It's more than just a word.
You're wondering what the hell that means, to start with. It's the fear of being forgotten, the fear of being ignored, or being abandoned.
It's frequent in traumatized children.
Now, I don't know why I'm doing this. Why I'm doing one of the stupidest things possible to do online. I'm letting you all get a little taste of my life.
For what purpose? There's the part that I don't know; I'm not seeking affection and adoration from strangers. I'm not aiming for others to be able to relate to my life, by any means. Because I'm not sure that it's really all that possible to find anything to clutch to that you can relate with your life, other than a few emotions and overall thoughts.
I guess I might as well continue on with this insanity, shouldn't I?
Let me start by telling you that all of this, it's real. These things have happened to me, or they still are happening. I don't want your pity, though. That's almost worse than being stripped of my pride, and believe me, I'm not letting that happen any time soon.
I guess this made me realize that I do know what the purpose of this is: to vent, and to make you more aware of others. Don't do to them what's been done to me, and don't put yourself in the positions to let yourself be hurt like this. Learn from my mistakes, please.
When I was a little kid, I had a pretty decent life. It's strange, but I only remember a handful of things, and they were all pretty good. My parents weren't together, but I never really noticed the void of things. I stayed with my father every other weekend and lived with my mother the rest of the time.
It's when I was about seven or eight that I started to pick up on things.
My mother was fumbling more and more with money, with trying to make ends meet. That was normal, as far as I knew. She was a single mother trying to support the both of us with one job and a weekly child support of about $100 or so.
And the weekends that I spent with my father, I was picking up on his habit of spending the entire time gone at this place that I had dubbed "the shop" at an early age, where he would work on semis with my uncles. While he was gone, he'd leave me with various people at his duplex.
Now, don't get me wrong, they were never crack-whores or anything. But they were maybe not the most reliable people to be leaving your child with.
For example, I remember there was a woman, named Jessica. She and my father had been romantically involved every now and then, and I've never really been sure on the details. Plus she had a daughter that was around the same age as me, so in the general terms, things would have made sense for it all to have worked out perfectly.
But this is where I developed the very roots of my phobia, or so I've learned.
Her daughter, Destinie, had a few problems. She was always extremely violent and had severe anger issues, which never helped much because she was incredibly competitive. Most weekends when I was left in Jessica's care, Destinie and I would play a lot of video games.
That sounds completely normal, right?
It was, at least for a little while. I was more used to Destinie screaming at me any time I beat her at a game, but it was making me more and more afraid of going over there. I'd never liked being yelled at, but then, who does?
Well, then she started getting violent. She would bite or kick me any time that I started getting ahead of her in the game, which was a lot. (Let's just say, she wasn't the best at Mario, whereas I've always found a knack for it.) It started gradually building up, more and more, to the point that she would have me pinned down underneath of her as she screamed at me.
I had tried telling both of our parents. I kept it from my mother as I didn't want to start any problems between my parents; I had sensed from an early age that causing a commotion wasn't my favorite thing to do, and I despised my parents fighting. I tried to tell my father, but he always brushed it off and went back to screwing around on his cellphone or Myspace page. I had also tried telling Jessica, but this would only anger Destinie. The more I tried to tell someone, the more she would take things out on me later on.
The adults went on ignoring me until one day, Jessica had come down into the basement to find me pinned up against a wall that was covered in nails. I had several bruises and cuts all over me from where Destinie had slammed me against the nails that were protruding from that wall.
Jessica had cleaned me up and told me to go back home, which was next door, and wait until my father got there later, so I did as she had told me.
It was hours before my father had gotten back. The whole time I was waiting, I had tried to fill the void. Any time I tried to talk to Jessica, she would yell at me and send me back over. I don't think she understood that I didn't want to be alone in that empty duplex.
When he finally did get back, though, he was in no mood to talk to his injured and neglected daughter.
What did he do? He told me to shut up and go play; then, as if nothing had happened, he went back to fiddling around on his phone.
