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.
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:-
- I become totally preoccupied by that person;
- I buy them gifts;
- I think of them in songs and play those songs on repeat;
- I see things everywhere that remind me of them;
- I go off whoever else is around me – perhaps a current partner;
- I want and need more.. more, more, more;
- My mood changes when I am with that person;
- I cry when that person leaves me physically or I have to leave them;
- 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
- 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.