Author Topic: attachment  (Read 254 times)

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missatoo

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attachment
« on: April 02, 2017, 10:16:33 AM »
my T and i are more openly talking about attachment. it is almost a relief to have some words, though i already knew them. i am fearful avoidant to a certain point, and then i become disorganized completely. for some reason,  it felt presumptuous of me always to bring it up,, but T did instead. that my issues are also attachment-related. we always feel very insecure, while knowing on some level that it is also not about now. knowing that my fears are unreasonable. though i cant seem to quiet them either. or i feel them and then they seem very real altogether in some sort of emotional flashback we relive over and over.

i think we are back to wondering what is the relationship T and I have. he observes that i don't acknowledge the relationship we do have. and he is right. i don't. because of those attachment issues that leave me drained and conflicted and ambivalent. i know he would tell me to ask him. what is our relationship exactly? to me? to him? to have an open discussion about it. to tell him of the dissonance. i cant ask for things directly, only indirectly. directly, i chicken out.  i know that about myself. that is something i should definitely work on. am trying to work on, taking action. being more open and its like searching for the boundaries and then retreating -- because we are really wanting to know exactly where they are. so we can control them. so we know where safety ends. but at the same time afraid to ask where they are for fear the answer will hurt.

it is a work in progress. :(

T and i do have a relationship, a therapeutic one. but what is it exactly? do i pay him to care? i know he cares. he demonstrates that to me. is it i need him to fill the holes? or is he more like a coach and i should not expect that.

it probably has something to do with that lack of secure attachment, i am sure.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 11:14:18 AM by missatoo »
Truths needing to be heard but maybe not fact.

missatoo

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Re: attachment
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 11:13:15 AM »
then the thought occurred to me that T would probably tell me to ask him. to find out. so we muster up all our courage and we do. we ask him (in email, face to face would probably still be too scary):

i wish i knew how to relax and let you care for me. that is really what it is. for all my hurts. when you asked me why do i keep coming to see you -- it is that  i keep thinking this is something i will eventually learn how to do. but seems to much for me to ask for. and i think i will figure out where it ends so i know in advance. i will learn to get past all the noise inside. but there is no path around the noise, i think, only through it. and at the end of the day, i think I need to know you will be there for me, no matter what the noise is or how unhinged i get or how horrible it turns out to be. when do you get sick of me? when do you lose patience? when am I too much for you? what is too much?


so i should probably just ask you directly. i think that is what you would tell me.

and i realize, sadly, it has taken me nearly 20 years to be able to ask that.
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lionne

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Re: attachment
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 09:45:18 PM »
Oh, now I get what you mean by questioning the therapy relationship.  I always wondered what you meant by that.

It's deeply personal stuff and I suppose that my thoughts are irrelevant on that level.  T has to enter into the process well enough to say what will be helpful in response to your questions.

Therapy is a limited relationship.  It is set up to have fewer bumps than the everyday relationship situation.  You know that.  What is healing is you experiencing different possibilities in yourself - like your ability to reach out past your defences, and not be completely crushed and powerless in that situation  :).

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"Every week he chose to open his eyes, to live another day in the world.  He did it when he was feeling so awful that the pain seemed to transport him to another state in which everything seemed to fade. He had such hope, and faith that his hope might be rewarded."  Hanya Yanagihara: A Little Life

missatoo

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Re: attachment
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2017, 03:18:25 AM »
actually I find that T has more bumps for me than everyday relationships. and that has been/will be the real challenge.
but that is probably a reflection on my attitude for everyday relationships. most of the time, everyday relationships do not really demand of me that I confront my issues. I can avoid them when they do, avoid the pitfalls for me, and avoid relationships altogether so that never happens. I can let things go as if they never bothered me to begin with.

but not with T. the focus on my needs and my wants and my goals and my choices is relentless. and actually acutely painful for me as each time it feels like THE END. like some child being dragged kicking and screaming while others are like, no this is what we want.

avoidance has kicked in.  and our usual death spiral where we become convinced what we want or have done is wrong. it is reflexive and I am starting to get some space and to see it for what it is. inside is this child covering her face and not wanting to see T at all now.  humiliated and ashamed to have asked or to have made it such a big deal. as if they are convinced this is THE END. and we should just retreat. I start to wonder how we will face T at all, having asked for such a big thing.

but of course, this is avoidance itself.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 03:57:06 AM by missatoo »
Truths needing to be heard but maybe not fact.

cleo

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Re: attachment
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2017, 03:32:40 AM »
Hi missatoo

I can relate to a lot of this. A lot of my time in t was struggling with attachment and with the relationship. I too am fearful/avoidant and then disorganized.

The struggle to ask for things was terrible. It was always a dance back and forth, where I stretched out a little bit and then retreated. I guess a good t is there when you stretch a little, to meet you partway. And then next time maybe you can stretch again, or more. But it is always a struggle. And the searching for the boundary/safety- I was so terrified of hitting that unknowingly and being rejected. My t would always say- you are miles and miles away from it! :) To try to reassure me. But one thing I learned- even if we hit a boundary now, it is hard and triggering, but it does not have the same consequences as when we were little. So learning that too is valuable.

This is over 15+ yrs of therapy though. I've seen many therapists, I only had one that I knew cared for me absolutely and with depth. And it is because she showed me over and over and over again in different ways and by doing different things. This is the t that I have come back to, though I can only see her once a month.

It sounds like you are doing good work with your t, though hard. It does have more bumps I think, I think bc we let it, bc we don't let other relationships get that real or close- or at least I don't.