I kept trying to talk to him about it. This resulted only in him yelling at me even more, and then finally, I had to stand in a corner until he fell asleep. I was there for hours, staring at the various cobwebs and cracks in the walls. It wasn't for hours that he fell asleep, and by the time he had, it was almost daylight, and I had no hope of falling asleep myself.
The next day I went back home, still pretty scared about my situation with Destinie. I didn't know how to tell my mother, so I never did. She still doesn't know to this day.
Well, there were a few other things that my father did that may have spurned some feelings of abandonment and the fear of being ignored.
I don't know how many times it was that he would simply forget that I was there. He'd lock me in the car on accident, or accidently leave me some place. I never really knew how to handle that; being a child, you don't really want to think about the fact that your parent forgot you were there. You want to resort to the other option and think that you weren't really forgotten, that they were coming back.
A couple years later, my mother got married to a man named Mike. Now I use the word man lightly; he was the devil on earth, as far as I had been concerned.
Mike was one of those people that seem nice at first; he had been nice, funny, charming, and always surprised me with bootleg copies of the most recent Disney movies and above-my-age reading materials. He even maintained that act for a little while after he got married to my mother, but not much longer.
Things started off a little at a time. He would get drunk then yell at me more and more, and then abruptly pass out. It would scare the living shit out of me. It would scare my mother, too, when she was around, and she'd then spend the rest of her time trying to see what was wrong with him or something along those lines. I was forgotten.
One day, Mike had gotten off of work long before my mother, so he was home with me. He was particularly drunk and in a bitter, hateful mood.
Now, he had blamed several petty crimes on me up to this point, and had punished me in strange ways. One of his favorites was making me stand in a corner and hold large, hardback copies of Harry Potter books and of dictionaries. Another was that he would take away my American Girl dolls and force me to pay him $20 about every two weeks. Because, you know, taking a nine year old's money makes total sense.
Well, he had decided during the span of that day that the usual punishments weren't working anymore. So the minute that I had gotten home, fresh-faced and happy from the school day, he took my bag. Immediately, he started yelling and screaming at me, shoving me into a corner and calling me names that I didn't really understand.
Then he shoved me in the basement and locked the door.
I had never been afraid of the dark, let me clarify that. In fact, I had always rather liked it, compared to the bright sun shining in my eyes.
But this was something completely different. He had told me so many frightening stories about ghosts and bodies of people who had been forgotten down there. That was the exact thing that scared me there; I didn't want to be forgotten like the imaginary corpses that I thought were lost down there.
I had screamed and pounded on the door until I had collapsed in defeat at the top step. I had cried so much that my eyes burned and I was shaking, coughing, and choking to the point that I had almost made myself sick. I spent hours in that basement, and I'll tell you, it felt like days.
My mother came back that night around 11 and found me lying on the top step, the door locked. Upon questioning Mike what had happened, he said that I went down there a couple of hours after I had gotten home and never came up.
My mother never brought that up to him again, even though it happened several more times, especially when she was gone on business trips. Then he would leave me there for even longer, sometimes for days on end.
Well, this was combined with my father forgetting me even more than he normally would have. Some weekends, he would completely forget to even come pick me up from my school. I would wait there, outside on the playground, until one of the teachers called my mother about the lack of adult coming to pick me up.
One day that this happened, Mike came to get me instead of my mother. Now, as you could imagine, I wasn't the fondest of him. I had developed a very strong dislike of him, but I wasn't ever willing to say that I was scared of him. To this day, I don't want to give him that power and say that I'm afraid of him. Because I'm not; I'm afraid of all of the things that he did to me, taught me, and made me think about.
He was flaming mad that he had to come pick me up, and let's just say that I hadn't helped the situation by mouthing off to him. The next thing I knew, he had started yelling at me, telling me that no one would ever like me and that everyone I ever liked or loved would leave me.
I held onto that long after he and my mother got a divorce about a year later.
