Alexas thought of the day

We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love.
Thich Nhat Hanh

attachment and getting needs met

I walked into therapy today feeling like a mess. I was very dissociative and felt spacy and not quite there. I was also anxious because last week I’d sent eileen an important email where I poured my heart out to her about how I was feeling about our relationship, all the attachment stuff, the fact that I want her to do lots of things for us that she just is not unable to do. So the anxiety was intense. I did not think I could find words to talk this all through. We sat together for a few minutes in silents. Then I slowly said I feel very dissociative. Ok, Eileen said, just see if its ok to come here, feet on the ground, and be here…see if that feels ok? I think i feel ok, i tentatively said. I know I need to let myself be here. I am just finding it hard. I was trying to relax and let myself be here before you came in the room, because I was a couple minutes early.
I’m just so anxious about talking about things. Whose afraid? she softly said. um, all of us, i think?
are you afraid of talking to me? no, its not you. its just, its just the issues we need to talk about that I’m afraid of.
Did you get the email I sent you last week? I said. Yes, I got that. Well, its just that I am very nervous about that. And I have a lot of feelings surrounding it.
as if what might happen? she said trying to get me to say more.
As if you might get mad, i said.
why would i be mad?
I dont know, because you might think I’m weird, or that its stupid, or just like, why cant I get over myself, why cant i just get over the isue?
I dont think its weird or stupid, she said.
I know but arent you tired of dealing with it? I said. I’m tired of dealing with it, but it just keeps coming up, I cant help that.
what’s the it? she said.
I hid my face, and almost cried. The feelings I said. The feelings about our relationship and the feelings of attachment that come up.
It sounds as if its attachment, and just different parts, longing for different things, she said.
Yeah, thats it, i said. Thats totally it. Its trying to get those needs met but sometimes we cant. SOmetimes no matter what we do to get the needs met there is just no way around it, we just cant get them met. You just cant meet those needs.
There’s a yearning, she said, parts have a yearning, a very natural yearning, thats very normal. I get that. And its hard to admit that. And its hard to experience it.
I almost feel like I need to cry, but I cant, i said.
Why not? she asked.
I dont know. i feel stupid.
Why do you feel stupid? she said softly.
Because I think I’m being ridiculous. I feel like I’m making this huge deal, and maybe its wrong. Maybe I should just get over the issue and move on already. I cant help how I feel though. The issues I brought up in that email last week, I was so upset the morning I wrote it. Then, i went into dr. Barry and there was a bunch of students in the room. I was frustrated that they were going to be in there and be part of my session. But I told dr. Barry that I’d sent you that email. I gave her examples of what I’d put in it. And I told the students, you probably think I’m weird, you probably think I’m nuts, but this is how I am feeling. This is what it looks like to me, after working with eileen for over 4 years. This is attachment and our relationship and these are my needs. I bet they thought I was nuts, because I was so upset and on the verge of crying.
You were crying inside?
Yeah, I was.
Did they respond?
No, none of them responded to me.
What about dr. Barry?
Yeah, she did respond. She understood. She validated me and she got it and that felt good.
I think there is all sorts involved, eileen said. I mean, when you think of attachment, you think of young. She got up and walked over to her desk, pulled out some papers, and came back and sat down. I’m wanting to talk to you a little about this she said, about the traumatised parts. I’m not minimizing it by doing this but here is what I think. she looked at the paper in front of her. On this map that I have here, there is fight, flight, freeze, submit, and attach. Those are the different parts and how the parts are grouped. what I am hearing is, there are young parts wanting to attach. then there are other parts who want to push away. There are older parts with different needs. Its very complex. and they are all looking all at once to get their needs met.

To be continued in the next post

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Meeting our Needs

I’ve been thinking about Eileen for the past hour or so. I had emailed her a few days ago. She didnt respond. I feel sad that she didnt respond, but I know its christmas, I know she is on holidays. I shouldnt be expecting a response from her. But parts of me really needed one. The vulnerable parts. The young parts. They needed to know she is ok and that when we see her she will hug them and let them know that they’re ok too. They managed. They got through christmas. It is ok. Even a single one word response would have done. I dont think though that she is even checking her emails. Why should she? This is her down time, her time off. She works hard. But oh my god I need her. The young parts are feeling intensely triggered. Emotional. Very sad. Anxious too. Good thing we will see Dr. Barry today. Perhaps in seeing her some of their needs can be met. My need for support. Lexi’s need for reassurance. Allie’s need for a mother figure. Taylors need for care and tenderness and love. Perhaps all of our needs can be met today when we see dr. Barry. And we can wait for Eileen for another week. Even though its hard we can wait. We need to allow her some time off from caring for us. Because she goes over and beyond for us all the time. And that might make her burn out if we arent careful. And just knowing it is ok to need things helps too.

Dr Barry and asking for what I need

Yesterday after doing my exam I went to see Dr. Barry. It was a really good apt. I had decided the night before after thinking about it for a long time and after friends had advised me that I needed to talk to her about my anxiety and ptsd, as that’s been getting worse these last few weeks. Most of you know I am not a fan of meds. I will avoid taking them if I can. Friends had advised me to ask Dr. Barry to give me something for anxiety and also for insomnia. I had asked abouta med for insomnia a couple weeks ago and she’d given me 2 weeks supply of one, but then I hadnt taken it because I didnt feel comfortable doing that. Anyway I had decided yesterday that i was going to ask her for a med to help with the anxiety. So when we went in I started telling her about the previous day, when I’d felt so anxious and triggered that I just wanted to bolt. She asked me if I was able to pinpoint when it got worse, and I said I didnt have that awareness. She said I need to practice trying to become aware of the anxiety and what starts to heighten it and become mindful of it before it peaks. Easier said than done. I told her me and Eileen did that safe place exercise last week, remember the beach scene we did using EMDR? She was impressed and said to keep reinforcing that scene even when I dont need it because it is going to help me in the long run. Eileen had actually said the exact same thing to me last week. Eventually I said Dr. Barry, I’m going to ask you something but I am so scared to ask. Can I have a med to help with anxiety? She didnt say yes straight away. But she did say we’d talk about it. I told her how it was incredibly hard for me to ask for what I need, I was afraid of rejection, or that she might invalidate my needs. Rationally I did know she wouldnt, she isnt that way inclined. But my brain was in overtime, emotionally I was so scared and frightened. She asked me what would happen if she disagreed with me, I said I didnt know but probably the likelihood is that my world would come crashing down and I wouldnt ask again. She said she didnt disagree with me, and that she found it admirable that over the last year we havent really focused on medications, I told her part of the reason i was afraid was because I thought she might think I just wanted meds, an easy option, an easy way out of a hard situation. She said Carol anne, when do you ever ask me for meds? The answer is never. So that isnt even an option. I was glad she didnt think I was always looking for meds. The truth is I am kinda anti medication lol. To be asking her for them was huge for me. She said she wanted to wait until Mondays appointment, to see how I am doing then, but if by Monday I still wasnt any better she’d put me on lyrica again. I’ve taken it in the past for a couple of months. She said she thought lyrica was the best option for my anxiety, because you can come on and off it without much problems. And you dont have to take it for two weeks before you see the benefits of using it. I told her I dont want anything addictive, and I dont want anything that is gonna make me look drugged. She agreed. We talked about some doctors pushing meds, and I said I didnt like that approach. She said for things like insomnia and anxiety meds were a last resort and that there are other ways of coping with it, but so many people just want to resort to medications when it isnt necessary. I’m glad I’m not like that. It was a good appointment and I’m glad I decided to ask her for what I needed.