This insane attachment

I’ve been quiet since Tuesday. If I’m being honest, it has been a really stressful week. Financially, at work, in general. I’m exhausted. And I have to work all weekend. I’m really quite done. 

I knew that there was a red flag both last night, when I wrote out a whole letter to A, which I will share… but also today, when I highly considered jumping in front of a car. Not because I was suicidal, but because the idea of being immobile in a hospital with someone to take care of me, was better than living. 

Alright. I’m doing too much. I keep promising myself I’ll simplify. I’ll stop. I’ll slow down. I will rest. I will invest in my health and healing and save money and stop having sleepless nights because I can’t afford the one thing that keeps me sane.

At least, on a positive note, I’m embracing this crazy attachment situation I’ve got going on with A. I’m attached, there’s no point in denying it any longer. So instead of being ashamed when I’m so angry because she isn’t available immediately to meet my every need, I observe it, and recognize it for what it is, and honestly kind of laugh (because I wouldn’t call ANYBODY at midnight unless it was an emergency let alone my therapist)… but I’m trying to be alright with it. I’m trying to be alright with the fact that all I want is her at my beck and call 24/7 and SO what if that is unrealistic to expect of anyone I want it and I WANT IT NOW SO GIVE IT TO ME. 

This is what I wrote as I cried myself to sleep late last night: 

Nighttime is the worst. And it’s really hard to imagine you care because in my head if you cared you would be here or let me call you. And it sucks, that that’s not a thing I can do. It sucks, that I can’t just text or call you and have you show up. I want to know you’re always there and I just don’t trust that. I don’t. I don’t trust you. I’m really struggling with things right now, and I’m not letting myself feel them but they’re there…

I can’t trust [redacted] anymore, I’ve realized, nor [redacted], so I’m back to two. I can’t help but feel I’ve made a horrid mistake. My husband hates my mother. My family hates my husband. My brother hates me. 

I’ve torn it apart… what have I done. Is this really better for me?

I liken where I am attachment wise to where I should have been as a healthy three year old. So aware of when my caregiver is/is not there but also so ‘independent’. So “I don’t need you” in good moments but “where are you and I’m mad that you aren’t here” in my bad moments.

In that regard, I think I’ve finally accepted that I’m exactly where I should be. I’m where A is encouraging me to be. I am growing in my attachment and trust and… eventually… I imagine that turns into a more solid and stable foundation, or nest, I can return to. I would still love to rid myself of this sticky shame, but I recognize that maybe it, too, is part of the process. 

But it isn’t easy. After living in a constantly shaking world, for so long, I get nervous when things are still. 

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23 thoughts on “This insane attachment

  1. PD, I know this is an old post. But I just want to say I completely understand. I also want my therapist to be there at my beck and call. Unfortunately tho this isnt possible. And it makes me mad and sad and all sorta feelings. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there. I found your blog through a mutual follower and loved the kind and supportive comments you made on her post (which is why I came over to your blog… I’m always wanting to connect with people who ‘get it’ and are kind and supportive). I’m crying for you now, even though I have just read your most recent posts. I can tell you from these few posts, that you are doing the right thing and are a very strong person. I’m in shock that you were met with ignorance and lack of compassion and understanding. I hope for the best for you with love and support ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      • WW is just fine. I’m glad you are here too. I will continue to follow and want you to know that I am here to give and receive support, so rest assured that I will be on your side. Looking forward to your return ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. PD,
    Yes, you are right, the attachment is okay, and normal – (I can say that to you but not always to myself, lol). Ignore whatever person commented earlier… they don’t understand attachment. At the same time, their comment made me think about myself. I don’t love S at all (it’s more of a business relationship and is not attachment based), but I DO love T. I’m not “in love” with her, but I do love her.
    To me that feels disgusting. For God’s sake she’s my therapist. Yet, I have caught myself multiple times over the last few weeks, both leaving session and at the end of emails, wanting to say or type, “I love you” – in a very childlike, innocent way. It does make sense – why wouldn’t I love her? She gives me (and especially the younger me’s) things that I NEVER got anywhere else.
    I get so mad at myself for loving her, but then I remember, it’s okay and it’s normal. At least for me, it’s part of building trust and a solid alliance with her. To love her gives me even more motivation to keep going, to work through problems, even when I’m angry and dissociated as heck – I guess it strengthens my commitment, for better or for worse (but probably for better, because I know she would never hurt me on purpose).
    I think I mentioned this in a previous post in reference to Tara: that for the child (and the child’s voice popped clearly into my head that day and said this, and I’ve thought of it ever since) “I love you,” basically in reference to whatever attachment figure is currently in question, communicates this: “I trust you, I feel safe with you, and I care about you. I have not felt safe for most of my life, but I feel safe here. And because of that, I want to be close to you.” Not sexual. Not romantic. Childlike and pure. How can I be mad at the child for that? (rhetorical question – sometimes I still am, lol).
    I’m not sure if that resonates with you – maybe not. But if you (or parts of you) do love A, that is completely normal and okay. Heck, even if you were “in love” with her, that would also be okay (to think about and talk about… not to act on of course), because all of your feelings are valid and come from somewhere, and A welcomes them all. Also, dare I say, A loves you – not “in love” with you, but I know that she cares for you deeply and wants the absolute best for you (even though it’s REALLY hard to remember that especially at night – that’s object constancy, which is a whole other part of toddler life and attachment. A really painful part).
    That comment earlier was offensive and not well-thought out, I agree. But I just wanted to let you know that loving A isn’t (or wouldn’t be) bad.
    Sending hugs, and hoping that life gets calmer & you take some time for yourself. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • at the same time it’s worth mentioning, though, that that childlike love, is different from the love that would be shared with a partner, or a friend, etc. It’s exactly the type of love that a 2-year-old feels for their caregiver (if the caregiver is a good one) – not the type that goes “both ways” (such as knowing about the other person, doing things for them, being for them, etc – a ‘balanced’ love). It’s a love that comes up when I feel understood and heard and valued. And it’s very strong.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lily,
      My dearest most loveliest Lily. I’m so thankful for you, I hope you know that. Somehow you always say exactly what I need to hear.

