I'm well into middle-age now and I find I'm still afraid of confrontation or disagreement or argument. Not in the workplace, not with friends, not anywhere in fact - only with husbands. This is my second marriage and a repeat pattern has emerged. I believe it is possibly due to a feeling of abandonment I had as a toddler - or am I being fanciful and am simply a weed? I am obedient and loving but increasingly a doormat. An aggravating, yes-woman kind of a doormat. My Mother was ill and when I was about 18 months, I was sent to foster parents. No further contact with my Mum; my sisters sent to a different home and my Dad visiting every Saturday afternoon. When I was three, I was sent home again. No cross-over or integration, just one day I had a Mummy, then she disappeared. Then I had a different Mummy, then she disappeared and I was dropped off at a new house to another Mummy. I haven't explained too well, I did write a story about it agypsieswife.wordpress.com/2013/10/21 I'd be really glad of some feedback if you have, because I'm starting to realise that I'm a shadow of my former self and increasingly miserable.
From what you've put there, I don't think it should be any surprise that you are afraid of being abandoned - you learned early on that you couldn't rely on the people who were meant to be there for you.
Go to your GP and ask to be referred for counselling to help you work through your feelings - nobody can change what happened to you, or the fact that it hurt, but a counsellor could help you to recognise and identify things that you do, or things that you worry about, in that context and help you to work through it.
I think, maybe that deep down I'm scared that if I don't 'behave and be a good girl' then I get left. My other half is a very strong character but it's silly really, because if I recognise the case, then why can't I change things? I'm really scared to upset the apple cart and will do anything to avoid confrontation..... although, not to be flippant, gin makes me braver..... but that leads to rows so I tend to avoid!
The things you learn deep down inside when you are small really stay with you, even though your rational grown-up side 'knows' that he is not going to abandon you if you misbehave, and that what happened wasn't because you 'deserved' it. But, if you think about how small children learn, it is by adding two and two together, even if they get it wrong. "I do x and y happens, so if I want to avoid y then I'd best not do x" And even when they don't know why the bad thing happened they try to rationalise it, and assume it was their fault.
Seriously, talking it through with someone could really help you to see the patterns that your thoughts go into deep down, so you can deal with them in different ways.
I do see your point about talking to someone, and should see my GP. This is helping enormously.... just being able to talk to someone is good. I live a fairly isolated life, at the moment. Now I come to think of it, coming from a very old fashioned family, we girls were simply not allowed to express anger or argue, so fumed inwardly..... which I still do, although I'm not a sulker. My siblings are much older than I and I can't ever remember arguing with them... they were in charge. Simple as. Strange that I was able to be authoritative in the workplace - no problem there.
OP you might be interested in attachment theory. This link gives quite a good overview. It is of course more complicated but I wonder if you recognise elements of yourself in any of the attachment styles it describes?
The first two years are considered a crucial time in terms of learning to make secure attachments so it wouldn't be at all surprising if your early life had influenced the way your form close relationships now. I do hope you can work through this, would you consider a counsellor to help you?
Shoewhore - The link was enlightening.... I do have ridiculously low self esteem.... but recognise that I have no need to feel that way. Here's a thing that that your message prompted me to remember. As a young adult, my then partner insisted that I distance myself from my parents, who, he felt, had too much influence over me. As a result, they took the decision to emigrate to Australia to join my siblings who had children of their own. They were able to take this decision, and leave me behind, because they felt that I had stopped caring about them in my fierce independence. While I felt abandoned, I encouraged them to go and feel guilty to this day that I pushed them away.
I feel that, by talking about this, that I have opened a can of worms. Shutting down and staying silent has always been the best option for me. Having spoken, I am churning and chewing. Wish I'd kept my peace.
Shoewhore, you are so kind. You have helped already.... just by being able to talk to someone is a help. Life is quite 'challenging' at the moment - and not being able to tell anyone what bothers means that everything seems worse. I can't say too much, I'm afraid I'd be recognised, but I feel, sometimes.... usually during sleepless nights, that I'm being used as a human shield. I get to face up to and deal with all the crap that the outside world has to chuck at us and I do that, whether under orders or not, single handed. You see! Even writing that down has helped! I'll try to be kinder to myself as you suggest - and a bit less of a wimp! (And see my GP) Thank you x