Attachment or Obsession

I wonder about this attachment thing I seem to have going on in my life.  Well not seem, but have.

Shortly after I started seeing my pdoc and before I started seeing my current t he told me that I had attachment and abandonment issues.  I didn’t really give this much thought at the time.  I really didn’t even know what he was talking about.

I have never really researched these issues.  Never really wanted to look too closely at them.

How could I have attachment issues anyway, I’ve never really attached to anyone.  And certainly don’t remember being attached to anyone as a child.  I was always a loner type.  And I certainly was de-attached from my parents. For many reasons.

I might have a wee bit of an abandonment problem but nothing that I haven’t been able to handle on my own before.  It didn’t bother me too much when either one or both of my parents would disappear, did it?

And don’t you have to be attached to feel abandoned?

And then I was told that I would be having a break from therapy.  Wham!  Now I know what he meant about having abandonment issues.   Did I feel this when my mother would disappear?  Actually I don’t recall ever feeling like this when that happened.   Maybe I had more skill back then in making it not so.

But the attachment stuff I still don’t really understand.  I’m not sure how I became attached to my t in the first place except maybe in letting her into my life a wee bit in a personal way.

But seriously this feels more like an obsession.   I feel like I’m obsessed with my t.   She is in my head way more than I would like.  Nobody should be allowed to live there as much as she does these days.  I feel like banging my head against a wall.  Out! Out! damn spot!

It reminds me of the time when I quit smoking.   When I started thinking about quitting I would just start smoking more.  I would obsess about it.  I think the reason was I wasn’t quite ready to quit yet.  When I was ready I just quit.  It wasn’t easy but I was able to do it without being excessively obsessive about it.

I’m not sure how attachments work and now I wonder if I can even form a normal attachment.   Whatever that would look like.   And can I possibility do so if I never had a normal attachment growing up?  Because really what would that look like?

Right now I am trying to figure out that if I end up seeing another therapist how can I prevent becoming attached/obsessed and still be able to get ahead in therapy.  And if I continue with my current t how can I make it a normal attachment.

And what’s this obsessive part about anyway?

Is any of this stuff even normal?  I kind of feel like a freak…

I know too many questions.   Maybe I should do some research or would that just confuse me more?

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16 Responses to Attachment or Obsession

  1. I think everyone goes through that stage of thinking about their therapist all the time. I’m two years in and I still think about T all the time. The attachment…is harder. I think it’s so personal but probably again, similar across experiences. Where else do you receive unconditional positive regard in life? No where…so it’s easily to feel attached to that one positive aspect of your life until (my guess) you find something else to either replace it with or you grow out of it.

    Have you found that you feel the attachment fading with first T now that it has been some time since you’ve seen her? I find that the attachment issues are the worst at the beginning of a break than later on.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I’m not sure that the attachment has faded but it has lost it’s edge somewhat. I think part of the problem was how the break was presented to me. It was very sudden and mostly unexpected. I’m wondering if it was traumatic for me. I am also wondering if that changed how I’m dealing with the attachment/abandonment issues than I would have otherwise.

  2. Harriet says:

    Here is a good book about it:

    http://www.amazon.com/Attachment-Psychotherapy-David-Wallin-PhD/dp/1593854560/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1288656824&sr=8-1

    I think the reason I am always finding fault with my therapist is because I don’t want to get attached to him. I’ve been seeing him for 2 years, and I don’t even know why I keep going since I don’t know what I’m getting out of it. Attachment is the only thing I can come up with.

    • lostinamaze says:

      The attachment part of it sucks. Thanks for the link. I will check it out and I guess I will just have to do some reading up on it. Up to now I’ve been avoiding it!

  3. It wasn’t until I understood attachment that I was able to really ‘get’ therapy. It has been the most helpful element of learning I’ve ever done I think. Working with attachment in therapy is painful – no doubt, but the aim is to change unhelpful attachment patterns through the relationship, which means exploring the attachment you have with T at the moment – how it feels, what it reminds you of etc etc.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I’m thinking that I might have to bring this up with my t. Although I dread to do so because I’m not sure how she will be with it or react to it. I think that I’m worried about what she can handle. But this is obviously something that I really need to work on…

      I think that I will try to quit avoiding reading up on this subject. Oh and I even know I good place to start – your blog!

  4. Just Be Real says:

    I learned what attachment and detachment was in t. I knew I had issues. Had no name for them. Great thinking and reflecting post.

  5. Just Be Real says:

    Came back for a re-read. Blessings and thank you for being real.

  6. One long journey says:

    Can I copy this into my own blog? :)) Because I could have written it (although not so eloquently). It feels awful to think about T and the relationship so much. It does seem like it takes up less of my mind now than it used to. And not only the conscious mind but also in dreams. In some ways, she flits into my mind like the abuse does. Not in a – I’m experiencing the abuse, but just the fact that it happened. Not expressing myself very well here.

    My T drives a Prius – and I think of her when I see a Prius – so you know it’s a lot. :))

    Harriet – I downloaded a sample of the Wallin book to my Kindle awhile ago – I will have to reread it. I remember liking it at the time but not wanting to spend the money on the full book. I have so many books about therapy, abuse and the process. I thought about putting them in a spreadsheet.

    • lostinamaze says:

      Of course you can copy it :). Thankfully I’ve only dreamed of my T three times. But I do dream of therapy generally once in a while. And they’re usually pretty frustrating dreams. I understand when you say she flits into your mind.

      I don’t own any therapy books. I worry if someone sees them they’ll wonder why and start asking questions. I have this need to protect my double life 🙂 Maybe I should buy a Kindle or something.

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