      It made me think, too. My initial reaction was SO strong, and followed by a shame spiral, but I looped around and realized, no.. this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Thankfully I wasn’t in a bad place when I got that comment. But you are right, I do love A. I do. But she said it first (as if I need to justify it), and she says it to me often she says that she couldn’t do this work without loving the people she works with.

      And like you, that makes me feel disgusting too.. but she is constantly working with that shame. It’s just so typical for me that the very first time I share (in MY safe space) about how okay I am with it, I get questioned over it. But I’m trying to see the up side, in that I defended myself and am able to see that the commenter is wrong, and probably from a lack of understanding, but I’m not.

      Your comment did resonate with me, strongly and in the way that I needed. Yea, we’re still working on the object constancy thing, and the being okay with feeling like a toddler thing while being in an adult body. I’m trusting it more though, trusting the process more. And so freakin’ glad I have people like you guys commenting to seriously outweigh whatever negative (well meaning or not) slips through.

      Like

  4. Interesting thought, that shame is part of the process, but maybe it is. Not that that makes it easy, of course. I do think you’re where you’re supposed to be, and this is going to become more stable and foundational 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re right, this attachment phase is very young. I think part of the work is learning to be in that phase and enjoy it and be comfortable needing. Feeling yucky for needing is old stuff that needs to be healed. It is really hard to reconcile having very young needs while also being an adult though, isn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you’re right. It is about learning to be comfortable needing, and having needs met, or even having them seen. It doesn’t escape me that right now I’m paying my therapist hundreds of dollars to literally just be there weekly, and to be consistent as I rail against her boundaries and get mad for no reason haha.

      It is hard though, to accept, and to reconcile having young needs as an adult.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. PD, you are right. It’s fine to be where you are. It’s so fine. You are brave, and you are doing really hard work. It’s so evident in your posts.

    Last summer, I absolutely felt like a toddler in my relationship with E, as though I were two or three years old and kept coming back in to the kitchen to see if mom were still there. Then we had a rupture, over nothing really, but I was convinced I meant nothing to her. It took me over two months to start to trust her again, and I was still shaky for another month or so after that. And it was excruciatingly painful in a way I had never imagined. I was completely obsessed. I felt like I was in ninth grade with a crush on a boy who laughed at me.

    I wish someone had told me then that it was okay to be where I was. I saw myself as irrational and crazy. I didn’t know much about attachment issues and couldn’t begin to explain what was going on for me. The fact that you know what it is, that at least some of the time you can step back and observe it, what a strength that is!

    I don’t know why, but I have tears in my eyes writing to you. I don’t even know what it is exactly that I need to say. Maybe it’s that I feel for you, that I know how hard this pain is. And at the same time, that I admire your wisdom, insight and strength. xxoo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Q, that’s exactly how I feel. And A really normalized it for me last time by referencing her own actual toddlers. I feel like I constantly need to check if she’s still there. If she is real.

      And it’s this need I don’t understand or particularly care for – my brain is like ‘you are an adult, you don’t need to be longing for contact with a caring adult in a mother esque role’ but I get it. I get it from an attachment theory standpoint (mostly because when I shame spiral A busts out education or tells me she still feels it with her therapist or one of you guys tells me it’s okay).

      Thank you, for telling me this is okay Q. I hope you know how much I value you, I truly do. Your comments are always so full of insight and wisdom and I can feel the care reading them. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      • If you have been reading for a while or even bothered to look at other posts you would know the shame that I have surrounding this topic and that this is the first time I’ve expressed being okay with being attached, the way I’ve been encouraged to be because healing comes from the relationship you establish in therapy…

        No I am not in love with my therapist. I am in love with my husband. I love my friends. I love a lot about my life. I am not in love with my therapist. But the work that I’m doing in therapy is hard, and I have come further in this relationship with A than any other therapist. What I choose to share here is only a piece of my life.

        I understand that for people who aren’t involved in intensive, attachment style therapy that this relationship and it’s dynamic may seem dependent, or it may seem like I’m “in love” with my therapist. But it is healthy and vital for people with young, complex trauma (aka me) to mesh with someone and learn it is okay to express these needs. I never got to be cared for as a child, so I’m exploring the world emotionally now as an adult in the safety of my therapeutic relationship with A.

        So no, I am not “in love” with my therapist. And it’s a good thing I managed to find my voice tonight. I believe the relationship I have with my therapist is healthy and right for me, and that I deserve to be able to engage in it without being questioned by strangers.

        Liked by 6 people

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