"Your vulnerability lies in relationships."
I nodded my head in agreement.
My therapist continued, "Somewhere early in your life someone abandon you, someone hurt you. Now when you're in a relationship you feel abandon and vulnerable."
I told her how when I moved I had just broken up with J and I was determined to really work on myself. I didn't date or have sex for a year and I was doing really well. There were bumps, but for the most part I was really improving. Then when I got into a relationship I became scared, dependent, and (as my therapist said) vulnerable. Now that Pete and I are doing our break, I'm doing really well again.
She was absolutely right about someone abandoning me. That person was my Father. As a child I was very close to him, but when he married my Step-Mom he basically chose her over his own kids. He never did anything about the fact she was abusive towards me. I told my therapist that he didn't really abandon me because he's still in my life and I see him and talk to him. Not every day, but still often. She pointed out that while he didn't abandon me physically, he abandoned me emotionally and that can sometimes be a lot worse.
Soooo, ya, big breakthrough in therapy. Though, part of me already knew that. I just never acknowledged it because I never saw it as, "abandonment". This is something I need to work hardest on. I'm ready for it.
In other news I burned a bridge today. You might think, "why would you do that?" This was actually a HUGE step for me. In DBT interpersonal effectiveness teaches to end troublesome relationships. Because I have such a hard time and an intense fear with abandonment, I will cling to any relationship even if it's toxic. There were a couple of people in my life who were, in fact, very toxic to me. I realized today that by keeping them in my life I was giving them power. So I burned the bridge.
I can't tell you how free it makes me feel, how much better I feel. I'm so proud of myself. Today I faced angry, bitter, hateful people and I remained mindful and positive.
Thanks to all my friends who stood up for me.