Two weeks ago, I suffered a great mix of emotions.
One day while agonizing through seasonal allergies and a bothersome cough that lasted for days, I maintained a sunny attitude at work throughout the first half of the day until a sudden dark cloud shrouded my mind, my emotions and, later, my well-being and kept me in a funk of frustration, worry and pity towards myself.
I was frustrated that I felt stuck in my mind about the goals and necessary things that I could have accomplished but have put aside to favor the menial and idly diversions that never advanced my quality of life. Mentally, I beat myself up over the financial, living, health, occupational, business and blogging tasks I repeatedly failed to accomplish for another day as many of those tasks required little effort and time to tackle. The mental chastising remained a recurring, self-destructive behavior I have done frequently. Worry kicked in to remind myself how the aforementioned lead to me a path of depression that pushed me to want to take my life twice in 2013. With the worry, I reminded myself how I defeated my worst bouts with depression as making decisions to do the tasks that would bring great satisfaction and advancement to my life. Pity rounded my feelings of funk because I felt that there was no way I would get out this tumultuous cycle until I discovered the root of all my issues. With pity, I figured that I knew that I would come out of the funk eventually but not heal from my life’s strongholds because of a deep-rooted issue that I might have overlooked or avoided; thus, these series of feelings return with results unknown.
With each passing day in this funk, I felt defeated because I so desperately wanted to get out of the gloom but felt clueless on what I needed to do to find my mental and emotional freedom.
By the fourth day in this funk, I wanted to ostracize myself from everyone except my place of employment since my employer is my monetary survival in New York City. I did not want to be bothered with my close friends in NYC. I did not want people on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to bother me. I did not want to answer e-mails that needed same-day responses. I did not want to interact or communicate with anyone from whom I would not receive a financial gain.
Though I had to bothered myself with work for monetary survival, I could not concentrate on my work. Instead, I surfed the internet to research random topics about urban pop culture, famous family dynasties and Black American history. Of course, my frustrations festered because of my lack of productivity throughout my workday.
At the office, I wanted to be honest with my feelings in case coworkers asked me “how are you,” as they usually do when passing me by. Yet, I realized how I have no relationship with any coworker outside of the office and wondered whether I am blocking blessings and unforeseen opportunities as a result.
All those compounding emotions made me sad. I wanted to cry. I wanted to play Mary J. Blige’s My Life album for one good cry, one that I have not experienced in months. I felt that I deserved this cry to deliver myself from pent up emotions I set aside.
During this fourth day of funk as I surfed the internet at work, I came across a Facebook video that helped me face the solution to the agony I allowed to grow inside me for a long time. In fact, I was surprised to learn that this solution was to deal with a problem I faced for 36 years.
I have been a follower of an online media personality named Joseph Williams – the Misunderstood Social Worker, from Washington DC, for the past six months because of his messages on empowerment and healing to people who deal with broken hearts, identity issues, depression, stresses, testy relationships and more, with familiarity to people who identify as LGBTQ people of color. Williams’ liberating messages attracted me because he speaks thoughts and ideas of becoming victorious in situations we find ourselves as victims. His advice motivates listeners to seek the deep-rooted issues that develop into emotional and spiritual brokenness rather than wallowing in the things that defeat them. Many of his messages reminded me of the former stresses in my life that I overcame, which made me smile while noticing his motivational words benefit listeners.
During this fourth day of funk, I decided to check Williams’ Facebook page out of curiosity of newest messages just to kill time at work since I was not productive for the entire day. Without paying attention to the description of one video, I chose to watch and listen to one video in hopes of taking in his good word as usual.
I was in for a great shock.
The subject of this random Williams’ video was confronting one’s own abandonment issues and the destructive behavior that rise from non-confronted feelings of abandonment.
Williams’ episodes average around 30 minutes. I have been willingly to intently listen to his sermons until this random episode played.
As I heard Williams’ sermon on how feelings of abandonment have made people make people cling onto destructive people and things, an epiphany revealed itself to me that because of abandonment issues I have ignored for the past 36 of my 39 years I have done the opposite of what Williams suggested that many people do. Instead of clinging onto destructive people and things because of my ignorance to dealing with abandonment issues, I developed a life pattern of dismissing resolutions to problematic relationships and challenging situations and shying away from opportunities that required hard work or a gamble for greater rewards.
Thirty-six years of self-destruction manifested into avoiding opportunities, dismissing people and keeping up an emotional wall in hopes of avoiding more abandonment.
Realizing that truth made me tear up until I was on the brink of letting out that cry I desperately needed. Unfortunately, I was at work with coworkers and clients walking around me. Instead, I chose to send Williams a lengthy Facebook message thanking him for that inspirational video while giving him my life’s backstory of events of abandonment. Immediately after sending Williams’ that Facebook message, I felt like I made a mistake in revealing my emotions to someone I barely knew but immediately checked myself as I realized how much of a burden was lifted due to the acknowledgement of such a huge part of my life I buried for almost my entire life.
Revealing my truth to Williams was just the beginning and the first of many things to do in order to heal from this emotional pain of 36 years.
Upon deciding what to do with this potentially life-changing revelation, I mentally listed all the ways that avoiding to confront my abandonment issues affected my life negatively. I have not been taking care of my health. I lost focus on essential daily tasks. I quickly terminated relationships as of result of mistakes and misunderstandings. I allowed many opportunities to slip past me – for my profession, online media, personal enjoyment and more. There were more self-inflicted punishments that were results from my avoidance of dealing with abandonment issues along with the aforementioned.
Even as a writer, especially for this platform titled The G-List Society, I have not allowed myself to be the voice I most desired to be and write the topics I have long to share with you the readers. I avoided to write blog posts like this due to the fear of my own rawest voice — expressing myself freely for public consumption. The thoughts on whether people will read it, judge me harshly for sharing myself or deny me opportunities because of my content afforded me to keep certain content and ideas such as this article shelved and live my life filling with what-ifs and regrets.
The next thing I had to do in this healing process of abandonment issues was the most emotionally challenging. I had to list all the people who I felt abandoned me. My accusatory list was not exclusive to people physically leaving me at times of need but also inclusive of betrayals from people who mattered greatly throughout my life. With such list, I had to be brutally honest with myself and dig deep, including the memories I truly wanted to go away forever. I began that list with my father and mother who gave me away to my Grandma to raise me at age three. I included former close friends. I included particular former lovers, including Donnie – of whom I made peace with in 2012 after breaking up 13 years prior. I also included a group of people of whom I love the most but often felt the most hurt by, Black gay men — in particular, Black gay community figures whom I once looked up to but has given me the shade I felt for years.
What do I do with confronting myself with the list of people and moments I have felt abandoned and decided to avoid addressing? I will address the majority of the people and situations on this forum, The G-List Society. Only a small few, I would not mind talking about the issues I held against them in person because I still care for them, while the others can be addressed on this platform because the purge of suppressed feelings is necessary for my healing rather than an individual’s presence. The people and situations I address on this blog will only be identified people by initials. Do not ask me to confirm the names of the people if you choose to make educational guesses on identities rather than catching the purposes of my expressions.
Lastly, I confront my issues of abandonment issues by acknowledging that I, Waddie G., have had abandonment issues that have manifested into self-sabotaging behavior. The abandonment issues have not made me a victim to point fingers at people but rather taught me lessons of growth. As I now recognize that truth, I let go of those past issues as I begin the healing process no matter how long and how many blog posts it takes.