Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 794882

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Attachment and Missing my T

Posted by sunnydays on November 13, 2007, at 16:11:16

So....

My therapist and I have been talking about attachment a lot lately. About how my mom most likely has borderline personality disorder (he hasn't met her, but he said that everything I've said about her just keeps reinforcing the absolute classic picture in his mind of someone who is borderline - extremely inconsistent, prone to getting extremely angry and hostile, having an affair, etc., etc.). But the point with all that is that somehow somewhere I attached to my mother, my dad being very absent and just sort of checked out. He and my mom were married and everything, he just has never really been a huge factor in my life. So naturally, since a child needs a parent, I attached to my mother.

My mother has been extremely emotionally inconsistent with me and he was talking today about something called object relations theory, and that it talks about a notion of permanence, and that I didn't get that feeling of permanence from my mom. I used to beg her to stay home, but she would leave and go out. And my mom fluctuates between being in a great mood and things being wonderful and really wanting me close to her, to being extremely hostile and rejecting towards me.

So my T thinks that because I get, at least a little bit and in a limited way, some of the things I really want and need in a relationship from him, that the little girl feelings have transferred onto him somewhat. And that I have gotten attached to him, and so that I really feel safe. But that since the early experiences were so inconsistent for me, it's hard to trust that relationships don't always end and people don't always go away, and that's why I miss him so much.

I understand that to a point, and it all makes a lot of sense, but we were talking about this part of me today that still doesn't want to believe that my parents weren't good and to give up on the fact that they won't change and be normal (therapy is NOT helping them, it's making them, if anything, more entrenched in their ways). And it makes me so sad.

I thought there was a question somewhere in this post, but I don't know what it is. I guess just, does this make sense to anyone else? And how do I get it to really sink in? Today my T had me take notes while he explained it because we've talked so many times about it and the times I need to remember it most, when I get frightened he will leave me, it slips out of my mind and I can't grasp it anymore.

So comments and help and suggestions, and even just some comfort for the little girl in me that is so so sad would be appreciated. Sorry I haven't been around much lately. It's just been hard to think of anything to say.

sunnydays

 

Re: Attachment and Missing my T

Posted by rskontos on November 13, 2007, at 18:31:57

In reply to Attachment and Missing my T, posted by sunnydays on November 13, 2007, at 16:11:16

Sunnydays, I too feel the pain you feel. My mom was either BPD or bi-polar with psychosis. She was very ill and mistreated us. She too had affairs now they were the product of being raped from an early age (7) and that continued until 15 and a close family member to boot. She was delusional and hostile one minute but never I remember as wanting us close maybe when we were older. I have dissociated alot of my time with her so I don't know. And my father who claims we weren't his, was distant. In fact he told me he didnt want me. So no, no sense of permanence either. I have with my marriage but I don't expect it I don't expect it from anyone really. I don't trust anyone. I don't expect too. I also must work on thinking about people when they are gone from my sight. I am being very honest here. It is hard it hurts to reveal how much I don't feel. About anything. I do love my children and husband. But I work on that. I have to work on holding on. I think it is because I had such ill parents. My T thinks my father is mentally ill too. I agree. When I tell her things he still says she is amazed. I am not I guess I expect it. Afterall if it is all you have ever known. Maybe that is why I didn't get a male T. I was afraid I might get too attached. I don't know. Maybe I wouldn't have. But the recommendation I rec'd was for the T I have and I went it. Turns out it is a woman. Sometimes I wonder if I tell all about me will she be alarmed and run but I say well why not everyone usually leaves. So I will wait and see.

I think he is right about that you need a relationship to trust and he is a safe one to trust. It is sad our parents weren't the ones they should have been but that isn't our faults. My T says I have to parents myself now. You post does make sense. I don't think he will leave you. I truly understand why you worry but I think you are right to trust him because that is the only way to heal the wound your parents began so long ago. It is for your sake you trust him and yourself and forgive the way your parents were for yoursake not theirs. The permanence a child needs you now need to create for yourself. It is hard but it can be done. At least so says my T. I believe this to be true. I beleive you are very close with the nice relationship you have create with your T. I think that we must admit that one day our relationships with our Ts will end but that day when it comes we will be strong enough to be ok with it and it will come when it time to come and not before. We miss some important attachments as children and now we must strive to make them. You are doing a great job. It is ok because you are searching for an answer and you will find it. I think you are doing great!!! rk

 

Re: Attachment and Missing my T rskontos

Posted by sunnydays on November 13, 2007, at 21:56:53

In reply to Re: Attachment and Missing my T, posted by rskontos on November 13, 2007, at 18:31:57

> Sunnydays, I too feel the pain you feel.

