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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default The feeling that others are going to leave or betray

    I have been struggling somewhat with a feeling that ultimately everyone - or virtually everyone - is going to leave me or let me down so badly that they can't really stay in my life.

    I am not sure what this is all about. I have wondered if it is concern over my parents' mortality, as they are the most reliable people in my life, and they're not getting younger - my dad is over 70 now. I am afraid of them dying, for sure, although they are in excellent health at the moment.

    But beyond that I seem to have a lurking fear that even my most reliable friends are going to someday prove untrustworthy or "leave" in some form. When I say "lurking fear" that might be stating it too strongly. It's not that I am awaiting the day when they stab me in the back. But despite the EXTREME reliability of a number of my friends, I sometimes find myself thinking "what if they left? what if they decided they didn't want me around anymore?" It's more like a disturbing thought that occasionally flashes into my mind.

    I suppose it has something to do with my 6 enneagram. I tend to fixate a bit on the unpredictable nature of life and it scares me. The unreliable aspects jump out at me more than the reliable aspects. It would make more sense if I'd been abandoned at an early age or one of my parents had left or I'd suffered some hideous betrayals, but none of those have happened. I have suffered betrayals and letdowns, like everyone, and I guess those have hurt me deeply, probably much more deeply than really warranted, honestly. But it almost seems like this is something that can't be explained by my experiences, given that I've had a fairly stable life. What I have witnessed, though, is a lot of people being very selfish and unreliable, marriages breaking up sometimes very unexpectedly and after decades, people chasing after transient pleasures and leaving behind loyalty and long-established trust, people making big promises and then totally failing to keep their word...etc.

    I think this may also have something to do with what I'm capable of. I know I am very, very loyal, sometimes too much, and I tend to inspire loyalty in my friends, as well, in general. But I have left people behind. The last person I dropped, it was without warning, though I felt I had very good reason for it and didn't want to stick around to get hurt. I think he knew why, too, or at least he certainly knew why when a mutual friend filled him in. I suppose he was hurt, but I don't particularly care. Not that I didn't look back, but that had more to do with feeling angry and hurt than worrying about his feelings. I tend to think that if people act without regard for my feelings, they deserve whatever they get in regard to their own feelings. But, to some people, that's a very cold attitude. And I'm well capable of it under certain circumstances. I know that I'm not very likely to act with a sufficient lack of care over people's feelings that they simply drop me and walk away, but if I'm ready to do it to them, then maybe I shouldn't be surprised if they someday do it to me...
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  2. #2
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    I think this is a natural fear, hun. I think it is because we are built for unconditional love. For me, it helps to know that Jesus will never, ever leave me, regardless of what I do, and even though other people may love me imperfectly.

    *Bracing for possible mocking/argument to follow.*

  3. #3
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mia_infp View Post
    I think this is a natural fear, hun. I think it is because we are built for unconditional love. For me, it helps to know that Jesus will never, ever leave me, regardless of what I do, and even though other people may love me imperfectly.

    *Bracing for possible mocking/argument to follow.*
    I'm a Christian and I agree. There is that scripture which says that nothing can separate us from the love of God and Christ - at least, nothing except ourselves and our own decisions. I think you make a good point there about being built for unconditional/enduring love, as well. And it is necessary to accept that others will be imperfect, particularly if we want them to accept our imperfections...

    I guess I have been wondering why I have been feeling this way recently. It really hasn't been a lifelong thing, more a recent thing. It makes me feel somewhat disloyal to my loyal friends who I think are very unlikely to betray me significantly. Perhaps, though, the minor (or occasionally major) betrayals and letdowns that I have suffered - like anyone - have had a somewhat cumulative effect of late. I have had a few people lie to me or let me down or kind of use me, in ways I wouldn't have expected. Again, it would be exaggerating to say that these were massive, hideous things - but they were still significant and hurtful.

    One of the big (and rather late) realizations that I've certainly had over the last couple of years is that people talk rubbish an enormous amount of the time. I tend to not say things that I don't mean - at least if they are important meaningful things and likely to be taken as such - so I think it has come as a shock to me to realize that people make grand definitive-sounding statements about important things - even things that really affect others around them - and then don't follow through and renege shamelessly. That has been shocking to me and has caused me to question a lot of things about my interactions with others, though I should have clued in a long long time ago.
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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I do think the enneagram 6 has something to do with it. There is also something called a narccisstic wound. It is an injury to the self which occurs after you are abandoned by someone. It is an affront to your personal worth. It is a wound that can accumulate with additional hurts over time vs heal. What can happen is that you can internalize the negative feelings. It can lead to fear of it happening again, feelings of shame, feeling like you are not worthy of being loved and stuff like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I have been struggling somewhat with a feeling that ultimately everyone - or virtually everyone - is going to leave me or let me down so badly that they can't really stay in my life. ... I seem to have a lurking fear that even my most reliable friends are going to someday prove untrustworthy or "leave" in some form. When I say "lurking fear" that might be stating it too strongly. It's not that I am awaiting the day when they stab me in the back. But despite the EXTREME reliability of a number of my friends, I sometimes find myself thinking "what if they left? what if they decided they didn't want me around anymore?" It's more like a disturbing thought that occasionally flashes into my mind.
    I actually experience that too, and with the same style of "nuance" -- it's not that I particularly expect some extreme betrayal, the knife sliding right between my shoulderblades, but just that eventually they'll stop caring / get bored with me / think I'm just not worth their time, or that I'll do/say something honestly that they will then just decide I'm not worth their trouble anymore and they will drop me.

