Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • My worst nightmare is that one day, I will turn into my biological mother.

    The signs are already there. She had gray hair by the age of 40, and at 31 mine is happily coming along at about that rate. She struggled with eating her feelings, as do I. And worst of all, she suffers from intense separation anxiety.

    Partly caused by a mother who suffered from postpartum depression and barely touched her during her youngest years, partly caused by giving me up for adoption, her separation anxiety is the nexus for all of her fear, guilt, shame and baggage. It is the reason she constantly tried to pushed me away (to the point of actually pushing me away two years ago) and what keeps her locked in a room for days on end: the fear that she is being abandoned over and over and over again by everyone whom she loves.

    There is no doubt that some of that energy must have passed to me while she was (abandoned again) at the maternity ward until she birthed me, where no one came to visit because her parents made up a lie that she was on an internship in New York. Up until recently, my own separation anxiety only surfaced itself in small ways--hating being ignored to a certain mental state of unease (don't abandon me don't abandon me) and a horrible aptitude for long distance relationships. But now that my wonderful partner's career is taking off, sending him to Hollywood for weeks or months at a time to work on the latest stop motion animation project, I am seeing even greater signs. And they scare me.

    After he spent four weeks in California in November, and now another 3 weeks in January, I have put on weight (4 pounds, but that is a lot for someone whose weight has been stable for most of the last decade, pushing me to my largest weight ever in the 160s), struggled to do things I love like cooking and writing and spending time with friends, slacked on usual house duties, and spent more time than I would like to admit reading/watching comedy. Thankfully I have also been running and bicycling to shed some of the energy. But still, I don't like this version of me.

    She feels lazy and hermity and eats way too much sugar. The cats don't like her much because she isn't near as playful and her friends don't understand why she changes her mind about going out so often. She has far too many excuses for staying in--football, work, cats--and not enough to get off the couch.

    The only redeeming part of this is that I am realizing this is not about him and missing him at all. (Which, thankfully, despite my attempts and fails to understand what is going on with me, I have expressed my pride for how far he has come as often as possible and never once given him any reasons to doubt being there). This is about a deep, deep anxiety that was written in my DNA from the moment I existed.

    The troubling part is now that I have finally realized that, what the hell am I supposed to do?
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.