Regretting closeness

I cut my feelings off again. And I’ve decided that I never want to call my therapist again. Not because she’s done anything bad – quite the opposite, actually – but because I feel too guilty needing her and wasting her time. Maybe I should just stop therapy.

Taking a step back, I can see that maybe this is part of that pendulum swing of disorganized attachment: wanting to get close, getting close, then running desperately away. I spoke with T twice on the phone this week. That’s never happened before, and I don’t want it to happen again. The second time I spoke with her was after I had spoken to my landlord, and I was convinced that I heard something in her voice. Resentment, frustration, exasperation with me.

So now I want to back off. Give her space, because I’m too much. In order to do that, I cut off from my emotions. I was a crying mess up until yesterday afternoon when I just shut it all down. It’s easier this way. I can deal with the fear and guilt that threatens me when I see the maintenance guy’s truck in the parking lot of the apartments. Shut it down, convince myself that it doesn’t matter. I don’t care. I can deal with the rejection from T that a part of me is convinced is coming. Now, it won’t hurt. I can deal with the terror I feel in preparation for a presentation in front of 100+ people on Saturday. It doesn’t matter what happens.

It’s too hard being close to someone. I want to take the easy way out and just avoid closeness and needs altogether.

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4 thoughts on “Regretting closeness

  1. Hey Kashley –

    Oh, I could have written this post, WORD FOR WORD, every day for the last couple of years. This is exactly “the dance” that I am stuck in. Of course you are going to feel scared and vulnerable, dealing with what you are. But then, on top of that, you reached out a couple of times (more than usual for you) and so now you are feeling exposed, and vulnerable, and yucky, and needy, and THEN there’s the lurking danger you feel – like she’s mad, or irritated, or going away, or upset. So you had a need, you moved closer to your T, and then you felt like it was dangerous, so now you want to back up. This is so me, a million times a day.

    Several weeks ago, I emailed my T 3 times in a week (not from a place of deep need, but just various things like a schedule issue, and then asking for a referral for my brother, etc) and when she mentioned it in therapy, I was washed in shame. She mentioned it! UGH. I am ashamed of my own needs. I am angry that I have them. And all it took was her mentioning it, and I swore I would never email her between sessions again. And I won’t.

    I know this comes from the old time – my childhood. It is, actually, safe to need my T or my spouse. But it still feels scary, now.

    My best advice is to pay attention to that scared voice you are hearing. For example, in your scared (child) mind, you heard these things (and therefore, good news – you got a window into her reality. Her voice, her thoughts, give you ALL THIS INFORMATION about your child’s reality):

    Your child:

    1) Feels guilty for needing others
    2) Feels like you waste other people’s time
    3) Feel like people will be exasperated, frustrated, and resentful about your needs.

    I think you (adult you) knows that this isn’t necessarily true right now. But it was very true for you child. So now you know what your child felt, and what part of her/you needs your attention. If you have a lucky few moments where you come back to adult self space, can you feel if these things are *really* true, now?

    You have permission for all of your feelings. They are all TRUE. They just aren’t all THIS BIG in the now – they come from a long time ago. But that voice you hear, that’s your child voice, and she is telling you exactly what she needs.

    I hope this post was okay – I’m cheering for you. HUGS.

    1. Thanks, MMM – your post was wonderful. That cycle is so exhausting, isn’t it?

      I did manage to tell T that I didn’t like that I’d called her twice – it helped to just know that she knew I felt ashamed for it. It also ties to this shame that I have around being close to her at all. A lot of times, I avoid even acknowledging the relationship just because of the shame I feel surrounding it. I’m not sure what that is about. Anyway, we didn’t go in depth about it, and I didn’t share everything that I did here, but she was able to reassure me that she wasn’t at all angry or resentful that I’d called twice and seemed to acknowledge that it came out of a place of real need – although in hindsight (which is very tainted right now) I don’t understand what my fuss was about.

      But that’s another rant for another day, right? 🙂 Thanks for always being so wonderfully supportive. xx

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