I know I’ve written posts here and there about my spiritual journey. Technically, this entire blog is dedicated to my journey and faith and things I’ve learned, but I never wrote a post solely on my story and what led me to where I am now. So here it goes. All the way back to when I was born.
I have a horrible fear of abandonment. I can’t tell you exactly what contributed to it, but I’m pretty sure my biological father leaving when I was a baby had something to do with it. I still to this day (I’m 31 now) have not met my father. We’ve talked on-and-off throughout the years. The past couple years we’ve been talking a lot more, which I’m grateful for that. Most of my life he wasn’t in the picture, so I kind of “erased” him from my memory. There’s a lot of pain there. A lot of pain that was suppressed. I never realized how much I was affected until later in life. He sent me a letter one year explaining why he left and I did appreciate that. He’s never talked about meeting so that makes me wonder, but I would like to meet him one day soon.
My mother then married my step-father (whom I call Dad). He’s been in my life since I was two. I love him dearly, but I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t biologically his or because I was a female or what, my dad and I did not have a good relationship when I was younger. My dad wasn’t emotionally there and was extremely critical, so as a child I took it as I wasn’t good enough. That’s how I became a codependent I believe. I learned to please people — especially my dad — for love. I never realized I did this though until I met my ex when I was 23. I’ve forgiven my dad. We’re working on our relationship. We recently had a talk about when I was a kid. I think what has helped me to forgive not only him but myself too is realizing I’m not perfect and neither is he and also he grew up in a dysfunctional home like me. But it took some time to get to this point. It’s been years of pent up anger and pain.
All my life I struggled wih anxiety and I was a people-pleaser. I just wasn’t aware of it. I couldn’t say ‘no’ to people. My purpose was to make everyone else happy, so in turn, they would love me. My needs weren’t important. So it was years of feeling unloved, unworthy, alone and hating myself and pleasing people for love. Not just at home, but with everyone, especially men. I became extremely critical toward myself and others. I had to be perfect and so did everyone else. I also subconsciously hated being a female because I thought that meant I was weak.
So fast forward some years, my parents got a divorce, I went to college, my mom and I moved to take care of my grandmother. Then I met my ex. I thought my prayers were answered. I finally met someone who loved me. Well, maybe not. He has a horrible fear of commitment. What a coincidence. Someone who has a horrible fear of abandonment falls in love with someone who has a horrible fear of commitment. We were on-and-off for years until one day he left because I wanted commitment and he didn’t. Surprise, surprise. That’s when I had my first bout of major depression. It’s also what made me start blogging. I had so much chaos inside that I had to get it out. I hit rock bottom.
I put so much energy into my relationship with my ex, chasing him, trying to get him to commit, trying to fix everything, that I completely let go of myself. When he left, that’s when I turned to God. I always believed in God but I never BELIEVED in God. Big difference. I never trusted Him. I never completely let go and trusted that He would guide me. This is when I started meditating and doing a lot of reading. My anxiety was off the charts. It’s also when I learned I have a fear of abandonment and about my childhood trauma and how that affected me. I learned to stop trying to control everything. All my life I’ve always been the “fixer”, but my relationship with my ex, I couldn’t fix. There was nothing I could do. He didn’t want a relationship, so I had to let go.
So fast forward three years, it’s 2017, and I’m still single. I’m slowly moving on from my ex. I haven’t dated. I’ve just been taking care of myself and healing and working on my codependency issues. After years of being unhappy with my job, I let go. I quit. Which I then went through another bout of depression. That’s when I started this blog. I don’t know where my future is going. I don’t know what’s going to happen with anything, relationship-wise or career-wise. I know where I want my life to go, but I’ve gotten to the point where whatever happens, happens. Faith and meditation has gotten me through everything. Both bouts of depression, working on my anxiety and negative thinking, not knowing what’s going to happen, the criticism I get because I quit my job (something I don’t really talk about, but I get a lot of it). Material-wise I’ve got nothing, but spiritually, mentally, emotionally I’ve grown so much these past three years. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve faced fears. Fears of abandonment, rejection, being alone, change, not knowing what’s going to happen. Some were forced, but either way I’ve faced them. Changing my negative thinking to be more positive. Learning to trust God. I have serious trust issues. It hasn’t been easy. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m learning to trust that God is there and I’m not alone. And to have patience. And to try not to control everything. It’s been a tough year, but I know it’s not going to last forever. I’m takng it one day at a time.
-Sonja Jackson, OpenHeartTin