Insecure attachment SUCKS.
This blog has been really positive recently, because life is really positive. My life is so beautiful right now – I have an amazing, fulfilling job, beautiful friends, a wonderful partner who I have just moved in with, inspirational mentors, and a team of professionals who go above and beyond to be the very best I could ever ask for. For the most part now, I feel secure and loved and cared for and about, and I am happy. Life is BEAUTIFUL.
But, in the last week or two, that agony of insecure attachment is back. It started with Halloween. Halloween is a flashback nightmare for me. This year I was better prepared and the evening was better than the previous year (though that wouldn’t have been hard…). This year still contained self harm and flashbacks and unexplained bleeding, and was only contained because of my partner, best friend and exceptional GP. We were very prepared in advance but it was still awful. My GP and I spoke almost every hour, and I saw him in town (Little absolutely melted and nearly threw herself at him for holding – I caught her internally before I landed on him!)… he was absolutely brilliant, I adore him. But when the Halloween terror passed, the attachment didn’t. Little wanted him, desperately, in that every-minute-of-every-hour kind of way that overwhelms me in a wave of need, embarrassment, shame and disgust. It came quite out of the blue.
The next two days were hideous. I don’t think I’d anticipated the hangover that would come – I just couldn’t stop crying. A mixture of grief and exhaustion overwhelmed me until I was crying with no other reason I could verbalise except “I want GP/T”. There were a lot of hot, grief filled tears.
A week later, I moved house. Because it is so ridiculously exciting and romantic to have moved in together, I didn’t really anticipate the impact change would have. Change brings uncertainty and uncertainty brings skull crushingly awful attachment anxiety. I know this, but because life is so good right now, I forgot.
There was a time when I felt like this all the time. There was never a minute in my day when I didn’t ache in a really visceral, pulsing way for T. There was a time when T and I were in contact daily, and all of our conversations were filled with my begging and pleading for her not to leave. Then things changed. Life became really beautiful. I said to T last week that it’s almost a positive to feel the way I do right now, because it’s a brilliant way of showing me how far I’ve come. There was no contrast before, everything was dark and agonisingly painful. Now it is occasional. But it’s still blinding in its intensity.
Tonight in T we read and cuddled and I cried for what I want but can’t have. I whined that she sucks for not adopting me, I pulled her jumper into the palm of my hand as I balled my fists in dissociation, I cried as she read to me. She reassured me that this feeling won’t be forever, and that it’s to be expected after a big change (and even little changes, to be honest…). I just clung to her. To her warmth and love and her total faith in me.
She reminded me of a film I watched a while ago, A Beautiful Mind. It’s an amazing film about a man who sees hallucinations of people but ultimately learns to live with them. T tried to remind me that this pain is never going to go away. Little is always going to be there, she’s always going to feel a little unsettled when change happens. That’s what trauma does. They ripped apart her security and stomped all over her trust and spat on her self esteem and sense of worth. I am always going to be left with that very traumatised little girl but as time goes by it will (hopefully) become easier to allow her just to pass by, instead of her constantly leaping into the driving seat when uncertainty happens. I really hope T is right about that.
T read me a book today about a Little Bear who can’t sleep because he’s afraid of the dark. Big Bear tries to placate Little Bear by giving him lanterns and telling him to go to sleep, but ultimately he takes him out into the night and shows Little Bear the moon and the stars. Little Bear falls asleep and there is a happily ever after, but by that point I was crying into T’s collarbone. I feel like maybe because there are so many stars in my life right now, because the light is SO bright, I’d forgotten the dark was there. Maybe I’d forgotten the process we went through where I tried to placate and ignore the trauma until there was no ignoring it anymore, and T and I just had to stand in the darkness and accept it. I’d forgotten that there was a time when it was so dark T had to point out the stars for me, because now they are so numerous they’re impossible to ignore. The stars are beautiful but I forgot about the dark. The dark is always going to be there. I sobbed this to T, that I can never make it go away, it will never leave, but she sees it in a less destructive and undermining way than I do. Tonight I see the dark as lurking, ready to cover over my ‘stars’ until we are back to total darkness. T sees them as contrast – impossible to have one without the other. She sees it that it is possible to accept the darkness, to allow it without judgement or punishment. She’s right of course. She always is. And I know that when things feel more stable again for Little, this too shall pass. As it has done before, and will again.
Maybe Little will always be dancing around my feet, never so far away that she’s lost completely. Maybe that’s okay? I don’t know right now. She just hurts so badly, and I don’t know how to make it stop.