Stop Picking At It: On Abandonment and Self-Wounding

I have experienced a lot of abandonment. 

Some of it has been tangible, like the woman who was practically a mother to me one day just ghosting. Blocking my number, blocking me on social media, never speaking to me again without explanation or warning. 

Some of it has been a gradual, like exes who decided they didn’t want to be with me anymore and were too cowardly to say so.

Some of it has been abrupt, like friends who ended one interaction with a promise that they would always be there and began the next with an explanation of why they no longer wanted to have a relationship with me.

Some of it has been ironic, like the therapist I started seeing for my abandonment issues, who sat me down six weeks into our sessions to break the news that her husband had been transferred and she was moving to another state.

I have so many things to say to these people. I have so many things I wish they would know. I have so much pain and so many questions. And the reality is that if things remain consistant, I will never get a chance to say any of it.

That doesn’t stop me from trying.

It doesn’t stop me from talking to them under my breath as I work, or crying to them in the shower, or replaying my thoughts over and over in my head as I try to fall asleep at night.

Sometimes you realize that a behavior that may have been healthy for you in the past no longer serves you. For me, that behavior is an insistence on closure. Somewhere along the line I got it into my head but if I could just sit down with these people and have a conversation with them it would feel better. I started believing that if I could say the things I needed to say, everything would be fine. That if I could just ask all the questions that I have, or explain myself, or tell my side of the story, or even just say goodbye properly, that everything would be manageable again.

I’m starting to believe that this need for closure is no longer serving me. I’m starting to believe that talking to people who cannot hear me is not healthy.

I don’t want to keep dragging ghosts back into my vision again. I don’t want to keep reopening the wounds anymore. I want to let people who wish to leave me, leave me. I want to free them, inasmuch as I have that ability, to make their decision and live with their choices.

Maybe they will take a false version of me with them. Maybe they will never ever look back or think of me again. I’ll never know, and frankly, it isn’t my responsibility to know.

I want to stop picking at my hurt. Wounds only heal if you learn to stop touching them.


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