I can trace my fear of abandonment all the way back to the fourth grade. I came home from a friends house to find my mom, the only parent I had at the time thanks to a divorce 3 years earlier, unconscious and accidentally overdosed on sleeping pills. I called 9-1-1 and they talked me through what I needed to do. That night I spent the night at my best friend Shawn's house. The next night I was with a friend of my mom's named Debbie. Then I found myself again with a friend of my mom's except she decided I needed to stay in a foster home. My mom was released from the hospital when it was decided it wasn't a suicide attempt but by that time I was already in the system and living in Lapwai, ID with people I didn't know, in a town I had never been to. Anyone who has ever been in the system should know just how difficult it is to get out of. I was stuck in Lapwai where I was only allowed to see my mom once a week in supervised visits/therapy sessions, and rutinely beaten and punished for being a child for the better part of 4 months when I was moved into a new foster family, the Youngs back in Lewiston. I stayed there for the rest of the school year, seeing my mom more regularly thanks to the fact that the Young family are amazing people and dear friends with my mom. It wasn't the same as being with my mom and I constantly worried about her but it was much, MUCH better than the Lapwai house.
After that I became very clingy with my mom and anyone who was close to me. I tried to get held back into the 6th grade so I could be in class with my friends who were all a year younger than me (didn't work), I routinely faked sick so I could stay home and make sure my mom was safe. I still to this day follow my closest friends around like a lost puppy when I'm at a party or an event I worry that I will lose them and never see them again. Yes this includes dance parties in rooms the size of your standard living room. I simply don't do well with the idea of being alone without those that I love.
Conversely if my friends do manage to move away, or for whatever reason leave me, I cut them from my life almost entirely. I don't write my friends when they go on missions. I simply will not attempt to text or talk to you if you move away. To put it simply I try and pretend you don't exist, and you never existed. It's easier that way, if only because that means you didn't really leave me, but I left you. I wasn't the one getting left behind but instead I let you go and I didn't need you anymore. Sure if you talk to me I will talk back, but again that is because I have all the power. It makes me feel like you need me. I can't have you thinking I need you, because I don't. After all you aren't here right? So what would I need you for? No you have to be the one in need of me. It reminds me that I'm not being abandoned by you in this relationship because you still need me.
If I were to create a list of all the people I go through this same process with, this game as it were, it would be long and numerous. Shoot I don't even call or visit my own mother in her assisted living home. I want to, I think about her every single day of my life, but I don't talk to her unless she calls me. I haven't even gone to visit her in over two years simply because I "have to work." or "it's too busy for me right now" any excuse I can come up with to make her come to me. (I am planning on visiting her for Thanksgiving this year though in an effort to be a better son.) This just proves there is no limit to this disease in my mind. Family, friends, no one is exempt from me needing to prove you need me more than I need you.
I want to get better. I want to stay in contact with people should they move away to say Alaska, St. Louis, California or even just to U2. Sure the motivation is there because I love these people and I need them in my life, but still the worry of them not needing me and outgrowing our friendship just seems too hard to deal with and just inevitable enough to scare me from trying. I wish I was a stronger and better friend where I didn't worry about such pointless and neurotic things but that just isn't going to happen any time soon.
Either way I want you to know, especially those I have effectively eliminated from my life that I do still care about you and worry about you. I still wonder how you are and how life has treated you. I want to reach out that hand and say I am here for you regardless of where you live... but I'm scared.