Therapy today: Attachment

This morning I stubbed out a cigarette on my own skin because I wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel anything but sad. I was trying to shake myself up in preparation for going to the office and functioning externally as though I am a normal human being.

Walking to J’s for therapy today I tried to clear my head. It’s about a 30 minute walk from my house, and I always use that time to think about what I might want from my session. I noticed even before I arrived that I felt distant from J. I felt like something was sitting between us, and that something felt like the content of a post I wrote a few days ago. I called it ‘I hate my therapist‘.

It’s new to me, telling someone what I don’t like about them. I was scared of verbalising it to J, but at the same time I need to feel close to her. I can’t have that negativity and resentment getting in the way. So I took a deep breath and I told her.

For the first time ever, I confessed that I always over-attach to people in positions of power who show some care towards me. It started at secondary school, when I first had memories of being abused. I latched onto a teacher who noticed I wasn’t OK. I obsessed about her and lingered in hallways hoping she would see me and ask how I was.

That behaviour re-emerged periodically throughout my education, and after that it happened at work. I had a wonderful line manager who was really paternal towards me. I wanted to befriend him, to find a way to include him in my personal life as well as him being a colleague. I got jealous when he went out for lunch with my other co-workers. It is such a horrible feeling.

It really felt like an awful confession sharing this with J today. I shared it with her because I know I am over-attached to her and I hate how vulnerable it makes me feel. I dread and catastrophise about her quitting her job and abandoning me. When I am with her I feel so young and fragile, and that part of me needs her desperately. She can’t function on her own. She doesn’t want to have to be on her own anymore.

This wasn’t a new conversation really. I’ve told J numerous times that I am terrified of her leaving me. I am scared that without her I will simply implode. She asked what I needed to hear from her. I didn’t know. I felt like it wouldn’t matter what she said, that fear would still exist. I guess what I need to hear is what she tells me all the time; she is here for me, she will continue to be here, I am important to her, she has hope for me.

From this distance those words are meaningful. They are real in black and white. Logically, I know J isn’t lying to me. It just feels impossible to absorb the message. To take on board that compassion and hold onto her reassurance.

Photo: Peter Gronemann, Creative Commons.

 

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. I so understand! Attachment is for me the most uncomfotable thing to process with my therapist. Sometimes I just think, ugh!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oake31 says:

    Laura
    You have the utmost bravery to live with your pain and speak so openly and honestly about your relationship with your therapist
    I know where you are coming from, the attachment is scared as hell! The fear of them abandoning you is very real. I have had dreams of my therapist breast feeding me

    It made me sad to read you hurt yourself this morning.
    One of the hardest things to do is to look after the little girl within, if only a pill for compassion could be prescribed! I remember gasing mine when I was 12 years old, I cannot even comprehend my daughter feeling that way

    You obviously have incredible strength and keep your hope, just letting you know people care and you are helping others x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Thank you, that means a lot to me. I am working on finding some compassion for myself. It is so hard. But I think everything would be easier if we could all talk openly about this difficult stuff. x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sorry you hurt yourself. Perhaps you and your therapist could come up with a plan for something you could do when you feel this way in the future. Its great that you told your therapist about your feelings toward her. I too, had these same feelings toward my therapist and it took quite a while to work through (was it years?) but it became part of my healing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Yeah I am sorry I hurt myself too, it is so hard not to when I feel so frustrated with everything that’s going on. I have got much better at controlling those impulses. Staying off the drink definitely helps. Glad you could work through the attachment piece with your therapist. It’s the first time I’ve talked so openly about it and I’m glad I did, it felt important. Thanks for your feedback. Hope, health and healing x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You did a great job writing about it and I related to it so much.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. loomy9138 says:

    Stay strong my friend. You will get through this like all other things. You are an inspiration to us all. I understand getting attached to people. In my case, it has not been people of power, rather friends. In the past I have always taken things over the line, pushed towards something romantic with them. I was never able to keep that line drawn of “just friends”. I always wanted more, needed more. Even if I wasn’t romantically interested in them, I needed that connection, that approval from them. I needed them to want me. I completely understand what you are saying. Take care of yourself, and I’m proud of you for telling your therapist how you feel!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laura Black says:

    Thank you for your encouragement. I completely get that feeling, it’s so tough when you need someone so badly and they possibly don’t need you too. I always feel like I need proof. I need people to prove they care about me as much as I do about them, otherwise I feel like an idiot. It’s such a difficult thing to negotiate, but it felt like a big deal telling J about it this week. Especially after feeling like that for the whole year we’ve been working together.

    Like

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