Colorado Life Coach: Wait! Don’t leave me!

Bob and I went on a bike ride today.

It’s become a fun thing we enjoy together most weekends. We like to ride about 4-5 miles to a restaurant, eat lunch, and ride home.

Everything was great! I usually ride in front. I’m discovering there are many reasons for this:

~Bob likes the view 🙂

~I like to be able to set the pace. Sometimes I can’t keep up with him.

~My anxiety doesn’t come screaming out of nowhere!

That last one hit again today. Bob took the lead for awhile, and he got about 50 feet ahead of me. I felt sadness and fear creep up. What is going on? Why do I suddenly feel like crying? And then I felt the old, familiar feeling:

Don’t leave me.

Now, I need to explain. I wasn’t ever left. My parents stayed married until my dad died. I’ve never been left by a boyfriend. I’ve never been divorced. I didn’t lose anyone close to me tragically when I was young. What is this about?

I have done enough growth work to understand that it’s not always the clear, logical reasons that cause us to feel triggered even decades after an event. Sometimes it’s not even a specific event, but a series of events; seemingly small things, that can have a profound effect based on the age of the person when the event(s) occurred.

I think my fear of being left started right after I was born. I swallowed some of my mom’s blood during my birth. The doctors thought I was bleeding internally and I had a few other issues. They were concerned enough to have me baptized in the janitor’s closet of the hospital, and transfer me to Children’s Hospital in Denver.

I stayed there for 8 days.


I study attachment theory and how events from early life effect how we see ourselves and relate to others. I have an anxious relationship style. I believe it stems from being left in an incubator the first 8 days of my life. My mom came to feed me once a day. I’m sure that was what the doctors recommended at that time. What I know now, and what I can FEEL, is that I needed to be held constantly, fed by my mom when I was hungry, nurtured, talked to, comforted, and nurtured.

Add to this times when I felt horribly misunderstood, being told to go to my room for expressing a negative feeling, being told I wasn’t wanted by people I loved (and were just immature themselves), believing no one cared what I had to say, and other lies I picked up along the way, and you can see how this lingering anxiety might strike at odd times.

I’m 49 years old.

Sometimes I feel like a little girl.

Sometimes I feel like a scared baby.

I just want to be held and comforted.

I just want to know I’m not going to be left alone.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the vision I had of Jesus meeting me right in that wounded place. It was awesome, and reminds me that I never was alone, and I never will be alone. He will never leave me or forsake me. Awesome!

This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole.




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