Separation anxiety disorder (SAD)
An anxiety disorder in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment (e.g. a parent, caregiver, significant other or siblings).
I was a Preschooler when the person I depended on for all my basic needs was taken away from me. After a few years of adjustment with my new family I was ripped away yet again and given to another family. Then at age fourteen my relationship with my two siblings was forever changed. I was on my way to a new home yet again. I suppose I could have adjusted if I hadn’t lost so many important people from my life in such a short time. There was nothing permanent or even long term in my life. I actually became quite adept at sabotaging most situations in my life. I had very few friends and literally no family in sight. I figured out a few years back that it was easier to avoid relationships then form them. At the same time I find myself struggling with loneliness. The few close friends that I do have I am very possessive of. They are mine, all mine and it is difficult for me to share. If I don’t hear from friends I start to imagine they have abandoned me. But my true fear of loss and separation became clear to me when I found it difficult to throw away empty containers and boxes. I could easily make up the excuse that I could use it for something. I thought for many years I was being frugal by recycling used items. Eventually I was forced to face my “collecting” habits head on when my Husband started making jokes about my cardboard forts in the corners of my bedroom. The first time I had to break down a stack of boxes and throw them out, I actually had a slight panic attack. That is when I knew for sure that it wasn’t about reusing or recycling, it was about holding onto even the simplest of things. When you lose so much in your life it becomes easy to develop habits of hoarding. Now you know why I am SAD.
Kelly Blake 2017