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Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

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Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

Postby Hopefades » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:50 pm

Hi, new here, Just thought i would share my story in the hope of receiving some much needed advice.

I have struggled with these attachment feelings i have for as long as i remember. Ive not really seeked out any kind of therapy so i am only guessing from research online that it is a form of adult attachment, possible bpd, ocd? I don't know.

I just know that it hurts like crazy and i can't seem to shake it off no matter how hard i try.

Im 28 and married to a wonderful man. We have been together for over 10 years now and we are completely happy together. i just feel like i have a huge black hole inside me and its constant.

Basically, i have really strong attachment feelings towards older women and its ruining my life.

it started when i was 5, Both of my parents were addicted to heroin and i was an only child. I was left alone constantly on the other side of the door while my parents did their 'deals'. I was used as a cover by my parents who would take me along to their deals and was alone most of my childhood. I know this is where my issues come from that i have today, i just dont know how to get rid of them. I remember attaching myself to older women back then, my mums friends, teachers, friends parents. Literally clinging onto them and not letting go. The older i got, the more severe it became. Back then i just needed to be rescued. Taken away from the bad life i was involved in. But now...? Now my life on the outside is perfect yet i still crave these women to come and 'rescue' me and hold me like a child.

My relationship with my mum now is hostile. She swapped heroin for alcohol 15 years ago and her life is a mess. I cant have a mother/daugter relationship with her as i am the adult now. The roles have reversed for us so i can never, how hard i try, feel close to her. I dont feel love for her really at all. I dont speak to my dad anymore as i got sick of him treating me like crap.

I lived with my nan for a few years but never had a 'loving/cuddly' relationship. i was a strong person when i grew up and again i look after her rather than the other way around.

I had a very devastating attachment in my mid teens, got close to somebody and became completely obsessed with them, Dropped out of school because all i could think about was them. Attempted suicide a few times as i couldnt cope not being around her. She left soon after and i spent the next few years on and off getting in touch and pushing too far etc. This attachment has stayed with me all my life but when i met my partner i tried to put it to the back of my mind. It worked for a while but soon i became attached to my mother in law and this has been difficult. My husband knows i have these issues but we havent talked about them for a few years. I feel guilty on him so i hide it from him now. Its just a need he cannot fulfill. I mean he holds me but its just not the same.

So anyway..(sorry for rambling) ive lived 200 miles away from my mother in law for years so have been up and down with my feelings. Feeling on a high when she visited and falling into a devastating depression for a few days when she left. I moved round the corner from her last year and my attachment exploded the more i saw of her. I hid it completely though.

Its a suffocating feeling, like i need these people around me, I just want them to hold me and love me but whenever they are near, i just freeze up, cant talk, become nervous and act stupid around them. I seem distant in their presence and act aloof. inside im screaming and catching glimpses of them when they aren't looking. I know i can never be a child again but i crave them, i dream about them and imagine myself being rescued by them. It seems to be alwayd older, strong, powerful women who are always out of reach, This is why its so painful. I can never get close to them because they aren't 'those type' of people. so i dont know why im drawn to them.

I have friends who are older who show me love and i feel nothing like this with them? I have to choose the person and i can decide if i will have this attachment in an instant.

I dont often have 2 attachments at the same time, one usually dies off a bit as the other goes crazy. Its making me so tired.

I have made a really good life for myself. become successful in a way i only could have dreamed of. i threw myself into work to take my mind off people.

My attachment to my mother in law has died down at the moment as i have a new one and it is devastating me already. I have just moved to a new area which is extremely affluent. My partner and i have made friends with a 47 year old woman on our street who's husband works abroad. We have been to a couple of her parties and have gone to the pub a few times with her. She is amazing and i have fallen so completely in love with her. She is in the middle of a divorce at the moment and is selling her house, She wants to move away to be closer to her family and i am beside myself. We were all really drunk last week and i helped her home. She gave me a huge hug and i cant stop thinking about her. I hate feeling like this towards people because i feel like i am tricking them into being my friend, Like i am just pretending to get to know them so i can feel close to them, like im one big fake! When she texts me, i am so happy but when shes stand offish, i get so upset at myself. She has no idea how i feel obviously, i make sure of that.

