Category Archives: Guilt
After leaving a toxic relationship with a drug addict, I have found that I can get anxiously attached to people. It does not happen with every relationship. For me, it tends to happen with newer friendships where I feel a deeper connection. I came across an article yesterday that really explains what it’s like and offers some ways to cope with it. I recommend taking a moment to read about it. It is my hope that this reaches others who go through this as well as those who are in relationships with those who go through this.
Please note that I am speaking from my own personal experience. I don’t experience the jealousy that this article mentions, but everything else hits very close to home. For me, being anxiously attached is a phase that I can and have overcome. It takes a great deal of time and an extraordinary amount of patience from the other person to help me move toward a healthy, secure attachment. I think that most people might think that I’m only talking about a significant other type of relationship, but I’m not. I’m talking about all types of relationships.
Last year, I had two friendships that did not start out as anxious attachments. We had been friends, or at least known each other, for years. I got closer and reconnected with each of them after my break up. Within a couple of months, I became anxiously attached to both of them. Thankfully, I was able to be completely honest about what I was feeling with both of them. It took months of consistency and reassurance for me to move to a secure attachment.
I thought that because I had been through it already, that just maybe I was prepared for it. At the beginning of this year, I went through it again with a new friend. This person still has no idea what I went through. Why? Because I refused to say anything about it. I didn’t want to be so open and raw with someone who was just getting to know me. Then, so many things happened that I just didn’t feel I should add my problems to the table, so I backed off and confided in others who helped me move on.
After that experience, I was surely stronger and definitely more prepared to avoid getting anxiously attached. Turns out, I’m not. I’m going through it all over again. I’d like to believe that most days, I’m okay and making progress toward secure attachment. Unfortunately, this is 2020 and stress, depression, and anxiety are never far away. Internal and external triggers can throw me right back into it.
So, what is it? What happens? Again, this is my personal experience and one size does not fit all. When my anxiety crashes down on me, it tells me that my friends might not really like me, that maybe they don’t really want to spend time with me. It tells me that they shouldn’t have to put up with someone who is so broken. It tells me that I’m too needy and no one should have to put up with so much baggage. It stops me from reaching out because saying how much you love and miss them so often will surely drive them away. They’re too busy for you. You don’t need to bug them. Just pull yourself together and back off. All of this overthinking leads to such excruciating heartache. It makes you feel like you’re too hard to love AND that you shouldn’t love people so hard. It literally tears you apart. You are fighting everything that makes you who you are. …and at the end of the day…who cares? What does it matter that you feel any of this? It’s not that important. It’s certainly not anyone else’s fault or problem. You aren’t good enough and should just get used to being alone. Maybe you should just let them go. Fear of losing them. Panic that you’ll push them away. Pain that this is all your fault.
How do I deal with this? Not well. If asked outright, I try to be honest, but it is very hard to be so raw and vulnerable and explain this part of myself that I am ashamed is there (because I should be stronger than this). It’s so much easier to say that I’m fine, except…that method of hiding and deflecting doesn’t work anymore. Why? Because I can’t hold on to the heartache for long, but also because I have a handful of friends who have seen all of me. They no longer settle for “I’m fine.” For me, the best way to handle it is to be honest with the person I’m anxiously attached to. I said that that is the best way, but it isn’t always the easiest way. I’m still struggling with reaching out and sometimes I have no idea what to say or how to explain what’s going on. This is where their patience and consistency make all of the difference.
For those who are struggling with anxious attachment and the reason behind why you are anxiously attached, please know you are NOT alone. Not everyone you meet will be like the person who hurt you. What you feel matters. You are not hard to love, and how you love is beautiful. I see you.
So, this is my 100th post for this blog. I had thought about sharing fun posts from the past, but instead, I’m going to stick with being open and honest. I warn you that this post is long and emotionally raw…this is me and this is where I am today.
Last night in therapy, I was actually able to breakdown and cry for the first time in months. I’ve mentioned before that I have the ability to appear strong and stoic. With my friends and family, I haven’t shed a tear in person since all of this happened…my eyes have watered, but not a single tear escapes. I don’t typically cry easily, but I’ve also never had a problem crying before. I cried a lot during the last few years in my relationship with Tom (both in front of him and not) and also for the first couple of months after the breakup, but only when he would come over to get his stuff. Then, suddenly, I just stopped and couldn’t cry anymore. I still hurt like crazy, but no longer had a way to release it.
