When it comes to endings I always seem to struggle. Whether it’s finishing a blog post, the final stages of a project brief, going home after a night out, or the end of a counselling session, I can never seem to let go.
This leads to sloppy, rushed conclusions, or an inability to cope with the end of something good.
With blog posts and projects the effect is visible through my work. The main body is strong, well-thought out or thoroughly researched. But when I near the end my brain just doesn’t know how to cope with the last few sentences, or how to create the final piece and so it craps out and blunders through, haphazardly attempting to tie everything together in a nonsensical and underwhelming conclusion.
With regards to larger, more emotions-based endings such as having to eventually go home after a night out, or knowing that I only have a few sessions left with a counsellor, that’s when things get really messy.
I might have been having the best night of my life, surrounded by good company and good conversation, but as soon as people start mentioning how late it’s getting or how they have to be up at 7am for work, then my brain is on red-alert.
Shut down all Functioning Systems
Switch on Fear of Abandonment
Engage Unfounded Anger and Baseless Disappointment
In my head I’ll be unnecessarily angry towards my friends, begrudging them for having to leave and end the great night. Saying, “Yeah no that’s cool, I understand.” but really not understanding at all why they have to go and why they can’t just stay.
I’ll get home and the happy vibe is now long gone. Replaced with self-loathing (at embarrassing myself by being so desperate to not end the night) and a profound and deep misery that once again I’m all alone.
I feel as though I can’t feel good unless I’m with someone else, feeding off of their good mood, and so I resent those that leave and take their happiness away with them and leave me all alone to my emptiness.
I feel slighted and offended that they would leave, as if I had done something to push them away. My mind races over the night, trying frantically to pin point the exact moment that they started hating me. It dissolves into self-hatred and a confused mass of swirling and contradicting emotions, that usually ends up in inflicting self-injury as a way of coping with the overwhelming onslaught of feeling.
The longer the ‘good thing’ lasted, the longer and more drawn out the denial and acting out at the ‘end of the good thing’. For example, when I was nearing the end of my counselling sessions at university, I fell deep into a lengthy crisis. I was already still struggling to deal with the end of a long-term relationship, and the blow of my only means of support coming to term sent me over the edge.
At the time, I didn’t realise that I was messed up because of these two combined losses, I was fresh into my diagnosis and had zero understanding of my actions and behaviours. I was dissociating every day, experiencing visual and auditory hallucinations, self-harming multiple times a day and completely disengaged from reality. I began formulating a multi-stage plan to end my life and started refusing to talk to my counsellor.
I would accuse her at every session of abandoning me, leaving me like ‘everyone always does’. I was desperation magnified. I was in constant turmoil, bubbling over with confusing and overwhelming emotions and behaviours.
So yeah, endings are difficult for me…
Just kidding, I’m not ending there. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this fear of abandonment is so powerful that it can be difficult to overcome, especially when the voices in your head are shouting and screaming different things at you that don’t make any sense, or you are completely consumed with the fear that it blinds any logic and reason.
The good news is that I am beginning to recognise moments like these are difficult and can attempt to prepare myself for the worst.