A Cold Heart

2017-08-14

monika-jia-rui-349

Maybe I’ve missed the point or was wrong about it all along. My fear of being abandoned is immense so it distracted me from something else. Something less obvious, but possibly even bigger – the fear of how I react to alleged imminent abandonment. The fear of realising what I’m capable of when I’m afraid. When I’m in flight mode, I run and burn whatever ties might hold me back. Worse – I’m explosive. I blow up my connections without second thoughts and move on, to a place where I feel safer. I’m good at starting over, I’ve done it so often.

This post might sound contradictory to what I’ve written before, I’m still trying to figure this out. It’s a fresh thought, a little revelation – I can be very attached to people, but my capability of detaching is frighteningly big, too. It scares me, how easily I’m able to break away from people I love when I believe they might not care about me as much as they used to. Then, as if it has never happened, everything we experienced together doesn’t matter anymore. Memories don’t exist if they’re not captured with pictures or words; our precious golden bond dissolves in acid.

I’m okay on my own. I went through a phase of being utterly alone and survived (thanks to the help of a couple of kind souls from the internet). I know I don’t need friends directly around me. But it has been like that my whole life, friends changing when my homes did and I used to be okay with it, always focusing on the present and letting the past take a back seat. Nostalgia is poisonous if you have to focus on getting your shit together. So my issue isn’t starting over, no, it’s holding on. Staying, even when it scares the shit out of me because others might leave. I’m normally not the one who gets left behind.

I’m afraid of running away and realising– I don’t miss anyone. That no matter how much I cared about someone, those feelings simply disappear when my mind tells me it’s time to go. I believe there’s something wrong with me. Underneath all this love I want to give is a heart that can be so very cold and ruthless. A momentary glitch in a bond can wipe out our entire history together. This is not how it’s supposed to be, right?

It leaves me perplexed, I’m not sure how to handle this. Lately I’ve tried forcing myself to be brave and tell the truth whenever I felt the urge to cut the ties and run. Not in order to manipulate or force anyone into putting more effort into our bond when they didn’t intend to. I understand that priorities shift, or that I might be asking for more than they can give. Anyways, honesty is risky, I’m fully exposing myself, but I’ve figured that staying and telling about my impulse to run is the best way to cut off my escape. When the other person knows what’s going on, I can hardly make up an excuse and disappear.

This doesn’t save dysfunctional friendships, but it sure prevents me from destroying perfectly fine ones.


My dears, you can’t imagine how much I appreciate you all! ❤️ There’s this blogger advice that says we’re supposed to ask questions at the end of the post so the readers can react to what we’ve written etc. and I’m so so happy that you don’t need that in order to feel animated to share your thoughts & experiences with me 😊 You are seriously the best! Your kindness & support is amazing and I learn so much from you. Thank you for making me feel safe and sane. You are not alone 🌟 Anyways, leaving today, I’m spending a couple of days in a little ranch (with limited electricity and no internet) by the ocean with my love and I’m really looking forward to those days off. I hope you’ll have a lovely week, take care ❤️ hugs from Montevideo! x

19 Comments
    1. Very real and descriptive …. Those fears are surmountable… I know it is possible , knowing is the first step towards finding a solution

    1. It’s complicated because we build up layers of defenses and responses over time.
      So you experience abandonment at a young age, and you come up with a response to try to avoid experiencing that pain again. But as children most of our responses are maladaptive. That is, they might work, but they also hurt us further.

      Some people will become perfectionist to try to secure their position with the caregiver. Others will distance themselves in an attempt to avoid the pain of abandonment.

      These work partly, but perfectionism is soul-destroying and distance cuts us off from loving and secure relationships.

      In your case it sounds like you have a strong defense mechanism of distancing yourself or being detached. But you obviously also desire love and affection and you know the value of these things in your life.

      There are people in this world who have nothing but distance and detachment. That’s the only way they feel safe. But you’re able to see both sides of it. The safety and security of being able to drop everything else in order to “get your shit together” as well as the pain of cutting off genuine relationships and friendships.

      For what it’s worth I would suggest looking at your early experiences of abandonment, where you first learned to distance yourself and cut everyone out in order to survive and feel safe. If you can begin to see that you have other options, then you may feel safer in the face of perceived threats of abandonment.

      Abandonment makes it hard to trust relationships, because the implied message is “you’re expendable”. It’s very understandable that you would protect yourself by treating everyone else as expendable too.

      Part of regaining trust in others would involve accepting that you are not expendable, that you deserve the love and support of those who care about you. What’s the opposite of abandonment? That’s what you deserve from the people who love you, right?

      As children we have no capacity to tell our caregivers that they must not abandon us. We aren’t able to tell them how much it hurts to be mistreated. As adults, we don’t give much credit to that as a response. We don’t trust that others will respond to that kind of vulnerable communication, because we never saw it work in the past.

      1. wow, thank you for your elaborate and insightful comment, Zac! I really appreciate you taking your time. I read it a couple of times to make sure I really understand everything you wrote and I’m really glad you react with so much understanding to my post.

