You were not born this way—you are not simply the product of faulty genetics or a victim of some innate defect. When you were born, you came into the world with no script. You were as blank as a slate, your story an unwritten one. Then, at some point or another within the first two years of your life, you received the message that you could not rely on your caregivers consistently enough, and your nervous system kicked into overdrive as a result. Although they may have had the best of intentions, there were more than likely interruptions in their own lives which made it difficult for them to be there for you when you needed them to be. Perhaps they were not always emotionally present, which only reinforced feelings of abandonment.
Now, as an adult, you are hardwired to attach to partners with the same tapes running through your mind at the subconscious level. Your nervous system is like a fire detector, hyper aware of any real or perceived threats. You are also cued in to any subtle hints that, at any given time, your partner could abandon you either physically or emotionally. Abandonment feels like annihilation, even if from a logical standpoint. We know we will survive, but through an emotional lens, the reality feels so different. The thought of it sends terror coursing through your veins. It triggers some primal part of you, an unhealed core wound from early on in your life. The behaviors that follow—including texting and calling five or six times in a row after they don’t answer the first or second time, asking for more reassurance past the point of what your loved one may deem as acceptable, worrying obsessively over what they’re thinking, feeling and possibly even doing when we’re not around, as well as ruminating over what they said or didn’t say—is all a part of the package. Little do we realize that we are responding from an unconscious place within us. We are using activating strategies in a desperate attempt to draw ourselves closer to the person we love, in order to reassure ourselves that our worst fears only exist within the frightening corners of our own minds.
Please remember that you are not crazy or flawed, you have simply acquired a set of traits and defensive strategies in order to avoid the possibility of being abandoned. The good news is that, with effort and awareness, you can work towards an earned secure attachment. You can rewire yourself to think and respond differently. You are not a victim—this life, along with the challenges you face, are yours alone to conquer.
You are worthy. You are beautiful. You are enough. Each and every time you feel anxious, you have to look in the mirror and put your crown back on your head. Those who are worth your time will never abandon you, nor will they make you feel guilty or ashamed for needing reassurance. Instead, those who are truly worth your time and effort will mirror stability and will be a rock during the hardest of times. They won’t keep you wondering and guessing as to how they feel about you, nor would they trade you in for all of the riches the world could offer.
But first and foremost, dear one, please learn to fill your own cup. Please remember to offer yourself all of that which you weren’t able to consistently receive from early caregivers or others in your adult life. Your first and most enduring love affair should always be with the person staring back at you whenever you do look into that mirror. It is the only love you can truly count on. Do not abandon yourself, and especially not for anyone else. You are more than enough for yourself—you always have been.