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Abandonment Issues - Jessie T. Wolf
January 13th, 2009
12:16 am

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Abandonment Issues
I should really be in bed right about now, but Blue and I got up to some interesting conversation tonight about marriage, and separation/divorce, and father figures who were never really there for us growing up, and all of that wonderful, fun stuff.

It somehow started with us talking about babies, and how Blue would rather adopt a kid one day, instead of having her own. From there we moved on to how the two of us were technically "accidents," both born two months premature. Blue was born during the middle of her parent's divorce, whereas my parents were never actually married to begin with, but they separated when I was about six years old.

Tim and I both certainly had two very, very different ideas about what marriage was, and I guess I am very guilty for not understanding just what it meant to him. To me, there is no difference between me being married to someone, or being in a loving, committed relationship with someone. To me, the committed bond lays in the emotions you carry for that person. A legal marriage to me is nothing more than paperwork that satisfies the Government. To me, marriage is not spiritual, because I am not religious. My feelings for someone are my feelings, and I would have been just as committed to Tim, had we got legally married or not. But that was my biggest mistake... saying yes to something and not fully understanding it from the other person's point of view. :/

So, Tim's speculated that maybe it's because of my lack of growing up in a sound, balanced family household, that was the result of my lack of understanding of our marriage. That could very well play a factor. Who knows. I never really got to experience the kind of "normal" family life growing up in a small town, that Tim did.

I never really developed a great bond with my dad, because he was never really there to raise my sister and I (going out to Jazz festivals on the weekends didn't freakin' count). My mom busted her ass raising us both on her own, for the most part. I think that's also why I get so pissed off with my sister, whenever she takes advantage of my mom. I consider my mom a friend, and talk to her about everything. My mom and sister can't communicate at all, and the only time they talk is when my sister needs something from mom.

I don't really connect with my sister either, but I just chalk that up to we are two totally different people. Maybe in ten years things could change. But for now, my family is pretty divided.

My dad got married and moved to Japan about two years ago, now. He now has a new daughter. I have issues with this, only for the fact that he's almost 60 years old, and has a baby girl. He is going to be 80 by the time that kid finishes high school. -____- That just feels so wrong to me... but who am I to stomp on his happiness? In the back of my mind though, I am jealous/pissed off/hurt, because it's like he had my sister and me, didn't really stick around to help my mom raise us, but kind of did it in a half-assed way so he could say that he tried... and then he ran off, got married and had another kid. Once in a while he sends me an e-mail, that doesn't really talk about much at all. Still trying. Why bother? In some ways I think it would have been easier if he had just flat out dropped contact with the three of us all together... But... he's still my dad, after all.

Okay, so I obviously have abandonment issues. This in turn also kind of screwed up my relationship with Tim, because in a lot of ways Tim did things or acted in ways that my dad did, when I was younger. Now I understand that expression about marrying your parent. In any case where Tim would take on a kind of father figure with me, it's like I turned rebellious, and things I would never have fought my father on, I fought Tim tooth and nail on, even when all he was trying to do was help encourage me to be the best that I could be (my dad did that to me all of the time... trying to encourage me to be better, or do more... but all I ever felt was that nothing I did could ever satisfy him... it was never, ever good enough...). Tim saw certain potential in me and wanted to share that with me... and I only ever saw it as he was trying to change me to fit his own ideals of who he thought I should be.

Well... I'm changed now. In some ways for the better... and in other ways that have very much disappointed and hurt him... especially in the areas where I've shared things with others that I would deny him. I didn't mean to do this... In truth, there was a lot about our relationship that I was simply not ready for, that didn't feel right... and it scared me to death. And so I pushed it all away.

The 12-year age gap between us didn't really help, either... Tim's a hell of a lot more experienced than I am, has been places and has done stuff. He also has very different friend groups, who are older and more mature. I'm 26, inexperienced at a large percentage of the things that Life has yet to offer me, and my friend groups are immature as hell, but I totally love them.

In the end, it really came down to an inevitable, mutual agreement. I just chalk it up to differences, simple as that. He can definitely find someone who is a much better match for him than I could ever be. Some things just don't match up, and there's no point in trying to make them. Just do the best you can, and move on with your life. But don't forget to have fun along the way, because Life is too short to hang onto misery and self-pity.

