Attachment: Here We Go Again

I’ve gone and done it again.

I got attached to someone else. My psychiatrist.

When I first met her, that Friday that I booked myself into the clinic, I can’t remember most of our interaction. I saw her four more times after that, and didn’t know what to make of her. So there wasn’t an instant attachment, like I had with my therapist the first day I met her.

Then, yesterday, everything changed. I went to a DBT program that the clinic organizes for previous inpatients. As I was signing myself in, I felt a presence behind me, and heard a voice. I turned around and saw my psychiatrist. She smiled warmly at me, greeted me and asked whether I had an appointment with someone. I told her that I was there for the DBT group. She smiled again, and told me that she’s proud of me, which caught me unawares. She asked me to walk with her, and started asking how I’ve been, what’s been going on in my life, etc. I was surprised when she asked me about something I had told her in one of our sessions a few weeks ago. Surprised because I didn’t think she’d remember that so clearly. Especially since she sees a lot of patients.

Eventually we got to her office, and she announced me to her assistant (who I really like- she’s awesome), with a “look who I found”. It’s nice to be remembered. The instant my psychiatrist touched my hand, that was it. I became attached to this woman, right then and there. My vulnerable child self emerged, and I could feel her hunger for love and care. Psychiatrist had just done something that made her feel warm inside and cared for, and she wanted more.

The three of us spoke for a few more minutes and then Psychiatrist had to leave to go see patients. But before she left, she told her assistant “take good care of her”. She left with a gentle touch on my arm. I didn’t want her to go, and the vulnerable child felt so sad watching her leave, thinking that she might never come back.

The group was really good, but near the end we had to lay on the ground for some meditation. After a few minutes of that, I suddenly felt this overwhelming sadness. I felt my vulnerable child self becoming activated again. I started crying (I’m glad no one would see me), and just kept thinking over and over again “I want Psychiatrist and Therapist”.

Why do I find myself getting attached to someone because of a simple, caring touch? It’s not like that with just anyone though. And never with men. I can feel when it’s genuine and there’s a measure of care. And that’s when it happens. It’s an amazing feeling, but at the same time it’s terrifying. It’s just one more person to worry about being abandoned by. But I can’t stop it from happening.

My therapist is still my favourite and most powerful attachment. I’ve got a session with her tomorrow, and I can’t wait. She sent me a voice note last night, just as I was getting out of the car to go to group, telling me that she’s proud of me. I had reached out to her and told her that I’ve been struggling with abandonment issues a lot this past week or so, and I was in a young and vulnerable place. I told her I was forcing myself to go to the group, even though I didn’t really want to (I’m glad I went). It was so nice hearing her voice again, and I always love hearing her say that she’s proud of me. So I got two “I’m proud of you” messages yesterday. It felt good.

I’m seeing my psychiatrist next week Friday for an hour. But I don’t want to see her only then. It feels like a lifetime away.

What the hell is wrong with me?!

49 responses to “Attachment: Here We Go Again”

  1. I am attached to my therapist and psychiatrist too. I relate…y he difference is your professionals are so much less boundaried than mine. Yours are caring and personable and leave you voicemails and hug/touch you. That has never happened to me. They keep me at arms length all the time. Touch is healing. But will arouse powerful feelings of wanting in you…I think you should talk to both of them about everything you’ve written here and how their interactions make you feel…that’s what I’d do anyway. It’s part of our condition so they won’t be shocked. They’d probably be impressed at your honesty. Those are my thoughts anyway. 💜💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks my friend. It’s only my psychiatrist that has touched me. My therapist never has and it’s not part of her treatment plan. She’s a lot more boundaried than my psychiatrist. Also, my psychiatrist won’t hug me, at least I don’t think so. But it was healing to have her touch my arm. I need that, it makes me feel safe. I wish I could get that from my therapist as well. I’m definitely going to talk to my therapist about this new ‘development’. But I don’t think I want to talk to my psychiatrist about it, because I don’t want her to NOT do it. It’s soothing and helps me feel more trusting towards her. My therapist already knows all about my attachment to her (herself) and it doesn’t evoke any negative reaction in me. Because I’ve become used to her boundaries. But the voice notes she sends me every now and then (she’s only sent me about 4 since I’ve been with her) means a great deal to me, and helps when I’m feeling overwhelmed between sessons.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi to both of you… whether you know it or not, you are both special to me. I think if we could drop people with similarities into buckets, we would be in the same one. I feel the same sadness when certain people hug me or touch me… it all goes back to that required love we were supposed to get as as children, the ultimate betrayal. How can we ever heal when those who brought us into this world, as the most important beings in our heartss, didn’t give us what we deserved, what was our birthright? It’s no wonder there is always a sense of looming abandonment with every other person in our lives… the message we were sent as children, cemented into our beings, tells us, that just by our very existence, we are unworthy, replaceable, placed at the bottom of the list. We cling to any sign of unconditional acceptance. It’s interesting that this topic is on all of our minds at once… If you haven’t yet, read my last post, ‘Never Let go’ as it speaks to this issue. Love to both of you worthy, important and lovable sisters ❤

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Nothing is wrong with you! Everyone goes through this that have been abandoned , rejected or not bonded with a parent properly. I was like this with men for the longest time in my life. My soulmate came along (late in my life) and everything changed. This is me, you may need something else. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I seem the have the opposite problem. I find myself detaching and getting a new therapist sort of the way I do with hair stylists. I find it a strange habit that I have, to not go to the same hair stylist. It seems to be like that with personal relationships. Maybe because I moved around a lot as a child and as an adult. It’s hard to form friendships when you have to leave again. I think it’s a coping mechanism, but on the down side it can be lonely to push people away. So, then I start to complain about being lonely or not having enough friends. The good thing is…I’m catching myself doing it and I can see that maybe you’re doing the same?

