So, I have kind of disappeared off the face of the earth for awhile. Anxiety has wrapped its cold, clammy hands around my heart and left me scared about everything, especially people leaving me. I am terrified of people leaving me. People have left me in my life…some meaning to, some not meaning to, some people leaving was truly about me, some people leaving really had nothing to do with me at all. However, the idea of being left creates huge anxiety in me. I used to scream and cry when I lost sight of my parents in stores. They thought it was funny. I truly believed that if I was not right with them, there was a good chance that they would just leave me. My mother did leave, for a year. She left me when I was 10. And she left me, as far as I know, without a thought as to the caretaker (my father), with whom I was left. He was the man that sexually abused me, on a nearly daily basis. He was the man who beat me up when I couldn’t/wouldn’t do exactly what he asked. He was the man who told me how ugly and stupid and worthless I was. And when my mother finally returned, she had changed from the mother who occasionally loved me and hugged me and cared about me to a woman who almost totally agreed with my father. That taught me that people leave and, if they come back they night not be the same person who left. I had a therapist who did EMDR with me. I healed in the most awesome way through her skill and her caring. She left. At 72 years old, she joined the Peace Corps and moved to Bulgaria. I know her leaving was not about me, but it left me believing that therapists leave. I had another therapist, years later, who was skilled in EMDR. She was trained in helping people heal from Complex Trauma. I think that she emotionally left me when it became clear that my healing was not going to be by the book healing. She physically left me when she developed brain cancer. Once again, therapists leave. I have a therapist now. I trust her more than I think I’ve ever trusted a therapist. I’ve done things with her and talked about things with her that I would have never been willing to with anybody else. She says that she is here for the long haul. She answers emails, even when she doesn’t have to. She is never not present in our sessions. But, she got sick this week. She missed one of my therapy sessions. I have been convinced that she is dying. I am anxious beyond belief. I’m going to see her tomorrow. She has not left me. But my heart is still pounding like she has. I’m scared that she may leave me. I did not handle her absence well. Maybe she has realized that I am a selfish jerk. My wife, my children, and my friends are the world to me. For some reason, I KNOW my wife is never going to leave me. I’m not sure about my friends though. I have a core group of friends. They are surrogate parents for my children. They are my sisters that I never had. There was a crisis with one of my children last year. These two women never left my side. But I do wonder, will they leave? What would I do without them? I have a group of friends who parent the way my wife and I do. I depend on these women to bounce things off of…how to deal with that problem or that problem. They are a fairly new group of friends. But what if they are no longer there. I depend on their support and their ideas and their shared experiences. There is a woman who is my priest and my friend. She has been listening to me and guiding me and praying with me and for me and loving me for the last 20 years. She is from 3,000 miles away. What if she decides to go home someday? I think about that every time I talk with her or text her. I have a best friend. She’s been my best friend since I was 28 years old. I am now 48 years old. There was a time that I could not imagine my life without her. It’s as if there is an invisible cord connecting us. She left, just kind of disappeared for a number of years. I grieved. I missed her. I thought her leaving was about me. I’m pretty sure now that it was about her. I started learning how to live my life without her. And then, she was back. I was elated. I knew the cord was still there. I felt connected again. I wanted to kill the fatted calf to celebrate her return. But, in the last few days, I’ve come to realize that there is no guarantee that she will always be here. She might leave again. She’s left before. I am panic stricken. I’m afraid to get too comfortable again in this friendship. Every time I think of it, my anxiety level rises. All of this stuff means that I need to get comfortable with myself. I have to trust me to be able to take care of me and to be able to ask for help I need. Anxiety inducing thought. I want to be able to just be comfortable that the people in my life will remain in my life. I don’t want to be left. The thought of being left leaves me vulnerable. I need to learn to be strong, on my own. I need to learn I can depend on me. Oh, Holy Anxiety, BatMan! In the past few weeks, I have been immobilized by anxiety. If you have been wondering where I’ve been; well, now you know. I’ve been residing in the land of anxiety. Hopefully, I will be back in the land of reality soon….