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Reply to "Hurting to be attached"

Hi Megan,

I understand your frustration with the attachment situation. I was there too. It is not fun, especially for someone who prides herself on being so darn independent!

What I learned through the process is that at least for me, I needed to be attached to my T, even though I resisted it for like 5 months. I didn't want to become so dependent on her. I hated that I was counting the days until my next session. It drove me nuts that I needed her so much. I too, wanted to bolt several times when I feared I was getting to attached, and she was getting too close to my heart.

I was (and still am, kind of) not used to relying on anyone, because every time I did, every time I let myself get attached to someone or anything even close to letting anyone "in" to know me, I'd end up getting hurt. It happened a lot until I woke to the fact that if I stopped needing people, then people wouldn't hurt me. I was and still am fiercely independent, and "needing" someone, especially a T, was not for me.

What my T has shown me, and continues to show me over and over, is that it is OK to need someone. We are social beings, we need others in our lives! We need to connect to others, socially and emotionally. For those of us that haven't, it makes that connection so freaking hard! My T used to tell me, and still reminds me occasionally, that it's ok for me to need her. It's ok for me to miss her between sessions or if she's out of town. That's what has helped me learn to fully trust her which has really been a huge support in my therapy.

Before I finally stopped resisting the attachment, I was never fully honest with her, and we only were able to do so much work. Now, there really is nothing I can't discuss with her (though there are many topics I still haven't broached, just cause I can't handle them yet, even though I know T can!) She's helped me see that I am worth getting to know. That I'm not too much for her. And that she'll be there no matter what, within the context of the therapeutic relationship.

I think, too, for me it's those boundaries in the therapeutic relationship that keep it so safe, and make being attached to my T ok. I know the "rules" so to say, and while I've tested them several times, T has never gotten mad, has always remained steady, and has worked with me to find a good balance if I don't agree with one of the rules. We've always found something that works for both of us. And I can now confidently say that I am attached to my T, I need her a lot these days, and that's ok.

Hugs to you Megan, and good luck on your journey!
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