    I suppose it has something to do with my 6 enneagram. I tend to fixate a bit on the unpredictable nature of life and it scares me. The unreliable aspects jump out at me more than the reliable aspects. It would make more sense if I'd been abandoned at an early age or one of my parents had left or I'd suffered some hideous betrayals, but none of those have happened. I have suffered betrayals and letdowns, like everyone, and I guess those have hurt me deeply, probably much more deeply than really warranted, honestly. But it almost seems like this is something that can't be explained by my experiences, given that I've had a fairly stable life. What I have witnessed, though, is a lot of people being very selfish and unreliable, marriages breaking up sometimes very unexpectedly and after decades, people chasing after transient pleasures and leaving behind loyalty and long-established trust, people making big promises and then totally failing to keep their word...etc.
    Yes, that kind of thing. Almost like "abandonment through attrition" -- part of some natural process where relationships just erode and people move on. (I have also of course been backstabbed/dropped a great deal from disapproval of other things, but while that stuff hurts, I don't tend to impose it on those who have expressly accepted me. With them, it's more the "they just stop caring and drop me" fear.)

    I think this may also have something to do with what I'm capable of. I know I am very, very loyal, sometimes too much, and I tend to inspire loyalty in my friends, as well, in general. But I have left people behind.
    I tend to be overly loyal too, but I haven't really left people behind -- the worst I've done is the "INTP get absorbed in something else more interesting at the moment" pattern, but if the person contacts me, I'll reconnect with them.

    The last person I dropped, it was without warning, though I felt I had very good reason for it and didn't want to stick around to get hurt. I think he knew why, too, or at least he certainly knew why when a mutual friend filled him in. I suppose he was hurt, but I don't particularly care. Not that I didn't look back, but that had more to do with feeling angry and hurt than worrying about his feelings. I tend to think that if people act without regard for my feelings, they deserve whatever they get in regard to their own feelings. But, to some people, that's a very cold attitude. And I'm well capable of it under certain circumstances. I know that I'm not very likely to act with a sufficient lack of care over people's feelings that they simply drop me and walk away, but if I'm ready to do it to them, then maybe I shouldn't be surprised if they someday do it to me...
    So it's a, "if I can do it to others, they might do it to me too" thing?



    Quote Originally Posted by mia_infp View Post
    I think this is a natural fear, hun. I think it is because we are built for unconditional love. For me, it helps to know that Jesus will never, ever leave me, regardless of what I do, and even though other people may love me imperfectly.
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I'm a Christian and I agree. There is that scripture which says that nothing can separate us from the love of God and Christ - at least, nothing except ourselves and our own decisions. I think you make a good point there about being built for unconditional/enduring love, as well. And it is necessary to accept that others will be imperfect, particularly if we want them to accept our imperfections...
    Funny, that is the scripture reference i had engraved into my ex's wedding band so long ago... Romans 8:38-39. It was obviously a very meaningful passage for me, if it beat out anything else I wanted to say. It's just weird over the years -- I believe in the concept of God/Jesus being with me all the time and continue to lean on that when I feel very alone, but I don't often feel like there is a "divine person" there. It's more like something merged into me so I am never without it, but it is not particularly comforting in terms of being able to feel like I am not alone.

    I guess I have been wondering why I have been feeling this way recently. It really hasn't been a lifelong thing, more a recent thing. It makes me feel somewhat disloyal to my loyal friends who I think are very unlikely to betray me significantly. Perhaps, though, the minor (or occasionally major) betrayals and letdowns that I have suffered - like anyone - have had a somewhat cumulative effect of late. I have had a few people lie to me or let me down or kind of use me, in ways I wouldn't have expected. Again, it would be exaggerating to say that these were massive, hideous things - but they were still significant and hurtful.
    I understand the feelings of disloyalty; I feel like the people I'm "not sure about" have always proven faithful and show no real signs of betrayal, yet I keep feeling like the other shoe is going to drop someday. I always wondered if it had something to do with a lack of feelings of family growing up (to parents and sibling) -- maybe that deprivation somehow messed up the foundation of positive relationship later in life -- yet you seem to have a good relationship with your parents and believe in them.


    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    ... There is also something called a narccisstic wound. It is an injury to the self which occurs after you are abandoned by someone. It is an affront to your personal worth. It is a wound that can accumulate with additional hurts over time vs heal. What can happen is that you can internalize the negative feelings. It can lead to fear of it happening again, feelings of shame, feeling like you are not worthy of being loved and stuff like that.
    I'm not sure the feeling being described is all that -- it's more chronic than acute, but definitely that is one thing that can come into play. I hate the fact that I keeping I'm over the rejection I experienced from my parents and family and friends a few years back, and some days I feel fine, and then it can just take one incident to set off a deep bitterness and even hatred directed at them... at least it feels like hatred to me. It's unsettling how the anger can come out of nowhere. And my daughter was abandoned by her parents ten years ago, and she still seems to be dealing with it, having trouble bonding/opening up and being vulnerable even with people who have been faithful to her. It just lingers, sometimes I don't understand why it persists so long.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I have been struggling somewhat with a feeling that ultimately everyone - or virtually everyone - is going to leave me or let me down so badly that they can't really stay in my life.