I told my therapist that I have been experiencing some rather painful heartbreak again over the last week. She caught me off guard by asking me how I knew exactly what it was that I was feeling and to describe it. (Umm, because it hurts?) But, I took a moment and thought about it. It physically feels like my heart is breaking. It’s how I felt right before I started telling her about everything that was going on. She asked if I thought it was also loneliness. Yes, I do. But, it’s also the same type of really intense pain I get when I’m holding on to too much, like when I’m holding back what I’m feeling because I’m trying to not be a burden on someone. It’s all of that type of pain.
I told her about the concert, which I had written about in my last post, about how I couldn’t feel anything except disappointment. She asked if there is anything I could think of that I want to do that would make me feel good. I told her, “No, not at the moment.” I’ve gotten into a light exercising routine recently and that isn’t even helping me feel better. Her next suggestion was to try walking into a room and pretending to be happy to see if it forces a change in your mental state? Seriously?! Every damn day, I smile at everyone I meet, and it’s not like I walk into meetings as if the world is going to end. No one knows what I’m going through at work. My parents don’t even know how bad I feel. And, no, faking it does not help improve my mood. This is how I stuffed things down for so long.
I have also still been experiencing bouts of moderate to severe anxiety. One time this week, it was triggered by Tom’s step-sister texting me. We’ve always gotten along. She was being nice, and she’s very sorry for what happened. Unfortunately, she will always be tied to memories with Tom. And, I guess sometimes it is harder to talk about him. Another time within the last week, it was triggered by revisiting some old emails to a dear friend where I had just started going into detail about what happened. Apparently, I can no longer look at what happened objectively like I have been doing this entire time. Additionally, I seem to be experiencing general anxiety around the same time every evening somewhere between 6pm-9pm. The meds I have are as needed, so I typically take 1-2 half tablets a day…assuming I don’t stubbornly decide to not take anything.
Then, I decided to bring up the new video game that I am trying to use as a distraction. It’s called God of War on PS4, and it has a good, emotionally involved storyline. Now, I won’t go into all the details of the game because I don’t know how many of you are gamers, but I do want to mention something that I noticed. My mind treats everything like a logical puzzle to solve, as such, you just need the right pieces to see the big picture or to find the right keys that fit into the correct locks (like an escape room). So, why would a video game be any different? Typically, in these role playing games, you have a map. When you first start out, the map is covered in fog or obscured in some way. All you know is where you are. As you meet other characters, you are given advice, items/tools that will help you, and hopefully a direction. So, you head off and slowly the map opens up as you meet new characters, take on more tasks, and finish side quests as part of a bigger main adventure. As you reference your map, you see where you’ve been, you know where you are, and you are more comfortable with the direction in which you’re going because of the choices you’ve made. I told my therapist that I am stuck where the map is covered in damn fog – I don’t have pieces or keys or a direction to go in! I have ideas and thoughts about what to do and what to plan, but I feel like everything I try isn’t working and I have no idea what to do about it.
Therapist: Yes, you do. I’ve told you we can do accelerated resolution therapy, EMDR, or a couple of other exposure therapies. That’s how we treat PTSD. (At this point, I’m thinking – yes, and I finally agreed to try those even though I have my reservations…but I have no idea what you’re waiting on.)
She went on to describe a situation where someone wasn’t able to process the grief of losing her first husband and it was now affecting her current marriage, but with EMDR, she was able to process and finally move forward. Then, she mentioned another situation where someone lost a child after a horrible accident while they were on the way to the hospital in a helicopter.
Therapist: Why do you think this mom wouldn’t want to try to treat her PTSD?
Me, I know this answer very well: Fear. She’s afraid to feel. She’s afraid to experience the loss of her son all over again. She’s afraid to forget. Fear. I realized through some help from friends a couple of months ago that fear has too much control over me.
Therapist: Do you know when people are finally ready to try something different?
Therapist: When it finally affects every part of their life – home, work, when they are with friends, and when they’re alone..
Me: Well, hell, I’m at that point…been there for a while.
Me: I wish I could just allow myself to be angry at Tom. I always told him I didn’t want to be angry with him, so it’s something I always tried to push down.
Therapist: Why do you think being angry would help?
Me: Because it helped me get over my first long-term, long-distance boyfriend. I was angry with him for being more and more disrespectful, for not choosing to move closer for a couple of years (he stopped one class and finishing his thesis shy of graduating grad school), and for not considering what I wanted out of life. There were other factors that made me see I did not need to put up with him, so I ended it. Hah, then I met Tom two years later, and we see where the hell I am now.