How do i stop these patterns? I dont think i will ever not feel this way
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Re: Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

Postby Hopefades » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:53 pm

I just wanted to add something to my previous post. These are in no way sexual feelings that i have for these women i am attached to. For years it has simply been a mother/child need and a completely self centered one.

lately though something is different with my feelings. Not with all my past attachments but instead of the usual daydreams of being rescued or the rescuer, I am preoccupied with thoughts of a relationship with them. At times a physical one. Im so cnfused by it as i don't feel i am gay and ever have been, not that there is anything wrong with this.
I have thoughts of my neighbour, being closer than just hugging her but thinking about kissing her. Thats all. Whats really strange is i dont like kissing! I avoid kissing my partner, i'm ok with a peck from him but a full on kissing session is just something i dont like, never have. I just find it a bit gross, swapping saliva with someone, :oops:
This is all i am focused on regarding my neighbour. ! I dream of being in a relationship with her but it only ever goes as far as hugging and kissing, nothing more (the thought turns my stomach of anything else with her) I just cant understand why a full on passionate embrace is entering my head? I dont feel like this to any of my other attachments?
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Re: Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

Postby fallingmercy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:34 pm

Dear HopeFades,

Today, at work, I googled, “attachment to mother-in-law” and I found your post – in fact the only post that I could find on this. I was searching, I suppose, for some answers to my own issue of attachment.

I’m sorry that you’re childhood was so difficult with your mum and dad. It also sounds like you never really did get the affection and love that you so desperately needed. My childhood also lacked those things. My mum has schizophrenia before I was born and she was often psychotic and frightening. Dad was always working so he never really made up for what I was lacking with mum.

I understand your frustration with needing a mum. I’ve been attaching to older women also since I was about 4 years old. Devastated when they didn’t meet my needs or expectations of the relationship. It is physically painful isn’t it? And so much anxiety! I mean, heart-racing, thoughts racing, dreams, passions, hopes, fears all running through your mind at the same time. An obsession with being loved and adored by this one person. It’s so so hard to deal with. It’s like we’re wired to fall in love with these particular types of women and then we get hurt.

Issue is, i'm also attached to my mother-in-law and i've just experienced a major rejection from her and wanted to resonate with someone who understands.

It was rare to find your post and I hope that we can chat.
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Re: Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

Postby Hopefades » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:49 pm

Hi Fallingmercy,
I am so grateful for your reply and so relieved to know im not the only one going through this nightmare! (no offence)
Its just a relief to find out im not a complete and utter freak and it does and can happen to normal everyday people.

Im in a bad place myself at the moment dealing with rejection and loss. I can relate to everything you said in your post about how bad this really makes you feel. I feel like i am on the floor at the moment and the truth is, from the outside, to anybody else, not much looks like its happened to make me feel this way.

I am in this way over my head and the truth is i saw it coming.
Unfortunately i have 10 years experience about mother in law attachment so if there is anything you want to chat about, im all ears.
Not sure if its the case for you but this is all i want to talk about at the moment because i am living and breathing these feelings lately, its like an obsession that just wont go away.

Something has happened to me recently regarding my attachment to my mother and law and my neighbour, I have never experienced 2 attachments at the same time (never been 'Lucky' enough to have more than 1 person around me whom i needed so much) I only met my neighbour around 3 months ago but now its like i have instantly 'dropped' my mum in law!
It feels terribly cruel of me but i enjoy it in a way i am trying to understand. My mum in law has never given me anything in the form of comfort. Every single bit of attention i got from her has been instigated by myself, she just happens to be an awkward sort of a person. She has so many problems of her own lately and it was getting to the point where i was becomming frustrated hearing her complain all the time while not allowing me any chance to console her or help her.

She hints all the time she is not eating (she was anorexic at 16) just so she can get attention from me then she completely closes down and changes the subject once she gets recognition for her problems. Its so hard to work out. Obviously with the type of issues i have had with attachment, I made myself beleive these were some kinds of signs she was giving me and i built up hope that, i don't know, maybe she cared for me as much as i cared for her? Stupid really. This is what happenes to me though, Every accidental touch or smile, i instantly convince myself it was deliberate and secretly she feels the same about me, only when she goes cold and doesn't need me to give her sympathy, she doesnt call or text and dissapears for a while leaving me devastated and feeling completely stupid.

