“a letting loose, freedom from self-restraint, surrender to natural impulses,” by 1822 as a French word in English (it remained in italics or quotation marks through much of the 19c.; the naturalized abandonment in this sense was attempted from 1834), from a sense in French abandon “abandonment; permission” (12c.), from abandonner “to surrender, release”
The noun was borrowed earlier (c. 1400) from Old French in a sense “(someone’s) control;” and compare Middle English adverbial phrase at abandon, i.e. “recklessly,” attested from late 14c. In Old French, the past-participle adjective abandoné came to mean “zealous, eager, unreserved.”
late 14c., “to give up (something) absolutely, relinquish control, give over utterly;” also reflexively, “surrender (oneself), yield (oneself) utterly” (to religion, fornication, etc.), from Old French abandoner “surrender, release; give freely, permit,” also reflexive, “devote (oneself)” (12c.).
The Old French word was formed from the adverbial phrase à bandon “at will, at discretion,” from à “at, to” (from Latin ad; see ad-) + bandon “power, jurisdiction,” from Latin bannum, “proclamation,” which is from a Frankish or other Germanic word, from Proto-Germanic *bannan- “proclaim, summon, outlaw” (things all done by proclamation); see ban (v.).
Mettre sa forest à bandon was a feudal law phrase in the 13th cent. = mettre sa forêt à permission, i.e. to open it freely to any one for pasture or to cut wood in; hence the later sense of giving up one’s rights for a time, letting go, leaving, abandoning. [Auguste Brachet, “An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language,” transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]
Meaning “to leave, desert, forsake (someone or something) in need” is from late 15c. (Etymologically, the word carries a sense of “put (something) under someone else’s control.”) Earliest appearance of the word in English is as an adverb (mid-13c.) with the sense “under (one’s) control,” hence also “unrestricted.” Related: Abandoned; abandoning.
mid-14c., from Old French solitude “loneliness” (14c.) and directly from Latin solitudinem (nominative solitudo) “loneliness, a being alone; lonely place, desert, wilderness,” from solus “alone” (see sole (adj.)). “Not in common use in English until the 17th c.” [OED]
A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; … if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free. [Schopenhauer, “The World as Will and Idea,” 1818]
Solitudinarian “recluse, unsocial person” is recorded from 1690s.
“aversion to human company, love of solitude,” 1753, nativized form of Greek apanthropia, abstract noun from apanthropos “unsocial,” from assimilated form of apo “off, away from” (see apo-) + anthropos “man, human” (see anthropo-). Related: Apanthropic.
I don’t cry very often. If I do, it usually has something to do with the death of dogs. This could be because I’ve had my dog for eleven years and I can’t imagine life without her, and I assume that everyone feels that way about their dog if they have one.
This companion has been with me through some very trying times. She has weathered my emotional storms that come rarely but brutally. I know she won’t just run away, our trust and connection is very deep. We rely on one another.
People, are a different story. My relationships with people have been a different story and upon retrospect perhaps I have been too dismissive of humans who mean well and matter very much to me. Perhaps I have taken for granted the love others are able to have for me as a person with meaning in their life. Perhaps my willingness to be dismissive has created a reality where I am more easily dismissed. Or, maybe, I am being the center of my own galaxy and taking things too personal. I don’t know, but I cried today over a human.
I cried because this human finally said that they were leaving this (at times God Forsaken town) in anywhere between four and six months. There is nothing left here for this person, except me. However I am not a reason to stay here and I haven’t made much of an effort to validate that I could be worth staying for. I’ve been somewhat dismissive.
Today I was faced with the thought experiment of what it will be like to be sort of back to square one when it comes to human connection outside of my living situation. What it will be like to not see the one person I’ve see almost daily for at least a few minutes for the last six years, who isn’t related to me.
My heart is broken and I didn’t expect this. I always figured if they were going to go, it would be a sort of relief, and yet I don’t feel relieved. I feel scared as fuck. Despite the times we haven’t agreed and I’ve had to use my words to point out the things that are incongruous or vital to our growth, I am so scared to be alone again. Friendless.
See, I don’t want to cry over this. I want to be callus because I fear this loneliness so much. I felt abandonment to some degree every day of my life because my mom died when I was so young. That feeling never left. That abandonment eventually turned itself into self imposed solitude. “You are the only one you can trust. Everyone always leaves.”
I’ve used my loss as justification to build a very strong wall around myself. It is constantly fortified and therefore basically unmovable, un-scale-able, and unbreakable. I’ve told myself that “It’s better this way.” But is it?
Another thing I tell myself is “Everything works out in the end. Go with the flow.” Meanwhile, I am just as scared as the next guy who is scared of being alone forever. I note that I am currently thirty-seven and that number isn’t decreasing. My fortress needs to crack. It needs to break, but all I know is how to build it stronger, not how to tear it down.
I am at a loss when it comes to how to deal with it, other than crying for a while, because I know that tomorrow I will tell myself to shove it back down and keep living without appearing to be broken. And that life will continue and circumstances will change and I will be at the mercy of those changes. That’s it, in a “go with the flow” mentality. You realize you have no real control over anything but your own personal expression in the world. I suppose the impression I try to leave is resilience, strength and emotional independence. Self reliance in times of uncertainty or trouble. Am I successful at that? I don’t really know.
I want to put out some blame here beyond myself, toward the pervasive programming in this world that has helped me fortify my fortress. The blame goes to the insanity of feminism. I never once called myself a feminist, but I have inherited many of the destructive belief patterns that are inherent in that movement. Namely the degradation of the family. More specifically, the demoralization of men and the positive role they can play in our lives.
I have no idea why I have taken on these views and manifested them into my reality the way I see them in this moment. I thought I knew better. My dad is a really great person, a really dedicated individual. My male family members (over all) have been wonderful, non violent people. Where did all of this come from?
“Hey girl, you don’t need a man, you can do it on your own. Guys suck anyway.”
It just isn’t universally true. And attitudes like that make you focus on every negative aspect of a person. It programs you to look for the worst and to somehow capitalize on whatever you find in the most demoralizing way. I’ve been with kind, supportive partners and with everyone of them, I tried to “break” them. Why? Why was I breaking them instead of building them up? Why was I justifying that breaking them would build them up? When has that ever worked out for the good of things and people? It hasn’t. It’s called mind control.
Mind Control is easily asserted on those whose minds have been broken by trauma. I allowed an earlier trauma in my life to dictate my future reality with a certain sense of failure. In turn I would blame myself as being “unlovable.” If I received a compliment that was true, I would shrug it off as “niceties” or smoke being blown up my ass. Never feeling worthwhile of praise unless it had something to do with external talent.
My heart is just so full of love, but it’s gotten harder over time to show it. Express it. Be it. I didn’t like being broken like that today. I didn’t like seeing that truth in myself. But mostly, I didn’t like crying about it. I didn’t like the submission of seeing a truth I had been avoiding. I didn’t like facing it alone and realizing that I set myself up for this. Even though I fell into a program, I am the one who let it go on this long. I am ashamed of myself, but I will commit to forgiveness.
I’m not sure how this moves forward, “but I am sure it will all work itself out in the end.”
One thought on “Self Imposed Solitude vs. Abandonment”
Wow. That was one emotionally raw post. The title said it all: Sometimes, people abandon us. Other times, and perhaps more often, we create abandonment ourselves. Ours is a culture that encourages self-reliance. While I don’t dismiss human relationships, I do have trouble letting others help me. I’m sorry that you’re struggling with the imminent departure of your friend, and hope that you succeed in your battle against the fortifications you have built.
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