I was never actually abandoned by my mother, but she constantly threatened to do so when I was a boy. ‘If you don’t behave I will send you away’ she frequently warned me. Occasionally I plucked up courage to ask her where she’d send me. She always replied ‘to a boys’ reform school’ and described Dickensian conditions. As I grew older her threats broadened. She often told me that she’d have nothing further to do with me or cut me out of her will if I didn’t do this or that. I don’t mind missing out on the money but I found it difficult to handle that I would never see her again. So in spite of myself I felt abandoned and insecure.
After I left home I had therapy to help me deal with the way she had treated me. I am now holding down a job that I enjoy, but I still have problems with relationships. I get involved with girlfriends very quickly, but quite soon some of their mannerisms or habits start to annoy me. I don’t try to control them, as I’ve had too much of being controlled myself, but I’m constantly on the look out for things that irritate me and particularly for any sign that they have been cheating on me.
I try to be subtle and ask them what they’ve done when we haven’t been together and who they’ve seen. Mostly they see through me, get fed up with my questions and break off the relationship. The result is I end up feeling abandoned again, the very thing I’m trying to avoid.