I think I have an attachment disorder.

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.  Most of my life, in fact.  And I’ve been wanting to write about it but just haven’t had the words.  If I’m being honest, I’m still not sure I have the words but this is a start.

For as long as I can remember – back to my very early school days, I’d say – I’ve had this fear of abandonment.  Of being left somewhere.  Forgotten.  Not memorable enough.  Not wanted.

When I was little, I had a need to keep my mother in plain sight at all times when outside the house.  I remember feeling as though she’d forget me if I wandered too far away at the grocery store.  I remember thinking that I was being given away when I went off to school; that nobody would come back for me at the end of the day.

To the best of my knowledge, there’s no reason for me to have thought this. In all my 18 years under their roof, never were my sisters or I forgotten.  I didn’t want for much. My parents are still married to this day. But something was always missing.

I think back to some of my earliest years and my pining for a little extra something. A pat on the back, a hug, some sort encouragement that indicated I was wanted and valued. I don’t know why I felt this way.  

I don’t know why I still feel this way.

I am a fully functioning adult with a fulfilling career and family.  But something is missing.  It’s this yearning for a certain kind of attention that I can’t quite explain.

But I can explain what it feels like. At times, it is hell. I feel incomplete. Unsafe. Needy. There is a hole.  A gaping, cavernous hole that demands to be filled.  It can be debilitating.  Physical as much as mental.  I can literally feel it down to my fingertips.

Other times – fortunately, MOST other times – I’m completely fine.

Is it an attachment thing?  An abandonment thing?  Plain old depression?  What is it?  And what should I do about it?

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