    Good post, I just discovered your blog and I too suffer from depression.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sonyo. Thanks for your comment, and I’m glad you discovered my blog. Just took a look at yours now, will definitely be following your posts. 🙂

      I find it fascinating that people that might have gone through similar challenges, can be different in the way we react to the world… The opposite behaviour. I too moved around a lot, and lost many friends along the way. There was a stage where I didn’t want to make any friends, because I knew I’d probably just have to leave them anyway. Through it all, I longed for love… But not from friends, rather from older women who could be a ‘substitute mother’ to me. Of course, I wanted caring friends as well, but that was secondary.

      The difference this time, is that through therapy I’ve learned to identify what’s going on, and noticing my reactions to it all. It’s good that catch yourself doing it… The first step is always becoming aware. 🙂


  5. Oh Rayne the only thing maybe wrong is that you think there is something wrong by being touched deeply. I personally think this is such a good sign, When you open like that its a wall coming down. You will regress to all the times you longed for this kind of softness and healing empathy from someone and that is an ocean of sadness. Let yourself feel it darling but don’t see it as a sign of something wrong. This is all about the loving mother you never had, We need those kind of substitutes for a time. Sending you a huge hug but don’t you dare beat yourself up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a vulnerable post but I agree with all the comments! Therapists and other caring people we come across, help us form the attachment we never had as children. This attachment helps us heal and is eventually supposed to make us feel stronger, although the abandonment feeling never goes away completely. I have also experienced this with many warm & empathetic people, as well as past therapists.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have problems with attachments too. But I detach when they do something to hurt or screw me over. I know I told you this before but for me it is always men. I wish I wasn’t like this either – but you are not alone. I have the same problem – I need attention – and it needs to be from a man- it really sucks that I can’t control this

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my God – Rayne, you’ve jut put into words exactly what I feel on a daily basis.
    “Why do I find myself getting attached to someone because of a simple, caring touch? It’s not like that with just anyone though. And never with men. I can feel when it’s geniune and there’s a measure of care for me. And that’s when it happens. It’s an amazing feeling, but at the same time it’s terrifying and painful. It’s just one more person to worry about being abandoned by… what the hell is wrong with me?”
    Yes – it all starts with a touch (mostly – sometimes not, but usually yes). We are so desperate for that level of caring and attunement, that the attachment happens so quickly. And I don’t know what to tell you other than that I can empathize, so much, and I hear you, and care about you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry that you also experience this. It’s not an easy thing to have to deal with, over and above all the other things we have to deal with on a daily basis.

      Thank you for caring. I care about you too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Rayne, this need for love and fear of abandonment is a very complicated and overwhelmingly painful experience. Whenever I feel loved, I immediately grieve the loss of it at the same time. The emotion behind it is very powerful. I just talked about this with my therapist a few days ago. I think this is more about what happened to us than what is wrong with us. But because it makes us feel like something is wrong with us, it isn’t easy to talk about. You are not alone! Hugs!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right… It’s very complicated and a painful experience. “I think this is more about what happened to us than what is wrong with us.” I like how you worded it here. Hugs, Blue. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve only just read this and just wanted to say that I am very attached to my therapist too and that I think it’s a good thing! It’s what’s meant to happen isn’t it? It’s just scary for us because we’ve been hurt from being attached before and so it’s like an alarm goes off – I think that’s why you feel like it’s a bad or silly thing but I think it’s great. You need to become dependant and become vulnerable to do the healing right? Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. We are so lost when our souls have been broken, and when we reach out as children there are no loving hands to grab ours or we are pushed away. We are so hungry for love that’s it feels embarrassing to crave it, but we should have had that from our childhood. Now we have professionals who are basically strangers, however, they are validating our feelings, believing in what we say, showing the empathy that we’ve never experienced and allowing us to speak without rolling their eyes with impatience.

    I became attached to my therapist. craved her as my mother, but knew that this would never be, but wow, what a wish and dream, if someone could be so kind and show empathy that I rarely had. I have a problem with trust though because of the sexual and emotional abuse, yet I do become attached to a doctor or someone who shows respect, and who at least shows interest in me. Maybe it’s because someone thinks I’m worthy, unlike my mother did.

    Thanks for posting this, it’s so well-written. Hugs Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, Deb. I had a friend tell me that I’m basically paying my therapist to be in my life, but these people just don’t get it. We need our therapists… They’re the ones who help us get to a place where we can heal. It’s so necessary, and a good thing. It’s always nice to feel cared for, and valued. Even though we pay for their time, it’s worth it, and they DO still care, or they could easily just find another client to replace us with. Sending hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Those forgotten ones as children, who weren’t hugged when they needed someone or told they were unworthy instead of being praised and encouraged, are so needy. Maybe we do pay our therapists, but if you haven’t gone through a childhood feeling unloved and uncared for, received nothing but negative your entire life, how is someone supposed to heal without finally feeling validated, believed and cared for. Walk a mile in our shoes clearly applies here. Therapy (many years of) got me through the sexual and most of the emotional abuse. I’m still wounded though from my narcissistic mother. Big hugs this morning 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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