abandonment fear and borders in the relationships

About a week ago I published a post about the relationships that go nowhere, well now I am going to treat my own issue related to this topic- abandonment fear. I am used to people dropping out of my life with short notice. I am used to people setting criterias on my behavior and threatening to abandon me if I do not fulfill these demands. What I am not used to is setting my own criterias on other people.

When I started therapy, setting my own boundaries was a pretty fussy concept. I did protest in my relationships sometimes, but then the fear of abandonment kicked in and I went back to pleasing mode, basically telling my boyfriends that everything was OK. When you have grown up with the constant fear of abandonment, it is difficult to imagine yourself setting any standards to the relationship. Most of the time you end up feeling incredibly powerless, just hoping that the other side will not see you for what you are and will not leave you. If they do, well you want to be ready for that as well, so you never quite relax.

So during my therapy I have started setting some limits and borders in my relationships with other people. I have been assessing my relationships and I have lost some friends. I lost one friend when I announced that her chronic lateness (we are talking about an hour or two) was not OK. She could not handle that and I could not handle her being late on a regular basis. To me that sent a message that she really does not give a shit about our relationship. That does not mean that letting her go was easy, in fact I spent a month pining after her. This seems to be stupid as I am pretty sure that she spent little or no time missing me. Oh well….

As I am giving up on some of my relationships, because I find that these people are not treating my right, I still feel a lot of anxiety. What if there will be no one there in the end? What if I am exaggerating? Am I going to the other extreme now where I cannot accept any misgivings in my close people? All these questions are circling in my head as I am starting to set some borders in my relationships and define what is good for me. It is an ongoing process and a rather painful one I must add. I really wish that it would end in victory.

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