Love: Healthy and Unhealthy attachments

March 23, 2020

It’s a Monday evening. We are currently under stay at home and social distancing protocols due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.

When you spend days inside your dwelling and not really interacting with others you begin to evaluate yourself and a lot of the choices you’ve made during your lifetime.  We all have those “Inner” demons in our life in various shapes and forms.  Sometimes you have to charge them head on just to be able to manage your daily life. I’ve been thinking a lot about this.

I write quite a bit about relationships and how I’ve dealt with them in my lifetime.  These are just some of my recent thoughts on the subject.

Beginnings are great but don’t last

“Love is a many splendored thing” is the quote that most often comes to my mind.

In the beginning of any new relationship or even friendship it is this new and exciting thing.  That connection with another human being.  You suddenly want to tell the person everything about yourself and want to hear about them too.  Sharing likes, dislikes, past history and just basic knowledge of one another.

After some time, you just become in sync with this person and they become a part of your daily life.  This is where they are either going to stay in your life or you part ways when the complacency sets in. Either you are both fine with how things are going or one possibly both realize that they want something else. 

Realizing this and mutually agreeing that it isn’t working is the most mature and responsible thing to do. No one wins when it comes to the blame game, so why even go there?

Introspection is important.

That’s the hard part for someone that has trust issues coupled with depression or anxiety.  The vulnerability that one feels is always there.  Letting go just intensifies the feeling.  That is the part that I struggle with, letting go.  I still to this day remember friendships and relationships that ended which is sometimes still compared against any new relationships.

In the course of learning how to deal with these feelings and emotions I was made to realize that things are not predictable.  Just because the person was similar to previous people doesn’t mean they are the same or will react to situations the same way.

You are who you are but it can change.

Understanding that some of the failures at making these important connections were mostly on my part for making assumptions due to the trust issues.  It’s taken a lot of therapy and introspection to get to that point.

Another aspect of developing relationships had to do with the self-esteem issues that have been prevalent throughout my life due to the trauma that occurred early in my development as a young girl. This affected how I felt about myself as a person and also allowed toxic people into my life that further enabled the lack of confidence to be in the forefront of everything I did or tried to accomplish.  It was a constant struggle.

The basis of all trust is honesty.

These are the things that I know about myself so when I ask a person to be honest with me that’s actually what I need to hear, the truth.  I still have trouble sometimes distinguishing whether a person is holding back because of something in my personality that doesn’t sync with them or is it just my thoughts overreacting to a situation.  That’s why I want honesty and it is paramount in forming or maintaining a connection to another person.

If a person has said or done something that the other person dislikes, how is it to be fixed, corrected, or worked on without knowledge of the issue? If there are no complaints then an assumption will be made that things are going along fine until they are not.

Continuation from Monday – Wednesday 3/25/20

Friends first

Friendship is the most important part of any romantic interest in another person. If you are not friends willing to back on another up when needed then why would it be any different if they become your significant other?

Friends are reflections of ourselves. Sometimes we choose people with traits or qualities that we want to emulate.  Moreover, the person we are friends with bring out the best and sometimes the worst in us but we still trust them to be there when things are down.

A healthy relationship is not perfect.

If one was to look at relationships or marriages that have lasted for very long times, they will see that they were not perfect.  No relationship is free from discord or discontentment.  The reason these relationships survived is because they had strong communication skills between the two people. 

The individuals themselves were able to clearly say what they wanted or expected.  They were supportive of one another’s ideas, hopes, and dreams.  There was never competition between them because they acted as a team but maintained their individuality in the process.

A relationship should be able to utilize both the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals. It is about finding that harmony or balance.

Unhealthy relationships are easy…in the beginning.

We’ve all been there, in a relationship that we know has issues, but we overlook the problems because of the way the person makes us feel.  The needs of our ID are being satisfied but can overwhelm the Ego and Super Ego sometimes.  

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it boils down to our basic instincts and sometime the need for survival. We overlook what is going on, the things the person says or does to us intentionally or unintentionally.  It could be simple as not taking into consideration our time needed to be by ourselves to refresh or restart to being overly aggressive or demanding towards us.

It is during those times, speaking as person with depression and anxiety, that being manipulated by the other person can become the norm, if you let it. Finding your own balance and harmony is paramount which could include ending the relationship.

Conclusion – Thursday 3/26/20

Commitment or Companionship?

I think this is the hardest question that I ask myself when going into a relationship; is this a commitment or a companionship?  It seems like most people don’t distinguish between them which leads to issues.

Commitment is defined as “A promise or firm decision to do something or willingness to give your time and energy…to something you believe in.”  When starting a relationship with someone that is one of the decisions that will inevitably come up during the course of it.  It is then that you as individuals have to decide is this worth it going forward.  Making a commitment to another human being should never be taken lightly.

Companionships can be a great way to test the waters and see if the person is compatible with you in order to move it to a committed relationship.  Having that person there to spend your time with and getting to know one another better.  Finding the mutual likes and dislikes then seeing if that person supports your ideas, thoughts, and actions or do they go against them?

Either choice will result in a person that changes and affects you in some small way either for the good or the bad.  This is important to your own development as a person.

Thinking things through.

These were just some of the thoughts I have been mulling over the last few days and also after a brief bout of people trying to get me to chat with them through social media.  After further digging on some of them, realizing they were scammers then blocking them one in particular piqued my interest.

After several weeks of talking to him then having the whole thing coming to blows over my still ongoing online relationship/friendship with the same person of two years it ended rather quickly.  My ego and self-esteem were bruised by it.  It was an intense moment of being attracted to the words written by a person I hadn’t met, spoken to, or seen through video chat.  It was all too familiar to the previous scammer from 3 years ago and I was somewhat relieved it was ended by him.  Then after almost 2 weeks I get an early morning message from him today. I feel like I’m back at square one.   

It got to the point where I questioned the relationship/friendship that has been developing for two years and whether we would still be at least friends if things didn’t go further.  That was a long discussion between me and him in which we agreed on a few points but I don’t think it’s actually settled fully yet.  Now this current state of crisis has put those talks and plans of two years on hold.  I don’t know where it’s going but we still talk to one another daily and are the reassuring voice on the other end that things will work out the way it needs to.  I’m always going to be there for him even if it is only as a friend.

As I continue moving forward and debating about the relationship choices that I’ve made it has opened my eyes to what do I truly want and who do I want in it? 

Is this desire to be in a relationship out of true necessity or is it just the feeling of loneliness that needs to be filled?

Currently, my feelings are that the latter is the truth.  I’ve been alone and not in an actual relationship for 4 years now.  It’s just been me and my kids. I’ve been so focused on my own recovery that I didn’t see the need to become involved with anyone.  I was still bitter and dealing with the ending of my marriage.  Things are much better now than they were 6 years ago.

As things continue to move along day by day the world we knew is changing before our eyes.  The things we thought were important have become dulled by reality. It’s now about our connection with one another and how we inhabit this planet. 

Things will keep going and moving forward. 

Stay safe out there and take it one day at a time.

Best wishes to you, your family, friends, and community.

Peace, love, happiness, and good vibes to you.

Suzanne

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