First and maybe last post... let's see May 20, 2022 9:09:01 GMT
Post by lilyg on May 20, 2022 9:09:01 GMT
There are many elements of your experience I can relate to in the dynamic with an anxious partner (Or the anxious side of an FA partner).
Having done quite a bit of work on my own side of the dynamic, and coming from the DA side toward much more secure in my relationship, I can also really relate to the lessons you've learned. The initial period does trigger a very poignant and touching feeling of being "seen" and understood, and that is something that attracted me to unhealthy insecure dynamics too- it was my own overwhelming need to be seen that clicked with someone who was overly engrossed in me (and saving me actually) rather than taking care of their own need to rescue, fix, and avoid themselves. So the dance begins.
Like you I learned through the pain of being met without empathy on a bad day, that I needed more to empathize with myself, know my limits and know when I needed to encounter loving, secure support rather than insecure support from an unhealthy partner. I learned the difference, and found ways to meet that need by creating boundaries, and turning toward relationships that were healthier in my life. I began to cultivate health for myself and my dynamic by finding ways to meet my needs in healthy ways.
By experiencing the backlash of not meeting the anxious partners expectations, I learned how I hurt myself by not allowing myself to feel, not allowing myself to be connected even if feeling flawed, my expectations of myself ignored my own needs just as much as an anxious partner ignored my needs.
Before awareness, I had to try super hard to be a good person and to prove myself. That's exactly what anxious person demands- be a good partner to me, and prove it constantly. So it turns out , an anxious partner is my nightmare projection, the embodiment of my own inner critic. Your feelings don't matter. Your exhaustion doesn't matter. You are insufficient. You have a bad day? You're not a good person. Not able to show up 100%? You have failed everyone. These are the words of the AP to me, and the words of my harsh inner critic.
So like anyone that I press to look at themselves and where they are creating and enabling this dynamic, I have done that introspection and transformed those negative internal messages, developed self love and self compassion, learned what the difference between healthy connection and insecure connection is, and embraced the former while letting go of the latter.
This experience will truly help launch you into a better relationship, with yourself and with anyone you attempt to create a loving relationship with. As you know , the back and forth of the insecure dynamic, the sheer insult and abandonment of it, doesn't work for you. You can choose it out of your life, and you can change and develop your own capacities toward healthy relating. Love doesn't have to hurt so much! That's the huge lesson for me.
I've grown by understanding myself, what my healthy needs and aspirations are, and putting those things at the forefront of my awareness. This is not selfish, because my healthy needs lead me toward connection, not away. My healthy needs create empathy in me- if I understand myself as a human who needs and wants to give love, I can understand my partner from that perspective also. Being healthy changes the landscape completely, from one-up one-down, to equality and partnership.
Welcome to the board, I'm glad that it's been helpful to you in your process. I hope that things continue to be revealed to you that will liberate you and encourage you, even while you deal with the pain and loss of this toxic relationship.
Thank you for your insight. I feel like this is happening to me.
The thing about your needs being necessary for really connecting it's very inspiring!