I remember my mother commenting when I was young that I had a hard time saying goodbye. What I have come to realize is not only was that true then, it still is.
Back then it usually happened when we were leaving my grandparent’s home, which is where we stayed whenever we traveled north. I was very close to them, especially my grandmother, and I didn’t want the moment to end. It was hard to separate and leave.
What I have discovered is I still have that problem. When leaving a family gathering it is hard to walk out the door, get in the car and leave. Recently I had a friend I wasn’t going to see for a few weeks, and again I struggled. I just don’t want those moments before separation to end.
Why is it some people can walk away without a second thought and I have such difficulties? Why have I struggled with this stumbling block my entire life? Is it some inborn personality trait? Something that impacted me as a child?
While I may never know the answer to those questions, it does make one ponder. What is it in my past that has made me always have a problem with separation? Is it because when I was an infant and toddler my parents would drop me at my grandparent’s home on Sunday night, visit me on Wednesday, and pick me up on Friday night for the weekend?
As bizarre as it sounds, my anxiety over separation was never with my parents, it was with the grandparents whom I stayed with as an infant and toddler. Let me back paddle on that, I used to delay leaving my parent’s home when I would go back and visit there as well, frequently leaving much later than I originally had planned. Reflecting back on my actions, it was probably the same issue, difficulty saying goodbye.
Could my difficulty in saying goodbye be because when I was about three years old we moved several hours away from my grandparents and that regular, long-term weekly contact was broken? Did that somehow affect my inner sense of security and well-being?
Is it possible that my father having a job when I was young in which he was on the road and away from home all week, every week, affected my ability to handle separation? Ironically my father’s assumption of a job that put him on the road all week is what caused the move that resulted in our living several hours from my grandparents. Could the combination of the two have created a void in my life that I never got beyond?
Self-analysis on one’s own behavior is introspective but does not always provide the answers one looks for. In this case I will likely never know the true reason on why I find it so hard to say goodbye, but I believe it may be linked to those two significant changes in my life resulting in separation from people with whom I was very close. I was too young to really remember them, but that doesn’t mean they did not impact my personality in some way.
My difficulty in saying goodbye is something I experience with people whom I feel a close connection with. The majority of people do not know that I am struggling with the separation goodbye brings, even when they are the direct cause of the inner turmoil. It does not have an overall life-altering impact on my life. It is an inner struggle and one which I have wondered about for a long time. Self-analysis has not resolved the issue. I will never know why it is I struggle with goodbye, even short term goodbyes, but I do. It is something I have always done, something I will most likely always do. That’s just me.