Obsession, Chickens & Dream therapy

Okay, I am struggling. Really, really struggling.

I don’t know what has happened but since Friday evening when I wrote about walking home, playing the song that reminds me of T, thinking of those lovely memories with her and then the awful internet stalking binge that I went on (still not over that!) I have become obsessed.

I don’t want to use the word “obsessed” because it has very negative connotations and conjures up an image of some mad stalker or something. But for the sake of being bluntly honest, that is probably the most accurate word.

I just cannot stop thinking about T; and I am talking like 24/7 completely and utterly consumed by her. I can’t even give an example of the types of thoughts I am having, I can’t consciously grab hold of one long enough to examine, but she is just “there” if that makes any sense?

Unfortunately the fact that she is so “there” has resulted in everyone else no longer being “there” at all. I feel awful writing this, but I can’t even connect properly with my boyfriend. It is as though I just can’t see and feel him at the moment. Like there isn’t room for them both.  I feel so guilty that I feel this way that I just spent the last ten minutes crying in the toilet partly for that reason.

He is so happy today because we’ve just been to a garden centre and he’s brought some new plants. He is a keen gardener these days and it has given him that lift that I get when I’ve been on a successful shopping trip. Yet here I am, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon sitting in bed writing this in the hope that my headache goes, that I make some sense of all these thoughts in my head and that my mood lifts, for his sake as much as mine. I don’t want him to feel rejected.

It feels similar to cheating. Being totally consumed in thoughts about another person and your partner having no idea. The confusion and the guilt – it is very similar to that.

I have spent hours on the internet reading about transference and trying to make some sense of what is going on. It isn’t erotic transference because I only see her in a motherly way, there is nothing sexual about any of it – yet the feeling is similar to falling in love. All encompassing love.

***

Chickens

I found a book at the garden centre on chickens. I was drawn to the book and picked it up admiring the beautiful chickens and their lovely colours and patterns. The reason? My T (of course) because she keeps chickens.  It is one of the few things I know about her.

I thought to myself that I would buy her the book, she would like that and i would like that too and then the voice in my head told me not to be so stupid, that I wasn’t allowed to buy T things, that she would ask me why I had, perhaps even reject the gift and that I would feel ashamed and rejected. The pain of that thought alone was intense and physically hurt my chest. I felt as though I could cry right there and then and so I put the book down and walked away.

I thought to myself that it just isn’t fair that I can’t do these things. That I can’t have T as my mother figure and that I have to keep to a more professional and boundaried relationship with her. I wanted to be able to do these things and it feels so bloody unfair that I can’t. Writing that sentence has brought the tears back up. Wow it is strong.

I am aware that words like “isn’t fair” are rather childish so perhaps I am regressed. Perhaps it is the child part that is feeling the perceived rejection and unfairness.

Anyway, I then fought against all of this and decided to buy the book. I thought I could decide later if I gave it to her or not. Perhaps I would keep it for myself and it would remind of me of T, or perhaps I would decided to give it to her. So I now have a book about chickens sitting on my dining table downstairs that may, or may not, make its way to T.

***

Falling in “Love”

I started thinking about similarities in the way I think, feel and behave at the start of relationships and compared it to the way I’ve been feeling about T.  There are some definite similarities:-

  1. I become totally preoccupied by that person;
  2. I buy them gifts;
  3. I think of them in songs and play those songs on repeat;
  4. I see things everywhere that remind me of them;
  5. I go off whoever else is around me – perhaps a current partner;
  6. I want and need more.. more, more, more;
  7. My mood changes when I am with that person;
  8. I cry when that person leaves me physically or I have to leave them;
  9. I try and play it cool and fight against all of these things because I know that other people don’t tend to feel this way and because I don’t want to show my “true colours” and scare the new love interest away; and
  10. Later down the line, I constantly ask if everything is okay, if I’ve upset the other person and struggle with insecurity and jealousy to a hugely embarrassing extent.  Funnily enough, insecurity is what made me contact a therapist in the first place. I had no idea (consciously) abut anything else.

Wow, I know, this really does show my issues doesn’t it? LOL. I think this is what they call a preoccupied attachment.

Okay, so what I understand so far is that I am currently preoccupied by my T, that I am repeating old behaviours and that the reason for this is down to my anxious/preoccupied attachment style which in turn, was caused by my experiences as a baby with my caregiver.

That has helped actually… writing all of this has really helped me to understand what is going on and has made it far less scary. I can actually feel my mood lifting.

The good thing about all of this is that I am in therapy now, that all of these behaviours and thoughts are “under the microscope” so to speak and will be examined thoroughly.

Hopefully one day, this will no longer be my pattern.

***

Last night’s dream

Here are some notes I wrote this morning about a dream I had last night (about T, obviously).

In session with T and was feeling a bit weird. A mixture of anger and upset. I wasn’t sure how I was feeling, but I wanted T to know what was wrong without me having to tell her. T didn’t seem to notice anything was wrong.  I got that familiar feeling that I had been talking too much again and so instantly stopped talking and just listened to her, although I was more listening to my internal dialogue. 