        I’ve been wondering a lot about possible reasons for my reaction and can’t come up with anything from my childhood (not that I remember that much). I believe it’s mainly connected to my exchange year (when I was 16) though I’m not sure if I wasn’t too old to be so affected by it.

        The part about “you’re expendable” really got to me, I can’t get rid of that notion.

        Thank you for the possible solutions, too. It’s not going to be easy but it sounds like a good way to tackle my issues :) “We don’t trust that others will respond to that kind of vulnerable communication”– that’s another approach I’ve been taking, it might lead somewhere.

        Anyways, thank you a lot and have a wonderful weekend with your family! :) hugs from Uruguay

        1. Thanks Monika, first time i’ve been hugged from Uruguay!
          It could be the 16 thing…the significance of an event is relative. At 16 a lot of your beliefs and personality etc are already developed, but a major event could still have long-term effects. Think of people suffering PTSD from war or crime.

          The childhood stuff need not be “major”. People often assume that it would have to be something like physical or sexual abuse, but emotional abuse and neglect are equally potent. If you grew up with (for example) emotionally unavailable caregivers, then to you that would seem ‘normal’, and you might then expect that all friends and loved ones will turn out to be unavailable as well. It’s not literal abandonment, but just as painful.

          I hope you find the answers you’re looking for.

    1. I can identify with your fear of abandonment! You put it so eloquently…

      In my case, I make a conscious attempt not to get too close to my colleagues, so that I won’t feel so “guilty” for leaving them behind/abandoning them in future, if and when I change jobs.

      Writing this down makes it sound so crazy (!) but that’s what I really thought in the past when I felt i was “not enough” :(

      1. It doesn’t sound crazy at all! Thank you for your comment & the compliment :) I think it’s great that we’re aware of it and I do believe it’s better to have known and appreciate a person and lose them afterwards than to never have the pleasure of meeting them at all. I’m sure your colleagues would love to get to know you, even if it meant that your departure makes them sadder.

        Have a lovely weekend and take care :)

    1. Re: ending relationships first

      It’s easier to rip off the Bans-Aid yourself than to have someone do it to you. It’s a pre-emptive method of avoiding or curtailing pain. I’ve done this as well, and it’s not one of my more admirable traits. If the other person refuses to let go, it’s harder, but not impossible.

      Yet still, if a relationship is actively causing you harm/pain, you have the right to defend yourself. Maybe try this (I have, with mixed results): tell your friend what you’re feeling and what they’re doing to cause said feeling. If they apologize and change their behavior, keep the friendship. If they get offended or apologize and then repeat the behavior, rip off the Band-Aid. Life is too short to spend it with unpleasant people.

      /b

    1. It is easier sometimes to pull away instead of waiting to possibly get hurt. But it doesn’t make us any happier or better off! Those of us who move around a lot have to remember that <3 Also remember that the people worth keeping will still be there, even if you don't see them in person all the time!
      Have fun on your trip to the countryside! xx

      1. I really wonder how you do it, moving so often and be totally fine with it?! Maybe you cope differently because you grew up at one place only, maybe it’s our personality.. anyways, I really admire you for that! <3 Thank you for your kind words, and you're right, some people do stay and it's them I have to focus on. Take care, my dear xx

        1. Maybe you’re right, growing up in just one place helps. I still have friends that I’ve know since I was 3 years old that I see whenever I come home! And I never thought of myself as the type of person who can talk to anyone and make friends easily, but apparently I am. (I’ve had a couple people tell me this.) But I also went through some very lonely periods in my life where I had no friends, also I was an only child so I often had to play by myself as a kid. I think it taught me how to be alone, and how to be ok with that and come out of it stronger as well <3 Take care of yourself too!

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about abandonment issues. I’m new to blogging and this is a subject I will face eventually. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your experience.

      1. Welcome to the blogosphere and have a lovely time, I hope you’ll enjoy it! :) Thank you for your kind comment x

    1. Right. Personally I fear being hurt and so would want to move away early before tragedy. This is not the best solution though keeping in mind that the situation may change with time. I think it’s good to consult a psychotherapist as well.

    1. Monika, this is so so real and beautifully vulnerable. I seem to see myself in you more and more. I had a phase where I pushed myself into not feelings things out of self defense, because I’d been let down so many times. But with my growing self awareness I am today able at least try and channel feelings towards what really matters to me. Not feeling is a feeling itself. Don’t be hard on yourself. This honesty will take you places and bring those closer to you who truly deserve to be there, be it close friends or online strangers. Hope you are enjoying the time away, it’s sounds absolutely serene <3

    1. A momentary glitch in a bond can wipe out our entire history together. This phrase is so so so powerful and profound. This article resonated with me on a level I cannot explain to you in words. I was about to write something similar to this couple of days from now. Of course a more uncouth version of it. But you have written it so beautifully that I will not do justice to it. Therefore, I will just share this beautiful piece instead. :)
      PS: I do not think there is something wrong with you. Because I am exactly like that and I would drop people like no body’s business.

Let me know what you think!

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