday, March 22, 2010

About Fear of Intimacy and Abandonement

As I go by the weeks reading The Artist’ Way and going through most of the weekly tasks I find learning so much about life and today was no different. The Title of this week’s topic is: Recovering a Sense of Possibility and it talks about how we tend to settle with just enough, and how we don’t feel like we can accomplish great things. We are encouraged to create a dependency on our creator as it will give us freedom from all other dependencies. By trusting in our creator, in other words, having faith, we open ourselves to more intimacy with other human beings because with our faith we are freed from our terrible fears of abandonment and are able to live with more spontaneity. Our peers will be freed from our constant need for reassurance and will be able to love us back without feeling so burdened.

This statement has been very eye opening. For most of my life I have felt as if everyone who has ever been close to me is going to leave me. Many have left, yet many have left and come back in some way. I have developed an intense fear of abandonment that I believe started when my parents got divorced when I was about 2 years old. I have really vague memories of that time, yet my first memory ever is that of me hiding under the bad in my grandparent’s house because I didn’t want my father to take me away. I can see a car outside through the window; a man taking some of my clothes and toys away. Feelings of despair, of pure fear. My mom tells me that I told her that day that if my father where to take me away I would open the door of the car and jump out, that I would find my way back home. My mom claims to have been terrified and she prevented my father from taking me. He never came again to visit me.

I never heard anything else about my father, or at least I don’t remember. The next memory I have of my father is when I was 5. My kindergarten teacher tells me that my father had sent a birthday gift for me and she had it. My response was: “You can keep it, I don’t want it.” Quite a strong character for a 5 year old.

My mom changed boyfriends fairly often and we moved every 2 years since I was born. No daddy, no home I could call my own. My mom tried to keep me in the same school as to allow me some kind of stability. But my school was the only stable thing I knew, maybe that’s why I loved to study so much. I loved school.

Since then I have tried not to get attached to things or people, as I don’t trust I’ll have them the next day. I tend to get afraid when I notice developing feelings towards someone, when I see myself making new friends. A huge wave of emotions drowns me, as if gallons of love where poured over my whole body, and I withdraw from it.

I have an intense fear of abandonment, and when I start to like someone, I withdraw. A little voice inside of me calls out for reassurance, it asks me to find out if that person will like me, will care about me FOREVER. I want people to like me FOREVER. Several years are not good enough for me, and I start to feel a neediness creeping from inside of me, then I withdraw. If I can’t know for sure if they are going to like me forever then I can’t handle it. So I create a barrier around me, a barrier that keeps me close, but not close enough to get hurt too much.

According to Julia Cameron, “as we come to trust and love our internal guide, we lose our fear of intimacy because we no longer confuse our intimate others with the higher power we are coming to know.” We give up idolatry – “the worshipful dependency on any one person, place or thing. Instead, we place our dependency on the source itself. The source meets our needs through people, places and things.”

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