Last night, after couple’s therapy, my partner and I were lying on her bed and I went on a roll about abandonment.
It’s the word.
Well, kind of. I like the word “abandon.” Playing with abandon, throwing yourself at life with abandon, abandoning yourself to the moment, dancing with abandon. All those things are really kind of cool.
BUT. I can’t imagine saying anything less cool than, “I have abandonment issues.” Frankly, I have to prevent a full-body cringe every time I hear it.
My partner has abandonment issues. No, she has ABANDONMENT ISSUES. I know this is normal, and the most common reason to go to therapy. Still, last night I said:
“Abandonment is for wusses. I don’t have abandonment issues. I have issues of loss. And loss is cool. Everybody has loss and dealing with loss is cool.”
She started laughing and the laugh said, You are ridiculous beyond what words can describe.
Then I said: “I also have issues around betrayal, exploitation and sudden death, which may not make me cool, but which do make me a heavy-hitter, and that’s kind of cool.”
She said, “I’m feeling near my limit with these comparisons.”
I don’t think I said that I was cooler than her, but that was definitely in the subtext.
She said, “Laughing about abandonment is only funny for so long.”
I said, “Okay.”
I mean, we had just been to couples therapy. So I had to put a limit on my own obnoxiousness. Then, because we had just been to couples therapy I had to say my feelings. Gross. Very close to cringe-worthy. Embarrassing. Because of course I was freaked out by the couples therapy going well. Tipping my expectations right out of the bowl, so to speak. I felt anxious. I might even have felt scared. Which is not cool, but at least isn’t self-pitying, although it may be on the verge, which would be cringe-worthy.
I still think abandonment issues are uncool.
Even the term…it’s cringe-worthy. It’s psychobabble.
It just is.