I asked T why I was suddenly finding therapy so hard (I was hoping that she would push this and guess what I was trying to say to her – which was that I am suddenly thinking about her a lot and that I am preoccupied with her.  I wanted to tell her about my Googling and admit how bad I feel.  I wanted her to make it all okay and to rid myself of the shame and guilt and for her to still be there and not leave or go mad).

The session ended and I got up to go, T opened the door at the front of the room (there isn’t one in real life) which was odd. I was surprised. T quickly left the room in a way that told me to stay where I was – I assumed her daughter was there.  She came back and apologised and we left the room together and I got into my car. 

I realised I had sat in the back of my car and that I needed to get into the front seat and drive it  I didn’t want to and didn’t feel capable of driving because I was feeling so confused and regressed and angry and upset.  Nothing was clear. 

But then I saw it!!! There was an envelope on my steering wheel! With my name on the front.  It said “To Twinkletoes, with love from Poland”.  The card was half of a ripped up xmas card, it said something in about how I would like a cook book which had a weird name, something like “blonde bee cookery” and I thought to myself that perhaps her daughter had it and she had thought I might like it.  I wondered why she was giving me this card that she wrote in Poland at Xmas now, in the summer.  Perhaps she forgot she had it.  I was thrilled she had thought of me on her holiday and that I had something like this to keep because only that day I had thought how I would like an transitional object in the form of something handwritten (this was true in waking life too). 

I started to drive home but couldn’t see properly. I felt I would crash. I took my glasses off to see if that helped and then realised my headlights weren’t on, so I put them on. I didn’t feel able to drive and had such a huge sense that I needed someone to tell me it was okay, to let me stop the car and get into the back, to give me a huge cuddle and let me cry it all out and for me to not have to keep acting as though I was capable. 

My thoughts on this dream are that firstly, it is extremely close to real life events. Me wishing T would know things without me having to tell her – particularly about the more embarrassing things such as this transference and the Google stalking…  me sitting in the back of my own car instead of the driver’s seat I take to be symbolic of the fact I need to “drive my own therapy” and not sit in the back.  The card is possibly a mixture of the fact i want to ask her for something handwritten to keep in breaks and a wish that she would buy me a card or gift so that I knew she had thought of me – without me asking of course. The wish in the dream that I would tell her everything and she would not leave or punish me is clearly true in real life too.  It is almost as if I had a session with her in my head because I am struggling so much in waking life.  The part about not being able to drive and not feeling capable, of wanting her (or someone) to take over and let me collapse is probably a real wish at the moment. Not wanting to have to put on a front of being strong and able when I am not feeling it.

***

Where are you now?

That is a question that T would ask me at the end of a hard session.  Where am I now? I feel a lot better having written all of this out. It has made some space in my brain which was feeling too full up.

I understand that I am repeating behaviours and I guess that is probably pretty useful (although embarrassing) to my therapy and will hopefully be something I can use to learn from.  I just need to be able to tolerate these uncomfortable feelings (something I struggle with).

Now all I need to do is get the guts to speak to T about it and decide whether to give her the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Obsession, Chickens & Dream therapy

  1. Sorry you’re struggling. 😦
    This is all part of the process. That inner child is trying to work out if it’s safe or maybe even has to be open and vulnerable. Maybe subconsciously you feel the approval and ‘love’ that she has shown you and you are needing it more. Your T is secure and consistent which is everything that you have needed.

    I don’t know if the first question on this video may help.

    You should discuss this with your T though. Stop being so hard on yourself. You know why this happening. This seems like on of the times that my T would smile at me and tell me that I am normal.
    I think about my T quite a lot and more than I will admit to anyone because it may sound weird. But I need to hold her in my heart and mind to keep me sane.
    Be kind to yourself xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Secure and consistent is everything I’ve always wanted. That’s for sure.

      I’ll take a look at the link in a moment, thank you for sending it!

      I think I’m starting to be less hard on myself now that I’ve been able to rationalise it a little, writing that really helped actually.

      Do you really, that’s comforting…. I’ve always thought of her, but this is really extreme in comparison.

      Totally get that you need to hold her in your heart and mind – 100% xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would have said that it’s temporary but after reading Sirena’s response, maybe not! You won’t feel like this forever.
        Yeah this weekend I have been wondering if she is looking after her nieces as she mentioned in our session. Amongst other thoughts.
        It’s just a case of riding it out and letting your T guide you through it. And us of course. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This fixation with the “mother” is a completely normal phase of attachment. I can’t remember quite what age that occurs but it’s infancy up until toddler age I think. The baby attaches to one main figure, usually the mother and only wants the mother up until about 8 months; and then it becomes more interested in “daddy” or others. But before that the baby is fixated on mother and it is a very sensual (not sexual) and mutually exclusive and beneficial relationship for both mother and child, it is very much like a love affair because of all that oxytocin flying about.
    So it’s very likely that you are in that stage just now and if shows the deficit you have originally as a baby, that that phase wasn’t completed adequately at the time. And that’s why it’s showing up now, because your T has become the mother figure and the safe person and the provider of nurturance and attunment. She is essentally feeing your soul right now. It’s totally naturally to want more and more and more of that.
    It’ s so uncomfortable and embarrasing and confusing as an adult to go through this stage but it is necessary and it is healthy and it won’t last forever… but it will probably take the same amount of time as it does a real baby to grow up. And just like a toddelr who begins to separate from mother to go explore, but will keep looking over at her to make sure their safe base is still there… you’ll go through that phase too.
    I still feel like I think about my therapist wayyyyy too much and yes sometimes I feel fixated but it is getting less intense and I do find myself with slightly more head room for other things.
    I hope that helps at least take some of the shame away from it for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sirena, I feel like you’re some kind of therapy genius. You are so knowledgeable about everything I go through: thank you for taking so much time to help comfort and reassure me especially at the moment.