Around that time, my father had gotten together with a woman named Mandy. She was kind of like Mike; she enjoyed tormenting young children and completely ruining their self-esteems. Only, she had children of her own.
Let's just say that she and her oldest daughter, Leah, had noticed my developing fear of being forgotten and left behind. And they took a lot of pleasure in making sure that I knew that; I can't tell you how many times I had been left at Walmart or some other place for the hell of it.
She made it known to me that I was nothing. She had said that it was no wonder that everyone forgot me, I was so unlikeable and ugly. She said that I was one of the worst people she had ever met and that I would always be alone.
I held on to what she said, too. Even after she and my father split up.
By that point, my mother and I had moved back to one of the towns that I had grown up in, and, coincidently, moved in with my father, of all people.
He was gone most of the time, and I was put in one of the elementary schools that was literally right down the street from the house. My mom and I kind of ran the house on our own, and things were going well.
Now, I was scared to go to a new school. I had lost all contact with my old friends; they had forgotten about me, which I hated. It made me wonder if everything Mike and Mandy had said was true. Was I really so easily abandoned? Did people really hate me that much to just forget about me? The more I thought about it, the more I began to believe that they were right.
A few months into that school year, I was facing a lot of bullying issues. They continued for the rest of that year and bled into the next. A lot of people came and went in my life, like I was just a time passerby, the spare-time friend, that one person who was always there just to make fun of. And believe me, a lot of them did.
I was getting more and more scared of losing people. I didn't know who I could call my friend anymore, and there were several faculty members at school that would torment me by saying that I would never amount to anything and that I would always be alone and hated. One even went so far as to say that if I went in the dictionary, my face would be right next to the word 'alone'.
That was when I finally shared this fear with my mother. She was furious; immediately, she called the school and for once, I thought things were fixed.
And they kind of were, until she became the new firing squad.
Now, I was born when my parents were just barely out of high school. They both had a lot of potential going for them; they had college scholarships, plenty of friends, and a hell of a lot of dreams to carry out. Then one broken condom and nine months later, I was born. In short, I kind of fucked things up for them.
So I had always figured that my parents would be a little resentful of me for that. And at times, they were, but that was to be expected. After all, I had ruined everything that they had ever dreamed of!
But it was when my mother started comparing me to the two people I hated most of all, Mike and Mandy, that I was feeling completely worthless.
It's unnatural for an eleven year old to consider suicide, I think. But I had never been a normal child, so maybe that's why I had far surpassed the average maturation for someone my age at that time.
She started saying other things, too. I was called worthless, stupid, fat, ugly, pathetic, and despicable. This is no exaggeration; I still have vivid memories of those fights that took place. Perhaps fight isn't the correct word for it though, as I never said much. They were usually triggered by my lack of doing something or having done something wrong, and then she was a free canon to say whatever she wanted.
It was the combination of those fights and the past experiences that made me turn to cutting. I remember starting, a few days before Christmas. For the next several days, I had hid the razor blade underneath my bed. I hid the scars with several layers of clothing, and a lot of bracelets, despite the fact that I usually despised wearing anything more that jeans and a tank top.
No one noticed the difference. Not even my supposed best friends, who had been losing contact with me more and more, it seemed.
People started leaving me, over nothing. Friends that I had for years simply stopped talking to me, or they'd decide that I was "weird" or "emo" and not want to be seen talking to me.
Be honest here. Everyone knows that feeling that I'm talking about. It was the feeling of total rejection by your peers, something that seems even worse than getting shot. I'm not sure why, but it was those snide comments that my old friends would send my way that made me want to die even more.
I did my best to ignore that, though. It worked rather well to use my newest skill, cutting, to get the pain out. I didn't care about the scars, and shortly after that, I stopped hiding them. After all, if everyone knew about them, what did it matter to hide it? It wasn't as if they cared anyways.
I wanted help. Believe me, I hated what I was doing to myself. I didn't like the pain, and I didn't like the smell of the blood that was left any time that I cut. But there were so many adults that brushed me off, told me to shut up, or flat out ignored me when I would try to ask them to help me. So finally, I gave up on asking for help like all of the pathetic depression posters advised. No one cared.
