I wrote her and then a former colleague of hers that I knew briefly 4-5 years ago about either one of them taking me on in individual therapy. I’m a bit nervous, but I feel like it’s time (TW for some discussion of PTSD)
To be honest, I feel like I’m doing okay in a decent number of areas in my life, but being in this new relationship has peeled back the layers on some stuff that I haven’t really thought about or even really considered to be an issue anymore. Namely, abandonment fears.
I had a tape playing in my head for a long time that said “Anyone that you love or care about or try to open up to will leave you somehow, because you’re not good enough.” My way of trying to deal with this was to be super compliant and doormat-ish to try to get people to stay...if I just mold myself into what they want me to be and accept whatever measly scraps of attention or affection they throw my way, and minimize my needs as much as possible, maybe they won’t walk away.
Anyway. I have delved into this stuff a lot in therapy in the past, and I know a lot of it stems from losing 4 major people in my life before I was 18 (dad, aunt, uncle, grandmother), and the people who were around not being present physically or emotionally (mom). I also know that carrying this around made me a big ol’ target for predatory men (and people in general to be fair, my wounded bird mentality made me attractive to shady manipulative narcissistic friends as well).
I thought I had handled a large part of it, but as we know, recovery is not linear, and being in a relationship has brought some of my fears to the foreground again. I pride myself on being on top of my shit emotionally for the most part, but when I think about Boyfriend leaving me or not being happy with me, I swear to god it levels me in a way that’s honestly a little frightening. Like, I haven’t felt that fearful about anything in a long time. It feels irrational. It feels like I want to crawl into a hole and cry for hours or disappear if I make the wrong step. It feels like a PTSD response, which I haven’t had in a couple of years.
I have talked to him about it a little, and he has been kind and supportive, but I know this work is on me. I just want to get some healthy perspective on what’s going on instead of wanting to die or collapse into tears every time I’m unsure of something. Even if I can’t get into my regular therapist, I’m hoping I can talk to someone else or just do something to get a leg up on this before it starts to eat me up.
Anyone here ever been in a similar situation?