MDJunction - People Helping People
Ask a Question
10/13/2011 06:34 AM

Attachment issues

ZadieBluePosts: 4547
VIP Member

Hi, I know a lot of you from other forums -- I've been reading posts, lurking.

I used to be very social, but about 10 years ago I lost several important people in my life for unrelated reasons. One of my best friends disappeared and I still don't know where she is, if she's living or dead. Soon afterwards I moved cross country and my comfortable, social life slipped away.

I was bored so I fell into dating a guy who hid his psychiatric illness from me. He wound up psychotic and delusional, convinced I was cheating on him with his roommate. He'd stopped sleeping and one night he sat up staring at me, scary angry, waking me up every hours to ask if I was cheating on him. He thought catching me off guard and depriving me of sleep would yield the truth. He kicked me out of his house at 6 AM yelling -- I had my dog and was just glad to have him safe. 2 days later he became convinced that I was a prostitute and had been running a business out of his home while he was at work -- Apparently he'd gone all over his neighborhood warning people about me.

Since then I've generally been too scared to date. I feel like I've been marked in that every guy I interested in me and everyone I've dated has psychiatric illnesses, usually unmedicated and often drowned in booze.

It's a lot more complicated than that. Basically I'm finding that people are unpredictable and scary, and on top of all that I have Bipolar and feel that people will reject me because of it.

So I'm keeping people at arm's length, isolating and keeping quiet. As for the people I get to know, I feel blocked. Something now prevents me from attaching to them -- basically, I could take 'em or leave 'em. Regarding my last boyfriend, I don't recall having any feelings for him -- it's like he just happened, and now that he's gone I am unscathed (though I have a few good reasons to be angry with him. I can still access "anger"!).

I'm not a cold-hearted person. I haven't lived this way all my life. I actually do want people close to me, I'm so isolated now! But this defense mechanism slipped into place and I can't feel people like I used to. Someone recently asked if I thought I might be on the autistic spectrum. Made me think but No, not unless it can suddenly show up while you're into your mid-20's!!! My tdoc says that I seem very set against joining the world. I am keeping myself down and now I feel like I'm invisible, that I hardly exist.

That's a tiny part of the problem and my first attempt to explain it. What to do???

Thx, Zadie


10/13/2011 10:05 AM
Posts: 12381
VIP Member

I could make some quirky remark about staples and duct tape but I won't. OOPPS!

Really, I too have 'voted myself off the human race island' a few times after having several disasterous relationships in a row.

People say "Likes Attract Each Other" sort of like we are magnets. I'm not 100 percent sure that is as true as the so-called 'Normals' don't seem attracted to people with problems, ESPECIALLY mental problems. That leaves us fishing in a very small pool and guess what? Not only are we the fishermen, we are the fish too! SO we end up hooking up with each other both treated and untreated.

I think the trick is to realize that some people are going to 'spook' as soon as you reveal your condition(s) and that just shows they are not for you. Same thing for you. If they 'Spook' you it's time to pack your hat.

I'm really starting in a long-distance relationship and yes, we are both suffering some of the same conditions. BUT I think we both are VERY nervous about how it could hamper us AND very understanding of each others bad points due to our conditions. So we understand each other better than a lot of 'Norms' who have very few things in common.

I think if you find someone who is attractive as a friend or lover who is either suffering from simular conditions or at least knows or is willing to learn about your condition(s) and you theirs, you will find out you can come out from under your rock and see some daylight.

I really hope this helps in some way.

10/13/2011 09:10 PM

Attachment a jumpsuit made of Velcro..thinking I am alone...jumping up and down on a trampoline, going higher and higher, and then wham! I am stuck to another person with Velcro on! It gets scarier and scarier until I realize we are jumping in unison, holding onto each other, not letting go and finally we are laughing and loving and we no longer need the Velcro to hold us together anymore...sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone and take a "leap"(jump) of faith, and without expecting it life hands you an amazing gift. And all you had to do was be willing to be there when it appeared.