**** I'm so sorry you feel the pain too. I soooo wish I didn't, and that no one else did either. It's such an awful thing to have happen.

So no, no sense of permanence either. I have with my marriage but I don't expect it I don't expect it from anyone really. I don't trust anyone. I don't expect too.

**** I am so scared that I will never get married. I have never had a boyfriend and am 21, and I feel like a freak. I so desperately want to get married, but I also don't want to do anything because I'm desperate. And I'm so afraid of getting close to people that who knows if I'll ever agree to go on a date anyway.

I also must work on thinking about people when they are gone from my sight. I am being very honest here. It is hard it hurts to reveal how much I don't feel. About anything. I do love my children and husband. But I work on that. I have to work on holding on.

**** I'm sorry about that. For a long time I thought I didn't ever feel much of anything, but I was wrong. I feel sooooo much now, and it's just so painful. And I miss my T and get so sad and it's so hard. It must be equally hard to feel like you don't feel anything.

I think it is because I had such ill parents. My T thinks my father is mentally ill too. I agree. When I tell her things he still says she is amazed.

**** Today in T I mentioned something one of my parents did once when I was little, just in passing, I didn't think anything of it, thought it was normal typical parent stuff. And my T stopped me and said, "Do you realize what bad parenting that is? Parents shouldn't say things like that in front of their children. You don't think anything of it, but it really is bad parenting." I am always sort of shocked when that happens, that things I think are completely normal and nothing even worth mentioning are actually not normal things.

I am not I guess I expect it. Afterall if it is all you have ever known. Maybe that is why I didn't get a male T. I was afraid I might get too attached. I don't know. Maybe I wouldn't have.

**** I didn't choose the sex of my T or anything about him. I go to a university and I got assigned to him. But I was SO lucky because we click really well and he is patient and caring, and I love him (and have told him so). But I had had both sexes before and really didn't like the male T I had so I was nervous in the beginning, but this T was so different in demeanor that I knew from the first session that it was going to be different.

But the recommendation I rec'd was for the T I have and I went it. Turns out it is a woman. Sometimes I wonder if I tell all about me will she be alarmed and run but I say well why not everyone usually leaves. So I will wait and see.

**** She won't run and leave. My T hasn't and I think I've told him so pretty bad stuff about myself (he assures me it's not bad, but it's so hard to believe that sometimes).


> I think he is right about that you need a relationship to trust and he is a safe one to trust. It is sad our parents weren't the ones they should have been but that isn't our faults.

**** My T always reminds me, "It wasn't about you. It was your mom's illness."

My T says I have to parents myself now. You post does make sense. I don't think he will leave you.

**** Logically, I am positive he won't leave me, but it is hard to absorb that into the core of my soul and believe it in there. The little girl still is kind of afraid to trust. And my T does say I have to build the kind of secure base that I needed for myself now, and that that makes it much harder because it's something I should have been given, not something I have to make. But I have to make it for myself right now. It's just so hard to accept that I have to.

It is for your sake you trust him and yourself and forgive the way your parents were for yoursake not theirs.

**** Nooooooooooo. I had a strong reaction to that. I am nowhere near a point where I can forgive. I think you have to go through being angry at your parents first, and I'm barely even at the point where I can acknowledge there is anger there. I am still grieving. I can't forgive right now, and my T said there is absolutely no need to until I am ready. Or I can never forgive them, although he thinks I will get to a point where I am ready to.

The permanence a child needs you now need to create for yourself. It is hard but it can be done. At least so says my T. I believe this to be true. I beleive you are very close with the nice relationship you have create with your T.

**** I think I am doing well also! Compared to the spring, I am in such a completely different place I almost don't believe my memory that it was only that short a time ago. But it was. So I do know I am making progress. It's just so painfully slow sometimes.

I think that we must admit that one day our relationships with our Ts will end but that day when it comes we will be strong enough to be ok with it and it will come when it time to come and not before.

