One of the aspects of having a wounded and dreaming soul is that so much of our energy gets pulled into an intense inner world filled with all kinds of sensations, thoughts and buried feelings as well as deep longings that can be oh so powerful and strong and yes even magnetising. I have noticed this part of me since making the connection I did on line with a potential romantic partner. This person has said things to me that have awakened not only unrequited passion and longing but also the thwarted desire for attention from a childhood in which I felt unseen and ignored that I buried over and converted through my addiction to booze and in the search for a relationship in which I would be loved perhaps without knowing always HOW best to love in return. Although as I look back I tried my best to give love and struggled inside defences and lots of fears due to past abandonments I was not even fully aware of the impact of.
Part of me feels guilt and shame for this longing and I asked my therapist on Monday “isnt it narcissisitic of me to long for attention and be so happy about this loving attention I am being given?” and my therapist said no, and I think to even ask that question shows I am not a malignant narcissist, but I have been hungry for love as I guess so many of us are who have been hurt in the past or were not paid much attention to in childhood.
I bave had to work very consciously over the past day to allow the flights of fantasy and hope and longing but not be too pulled into them that I start putting the total focus for love outside of myself. I have been grounding every day, getting up, walking Jasper, doing gardening, meeting friends when I can because the longing and desire this person has awoken may be dangerous if they turn out not to be real and due to the circumstances daily contact may not be possible and has now been absent for some days. I have to give love to myself inside that void which is so familiar to me and brings up past pain I have been working through for some years in therapy now.
I struggled this morning until I realised I need to be the love in my own life and that love for me consists of being in the day, being nurturing, getting my practical tasks done, feeding Jasper, walking him, rescuing my garden from its whirlwind autumnal state and yesterday going to the garden centre to get plants to beautify it. Oh and reaching out to others to give love and putting my love into my poems and writing and blog, which is the one consistenly soul nourishing and connection nourishing place in my life.
It is these practical things I can see and touch that I can trust. My feelings are real but longings dont always lead us into the best places, if they are going to be thwarted that said I also dont want to defend against longing and must allow myself to feel natural tender feelings when things dont work instead of shutting down. Anger may be a part of the process but often it can be a defence that comes out of hurt and it was the way I responded in the last difficult relationship with a guy who was quite avoidant in his attachment style. Reading up about it last night I recognised how triggering that kind of avoidance of intimacy is for those of us with anxious attachment styles due to past emptiness, emotional unavailable or neglectful parents we can react badly when the original wound is triggered.
When someone goes AWOL or missing in my life I do get anxious, if people are late to meet me I fear they may have died or been hurt then I spin the wheels to try and see what it was that I must have done to make them go away or not turn up on time. At that point where anxiety starts to rise I would be better to nip it in the bud recognise the person is not controllable and its out of my hands and go focus on something else. What I used to do was NOT that but get myself obsessed and into a total ruminative spin about it. I am not going to do this now that this person online has disappeared. I did cry about it this morning but then I recognised how powerless I was and recognised I needed to detach for my own health and sanity. I can only put the focus on me in my life when someone is not relating to me, otherwise I do go a bit insane with my own negative thinking that always ends up with me being the bad guy or the one who did something wrong. I am then in a vortex that can suck me down and my inner critic gets on the case too and is more than happy to see me drown!
It all seems a bit cold maybe today to say I am recognising that I need to live a practical grounded life in reality, however, that does not mean I have to forsake my creative or deeply imaginative side. It does mean I need to be realistic especially where other humans are concerned. I will be let down, people will promise and not deliver, that is just part of life some of the givens that I cannot change, but when people begin to show they are unreliable or avoidant I can recognise it and not over ride what I feel or see by down playing it and then I can take steps to keep myself safe. Its not about being overly protective, I dont have to erect blocking defences, I can still be soft with it, soft but firm and then I am free for that river of love that I do know I have to give from deep inside to flow in other directions, ones that will not lead to emptiness but to a filling up at the source of love which I know I must consciously work on any day to link into.
7 thoughts on “A balance of practicality and grounding in dealing with insecure attachment and longing.”
I just started reading your blog and your poetry and I just keep thinking what an honest and brave journey you are on. Your level of self awareness and introspection comes from a place of vast courage. You are doing the work, every day, to understand yourself and life, and to do the things that are necessary for your happiness and fulfillment; and you do all of this with a clarity and honesty that most people, I think, are terrified of. I have become, in this short time, a great admirer of you and of your writing. Thank you for sharing your journey.
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Wow thank you so very, very much. I have a lion heart that longs for honesty and truth and I have been on a very deep journey.. Your recognition of that and validation means the world to me. I do scare people I know that my brother recently accused me of being ‘a loose cannon!!!” it always helps to get feedback from people like you who I also see struggling in similar ways. Hugs and lots of love. I feel I have found such a friend in you ❤
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I had never even heard of attachment types before you brought them to my attention last year. I read a great book on them, and have learned why I always reacted the way I did. My childhood abandonment left me an anxious/preoccupied adult. Just knowing there’s a reason why was enough to shed some of the shame and frustrations regarding my seemingly overreactive emotions. A HUGE piece if the puzzle in my healing journey. Thank you💕
It really is.. Did you know that an anxious attachment type its good to be clear and set boundaries and mention needs and sensitivities very early on in a relationship The book Attached I mentioned really is clear and concise in explaining as anxious types how we need to be careful and clear and nip in the bud attachments to avoidants early on, if we don’t want more pain and disappointment. I wish I knew all this stuff years ago.. ❤
I respect the vulnerability and honesty in your writing. Yes, relationships especially ‘romantic’ ones are a never ending source of elation and despair. I recently printed out ” Love after Love” by Derek Walcott
And taped it to my mirror. The more I embrace the light and dark in myself the more I realize we can only really have ‘companions along the way’ on the sometimes dark road we all travel. ” We are all just walking each other home”
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I adore that poem . its in a collection of poems I bought 2 years ago.. thanks for the reminder of it…
So true, light and dark,…. companions… so so true ❤
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