[I currently have a great relationship with my mother and so feel incredibly guilt-ridden experiencing my attachment difficulties as I do today. However, I have a lot of relational trauma stemming from how it ‘used to be’. I was asked to write a stream of consciousness about what I crave from mother figures, so this is what I did] –
What do I get from female authority care-giver figures?
I get love even if it isn’t really love. I get what feels like love. I get love in the form of time and attention and support and affection. I get love in the form of mothering. I like it when people express concern for me in a way I perceive as maternal. I liked it when my therapist expressed her disapproval towards me having only woken up at midday, because it felt motherly. If she hadn’t given a shit, she wouldn’t have bothered saying anything.
Mothers say “What time do you think this is Young Lady, get your arse out of bed this instant!” They say it because they care, and it means a lot when people show care towards me. It means everything, in fact.
Sometimes I think it is all that I live for. I feel like my whole existence up until this point has been in the pursuit of maternal love. I don’t want to feel deficient for ever. That is not a worthwhile existence, in my opinion.
When I attach to people, it is me trying to get my baby needs met even if it’s irrational. Baby me doesn’t know that. She just knows she needs to be loved and cared for and cherished and soothed and comforted and mothered and that is all she is after. I am a baby stuck in an adult’s body; my only need in life to be mothered in a way a baby is. Baby me just wants to be loved. I just want to be loved. I just want to feel loved. It isn’t even a choice; it is instinctual.
I need to feel seen. I need attention. I am an attention whore. Attention, love, comfort, soothing are my drugs and I am addicted. I am a love addict and I am greedy for more and more and more and it is never enough.
I am needy and childlike and reliant and fragile. I need someone to look after me; that is all I know for sure. I need someone to love me so strongly that it hurts. I need someone to hold me so tight I can’t breathe. I need someone to stop me from falling. Because I keep falling. And falling and falling and falling.
I also need approval. I need someone to show me they understand me and validate the way I am feeling. I need someone to care enough to want to understand the darkest corners of my psyche and not to judge what they find. Without the approval of the figure I am unable to approve of or ultimately accept myself. I need someone else to make decisions for me and let me know if things are okay or not and what the right things to do is, so that I myself then know. I can’t trust my own judgement enough so I need her help and wisdom. I need her direction. I cannot trust my own. I am too lost and I need someone to guide me. I think she also provides me with a sense of purpose and belonging which I cannot receive anywhere else. She makes me feel like for one moment maybe I am okay for being me.
I need to be able to try with all my might to push her away but for her to bounce back and not let me have enough power to push her over the edge; or break the bond, no matter what. I need to be able and encouraged to get angry and I need to be able to express this anger without her being scared away by me. I need to be allowed to express all emotions on the spectrum and for that to be acceptable. I need her not to give up on me like everyone else has. I need to not be too much for her, and even if and when I am, I need her to still be willing to be there for me through all the shit I put her through. I need to know it’s unconditional and that she can deal with me, regardless.
I need her to provide me with safety and security. She will be there for me whenever I need her, and I will be able to trust that. She will treat me so gently as though my metaphorical (emotional) burns are visible on my body – raw and seeping – just like my self-inflicted scars. She will trace these scars one by one with her forefinger and her touch will imprint on me, healing me. She will hold me in her arms, stroke my hair and rub my back. I will rest my head in her lap whilst she wipes my tears and soothes my pain. I will smile at her and she will smile back and I will see love in her eyes and feel it in her touch. She will mirror my world and help me make sense of it. She will speak to me with loving words and compassion in her voice. She will take my hand and guide me through the good times and the bad, remaining by my side throughout. She will know me inside out and accept me in my entirety.
We will be two people but we will also be one. She will make everything feel better. She will make me want to be alive again.
Although I love her, I will not have to be responsible for her needs in the way she needs to be for mine. It will be unconditional and ongoing and even when I am the worst human being in the world she will still be there, willing to forgive because she loves me with everything she has.
I will rely on her for all my creature comforts. I will go to her when I am distressed and she will make things better. My pain will be taken away even if just for a moment at a time; and these moments will add up like medicine accumulating in my bloodstream.
She will soothe my internal ache and make me feel whole again. She will remove my deficiencies and I will stop yearning. She will cure me of the sickness that is my insanity. The emptiness will fade and I will become filled with warmth. I will go to her too when I am not distressed, and she will be there still. She will be there unconditionally and she will greet me with open arms and a loving smile, always. She will want me and me only and I will be hers and she will be mine.
I build homes within people. She will become my home; my safe place; my secure base. I will have arrived home.