A little while after that, my mother started threatening to leave me. She said that she'd pack all of her belongings up and move far away. She claimed that she would never let me see my sisters, who I adored, ever again. She even told me that she would call all of my family and tell them to ignore me, not to talk to me ever again.
I had just turned twelve when these threats started. It wasn't much of a happy birthday; instead I spent the entire time sobbing in my room and trying to steal time with my sisters. I was deathly afraid that I would never get to see them again, because in the room next to mine, my mother was packing an over-night bag to stay with my aunt in a different town.
My mother never ended up leaving, but I was scared shitless. I wanted to tell someone, anyone, just to get things off of my chest. But there was nowhere to turn. I had few friends and all of my relatives would just go to my mother the instant I told them. I was starting to close myself off to the world.
That summer, I met someone. I thought that he was heaven-sent, and that maybe he would understand. And, a little while after meeting him, I thought that maybe I was starting to love him.
We shared everything. Secrets, feelings, opinions, and told each other everything that was going on. He was like my best friend and the guy of my dreams, all rolled up into one person.
I found out very soon after that that he was certainly not the man of my dreams, but I tried to convince myself otherwise. I felt like I was truly beginning to love him, despite some of our differences. And he said that he loved me, too.
But, like everything in my fucked up life, things didn't stay like that for long.
We got in fights. And I mean full-fledged fights, ones with hateful words and insults, threats, all of it. The only thing they lacked was violence, and that was only because neither of us had guts enough to lay a finger on the other one.
I took the insults just as much as I dealt them. He called me the same names that my mother and several others had, and that hurt. Maybe a little more than everyone else, because I told myself that I loved him, and I truly believed that he loved me.
After these fights, I would usually cry for a great deal of time and cut myself. The pain was a little bit of a distraction compared to everything else. After all, I had no one to vent to about the fights with him. Everyone had all but turned their backs on me, the final few of my friends dwindling.
Then he left me. Like so many others, he abandoned me.
It was around that time that I became deathly afraid of losing any more people.
I had my next birthday with the few friends I had left and tried to put on a fake smile. I wanted to please everyone, so I wouldn't have to lose them. As much as I hate to admit things, I was becoming the clingy friend, just for the sake of not losing them, too.
A few months later, three of my closest friends were taken.
This is going to be complicated to explain; they were sisters, four of them. They had been sent to the town where I live to stay with their grandparents, because in the state they are from, their parents were involved in drugs and other various things.
The second oldest one, she got in a lot of trouble. Her grandmother was getting tired of it, and finally she called their social workers to take her back to the state they were from and put her in foster care for a little while.
We were all shocked. We were all so close; I was like another one of their sisters, and they were family as far as I was concerned. They still are, even now.
It was set for the second oldest to be sent back a week after that. Then, the next day, their social worker showed up to take her, despite the fact that she was supposed to have one last day.
Again, we were devastated. My mother pulled all of us from school so we could have a little more time with her, before she was taken. That day was bittersweet. None of us wanted to accept the fact that she would be gone very soon.
The next day, we went on with life as normal. I mean, there wasn't much that we could do. There was no way to prolong the inevitable, and we had to accept that she was going to be taken away. We couldn't change anything.
But then, in third period, a couple police officers came to take the one that was my age. We were shocked, confused, and outraged. I recall punching the officer in the face when he forcefully grabbed her by the arm and shoved her out in the hallway. I wasn't about to let them take my other sisters away, too!
My mother had to pick me up from school that day, and I was in the principal's office, being screamed at. He told me the exact same things that so many others had, and it was nothing new. I had blocked myself off to those insults; they didn't mean anything to me anymore.
She took me home and I'll admit, I cried. I cried like the world was ending, because in a way, it was. They had taken the other three friends that I had. They couldn't take the oldest sister, but that was because their grandmother had full legal rights over her. Had they taken her, well, I can guarantee to you that I wouldn't be here writing this right now.
