For whatever reason, I guess after discussing with my present counselor last week because I am coming up on my one-year anniversary from my former counselor, I am still grieving. While I am blessed to have my present counselors, I sure miss my former one of four years. Still, I am moving forward and as they say, life goes on.
Being one that has dealt with feelings of abandonment throughout my life and understanding that fact in those four years, I recognized things about myself. Those moments of I do this or I do that, all of which were coping mechanisms I managed to use and still as an older adult, they appear. I never knew the effects of such until then so the last five years I have been getting to know myself, the good, bad and ugly and understanding the whys in life.
It has been almost a year since a session with former counselor, as I stated. When meeting regularly, weekly sessions usually, I found myself in a panic and feeling the abandonment before she would go on vacation. I thought a week or God forbid, fourteen days were forever. The anxiousness and unsettledness was ever-so present. I counted down the days until her return. To help me and I shared with her, I installed a timer app on my phone, I still use it. My coping mechanism, as it keeps track so my mind can be somewhat at ease of not counting. With this, I can just look at the time, acknowledge my thoughts and feelings, cry if I need to and move forward. Technology in this sense shows me I made it, some days were rough and have been, but I was and I am moving forward. It’s what works for you to bring calmness.
We discussed this matter many times before and after vacation periods. Many times, and being one dealing with abandonment, a physical item such as a pen is helpful to hold onto. There were times, I wanted to ask her to give me her pen. The pen she holds that just made notes about me in her file because of the connection between us.
While that pen was an inanimate item, it would have given me a part of her to hold onto. I would give it back upon her return. I would be keeping her pen safe with me and I felt safe, as she was still with me. Abandonment sucks. How sad it is to consider that a little girl, now older woman still clings to such. What happened in that little girl’s life to hold on for dear life to such objects? Maybe one day, when the Lord feels the time is right, I will know exactly why and mostly, what happened to cause such a deep root to still rear its ugly head. Abandonment in love, emotional neglect was definitely evident.
As crazy as this is, it is somewhat normal, especially one with abandonment in their past. This was part of my coping mechanism then and still. Just as in this pen, it is a bonding between us and serves as a way to calm the anxiety within me, just meaning she is still with me. It’s a transitional object, such as a security blanket for a young child.
As I researched, the weighted blanket that many use nowadays, it calms the anxiety within. Not saying it is due to abandonment but anxiety can disrupt life. Anxiety sucks, too!
Whether it be an inanimate object, timer on my phone, a photo, these were typical of me through life and sadly still. I know the three hundred and sixty-fifth day is approaching since our last session. My grieving is present still, I acknowledge that. Will I see her again for a session? No. It is just my coping skill to get through the loss, sadness and hopefully healing as I see this pattern and know I have made it and I will make it.
My time with her was definitely orchestrated by God in those four years. Many times her wisdom and expertise in her field along with her sweet and caring nature and at times stern comments, I grew and will always be thankful. The Lord knew I needed her as my life became very hopeless in past situations for years, she was my lifeline. Understanding of the past and present became real to me so I can look forward to the future.
There was a bonding between us. I can acknowledge, as I did when in session before or after her plans for a leave on vacation that there was a panic within me that happens, which is abandonment. I did not take her pen but I wanted to each time, or some object. I survived even though anxiety was apparent.
Today, I can also acknowledge that abandonment became real when she left her counseling position abruptly. Not only discussing it but also experiencing it by her. A real life sink or swim moment came into effect dealing with the emotions, thoughts and even anger. Most importantly, I am still thankful of our time together.
If you have dealt with loss and lack of love in childhood or as an adult, you will understand me. It’s real. It’s real hard, too. Through it, you have to learn to care for yourself, re-parent yourself, get in touch with your inner child and just love and appreciate yourself. Do I have all that together? No, but I do know now what I am dealing with and what I lacked and taking one day at a time.
I am worth it and above all else, I have had to fully trust the Lord moreso, as He loves ME and He will never leave me.
You are worth it and I pray that you put your whole trust in the Lord, as He loves YOU and He will not leave you either.