I'm currently trying to change my behavior when it comes to my boyfriend, this issue has already broken us up once and I feel that it is going to re-surface. I suppose what's going on is that i'm so afraid that the relationship will end that I want to cling to him.
here's an example of what happens: He had told me yesterday that he was going to come see me after work, i let him know that I had class and that I would meet him at my house, the proffessor kept us about 30mins longer than usual and so he decided that he was going to go home instead and study for his midterm the next day. My feelings were really hurt that he left since he lives about 40mins away and we only typically see each other about 2 times a week. I called him and told him how upset I was and he continued to tell me that school is very important and that he really should be doing that instead, he said he wasn't leaving me, he just really needed to study. I was trying not to freak out completely, but at the time I felt like it was a big deal and that world was ending, I hung up and went home and cried and let all the emotion sink in and flow out. He was pretty upset that I wasn't texting him back when he asked if I was upset, but I knew that I simply needed to be alone while everything passed and I let the emotion pass because I wasn't going to make a good decision in that state of mind.
I suppose that I need some advice on how to handle this type of situation, because this type of stuff happens all the time, something small like this and I think it's the end of the world and it's just all the fear, because when he told me that I truly felt like he was leaving me, for good, and I need to stop having so much fear, what advice can someone give me?
is there something I could do when I get that feeling of fear in order to better handle the situation and not blow things out of proportion?
I think that sometimes we get into a panic mode, as if we are feeling the same feelings we did as children, when a parent would walk away, or leave for a period of time. Or in some cases leave for good. Abandonment issues come up in relationships, and we feel literally panicky, as if we are going to die if that person leaves or abandons us. And any little thing (like your boyfriend going home to study) triggers this response.
I went to therapy many years ago for a similar issue. I learned to understand myself and realize I am a grown, capable person now. I am not the needy , scared child I once was. I dont know if this is your issue, but your reactions and tendency to freak our reminds me of myself some time ago.
It takes the time and self understanding sometimes for some people to realize you are OK and fine on your own, and that people we are in a realtionship with are not responsible for our own inner security. They will never fill that void. You have to so it, realize it yourself.
yes, you are totally correct, the truth is that I am in therapy because of this huge issue i have with abandonment. I suppose that the problem is that I need a good way to deal with it currently, I know that I need to keep things into perspective, but when that fear grips me I feel like I can't control it and I end up saying really stupid things to my bf and starting a giant issue for nothing, I have read a few things online and it basically says that I need to start to accept that the relationship could end and that's the only way i'll ever be able to stop being this way, or freaking out so much. I am pushing him away and basically creating a self fufilling prophecy.
I suppose that i try to runaway from the fear by trying to control the situation and keep him very close, but at the same time I see him as someone who is only in this to hurt me and it's just so hard for me. It is really refreshing to talk to someone who has gone through this.
is there anything that you did to help? what advice could you give me?
Well I am a strong believer that our willful conscious thoughts and actions can change our feelings.
When I was "stuck" in the panic feeling, I would have to literally stop the thought. I know I sound like a crock pot but I would see the word STOP in my head, and stop the tape reel that was playing in my head, the one that was replaying the abandonment from my own childhood.
If you can grasp reality concsiously, you can realize when you are panicking, and make yourself take a few minutes to stop the thought and then think about things rationally. I am not saying this comes naturally at first but in time you train yourself.
It helped me also by having a conversation with my boyfriend (not in the heat of the moment but when we were both very calm.) I told him I had issues with reactiveness and I was working on it. I asked him for some patience, and I said that when I get triggered, I might need to cool off and be by myself and not engage in conversation for a while, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes over night. During that time, the panic would subside and fade because my rational side had a chance to kick it. I would wait until I felt calm to talk with him. And 90 percent of the time, he had done nothing wrong. I had been over reactive, and that cool down time gave me a chance to think and stop the thoughts before I lashed out at him or made myself into the victim.
So, (for me anyway) it is a matter of willful thought changing. Trusting yourself enough to know that you are going to be OK even if you dont react the second you are feeling scared. Stop the thought and reevaluate before reacting. It really did help me.
I wish you the best!