It seems that plenty of folks deal with the existential fear of abandonment to some extent. I base this statement upon the anecdotal evidence of conversations I’ve had with acquaintances, friends, and other loved ones. In too many instances their fear was based upon childhood experiences of living in severely dysfunctional families. In other cases, some of my friends suffered the heartbreak of fiancés or lovers who left them for someone else.
My own past abandonment issues recently came to mind after experiencing a lucid dream about my ex. In the dream, he apologized for leaving me and everyone else behind without any notice whatsoever. Perhaps the dream was a manifestation of wishful thinking or perhaps unresolved questions bubbling up to the surface from my subconscious. In either case, the dream triggered a few hours of contemplation about abandonment.
The abandonment happened in the spring of 1999. Our relationship seemed to be very healthy. We got along nicely; disagreements and quarrels were discussed with any negotiations happening promptly. We were not only lovers but close friends to each other. One morning, I received a phone call from his employer to ask if Steve was planning to come to work. The boss had been unable to reach him at his home phone. I told the supervisor that I did not know.
I drove to Steve’s apartment, only to discover that it was locked. His landlady said that Steve had given notice that he was moving and that he had left the apartment for good the previous night. The landlady did not have a forwarding address. I soon checked with Steve’s other friends; yet none of them had clues about the disappearance. For all intents and purposes, my BF had vanished from the face of the Earth.
As you might imagine, this was a traumatic experience for me. Not knowing what had happened to Steve, my imagination conjured up many possible scenarios along with much overthinking and worry. It took the better part of two years to accept the abandonment.
A few years later, one of our mutual friends said she learned that he had been seen in eastern Colorado. This was only a rumor, so she could not provide further details. At least we could assume that Steve was still alive. It was clear that for whatever reasons, he simply up and left town without notifying his employer, his friends, and me. He was never much of a letter writer nor someone who liked to use a telephone, so none of us was ever notified as to his whereabouts. Meanwhile, my recent lucid dream reawakened this issue.
A common problem in one on one relationships, is that some people seek aid and comfort when times get rough. They befriend those who are able to provide some type of support. After they have become fulfilled, they drift away towards others. I imagine them behaving like bees who go from flower to flower to gather pollen and nectar. It was after this realization that I was able to sharpen my perception and become more discerning about people’s possible motives. That said, I still feel compassion towards people who have fallen upon hard times.
People have had to face abandonment issues since the dawn of time. For any number of reasons, it happens to the best of us. Sometimes absences are resolved and other instances the abandonments remain a mystery. Regarding Steve, I have forgiven, but will probably never forget. These many years later, all I can do is accept what has happened and cheerfully go on with normal, everyday life.
I hope this post has been of benefit in some way to you.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the late David Bowie. “I’m not one of those guys that has a great worldview. I kind of deal with terror and fear and isolation and abandonment.”