Having a fear of being abandoned

I have thought I would be abandoned since I was very little. I don’t know where it came from and I don’t understand it but I’m terrified that I will be left.

living with OCD is hard work but it can be managed I’m sharing my advice on my mental health blog

Ever since I can remember I thought I’m going to be abandoned. This thought would crop up when I was going to school, friends houses or school trips. “I’m going to be abandoned” would echo in my head and cause severe anxiety. Many occasions I would miss out on doing these things because of the thoughts and other times I would do it but spend my time away from home worrying. To this day, a twenty-five year old woman who has a husband, job, nice flat and two pets still believes she is going to be left. I feel on constant edge that when I get home from being out my husband will have gone. I look at any signs that I’m not loved anymore and if someone is a little off with me because of a stressful day I see this as a sign that they are ready to leave and never come back.

For me living like this is exhausting and a 24/7 job that never lets up or gives me a break. At my worst I couldn’t even go down a different aisle to someone else because I thought they could just run off and leave me there! I spend a lot of my time asking for reassurance that I won’t be abandoned which at times can be annoying to others but I can’t help it. Once I’m out of the house the thoughts that I’m going to be left are going around my head for the rest of the day. Any small thing can make it worse, like not getting as many texts or if it takes a little longer for someone to answer their phone. I instantly feel sick and my heart starts racing. I have had so many panic attacks in the past regarding this and I think in many cases this has made the fear so much worse.

I know, somewhere deep down I wont be abandoned and I know these thoughts are wrong but when you are in it and your fear is so strong it can take over and leave you feeling super paranoid. I think most of my day is spent worrying about being abandoned and even when I’m at home, safe I still think it. Of course it is getting better with time but like anything to do with mental health, you get good days and you get bad days. I think the more I tackle it and prove to myself I won’t be left the less the thoughts will affect me. Sometimes I wonder where this has come from, as I have never been abandoned and I think it’s because of my childhood trauma. I think spending everyday since I was five (when my OCD formed) worrying, being scared and in a bad place it’s formed this fear.

Over the years I have been putting myself in situations where I feel anxious and when the thoughts are at their worst. Exposure. I fight them the best I can and sometimes I win, sometimes they win. I don’t want to be the paranoid person always looking over my shoulder looking out for signs that I will be left. I think the more I do this, the better I will get at coping with it.

Stacey BarberAnxiety