Therapist: So, you said that you would cry and get angry with Tom whenever he would finally get home…
Me: Yes…he would pull up under the tree in the front yard so my parents wouldn’t know when he was coming or going. (They can see my driveway from their house.) He would walk up to the door, and I was always there to meet him. By the time he would finally walk in the door, I was relieved that he was alive and not in jail. Sometimes, I could patiently wait on him to tell me what happened. Sometimes, I would be crying and yelling at him. He knew what was going on with me. He watched me change from trusting him to being in so much pain, fear, anxiety, and sadness. There were times when I wanted to flip the latch on the door and not let him in.
Therapist: You really have won the award for being the most enabling person in the world. (I nod in complete agreement to this statement.) You had a choice when he finally would come home. What were your choices?
Me: I could do what I did and let him in, or flip the latch and kick him out.
Therapist: Why didn’t you flip the latch?
Me, Shit. I do not want to admit this answer aloud. (eyes start watering): Because…(starts crying)…because I knew he wouldn’t stay. He wouldn’t choose me. I knew that then.
(Pause…after all, I hadn’t cried in front of her before…)
Therapist: What would you have said to a friend if she called you and just told you what you told me?
Me, I know this answer too…because…this is what I’ve been holding out hope for. (Please note: I am not trying to put pressure on or make anyone feel bad. Everyone who has been there to support me through this has done everything they can, and I fully appreciate everything you guys can do.): I would tell her, “Honey, hold on. I’m on my way over.” (crying harder) I’d tell her that you are not alone, and you do not have to do this alone. I’ve got you. I am right here.
Therapist: But, what if she tells you it’s not you that she wants.
Me: I’m there as one friend supporting another. And…this is what I want, what I need… People don’t want to feel so alone. They want to know and feel that someone is there. To have someone there while I feel this. (So, I don’t have to be strong for once.) I knew, on some level, Tom wasn’t going to come back to me. I…was so angry at his dad for dying. (more crying)
Therapist: That event is probably what started it, but Tom continued to use drugs and then it altered his thinking so much that he is not who he was before.
Me: Yes, but he had a choice before it completely took control.
Therapist: You’re right. He did have a choice, but he chose drugs. You knew about his history and a bit of his family history. Why didn’t you just walk away from him in the beginning?
Me: Because he wasn’t entirely truthful about how much drug use was in his history. But, besides that, I fell in love with what he did and who I thought he was. Our first date, we didn’t even eat. We talked so much. We spent every afternoon together, then we slept over on weekends. He would make me lunch, and we would eat at his jobsite. (crying again) I never had to ask where he was or who he was talking to because he told me. We were open about everything. He knew when I was upset. He could just tell if I was holding something back. (crying even harder) I had been more honest with him than I had with anyone in my entire life. He could hug me, and I felt loved and safe. And, he just threw me out with the trash.
At this point, the hour was up, and we needed to leave. She looked at me as we walked each other out, “well, you can’t say you haven’t cried in a while anymore.” I smiled shyly, feeling just a little lighter, “I guess you’re right there.”
As I finish typing this up, my anxiety is most definitely still present. I know I’m still a long way from completely moving on, but I think this was a breakthrough step in my book. When I tweeted about last night’s therapy sessions, I didn’t expect it to even be noticed let alone receive the likes and replies. I am truly touched by the support I’ve been receiving. Thank you all so much…as someone whose self-worth has taken a severe hit, it really means the world to me. ❤️
I used to write stories of events that actually haven’t happened outside of my head. These were usually stories of things that I might have liked to have happened…for instance, if I wanted a conversation to go a certain way between Tom and myself, then I would make up a dialogue and scene to go with it. After reading it, Tom would understand where I’m coming from a little better and then we could have a conversation about it. This is one of those stories.
“Come with me.” Your expression tells me I shouldn’t argue, and you hold out your hand expectantly.
I’m not exactly sure what to think. Slowly, I reach out and you take my hand. You turn and you pull me toward our bedroom. You take me to the bench at the end of our bed and sit down before pulling me over your lap. Lots of emotions are running through my head – anxiety, excitement, slight confusion, and yes, even a little fear.
You rest your left hand on my waist and your other hand starts caressing my bottom. “I think it’s time for a change. You haven’t had quality time over my knee in a while, so I’m going to change that.”
“Umm…” You pop my bottom hard three times, but they don’t really make much of an impression as my jeans are still on.
“All I want to hear from you right now is, ‘Yes, Sir.’”
“Yes, Sir,” I reply quietly.
