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what i want most dearly

attachment disorder

attachment disorder (Photo credit: drwhimsy)

When I get to the heart of what I wanted from my therapist, and from men in general because that’s what I’m projecting on to him; what I want is

to be held by him and for him to tell me, ‘I get you,’ and, ‘I’m gonna help you be okay. It’s gonna be okay, and I’m not going to leave you.’

It sounds like such a simple thing, but it’s not, for someone to get me like I think I need to be got. And it doesn’t feel like it’s coming from a helpless ‘maiden in distress’ kind of place either. I just want someone to get me. Really get all of me. And promise not to leave. Like a healthy father figure would get me, and never leave me.

It’s been a day of rest and writing, and fending off a cold, and self care. The neighbour is away and has allowed me to use his space while he is gone, and I’ve appreciated that.No tv in the background, no Mom, wandering in and out, making conversation, just quiet, and space.

I feel like this burning desire in me to tell my therapist … tell him … something, I just can’t quite put it all into words … has somehow caused this cold. I took today to try and get to the bottom of it, get it out onto paper, or some tangible form that is out of my head so it can stop tearing around in me and making me ill.

I’m guessing a little that what I want to tell him is the part of me that doesn’t feel gotten. Doesn’t feel seen. I tell him all of my ‘symptoms’ or the things that bother me — the things I figure I’m there to heal; he reads them earnestly and patiently, but rarely says much to me about them, except for ‘Excellent’ the other day, on my writing about being codependent with women in authority positions. He always asks me if I want the print-outs of my writing, and then reassures me that he will ‘keep them here for me.’ The story in my mind is that he’s just kind of ‘doing the right thing’ by reading them, but nothing really connects for him. The story in my mind is that they make no difference to him. That he thinks I’m just whining or being dramatic. I wonder if he’s trying to emulate my father figure to bring out more of my emotions around this lack of attunement. If he is, it has definitely worked.

It sent me on this journey I have been on for the last 5 days — the painful disappointment, familiar feeling of abandonment that I have known so well in my life. I’m realizing that my tendency to over-attach to people and things is a big part of what creates my ‘symptoms’.

When I went to write earlier today, I ended up instead googling attachment disorder, since it has been so clear to me that what I have been going through is attachment related. I ended up on the website of Attachment Disorder Maryland.

On the page about Attachment Disorder, there is a description of an Attachment Bond:

  • Comfort and safety is sought within the relationship
  • Desire for physical proximity to the attachment figure.
  • Emotional distress in response to enforced separation.
  • The attachment figure is a specific other person and is NOT interchangeable.
  • Emotional significance as safety is established.
  • Persistence across time and situations.
  • Reciprocity and mutuality
  • Develop gradually over time and underlie self and object constancy.  Until constancy is achieved, the length of separations should be monitored so as not to overstretch the developing bond and tear it.

Part of the anxiety I have been feeling seems like it might be this ‘overstretching’ or ‘tearing’ of the developing bond. It feels like there are so many big and intense things happening in me, and there is a sense of panic that he is missing them, and that by the time I get to see him again, I won’t be able to remember them all, and I won’t be really feeling them any more so they are going to get burried again and go unseen. This anxiety is almost agonizing. It’s been distracting me like a heart-break does, giving me the feeling like something is wrong in my world, making me tired and lacking energy or enthusiasm to do things, and yes, today, making me sick. It’s like all these things are stirring around inside me, and they can only be seen by him, so they have nowhere to go. In session, I feel like holding back because I know that he’s going to go away and miss things again.

As I continued to explore the site, what I found has created quite a stir in me, and here I am finally writing, getting it all down, and it feels like things in me are flowing again. Something in me clicked when I read the pages on Developmental Trauma Disorder and Shame and Attachment. I had possibly never felt more deeply relieved to read myself on a page. Words were leaping off the screen that I have used to describe my experiences of isolation, dissociation and sabotage, and the seemingly endless cycle I have been on for most of my life in anything I try to do professionally. For me, these writings seem to encompass just about everything I have touched on and wondered about. I’ve been reading and highlighting them all day, and it has felt like shedding light on whatever it is in me that wanted to be worked out. Maybe it’s just the ‘being seen’ feeling I get from these writings. That there is someone who gets me, and people who feel the same way.

I’m still digesting all this, but I do feel a little bit better having finally written a post about it. Thanks for reading. Time to sleep.


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the one thing

a friend of mine recently put words to something that I also think is quite prominent in me, and many members of both aca and coda.

he drew this picture for me, and spoke about the hole within. this big void of emptiness that we tend to fill with the first person, addiction or other obsession that walks by, and that when that one thing goes away, instead of having one hole within the hole, we are facing the entire empty hole again, because we allowed the one thing to fill the entire space in us.

that we have to practice filling the hole with many things, so that when one of them leaves, we are not back at rock bottom again.

 

 


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a family constellations snippet

I will write more on this at some point. There is just so much happening for me right now that I can’t possibly write about it all and do it justice, so here is another snippet:

'Circle of Friends' by Michael Diven

‘Circle of Friends’ by Michael Diven

I had an amazing day of family constellations on Sunday, and believe that things are already in motion as a result from the constellation I did.

The representative for my Mother kept looking away and up, and saying “Lord almighty!”(my Mother actually does roll her eyes A LOT and exclaim, “Oh, Good Lord!”)

Last night, I had an amazing conversation with Mom — about when it was that her feeling of not fitting in began for her as a girl, how it evolved, how she was a ‘clinger’ and a ‘follower’ through most of grade school and early adulthood; how people always seemed to forget about her and leave her behind (this is her chronic experience in life); and how she has decided that she doesn’t want to fit in anyway and she is happy that way. She expressed the view that needing to fit in is codependent, and I disagreed. It was one of the most important and hard-won disagreements I’ve ever made :). This is the core belief my therapy has centred around for the last several weeks. This is the belief in me that must change so that i am not alone for the rest of my life. I need to stop feeling so different and unique all the time and start feeling like a valid member of society, not in a codependent way, but in the way that we all need and deserve to feel connected, supported, and contributing. I disagree with my Mother that this is a codependent need.


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bpd and codependency — writings by aj mahari

The parallels between Codependency and BPD have been obvious to me from the start, but I had never heard anyone else speak about this.

If you are finding the definition of codependency illusive, you are not alone and you may be as happy as I am to find these sites. Thanks, AJ 🙂

How is Codependency Experienced?

BDP and Codependency (Patterns of enmeshment)

Codependents Speak Out

Basics and links of Codependency

Also, here are 2 downloadable documents from the above sites, which i found to be quite illuminating, even after I have heard of, discussed and read about boundaries and codependency for many years.

Signs of Poor Boundaries

Unresolved Codependency