Left Behind

25 Jul

What he says: I’m leaving on vacation.

What I hear: I’m leaving you.

Ah, the joys of abandonment issues.  I highly recommend never developing them – because they’re lame.  As long as I can remember any time one of my boyfriends left for an extended period of time it meant they were leaving forever.  I’d like to thank my dad walking out on my family when I was little for the irrational belief.

There’s the niggling little voice who has taken residence in the back of my head.  Chanting encouraging things like, “Destined to fail.   You won’t make it through.  He’s left you behind.”  A voice I know well.  A voice I give too much credit too and don’t know how to silence.  The one who, when any gap in communication happens pops up with, “he’s lost interest in you.”  Logically, I know feelings don’t change that quickly – emotionally, I buy into every single thing the voice tells me.  I look for my escape route and plan my exit so I can do it before he does.  The end is easier if I make myself believe it was my choice to end things, that I had some control over it.

MLB is off in Europe for the next month with his kids.  Fantasy adventure dream vacation.  The absolute best for them.

Meanwhile, I’m here biting my fingernails and talking myself off the ledge for being ridiculous.  In the lead up to his leaving last week I had to keep reminding myself we weren’t saying goodbye forever, it was just goodbye for now.  I wanted our last night together to be special and magical.  He told me I was making the goodbye into a bigger deal than it had to be, we would see each other in a few weeks, it was just vacation.

The morning we said our goodbyes I struggled to keep it together, believing everything would unravel and it was the end.  He kissed me and handed me a card and told me to read it later.  Nail in coffin.  Obviously this was the dear John letter where he had written things would be different when he was back, life would change, our relationship couldn’t continue as it could.  It was over.  Because this is how my mind works.  The end is near!!  The end is always near.

I ripped open the card and wept like a tiny baby.  Phrases like “head over heels for you” and “I can’t wait for the coming months” and “I’m going to miss you.”  Swoon, right?  Everything I wanted to read.  Comforting words about how the next month was just that, a month in which we’d be apart and then we’d be back together again.  That’s good, right?  The day he left we talked a few times, we exchanged our text messages with L-bombs.  We made plans for when he’d get back.

We talked this afternoon for the first time since he left (2 days ago). And the voice says to me, “Notice how distant he seems.  You have nothing to talk about.  He’s getting bored with you.  How can you possibly keep him interested for the next month?”

How does one silence the voice?  Shut it up and make it go away?  What’s the trick?


5 Responses to “Left Behind”

  1. Teri July 25, 2018 at 7:13 pm #

    Have you thought about talking to a professional about your feelings about your dad? I hate the fact that you have to have these feelings with every relationship but it’s so understandable.

    • Catherinette August 2, 2018 at 11:50 am #

      Saw a shrink for years and years and years. Made an appointment for Monday.

  2. Kerryn July 26, 2018 at 6:51 am #

    I agree with Teri, perhaps therapy is the right long term solution. I hear you with the Dad issues (those guys can be something, alright.)

    As for the short term solution. Well, it’s slightly different, but also a bit the same. I have anxiety issues about my daughter. She is now 17 and Doing Things Without Me (and has been for some time.) I worry about her A LOT. I try very hard not to externalize that worry, and I too have a voice that tells me “yup, she’s definitely dead in a ditch” and so on.

    My trick is really to apply Occam’s Razor (the most simple answer is probably the right answer). So when the voice tells me that she’s hurt and alone, I just start listing off all the other, more probable, reasons she didn’t answer my text. She didn’t hear her phone, she is having fun and not looking at her phone, etc. I repeat them over and over, out loud, and it usually calms me down. But not always, and then I panic and yell and throw stuff but I NEVER let her know how I freaked out. She deserves some leniency, she’s just a kid being a kid.

    So if he sounds distant and aloof, maybe his kids are in hearing distance or it’s been a long day and he’s tired, or he just had an unpleasant encounter and it’s upset him. I don’t know MLB, but he seems like a decent guy. Decent guys sit you down and tell you it’s over kindly and with empathy to your face. They don’t dump you via text while in Europe.

    For the record, that voice has an accuracy rate of 0%, so I’m starting to learn that it is just an asshole.

    • Catherinette August 2, 2018 at 11:51 am #

      I’m giving him space now. Lots of space. He knows how to find me.

      And you’re right about the accuracy rate of 0%.

  3. Infinite silence August 26, 2018 at 9:56 am #

    Dude, I wish my psycho dad walked out when I was young. He did so much damage. Do we really need fathers?

    Anyway, I was in a long-distance relationship for 7 years. I went through this every week. It’s hard and I have no words of wisdom. I will always be scarred by the experience.

    Hope it gets better for you.

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