**** My T said he has made a lifetime commitment to me, and we could even talk after he is retired. I think he's banking on the fact that I won't need him after a while, but right now I definitely do need him, and he says that's ok. It's not good for me to think about it ending right now because I get incredibly sad and sometimes start crying for hours. So right now I need to hold onto the fact that it's for absolutely as long as *I* want it. But I do logically realize it will end sometime.

We miss some important attachments as children and now we must strive to make them. You are doing a great job. It is ok because you are searching for an answer and you will find it. I think you are doing great!!! rk

**** Thanks! I think it sounds like you are doing great too. It's just so hard, and the pain and sadness from the little girl part of me are so intense and so entrenched.

sunnydays

 

Re: Attachment and Missing my T

Posted by Wittgenstein on November 14, 2007, at 4:52:21

In reply to Attachment and Missing my T, posted by sunnydays on November 13, 2007, at 16:11:16

Sunnydays, Rskontos

I can also relate to your experiences - again my mother is an undiagnosed borderline - she has such anger and is so unpredictable with her moods that I grew up terrified of her and unable to trust. My father is distant, weak, quiet - I love him but it is a painful unrequited love. He always stood by and let my mother do the things she did without batting an eyelid. Instead of thinking he was wrong to let that happen, I just assumed I deserved to be treated that way - that that was what I was worth as a person.

As an adult (22) I find it almost impossible to trust - I doubt others' good intentions - always look for a snide comment to follow or what they are 'really' thinking - low self-esteem. To trust was always a mistake growing up. This came up in therapy yesterday. I said that it didn't bother me whether my therapist liked me or not, although I hoped that I mattered to him in some way/that he cared - I could never feel he would actually like me - just as long as he didn't hate me - the best I can want/expect is indifference. The question of whether he likes me doesn't really make any sense to me even.

Since learning more about how dysfunctional my parents were in their parenting - I didn't have a clue that things were 'wrong' before now - growing up I accepted it as normal - it does bring an intense grief and pain. I've lost the hope that they will ever change - that was a very hard realisation for me. I don't/can't feel anger yet - and I guess at the moment I just feel detachment/emptiness in regard to them.

I'm sorry you both have had similar experiences - it's very hard to deal with and damaging. But you are both doing well - I admire how brave you are in light of this.

Witti

 

Re: Attachment and Missing my T

Posted by rskontos on November 14, 2007, at 10:41:52

In reply to Re: Attachment and Missing my T, posted by Wittgenstein on November 14, 2007, at 4:52:21

Witt and Sunnydays, it is heartbreaking to me that there are so many of us out here whose parents were the way they were :(. But we are trying to deal with it. You Witti, I dont think of myself as brave just trying to get by really. I too like you and Sunny, didn't think of any of my parents behavior as anything as normal because that is all I knew. As I keep telling my T stuff she tells me no that isn't good parenting.

Sunny, I know you are not ready for no more T, that is ok. It is great that your T is prepared for a long term committment. That alone tells you he won't leave you. I am more like Witt I never really thought about whether my T likes me or not. I just wanted and needed help so badly I would take anything. Indifference is almost prefered because I don't have to worry about her too. You know what I mean. My mother is dead so she can't change. I though only now broke the hold she had over me even dead for 20 years. I don't really know how I feel about her now, or my father well actually I don't have much feeling for him and my T says that is ok because he did nothing to create a relationship. I too feel a emptiness to them both and my grand parents. They let us remain in this situation without trying to protect us from my parents. I am sad for the small children we were, mad at the adults that should have protected us, and the adult in me is empty of feelings for them. So no I am forgiving them yet. I think we have a good progress to date and only hope we reach a place where achieve peace. But I am glad to know there are others that I can relate to I am only sad to know that you went through the same h*ll to get there and that s*ucks for us all :( But we did survive and we are stronger!~
rk

 

Re: Attachment and Missing my T sunnydays

Posted by littleone on November 16, 2007, at 3:56:44

In reply to Attachment and Missing my T, posted by sunnydays on November 13, 2007, at 16:11:16

I found it really really hard to accept that my mum was actually a really crap mum. It was total disbelief at first, then I fluctuated around all sorts of things like blaming her past, blaming myself, more disbelief, lots of anger, lots of grief, blaming the situation she was in.

