A dear friend of mine and I have been speaking a lot about our similar “attachment difficulties”. Something we both struggle with is the (mostly online) ‘stalking’ behaviour of specific staff members in the various treatment facilities we have been in. This consists mostly of looking at profile pages, life updates and photographs of therapeutic care workers on whatever social media websites are publicly available.
Although contradictorily innocent in ways, and of course with no malicious intentions, these behaviours are by no means effective, either. In fact, they usually end up doing a lot more harm than good, both mentally and emotionally, and occasionally inter-personally too.
When my friend and I were talking about this specific target behaviour, she encouraged me to think about a few things that she herself had considered: Do these ‘stalking’ actions actually ever result in lasting positive affect? Is the short moment of *connection* worth the hours of subsequent sadness, longing and shame? Is this really the kind of (illusory) connection I want to have to resort to in my life?
The answer to each of these questions of course is a resounding NO.
My friend suggested we make a pact that we can realistically stick to with each other’s support and understanding. She proposed that we essentially abstain from searching for and looking at any information relating to our past or present treatment teams’ members. For me that includes therapists, psychiatrists, recovery assistants (RAs) and community residence counsellors (CRCs), sponsors and mentors, other members of the clinical team, and more.
This is a big deal for me because I miss my old treatment providers very much, and oftentimes the only means I have of retaining some sort of a connection to them is through the Internet, (whether they are aware of it or not).
I am aware, however, that ultimately I need to accept it is time for me to let go of a number of these relationships, and that this ‘stalking’ behaviour only keeps me locked in a place of yearning, loneliness and emotional dependency – a state I am trying to get some freedom from. It is time for me to move on, and by engaging in these current stalking behaviours, I am not allowing myself to do so.
And so, it is a commitment I am willing to make because I know that it is the right decision. I know I am being effective, I know that ultimately it will only benefit and empower me further, and I know that my dear friend will be by my side throughout.
(I just really don’t want to let go, I miss them all, so much)