Post by twiggystardust on Aug 25, 2022 12:14:29 GMT
Hey everyone, what a great forum, I knew I was AP but I’m learning so much here.
My boyfriend and I were dating for 2 months before he went on a month trip with family. We stayed in touch the whole time and were exclusive. Now he’s back and I feel extremely disconnected to the point of feeling really anxious with him. My thoughts are preoccupied with themes of us being incompatible and we might as well break up.
It feels very painful and I imagine someone here might relate or have some wisdom to offer.
Thanks I’m advance. I look forward to meeting some people here
What have you been doing when he was gone on vacation ?
It is very common for the ap to get pissed with separations and renuions
Maybe thinking about breaking up (protest behavior) is the little Girl in you who was devastated and angry with her parents for leaving her ?
Some aps can feel their anger, others can’t- they feel more sadness than anger
Can you ask your boyfriend to hug you, look you in the eyes and say that he missied you and that he is so happy to have you in his life ?
You can try to locate the little Girl inside you, where can you feel her in your body ? Put a hand at that place, and tell her that you are here for her, and you will never abandon her, no matter what happens ?
Theres a two chair anger exercise, which is good to practise for the ap. Maybe you can put your boyfriend on the chair in your imagination. By using the two chair anger exercise you can get your life energy back and get back into your own power. jebkinnisonforum.com/post/46532/
Aps Can get prickly when you reunite after being apart. Again this can be VERY confusing for their partners, who have no idea that the separation was stressful. They come home from running some errands to an ambivalent partner picking a fight. Remember that they fear you leaving and when you do they may feel a surge of anger at being left. Since they tend to have trouble letting go of the past they may think about this the whole time you are gone. Then when you get back, wham! they let you have it. THEY DON'T DO THIS CONSCIOUSLY OR ON PURPOSE. Please, please, keep this in mind. It is no picnic for them either. No one likes to feel upset, so if your ambivalent partner is being cranky or downright mad remember that what is underneath that is emotional pain. They are hurting.
One of the most fool-proof ways to soothe a ambivalent partner is to hold them. They usually melt under touch. They also tend to love eye-contact. So hold them, gaze lovingly into their eyes and tell them that they can depend on you to never abandon them. Let them know that you know that they don't like it when they are alone and tell them you missed them! This, along with a good warm hug, usually works wonders on a cranky ambivalent partner.
Ask him to hold you until your nerveussystem has settled.
What do you need right now ? And what do you need from your boyfriend ? What is your top love language ? - undivided attention, touch, loving words or ? Can you ask for what you need ? Can you reach out and receive what he has to give you ?
Post by twiggystardust on Aug 26, 2022 5:01:42 GMT
Really appreciate your reply Anne.
I think you’re correct about it being like a protest or subconscious punishment for him going away. Almost a ‘how dare you go away and think we can just take off where we left’! Being reminded of that helps.
As someone who struggles with what to do with anger and suppresses it, or takes it to a place of victimhood, thanks for that exercise too. I did it this morning and I think it helped.
Wanted to add, it could be partially protest behavior. But it could also be aspects of another part of the AP struggle: feeling disconnected, maybe a bit bored or otherwise off, and incompatible if a partner is actually fully available to you and you do not feel longing for them. Is that going on at all now that he's back and committed? This struggle is why AP folks tend to choose avoidant partners, because there's some chase or feelings of adversity and challenges to the relationship that trigger an overwhelming desire for connection and reconnection that can feel like "love." This is related to familiar childhood dynamics and usually an inconsistent parental figure who was not fully available to you. Which makes AP used to having to chase down love and uncomfortable freely receiving it, because it is unfamiliar. If your boyfriend is emotionally stable and emotionally available to you, then this is an aspect of AP that has zero to do with the actual partner, and all the work required is internal to yourself.
Effectively, it is the self-worth APs need to do to heal their attachment wounds and get more secure. It involves building up self-esteem, confronting abandonment fears and learning not to abandon yourself no matter what the other person is doing, and learning to emotionally regulate yourself so your moods don't depend on another person. This is all complicated yet tied together, pretty universal to the AP experience, and takes time to work through. So the exercises anne is giving you can help in the short-term so that you can stay present with your partner and not push him away. Longer-term, it is helpful to find a therapist with expertise in attachment style, or possibly a somatic experience therapist since that works better for some people, to work through the deeper, core issues. Eventually, that allows you to be more fully available for a stable relationship without defaulting to AP patterns and frustration, which allows for much more relationship satisfaction. The good news is, this is complicated and takes time but it also isn't uncommon and there's a pretty fully established body of research and techniques to overcome it already. Which means the answers are out there for people seeking assistance in overcoming insecure attachment challenges!
Post by twiggystardust on Aug 28, 2022 8:43:51 GMT
Hey Anne12, interesting what you say there - I did the anger exercise with the boyfriend scenario and imagining my mum immediately after instinctively - or maybe not instinctively I did go to therapy for many years and have a good idea where my attachment issues come from.
And I often think of the child that can’t trust in the parent that went away and came back!
Post by twiggystardust on Aug 28, 2022 8:53:52 GMT
Thanks Alexandra, that’s so interesting, until recently I haven’t thought of myself as someone who might seek some kind of ‘chase’. I went to therapy for many years and we worked so much on the feelings of abandonment and any tendency to feel uncomfortable with someone available didn’t come up… but I think it might be there particularly when big commitments come up and I start to have thoughts about whether I could ‘do better’….
Something I need to reflect on, as my current boyfriend is quite secure and committed! I remember when my current boyfriend let down his guard slightly and I could tell we were progressing forward into more comfort with each other and I felt a strange almost contempt. Luckily I recognised it and just let it float by me.
Therapy yes indeed. I was seeing a psychodynamic therapist until last year and I’ve been enjoying a break. She recommended I do psychoanalysis. Do you have any experience with that?
I don't. From a brief internet search, it looks like psychoanalysis is deeper and more thorough? I suspect how much you get out of it will be a result of how much you put in and if you've found an analyst who is good and whom you click with.