It was really really hard just to accept it as it was. I think I must accept it more now because now there's just heaps of anger and heaps of sadness at what I missed out on and how could she do that to me.

You probably won't like my answer. I know I would hate it. I would want to hear something I could do *now* to fix it. But to be completely honest, I only accepted it by going through all the phases over and over and continuing to write about it and think about it and talk about it with my T. Over and over and over.

But doing that *does* move you forward.

Keep going sunnydays. This sounded like such an important talk with your T. What you said all makes total sense to me and I know that if you keep thinking about what he said you will move forward.

And it is really sad.

I have a miserable part that holds lots of the sad around my mum issues. I bought a little dinosaur that represents that part which makes it easier for me to care for that part. It's something I can hold adn talk to kindly adn gently and my miserable part feels that kindness and gentleness adn slowly lets it in.

Be kind to your sad little girl. She deserves all teh kindness in teh world.

 

Re: Attachment and Missing my T Wittgenstein

Posted by sunnydays on November 17, 2007, at 17:12:24

In reply to Re: Attachment and Missing my T, posted by Wittgenstein on November 14, 2007, at 4:52:21

Instead of thinking he was wrong to let that happen, I just assumed I deserved to be treated that way - that that was what I was worth as a person.

**** For me, I think I just assumed I must be wrong, that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. I'm so so sorry that you went through something similar to me.


>
> As an adult (22) I find it almost impossible to trust - I doubt others' good intentions - always look for a snide comment to follow or what they are 'really' thinking - low self-esteem. To trust was always a mistake growing up.

**** Yeah. I have such a hard time trusting people. They don't understand why, either, when I try to explain. It's comforting to know you understand, although I'm sorry for the reason that you understand.

This came up in therapy yesterday. I said that it didn't bother me whether my therapist liked me or not, although I hoped that I mattered to him in some way/that he cared - I could never feel he would actually like me - just as long as he didn't hate me - the best I can want/expect is indifference. The question of whether he likes me doesn't really make any sense to me even.

**** Wow. I'm soooooo sorry Witti. I love my therapist dearly, and am probably the opposite. I'm absolutely obsessed with what he thinks of me. Perhaps the difference between avoidant and anxious-ambivalent attachment? I don't know. It's just so hard.

I've lost the hope that they will ever change - that was a very hard realisation for me. I don't/can't feel anger yet - and I guess at the moment I just feel detachment/emptiness in regard to them.

**** Kind of the same here. I haven't lost the hope that they will change yet, but realistically I know they never will. It is such a sad, unfortunate thing.

>
> I'm sorry you both have had similar experiences - it's very hard to deal with and damaging. But you are both doing well - I admire how brave you are in light of this.


**** Thanks Witti. You are doing so wonderfully and are really strong too. We'll keep going through this and we'll get through it eventually and be better for it - or at least I hope so.

sunnydays

 

Re: Attachment and Missing my T littleone

Posted by sunnydays on November 17, 2007, at 17:17:25

In reply to Re: Attachment and Missing my T sunnydays, posted by littleone on November 16, 2007, at 3:56:44

> I found it really really hard to accept that my mum was actually a really crap mum. It was total disbelief at first, then I fluctuated around all sorts of things like blaming her past, blaming myself, more disbelief, lots of anger, lots of grief, blaming the situation she was in.

*** I think I'm doing some of that. Although I feel like lately all I've been doing is going "poor me, it's so sad, why did this all happen". But I suppose there has to be a place for that in grieving too. (At least I hope so). I'm sorry you've had to go through all that.

>
> It was really really hard just to accept it as it was. I think I must accept it more now because now there's just heaps of anger and heaps of sadness at what I missed out on and how could she do that to me.

*** I don't think I accept it yet because I still hope for change so so so much. But logically I know it's never coming. My mom's just so unpredictable that it always seems like maybe it's right around the corner, though.

>
> You probably won't like my answer. I know I would hate it. I would want to hear something I could do *now* to fix it. But to be completely honest, I only accepted it by going through all the phases over and over and continuing to write about it and think about it and talk about it with my T. Over and over and over.

**** Yeah, logically I know that. I just am so wishing it would go a little faster.


> Be kind to your sad little girl. She deserves all teh kindness in teh world.

**** Thank you so much. I wish I could write more, but I'm having a hard time today so I can't.

sunnydays


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