Recently I have been feeling depressed. Most notably when I mess up at work or think about how my relationship with Travis will likely end.
As much as I like him, I can’t shake this feeling that he’ll cheat or something that will hurt me and then I’ll be put in this position that makes me feel like a hopeless girlfriend like I’ve felt before. I’ve tried really hard to be the perfect girlfriend for him, harder than I have ever tried before. I would say that this is the most effort I have put into a relationship – because I want it to work.
There have been times when I have felt very close to him and others when we were laying right next to each other and I may as well have been alone. But I’ve felt like that with everyone, which makes me wonder if that aching sense of abandonment is more about my parents and childhood traumas than my current relationship.
Which brings me to my main point here, I am damaged. I cannot explain the sense of loss that I feel when I cannot make a cappuccino properly, I just know that it happens. It’s illogical, but I have cried because I felt this ache after someone tells me that their drink isn’t light enough. I just can’t do anything right.
I didn’t have these fears about Travis before we went to that party together – but I very consciously stopped trusting him completely when that girl walked by and he later told me he had a superficial thing for her. As well as when he drunkenly stared at that girl’s cleavage.
I recognize I am a recent addition to his life, that being in a relationship after being single is a lifestyle change, and I will admit that I have recently checked other guys out- but to do it so blatantly in front of me? It hurt.
After my mom left us I changed. She was only a part of my life on the surface. That slight connection we did have, messaging me and seeing each other once every few months, it made the abandonment I felt hard to distinguish. It wasn’t as if my mom just disappeared one day and I never heard from her again.
Nonetheless, I was abandoned. Physically she was not there, emotionally she was not there, financially she was not there.
I told myself that I was the only one I could ever rely on, and I have ingrained that into who I am today. Self-sufficient, self-made, independent and in no need of help. I was living that lifestyle at fifteen when she left me. That mindset made me push people who cared about me away. I was terrified I would get used to having them as a support system in my life and have to relive the pain of losing my mom.
Aside from Riley, I don’t let people in. I don’t really allow for anyone to become a part of my life that I am emotionally dependent on.
It’s a toxic trait of mine.
So now that I have the opportunity to really let another person in, to let myself have an attachment to Travis, I hesitate. He has the potential to really hurt me.
He told me that he feels something real between us, and I do too- when I’m not emotionally distancing myself from everything I care about.
Since my parents’ separation, I have had a compulsive desire to please authority figures in my life. Teachers, managers, literally anyone in power over me. I sought out the affirmation that I was doing good from my parents during a critical period of my development, and they gave me nothing. Now I seek it anywhere I can find. Working long hours, being as reliable as I humanly can push myself to be- and any failure feels like a monumental collapse.
I feel a responsibility, too. One to prove that my family line isn’t all flimsy and mentally unsound- it’s why I am in college. I want, no I feel the need, to show that I can achieve greatness. I want to have a real career. I want to have success. But how far will this drive take me before I crash and burn?
I feel the need to be perfect in every aspect of my life. I know I can never meet those expectations.
At the end of everything, I just want closure from the abandonment. I want the affirmation my parents cannot give me.