Another month passed, until the next tragedy struck.
My aunt Jenny had died. It was so unexpected, so out of nowhere, that things didn't feel real. I didn't know how to handle things, so I returned to the oldest habit I had: cutting. My mother was in a wreck and could hardly take care of herself, so I had to take care of my sisters.
It was a couple weeks later that my mother pulled me out of school. I was to be homeschooled, but that never really ended up happening.
I lost even more contact with the few friends that I had left. And the more I thought about it, the more I began to wonder if they had forgotten about me. I was scared that I would become nothing more than a faint memory to them, now that they had little contact with me at all.
At that point, I had about three friends, and even then I knew I couldn't fully count on them.
That didn't last long, though. Over the summer, one of my friends from a long time ago had contacted me and invited me and Ashlynn, the oldest sister of the four girls, to her party.
Well, it's safe to say that Ashlynn fell head over heels for the Kat's brother, James. And then, Kat and her started hanging out more and more. She got together with the brother, and I was happy for them. I thought that things would be pretty damn good, because things were going alright with my guy friend, the one that I thought I loved.
One day, I decided that I was going to try to take things a step farther with him. I asked him out. And what happened? Well, I was rejected. That made me sad, but it was the next thing that happened that shocked me.
He told me that he was in love with someone else, and that he had proposed to her. Now, he was only fifteen, but that didn't matter much. He said they were going to get married during their senior year.
It nearly killed me. I went to find solace from the other two, but they were so wrapped up with their boyfriends that they didn't help at all.
I began to hear less and less from them, until the Kat started to create drama because me and the Ashlynn.
She started saying that I was trying to sabotage the relationship between Ashlynn and the James, which was far from what I wanted. She made up all of these insults and claimed that I had called her family dirty and white trash, even though I had not. Everyone believed her, including Ashlynn.
I lost everyone.
A few months later, I had settled things to a solid, just friends thing with my guy friend. I had to suppress all of my feelings for him, which was hard. But things had finally started looking up for me.
I was able to skip a grade and go into high school a year earlier. I was happy about that, because I saw it as a new beginning for me. I had lost literally all contact with Ashlynn and Kat, because they had both made it very obvious to me that they no longer wanted my friendship. It felt like they both had stabbed me in the back and then left me to die, but I was determined to try to make the best of things and keep going.
Well, I was able to make new friends and I was excelling in my classes. Things were looking up.
A couple months into school, I was able to have my first boyfriend. It didn't last long, but it was nice while it lasted, and we were able to pull through things and still be friends afterwards. That saved me a lot of worrying, because I was deathly afraid that he would throw me away if things didn't work out.
Another month later came my birthday. It wasn't easy for me, what with me not having Ashlynn around. She was my sister, in pretty much every aspect. Losing her, well, it was something that I didn't know how to handle. I tried to push feelings away and pretend that things were okay, even though they weren't.
So I planned it with my newer "best" friend, Torri. She and I had hit things off pretty well, and there hadn't been any trouble between us. I thought that maybe I had truly found a new best friend.
Well, the night of the party came around and we were having a grand time. My friends from school and I had been drinking a hell of a lot of soda, we had cake, you know, the typical thing for a birthday party. We were all about ready to leave to go roller-skating when all of the sudden, there's a knock at the door.
And who is it? Ashlynn and Kat, of course.
I was shocked and no one but Torri knew who they were and what was the drama between us. My parents rushed outside, but I was shaken. I didn't know what to do or feel, and before I could control myself, I started crying. The last thing I had wanted was to see them, on one of the only nights that I had been actually happy.
They had come to crash it, Ashlynn admitted later. Kat always held the story that she just wanted to say goodbye, but they both knew very well that it was the night of my party, as they had interrogated one of our mutual friends into telling them the details. But more on that later.
After things had been sort of resolved, we went on to the rest of the party. Ashlynn and Kat left. I tried to brush things off of my mind, but to this day, I've never really forgiven either of them for doing that.
