i actually hate the phrase ‘abandonment issues’. for many reasons, not the least of which is because it applies to me. but usually i hear it in the context of some magnificent display of ignorant douchery and it gets fucking old after a while.
in any case, i can feel my inner abandonment demons doing a tribal war dance and chanting for a breach in my exterior so they can rage out in the open. fortunately, i think the lithium is helping me defend my borders. it’s like having an extra layer of armor. a force field, even. now we’re talking. go go gadget lithium!
meanwhile, i am still processing the latest explosive interaction with XBF. i can’t tell if it’s the lithium or a sense of relief knowing i won’t have to deal with so much crap anymore, but i’m surprisingly okay with things right now. that doesn’t mean i’m not fucking pissed off that i spent so much time and energy on “us” but at least now its possible to redirect what little energy I have elsewhere.
take, for example, my complex statistical analysis of our relationship. yes. i mathematically analyzed my relationship to see if it was worth it and if so, what specific areas needed work.
i expect many of my readers don’t have to ask why i would do such a thing. when your emotions are making like a pinball and bouncing all over the place, it’s hard to trust yourself because you know your mood is going to change any second. what’s real? what’s not? i didn’t want to rely on these impulses, and i wanted to actually work on our problems so, you know, they wouldn’t be problems anymore.
fortunately, i had already been working on a list called ‘reasons i love and appreciate you’ because we had been planning to date long distance starting in August. i was thinking that i could find some crafty way to send him some of these reasons each week to keep the spark alive, or some crap.
so i started with my list of positives, and then created a parallel list of issues that i felt needed addressing. some were associated with the positives, but many stood alone. then i renamed my ‘reasons i love and appreciate you’ list to ‘houston, we have a problem’.
i created a third column to try and identify underlying issues for the specific examples i had provided in the pros and cons columns. interestingly, the (108) issues could be boiled down to only 7 categories: asymmetry, incompatible lifestyles, conflict resolution, neglect, lack of appreciation, trust, and disrespect.
i made sure to code whether the specific issues had already been discussed or not (because discussed without resolution is even more frustrating, and not having discussed something means i need to try that first).
then i went through each specific issue, all 108 of them, and rated each of them on a scale of 1 to 5. for positive items, i rated how important that positive aspect was to my perspective. for negative items, i rated how important/detrimental/frustrating the issue was for me.
based off of these data, i was able to see that for both raw data and data weighted by importance scores, the broad categories required attention in the following order:
- Lack of appreciation
- Conflict Resolution
- Incompatible lifestyles
i conducted correlations between each of these categories to see which ones showed overlap. some were pretty tough to interpret, actually. still, quite a few made sense correlations made sense, such as the positive, strong relationship between trust and disrespect. so, as problems with trust increase, so do feelings of disrespect.
i also tested between positive and negative issues to see if ratings for positive issues differed statistically from ratings for negative issues. they didn’t, so that was promising.
then i started getting tricky.
for issues that had both pro and con aspects to them, i adjusted the weighted pro score by subtracting the weighted con score. in other words, how much did the negative issue detract from the positive one? if there was no negative score associated, the weighted con score became zero.
i also calculated the weighted con score for items that didn’t have pro components to figure out how much they contributed to my overall feelings. when i compared the mean of these scores to the mean of the adjusted pro scores, the outlook was not good. the negatives were *clearly* outweighing the positives.
i then wanted to evaluate how talking influences my feelings. as i mentioned, if we had talked about it and it was not resolved, i found i was more frustrated. if we hadn’t talked about it, i wanted to know how to prioritize those issues. you can’t really drop 108 problems in someone’s lap and expect anything to get done.
based on that, I could rank order the topics that needed immediate attention versus those that could wait or be eliminated for now. this cut the number of specific issues at least in half. still 50 things is a lot so i needed to condense further.
i figured out where in the 7 categories the severest issues seemed to cluster so i could discuss 7 broader concepts and give specific examples, in the order of urgency.
when i was done, i felt a sense of relief. i could broach these topics in a reasonable way without getting flooded or paralyzed by emotions. i brought it up with XBF and we made plans to talk about it. that was always how it seemed to be. making plans to make plans to talk.
we never got to discuss it of course. and right after i had told him we were near a precipice, he chose the very next day–which happened to be my birthday–to have a “misunderstanding”. to miss my birthday dinner. i’m not sure how a text that says “you need to get here now” is confusing, but somehow it is and i have to accept that “he was confused” as his answer.
so, back to my abandonment demons…their drum circle beats louder and louder when i think about the sudden turnaround in his behavior and feelings. two days flat. or what is more likely, of course, is that doubts had been building for a while, not communicated to me, and had eventually overflowed. or maybe there is something else. little abandonment demons plant ideas…like he found someone who is not clinically insane to be with romantically, or at least to get a good fuck.
they whisper that having XBF and Satan Spawn work together has been the best fuel they’ve seen in a long time. because XBF, who doesn’t know any better, because i didn’t tell him anything different, then asked Satan Spawn for advice, and Satan Spawn will always, without fail, jump at the chance to lie. you see, Satan Spawn has his own agenda. it is one that will never be filled, ever. as my friend put it, in her “clinical opinion”, Satan Spawn is still in love with me. which i’ve known at least since December when he told me as much directly. but XBF desperately needed research credits and i did what any devoted girlfriend would do and got him a damn position. i didn’t tell him about the emotional abuse, or the psychological trauma inflicted upon me by Satan Spawn. about his successful campaign to destroy my reputation by telling colleagues i am crazy (ha, not so funny now) that worked for over a year before people pulled their heads out of their asses.
and now, it seems, they’re in cahoots. Satan Spawn is feeding XBF misinformation and coming to me telling me how “awkward it is” and trying to get information about our break up. XBF is playing innocent and saying Satan Spawn is spontaneously saying all of this on his own. One or both may be lying.
one thing is for sure. my abandonment demons are hatching a plot that will require any and all future prospects to perform the equivalent of the Macy’s Parade to even crack the surface.