“Stand up for a minute.” You unbuckle my belt and undo the button on my jeans. Then, you slide them down to my ankles and tip me back over.
You start spanking in a light and playful manner at first. A couple of minutes go by before you say, “I know you miss this.” I nod even though it wasn’t a question. “Lift up a bit, My Love.” He slides my panties down and massages my cheeks. “You aren’t even pink, yet. Let’s try to fix that.”
You start spanking again but harder this time. Another minute or two passes.
“You don’t blog or talk about this as much anymore. Why do you think that is?”
I just shrug my shoulders. The next volley comes hard and fast from your strong hand. “Yes, you do know.”
You pause to grab something behind you. I don’t know what it is, but I have a feeling that I’m about to find out. Smack! “Oh!” It’s definitely made of wood.
Smack! “I think you’re afraid, but I’m just not sure what you are afraid of… Are you afraid of me?”
Smack “No! Ow!”
Smack! “Then, what are you afraid of?”
Smack! “I guess I’m afraid of getting hurt.” You pause and I can tell you are wondering if you are hurting me now.
Rubbing my lower back, you ask, “Does that mean you don’t trust me anymore? That you don’t trust me not to hurt you?”
“I do trust you…I just feel that it’s been so long since we’ve played that maybe my pain tolerance isn’t what it was and you may not remember that I’ll need a warm up. Also, I don’t always want to put any expectations on either of us when it comes to playing. And, I really don’t know how to tell you exactly what I want when I’m not sure myself.”
You start rubbing my bottom again which is starting to feel really good. “I guess it’s just become easier to not say anything whether it’s online, in a journal, or when we’re talking. I know I don’t want this to become repetitive to where either of us get bored….and I don’t want it to always be predictable.”
“Like this?” My rear is met with a quick few swats.
“Mhm… Sometimes I would like a spanking to be for fun or be more serious or be for naughty reasons. Sometimes I’d like more of a warm-up and/or more aftercare.” You throw in three hard and fast swats for each cheek.
“Guilt! Guilt is another reason. I feel guilty for wanting all of this in the first place. I know it isn’t easy for you. I think about spanking a lot and see lots of opportunities for it, but I know you mainly associate it with love making. I don’t want to burden you with something that I think I want…it’s not a need after all.”
You pause again, “Do you like giving blow jobs?”
“You know I told you that I used to hate giving them.”
“But you give me head and do it quite well for someone who can’t stand it. Why do you do that for me?”
“Because I love you and because I know you enjoy it.” You pick up the brush or paddle, again. “Oh! Ouch!”
“Exactly, so what makes you think I wouldn’t do the same for you and for the same reasons?”
“Yikes! Because… I know I’m not worth the effort!” My eyes start watering.
“That’s it. Stand up and look at me.” With tears in my eyes, I slowly look up at you. You hold my face in your hands as you look back at me. “I love you with all my heart. You mean the world to me. You need to stop thinking so badly of yourself.” You pull me in close for a firm hug that makes me feel protected.
“I want you to spend a few minutes in the corner in the hallway by our bedroom door. Put your hands behind your back holding your elbows, feet apart, and forehead against the corner. I’m going to fix the bed and then I’ll come get you. I am sorry that this year has been so rough on us and especially on you. I know it may not have seemed like it, but I need you to know that I’ve never stopped loving you. I want to be here to love, cherish, and protect you forever and always. Use this time to think about what I’ve said.”
“Yes, Sir,” as I turn to obey, he smacks my retreating rear.
…to be continued.
I am afraid…
that I was/am not enough.
that I have failed.
that I won’t be able to help.
I am afraid…
of being lied to again.
of being hurt emotionally.
of losing him and not being able to do anything about it.
A few months ago, he told me I was being co-dependent. I’m sure we were arguing at the time, but he also told me I was being too needy, too clingy, and that I wanted too much. In hindsight, I think he was just trying to alleviate his guilt and make me feel bad. It definitely made me feel bad, but was what he said true? Sure, we all experience some minor co-dependent behaviors. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel good when they give someone a gift and the receiver lights up like it was best present ever. Also, in hindsight, I now understand what was going on outside of the argument. He was trying to juggle his time among his brother, getting high, and me. I had started to feel like he was choosing his brothers over me when that was only partially true. They were all busy trying not to feel the death of their father by getting high. In doing so, they spent lots of time together both day and night. There were many nights that I went to bed alone, even on nights when we had sex. He may or may not have joined me hours later. I don’t think I ever thought that I was truly losing him, but I did feel like he was pulling away from me. Sex was beginning to feel like a moment of elation followed by a lonely crash. I missed him. I started to feel like the only time he was there emotionally was when we were having sex or when we were both crying because I finally broke down and tried to explain what I was feeling.