    I am not sure what this is all about. I have wondered if it is concern over my parents' mortality, as they are the most reliable people in my life, and they're not getting younger - my dad is over 70 now. I am afraid of them dying, for sure, although they are in excellent health at the moment.

    But beyond that I seem to have a lurking fear that even my most reliable friends are going to someday prove untrustworthy or "leave" in some form. When I say "lurking fear" that might be stating it too strongly. It's not that I am awaiting the day when they stab me in the back. But despite the EXTREME reliability of a number of my friends, I sometimes find myself thinking "what if they left? what if they decided they didn't want me around anymore?" It's more like a disturbing thought that occasionally flashes into my mind.

    I suppose it has something to do with my 6 enneagram. I tend to fixate a bit on the unpredictable nature of life and it scares me. The unreliable aspects jump out at me more than the reliable aspects. It would make more sense if I'd been abandoned at an early age or one of my parents had left or I'd suffered some hideous betrayals, but none of those have happened. I have suffered betrayals and letdowns, like everyone, and I guess those have hurt me deeply, probably much more deeply than really warranted, honestly. But it almost seems like this is something that can't be explained by my experiences, given that I've had a fairly stable life. What I have witnessed, though, is a lot of people being very selfish and unreliable, marriages breaking up sometimes very unexpectedly and after decades, people chasing after transient pleasures and leaving behind loyalty and long-established trust, people making big promises and then totally failing to keep their word...etc.

    I think this may also have something to do with what I'm capable of. I know I am very, very loyal, sometimes too much, and I tend to inspire loyalty in my friends, as well, in general. But I have left people behind. The last person I dropped, it was without warning, though I felt I had very good reason for it and didn't want to stick around to get hurt. I think he knew why, too, or at least he certainly knew why when a mutual friend filled him in. I suppose he was hurt, but I don't particularly care. Not that I didn't look back, but that had more to do with feeling angry and hurt than worrying about his feelings. I tend to think that if people act without regard for my feelings, they deserve whatever they get in regard to their own feelings. But, to some people, that's a very cold attitude. And I'm well capable of it under certain circumstances. I know that I'm not very likely to act with a sufficient lack of care over people's feelings that they simply drop me and walk away, but if I'm ready to do it to them, then maybe I shouldn't be surprised if they someday do it to me...
    Go first and make things right with him. Doesn't mean you need to get into a full relationship with him, no. Just make things right.

    This is keeping your integrity of your mentioned loyalty. By this you sow the good seeds you know you have inside. Then no worries because your conscience is aligned with your integrity, heart mind and soul.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I actually experience that too, and with the same style of "nuance" -- it's not that I particularly expect some extreme betrayal, the knife sliding right between my shoulderblades, but just that eventually they'll stop caring / get bored with me / think I'm just not worth their time, or that I'll do/say something honestly that they will then just decide I'm not worth their trouble anymore and they will drop me.
    Despite being much younger than you and not having experienced any major betrayals in my life as of yet, I share your worries... I mean, I'm a pretty solitary person, but being completely alone and lost is a thought than really makes me shiver. In some ways, I'm still pretty dependent on my parents and on their wisdom. And I'm aware that human relationships other than the parent-child kind are somewhat dependent on non-stagnation (along with several other factors) to keep going. I feel that, if I don't justify my existence somehow, the other person - friend, partner, whatever - will just get bored and leave (or grudgingly stay and make me even more uncertain about their feelings). Granted, I haven't had RL friends for about 3 years (mostly acquaintances of convenience) and my only brush with romance was a childhood crush...

    And the question haunts me: "Do I really have anything to offer?"
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viridian View Post
    And the question haunts me: "Do I really have anything to offer?"
    That's terrible! Well the good thing about people is that we're strong and come back. You posting this shows you care. So what made the difference between not having any close friends to posting this on here? You're making progress!
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
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  9. #9
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    In response to the question in the title, yes, absolutely. I'm terrified of abandonment so I try to put limits on how close I allow myself to get to people. This doesn't preclude me from forming loving relationships with people but it does limit the extent to which I trust them with my feelings, especially where romance is concerned. I can't help thinking that one day they'll wake up, realize that they've already got everything they needed from me, that there's nothing left in it for them, and leave.

    I am going to die alone.


  10. #10
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    I'm not terrified of abandonment. I hope others see the gifts I give them. I don't really spend much time thinking about abandonment, really. Why should one? It would only create a problem..the potential that a SO might see the presence of such an insecurity then be attuned to leaving.

    Better to exude your gifts! You're going to spend your time doing something, if just determining your attitude. Why not pick something good!
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
    'Men are meant to be with women. The rest is perversion and mental illness.'

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