A little more time went by. I started to fix things with Ashlynn, and the change for the better was more than welcome. I also started to fix things with my guy friend, and I could finally show my true emotions after he broke up with his "fiancée".
Well, along came New Year's, and I was repairing a little bit of the things that were broken. It wasn't easy, and I had to swallow a lot of my pride, but I did it. I was tired of losing so many people, and I wanted this year to be different.
It was, for a little while.
But then, in my life, nothing really lasts all that long.
Remember the friend who had revealed all of the details? Her name was Brianna. She and I were kind of close, but she was one of James' exes. I had confessed that I had helped break things off between her and James so that Ashlynn could be with him, but she always said that it was no big deal, that she didn't hold it against me.
I think she lied. Because a few days after school started up again, she started getting rude towards me. She would pick fights, start insulting me, and try to turn other friends against me. It worked with a few people.
So I lost a couple more friends. I tried to put on a poker face and stay strong, but there was only so much that I could do.
A couple days later, the next storm hit. Torri had wanted to go someplace, but I wasn't feeling very well, so I said no. she got pissed off over that, and started acting as if I had called her an ugly bitch. In reality, I only told her that I didn't feel well, so I didn't want to go anywhere. That's all.
Well, I thought things would blow over and return to normal. I was so wrong.
She started pulling the same things that Brianna did, and turned a lot of friends against me. She said some of the things that my mother had before, and a lot of others before her, even. I had blocked those insults off from others, but they hurt ten times more anytime that they were said by someone who really meant a lot to me.
Then she said that she wanted nothing to do with me. A few more friends followed in her tracks, and so I was kind of in the same position I started with.
A few more days later, something changed for the better. The guy friend asked me out. I said yes, after several questions following the lines of "Are you sure? Am I being Punk'd?"
Things were going pretty well, and I hoped that they would stay that way. I was still fearing that he would leave me, too, like several other people. But he promised so often that it wasn't going to happen like that, and he said that there was absolutely nothing in the world that would make him want to leave me.
I believed him. Maybe I shouldn't have, though, because a few days ago, he called me and dropped a bomb on me.
He's closer to girls than he is to guys, which I always found understandable. I'm closer to guys, usually, as it's a lot less drama. Well, he said that one of his friends might be pregnant.
That was okay, I thought to myself. I mean, shit happens. But then he said that if she was, he wanted to help raise the kid. Again, I thought that was reasonable. It would be the right thing to do. Being a teenager with a child couldn't be an easy thing, and I knew he only wanted to help.
Then he said that if she was pregnant, he was going to break up with me.
That's about the same time that my mind all but shut down on me. I was scared like never before. I had clung to his promises of never leaving me, and despite all of the sensibility I had, daydreamed about possible things that could happen in the future. I was so sure that after everything that had happened between us, I really did love him. And he swore that he loved me, too.
I'm still not calmed down about this. I have two days until we find out if she's pregnant or not. Two days to decide what's going to happen next in my life.
With the help of one amazing friend, I've gotten more comfortable with things, because she explained his possible feelings pretty damn well. But still, I'm scared. It feels like if I lose one more person, then I might not survive the rest of the year…. While that sounds pretty dramatic, when you're so afraid of losing people, of being abandoned and forgotten, could you blame me?
It feels better to get this all out, but pathetic at the same time. I'm not trying to get your sympathy or have you feel bad for me. That's not what I want.
What I want is for you to take all of this and make sure that you never make someone feel like this. Don't put them through the hell that I've gone through, because believe me, it isn't easy to recover from any of this.
Please, next time you get in a fight or something with a friend or relative, whoever they are, don't call them worthless. Don't beat them down to the point that they want to die. I've got enough experience with this to know that it will leave a permanent mark on them.
If you've finished reading this, well, thank you so much. I hope that your life is going a hell of a lot better than mine has. Thanks for letting me vent about this. Have a great day.