This is similar to the “I hate you, Don’t leave me”. Slightly different. Some say we are attention seeking and I guess depending on how you look at it that may be slightly true but not really. We are looking for attention but we are mainly looking to see who really cares about us when really we are setting things up for failure. Like we are putting us and the other person in a no win situation so we can validate our thoughts and feelings or provoke the abandonment that we are so sure will happen. Like if we know it’s coming it will hurt less or something.
I’m extremely guilty of pushing people away and isolating myself. Mostly I isolate because I don’t want to hurt anyone but I tend to push away the very people I particularly want and need. Which is usually a boyfriend or girlfriend first and foremost, and family coming at a close second, but let me focus on partnership relationships.
I have pushed my boyfriend away many times. Unfortunately our loved one becomes our biggest target because they have the ability to hurt us the most. This is terrifying for us. Factor in that many of us have had very unhealthy relationships in the past and this only adds to the fear that this person truly doesn’t care about us and things will come to an end “like they always do”.
I have written about this before and have seen it around the internet but we push away to see who loves us enough to stay. We feel unworthy and so someone chasing us when we push them away feels like they are proving they care. What if they listen and are trying to be respectful in giving us our space? How dare they! But if they chase us like deep down we want, we may still get mad at you for one reason or the other. It goes against our beliefs and we can’t make sense of that.
I’ve surely had my share of unhealthy relationships and neither my boyfriend or I are perfect. There have been times (actually only one time or two) that I can remember him actually walking away, not coming after me, and not even really reciprocating when I was out of my episode and ready to be loved again. Boy did that hurt but what could I really expect from someone when I am violently throwing things across the room, or am targeting my rage at him or being completely irrational, or just flat out refusing his attempts to help.
I didn’t want him to give up on me no matter how difficult I was being. When he did, it hurt more than I could ever put into words and then the real fear of abandonment kicks in. Why am I so easy to give up on? Doesn’t he love me enough to handle me at my worst? Maybe I’m just too much for him too. But after all of the damage I just caused he will surely leave.
Well he is still here. One thing I’ve learned in my two sessions of therapy, or that finally sunk in, is to do the exact opposite of what my illness wants me to do in those moments. The times I want to isolate are the times I should be letting someone in. It’s hella hard but it works most of the time if I try hard enough.
For the first time I feel like I’ve found someone ho wants to take on the battle with me and not just throw it in my face or just make me feel worthless about it. Or incompetent of doing anything.
It’s only been twice now but instead of running away like I’ve wanted and usually do, I’ve asked him to go for a walk with me. The one time I still got intense but not so much against him, and the other time, yesterday, it just felt good that he was willing to walk with me and to listen if I needed to talk. He stands up to my illness which is sometimes good when I feel like I can’t do that on my own. He has seen a good bit of my crazy and he is still here ready to take it on as needed.
I still worry that I will exhaust him with my reoccurring episodes, or that I will overwhelm him with my crazy neediness and clinginess. I guess there isn’t tons I can do about that, at least not overnight. Who knows.