Post edited by: Arauna, at: 10/13/2011 09:11 PM

10/14/2011 04:00 AM
Posts: 3253
VIP Member

Hi Zadieblue, do you remember me from the bipolar group. I know I haven't been there much lately. Well most people say opposites attract. However, I too have noticed that I tend to attract alcoholics and people with serious anger issues and addiction problems.

But i finally got lucky and have one who doesn't have any of those problems and never has. Not that he doesn't have some issues, but not severe ones. He is general loving and supportive and more so since I had an attack where I wanted to die so badly that I couldn't stop crying for over an hour and decided to go to the ER. My boyfriend did take me. Which was great because I was too upset to drive.

So yes, there is hope. don't jump into the pool so to speak with both feet. I know I have a tendency to do that. What happened to you with your last boyfriend would scare the beegeebees out of me also. We need to be very careful because we are so slow to recognize people who are truly dysfunctional. It's the old saying take it slow and use some caution or trust but verify.

If you can do that you are unlikely to end up in those types of situations. Or at least that is what I have been told. I had to move in with my boyfriend after a year and I didn't want to. But I didn't have enough income to pay my rent and utilities much less anything else. I really didn't want to go to a homeless shelter, I have done that before and it's just too sad to me.

10/14/2011 10:16 AM
JustJulie62Posts: 925

Certainly it is easy to detach emotionally from all people in an attempt to avoid any pain of discomfort. Learning to trust again is very difficult-but it is worth the effort. I was so discouraged about finding a "healthy, well adjusted man" that I practically gave up. "Just not in the cards for me" was my attitude. Then I realized "Well I am not exactly well adjusted myself, and I have my flaws too"...yet I (think) I expected to find someone perfect and perhaps they would fix me...unrealistic and immature on my part.

I even tried online dating, and that was a disaster. Why was it a disaster? I realized I was writing down only my best features and what I think men would like to hear. I gave it up (online dating) because I met so many flakes. Then one day, fueled by exasperation and determination I said to myself "Fuck it - I'm going to write the most honest personal ad anyone has ever written - the good, the bad and the ugly"...I need to get real with myself and be crystal clear of what type of person I desired (more realistic this time).

So my ads headline was "Skeleton Out of the Closet.." then when they opened it I continued with "She is probably out drinking with your Skeleton!" and proceeded to write a lengthy ad about myself and what I am seeking...I infused it with a lot of humor too. I didn't expect to get a huge response since I figured a)most men won't read an ad with more than one paragraph, let alone 7!, b) I asked for someone who is wiling to work on their issues with me, while I worked on mine, and c) it was too real for anyone worth their salt to reply to.

Why I didn't receive hundreds of replies, and only two men who email me a picture of their penis calling me some kind of name (deleted) - the ones I did receive were awesome. Then, through the interview/weeding out process the only man left standing was Ron. He is now my husband. When I met him I warned him I have a tendency to get scared and withdraw...I said I don't trust men (with good reason)...that I have a terrible relationship history...that I fluctuate on my weight (I was not a skinny minnie when he met me, he dug me anyway, it was my own self image holding me back)...I smoke and I am a total bitch in the morning before I have my coffee! He kept pursuing me, and well, he is still here.

I knew I had to get out in the world if I wanted to meet anyone, and while I had no problems doing that, I got tired of the lengthy getting to know you BS and the lies people tell you as a result. The online ad proved safer, and I certainly weeded out a lot of the undesirables as a result. I was not invisible anymore, and it was on my terms...being the writer, not the responder. It felt great. I also tried to not hold physical expectations on what a guy should look like (within reason, horns and a forked tongue scare me!) I was more concerned with finding a strong emotional bond, someone who "gets me and isn't scared of my often assertive nature"...nice way to sugar coat it!

Zadie, your posts exhibit that you are intelligent, attractive (picture) and wicked funny....sarcastic in a charming way (and you like dogs!). Use those tools to your advantage. When you get sick of being this way (isolated) that might be the magic potion that gets you moving. Well it worked for me. I hope you find your springboard......


Share this discussion with your friends:

Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 All Rights Reserved