      Okay, so it’s basically a development stage? I was wondering this myself yesterday as I read erikson’s stages of development and read about trust vs mistrust.

      So I’m basically fixated on my therapist because I’m re-doing a stage that wasn’t properly completed… that makes sense. Although I wonder why so sudden?

      Feeding my soul – very accurate. That’s exactly how it feels.

      Yep, it’s uncomfortable and embarrassing and scary at the same time. So this could take me 8 months? Jesus christ…and that’s only the first stage, please tell me I don’t need to go through all of them?!

      Do you really think about her a lot? Did you ever tell her that?

      Like

      1. I’m knowledgeable because I’ve been and still am sometimes exactly where you are! 😆
        Yes it’s a development stage, Erik son’s stages of development is good and so is Freud’s psychosexual stages is useful too and maybe even reading just normal baby and child development books as you’ll be able to recognise yourself in some of the stages. Read Dan Siegal’s Whole Brained Child also. He talks about the importance of mirroring and mirror neurons in child development and the damage done to the brain when a baby doesn’t get it. But luckily we can rewire our brains if we get it properly in adulthood i.e from our therapists.
        The bad news is… all this shit might take longer than 8 months. It’s not linear and we will bounce between stages. Because we have knowledge of trauma and bad things and we have higher defences so we basically have to work through all of that on top of relearning and experiencing the healthy stuff.
        You ask why so sudden? It might just be that as soon as you have a bit of trust or a bit of final acceptance that you need her and therapy that it just opens that pressure cooker and it all comes spilling out. It’s a messy business, that’s for sure.
        I do think about my therapist lots of time throughout my day, it depends how busy I am or how distressed I am. But I think a lot about her, about what she’s doing, where she might be, what she thinks about me, if she can be trusted… on an on it goes. Total fixation!
        I think I have told her. I haven’t said explicitly ” I obsess over you” or ” I think about you all the time” but I’ve told her I’m fixated with therapy or worrying where she is in the world and I’ve told her I want to be enmeshed with her because it feels safer that way.
        It’s embarrassing but totes normal! It’s a good sign in fact.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree it’s a good sign in terms of the attachment between me and her, I am so thankful and glad we have that and I am so glad she is “safe” and a very good therapist who isn’t scared by things. If I sensed any fear from her, I think I would run a mile!

        Thank you, I will deffo check out that reading, I love being able to read things like that, it takes away a lot of the shame and makes me more able to talk to her about things.

        As for the pressure cooker, that makes sense. My Friday night thing started by me thinking how wonderful she is and about those lovely memories of me passing my driving test and of my car and her response etc – maybe something just “clicked” in my brain that she was safe and … voila! Obsession was born 😂

        I’ve just googled “mother fixation” and the definition is accurate. “Abnormally persistent, close and often paralysing emotional attachment to one’s mother”.

        X

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Just found this and thought of what you said yesterday.. “If the child’s experiences in a given stage are very traumatic, the lessons learned or inferred during that period become deeply implanted. Fixation can also refer to an early relationship or a stage of an early relationship. It is common for someone to be unconsciously fixated on his or her relationship with a parent. If I am fixated in that way a good deal of my physic energy is engaged in longing for that person or trying to excise the pain of that relationship”… sounds like what you were saying yesterday. Good old Freud!! x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like you have a self management problem. At some level you have given yourself permission to explore these issues. Probably because you’ve found a dependable resource in T . The difficulty is, the more you explore the more layers become exposed, presenting themselves for you to deal with. You are bound to feel quite raw and sensitised as you go through this. The pull you feel, will be to keep your attention focussed on this all of the time. Because, at some level, you want to get through this as quickly as possible. While at one level this seems quite a rational thing to do, my feeling is that it is not always helpful as it can keep a lot of emotional discomfort on the surface but without the opportunity to work through it with the attention and guidance of your T. At times like this I found it useful to have some mentally demanding task, or something that took my mind off in a different direction. Not always easy I know, but when it worked it stopped the recycling over and over, of uncomfortable feelings and thoughts. Take care :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “The pull you feel, will be to keep your attention focussed on this all of the time. Because, at some level, you want to get through this as quickly as possible.” – totally true!

    Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it. You are right I think perhaps I keep it all surface level in order to get through it as quickly as possible but yes, it does leave me emotionally very uncomfortable. Part of me craves a distraction and part of me finds the obsessing over it keeps me somehow linked with T – definitely food for thought. Thanks again. TT x

    Like

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