Leaving to be left

by tamarjacobson

I have never dealt well with separations of any kind. In psychological terms I guess it is called "anxiety of separation." It is a good way of describing some of what I feel when I leave, or am left behind. Anxiety. With me, though, it is often a lot stronger – like fear, for example, and is almost always connected to the fact that I must, in some way, be intrinsically bad. So that, if I feel I am too bad, I had probably better leave before I am left. Complicated sounding, I imagine. But then again, the feelings are complicated and confusing too. Of course, with my child development background, and the understanding I have acquired about emotional memory development in the brain I have a pretty good idea where it all comes from in my childhood. And, after years of therapy, I acknowledge how I have had those feelings reinforced as I grew up. I am even beginning to understand why I "found" myself in situations that reinforced those feelings over and over again even as an adult – with family members, lovers, and even with friends. Lately, I must say, understanding all of this is, in fact, mind blowing! I find myself sitting for long moments going over incidents or situations in my past, and as if awaking out of a dream, I am amazed at what I am able to understand about so much that went before. Of course, at times during these reveries and revelations I feel regret and even anger at all the wasted time spent in pain and angst, shame and guilt. But mostly, I feel a huge sense of relief – as if a boulder has been shifted from the path in my life's journey, and I can now walk through freely – with a lighter step. Understanding the absurdity at how I viewed things in the past, is one of the steps toward relearning and undoing the brainwashing of years gone by. This is my birthday present to me for this, as I enter my sixty fifth year – shedding the shame, and lifting the veil. I know it does not happen overnight, and that some of the wounds will remain as shadows haunting, hooting, and hollering now and again. But, somehow it feels as if the worst might be over – finally. For, once I have allowed myself to open up my eyes, why on earth would I shut them down again?