I think that on some level most of us experience co-dependent behaviors when we are trying to get to and are in a submissive mindset. The desire to please, attuned to what he wants, feeling self-conscious, and any guilty feelings if something goes awry. All of these feelings are normal. However, when I started feeling like I had moved down on the list of his priorities, when I started feeling like I was the only one taking care of the boys, when I found out he was lying to me, when I thought he no longer wanted to spend time with me, and when I believed what I said and felt no longer mattered,…then all of those co-dependent tendencies intensified.
Then came the feelings of helplessness, anger, fear, and hurt. My self-worth had taken a hit. I felt guilty that I had turned a blind eye towards the signs. I felt that my heart and trust had taken a major blow.
Even though I recognize the signs of co-dependency, I don’t believe that I am truly co-dependent because I can function on my own, and when I am aware of what is going on I do not obsess about where he is or what he’s doing. Yes, I do enjoy spending time with him and doing things together, but there are some things that I don’t jump all into because they aren’t my thing. For instance, he likes playing with audio speakers – I don’t mind messing with them for a while but I tend to get bored with it so I’ll do something else in the same room. A lot of the time when I do feel needy and clingy, it’s because I don’t want to lose him, and honestly what do you expect after what we’ve been through?
I know that what happened wasn’t my fault, but I hate how powerless I feel. When I choose to let go of control when we play or have sex, it’s because I feel safe, cared for, and I trust him. But feeling powerless when it comes to an addiction is absolutely terrifying. I hate feeling like I’m not enough, like I’m going to lose him. I hate watching him walk out of the door because I don’t know if he’s coming back and not because he doesn’t want to come home, but because he won’t be able to.
He has been sober for almost 7 weeks, and I am very proud of him. Even though drinking isn’t the problem, he started going to AA meetings this week and it is helping him gain perspective and let’s him remember he isn’t alone in his addiction. I am considering attending an Al-anon meeting, but I’m afraid it’ll be full of stories of abuse and people trying to let go and back off of their loved ones for their own safety or for tough love. My story isn’t one of abuse and trying to get out. I want to stay and support him. I want him to see what he has right in front of him. I realize I have no control over what someone else does, but how do you deal with it when what he does affects you? Step back? Stop caring? Don’t get upset? In my mind if I pull the focus from him, then all I am doing is learning to live without him. How does that help us?
Honestly, I believe that he won’t do it again, and I know he feels terrible about what he did. In addition to the legal issues that are still looming, he also lost his job on March 24th. We mostly finished one of his side jobs but we are still waiting on payment – the guy owes us $2,400. His second side job has gone over the original estimated one week of work by two weeks due to rain and working by himself. He also reduced his quote because he was concerned he wouldn’t get work, but when you do the math…that means he is making significantly less than minimum wage because of gas (job location is an hour out) and time lost. He has made some headway with things around the house – fixed lawnmower, fixed weedeater, built lean-to for dad, finished most of the siding work on a large shed, fixed leak in roof, etc. There are still things on the list that even I get overwhelmed thinking about it all. We have things that we can sell, but even they need to be fixed first – two vehicles and a camper.
Today, he went to quote a job and apply for a job. I definitely do not want him to get depressed or lose hope. I want him to get better, deal with the past, and learn how to cope. I am feeling the emotions of the past in triggered spurts, but I need to work on figuring out how to let it go and overcome the fear. It is hard when an action or a word reminds me or makes me question. He is doing very well at letting me know his plans for the day and calling me if things change or he is going to be late. Those simple things help alleviate so much stress, worry, and fear. I do trust him…but trusting without fear will have to come back in time. I hope you understand that I am not afraid of him nor am I afraid that he will do anything to purposely hurt me in any way. I am not afraid of relapse but I am afraid he will be taken from me because of a relapse.
Posting is so hard these days. I want to share what I’m feeling, because I need to get it out and not avoid my own emotions. I also hope that maybe others will have their own story to share even if it’s anonymously.
I’m sorry this isn’t a spanking related post. Erotic spankings definitely still occur and are thoroughly enjoyable, but this post is just about life and what’s on my mind right now.
Please feel free to leave comments (anonymously or not) about your experiences with addictions, AA or Al-anon meetings, other group meetings, or just general support. Every little bit helps and maybe you’ll even be helping someone else who wanders on to this post.