“Like many people, I tend to get frantic when I think I might be abandoned again. I do destructive things: I hold on too tightly to whoever is in my at the moment; or I offer them a means of escape over and over again until they think I’m pushing them away. I’m so terrified of being left, and my core belief in that eventuality is so strong. When I realize how precious someone is to me, I give them every out I can think of. They’re going to leave anyway, I reason, so I might as well feel the pain now instead of holding my breath waiting for it to strike in the future.
And all the time, I’m longing for them to stay with me, understand and forgive me, love me in the midst of my fear and despair. Only someone who has experienced abandonment can make sense of such senseless behavior. And I’m afraid of myself. I live on the lip of insanity, and there are times when I feel myself sliding into that dark maw. I’m terrified of what I might become and of how I might appear to the people I love. Would they recoil from me at the moment I need them the most?”—Elizabeth Kim, Ten Thousand Sorrows (pp. 214)