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From:sci
Date:January 13th, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)
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*hug*
I can sympathise with you. Whenever I used to do something as a child, the first thing my dad would always say was how he would have done it better. Never "Well Done" but "why didn't you do it like this instead?". I suppose in retrospect it must have been his own feeling of inferiority coming out. But he was away more and more as I grew up, so I stopped caring and didn't even phase me when him and mum got divorced. I mean, what would the difference be?
I was also angry at him for years that he and his new girlfriend always went on holiday to far-flung countries, seeing the wonders of the world. Why didn't he ever feel that we were worth that sort of attention when we were growing up? Then I found out it was because of my mum. She hated travelling and didn't want to leave the country, so it was always camping and folk-music festivals. It was an uncomfortable change of perspective to go from seeing hated dad to loved mum as the reason for the monotonous childhood.

I worry about the age thing. One of my partners is a fair bit younger than me and it does feel very weird at times. I think about my brothers girlfriend whose father is in his 70s while her mother's in her 40s. He's got dementia very badly now. It seems unfair to me to have children past about the age of 35, or else your children will be just starting to live their own lives at the point where you'll start needing them to help with your own. Which terrifies me, because that's essentially giving myself 7 years to have kids. But even then, that's not what I want. As so many seem to, it's a mistake to confuse having kids with having a family. I want the latter, not just to have bred. :/

You're right about marriage I feel. It's supposed to be a recognition of emotions and intent. The function of a legal marriage is to legally recognise that two people are bound together. Their assets have merged, and from some angle they are now one legal entity. But that it follows religious doctrine is a problem. It may not be religious in word, but is in action. The current issue is one of gender. Why does a legal institution have say over that? The issues with it are religious ones. Same goes for multiple (concentual) partner marriages. There's no functional reason why they couldn't be made legal, but they're not.
I have to wonder at what point people went from seeing a bond made in the eyes of a GOD in the same way as one made under a law. But then recognition of common-law marriage has been phased out now. Law is everything.
I'll probably never be married, except for that one special person who really needs a change of country. Polyamoury and standard marriage don't work in my mind, not if those practising it are really capable of loving more than one partner equally.

Socrates said that true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing. "That's us dude!" Knowing our current limits lets us know what we can do and where we can expand them. Pretending we know everything is a recipe for disaster.
And there's nothing wrong with being immature if you can survive being so. Why should we stop having fun just because we're getting older? It's not like we're ignoring toilet training, we're just saying.. well.. http://xkcd.com/219/

I hope this helps a little. LJ ate it the first time I tried, and I had to retype. o_o;;
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From:ajpyropup
Date:January 13th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
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Hey there! *offers up a big hug!* I can feel where you are coming from, I didn't have the closest relationship with my parents growing up. Being the youngest of four with a dad that worked swing shifts at the local steel mill didn't help any. I couldn't ever escape this since of isolation and abandonment growing up.. I can't blame them however, they really tried the best they could. Until they separated when I was 10 or so. As far as your ideals on marriage, I would have to agree with what you said. The government shouldn't tell you who to love or how and marriage should be more about love then paperwork >.< Personally it disgusts me that the government is willing to dictate who, when, and how you get hitched! As far as your ex goes, it just as important that he understand your view of marage as well as you, his. It's somewhere in the dark dredges of miscommunication that lies a sinister beast who hates harmony and feeds on despair. So when the bond of communication breaks he flourishes, wrecking havoc on otherwise peaceful souls :(
[sorry for the metaphors i was on a roll >.< ]
Back on topic, some things just aren't meant to be and, despite all the effort in the world, just don't work out.
Take care of yourself girl, and best wishes to you in your future endeavorers! If you ever need to chat you have my email. *snugs ya up good*
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From:catwoman69y2k.insanejournal.com
Date:January 13th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)

It Could of Gone The Other Way, You Know

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While my family life was not the same situation as yours, I did have lack of stability with family. My dad died at age 7 (and I later found out the cause -- suicide). Since a month after dad's passing, my mom never stopped trying to have a boyfriend, finding random guys through phone lines. Bad decisions and she taught me how humans can be used as collateral

With her leaving me alone for weekends on end with no food in the house, I easily fell into wanting to do the opposite of what she does. It took a long time want to love anyone. Instead of going the codependant route, I went the independant savage aloof city girl instead. To this day, I still struggle with accepting gifts that occur outside of holidays. I fear becoming a mooch like my mom did, using affection and wiles to manipulate men into doing my bidding.

I dont know if any one of these two are worse. They are both extremes, after all.
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From:shirhkhan
Date:January 14th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
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Suffice it to say, my dearest lil wolfie- you have my affection, you have my support, and you have a hug from me. Well, an *extra* one, anyway- that I'll give to you with the others at AC this year. *smile* Ya know, if ever you want to chat, you can email me, IM me, or call me on the phone- I'll let you decide which is best for ya.

*hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!* *hugz!*
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