I think, because it is such a dangerous attachment for me considering if anybody were to find out about it i would probably lose my husband, i got bored of it?
not bored, more frustrated. i know if my neighbour wasnt in my life then my attachment for my mum in law would still be there and it probably will come back long after my neighbour has gone. Its just maybe a realisation for me now that it is all in my head. These so called moments we have.

Now i have gotten to know my neighbour more, i am right back at the beginning again. :roll:
I feel like i am playing games with my mother in law, trying to make her jealous as a way of showing her how angry i am at her for not noticing me more, and im enjoying it. I dont know why.
It just feels good, like i am the one in control for a change and not her.

Only today i am more scared than i have been in a long time. i feel i have been exposed a little so early in my relationship with my neighbour and it scared me to death.
She is all i have thought about for weeks. its so complicated though. The history of my attachments doesnt make for great reading. They have either found out and ran a mile, never found out but left and i have greived them slowly, or passed from an age thing or out of sheer frustration, ive walked away.
With my neighbour i am experiencing something different, something that feels very dangerous to me.

We have become friends and im not good at becoming friends with my attachments. Im too withdrawn and shy in their presence usually. She is so hard to be around though. I have never known a more confusing person.
The age thing is a clear issue as she is nearly twice my age and her and her friends bring it up sometimes as the old 'oh you wont remember this' etc..
She has kids that have taken a huge like to my husband and myself much to my delight as she now has a reason to come round more.
She is just so distant sometimes but when shes had a drink, shes amazing to be around. She opens up and lets me in sometimes about how shes feeling, She hugs me and has said the words 'love you' to me which melted my heart. (A complete drunken, friendly type way but still ) Her texts are covered with kisses to me, she passes me her drink to share with me at times (big trust thing in my opinion)
She spent all 3 days of the weekend with us last week with the kids and knocks on our door to spend evenings watching tv with us. Of course i have read all sorts into her behaviour. She lost her mum at 9 and her dad 2 years ago, they were both alcoholics and i often wonder if she feels like me about life and needing someone?
Its all new to me but when shes sober and were on our own, i berely say 2 words to her and she has this big front on thats quiet and 'posh' .
Its so confusing.

Anyway im rambling again sorry :( The worry is, my husband i fear is becomming attracted to her. Even though shes all i think and talk about, its the same for him. Hes always asking me to invite her over and he texts her a lot too. Its a really difficult situation. We have argued about it a lot and he denies it of course, but i think im only angry with him because i want to be the one who likes her, not him. I have made friends with her friends now and they all tell me she asks a lot of questions to them about life etc as if she hasnt been brought up really and she had to loook after herself and bring herself up. even though she was a high end solicitor once!

She has sold her house now and she is moving far away i think (shes not too sure herslf yet) i know i have tried not to think about and act like its not happening which means i am heading for a big fall soon. The thing is, i have never had so much interaction with an attachment before and im finding it scary?! Its like im numb when shes around me and then when shes gone, i just go over the events of the day in my head over and over.

we are going on holiday with her and her family next month for a week and shes invited me on a girls holiday this year.
Im so excited but im also terrified that my attachment is close to bursting.
It was all going so well until today...:'(

I invited her to a gym day with us and some of her friends. she declined and said she may meet us all for lunch. Then my husband drove past her and she stopped texting me about the gym and started texting him because he sent her one as usual.
She said she was going shopping instead so of course i jumped at the chance of spending the day with her and passed off the gym myself. I asked her if i could come shopping with her and for the first time since we met, i went into some kind of childlike state. Being really pushy over texts and basically telling her i wanted to spend the day with her. She completely ignored the text i sent and just said, 'the gyms lovely, youll love it, why dont you go?'
So i basically spat my dummy out and said that i was absoltely not going the gym which opened the door for her to invite me out shopping, i said i was staying at home and that i might meet them all for lunch, just like she said. She then text me and said 'ok might see you later, text me'.

I drove home and i have literally cried all afternoon! She completely ignored my asking to come shopping with her and now ive made myself out to look like some stupid clingy idiot!
My husband seems to think she may be having some kind of affair and used the shopping story as an excuse as her car has gone all afternoon and her children go to boarding school all week.
I feel so scared i have shown her my feelings so soon and my husband as he was shocked by my reaction to her replies to me and how much i flipped out.
Im just so confused by it all.
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Re: Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

Postby Mount007 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:49 pm

Hi Hope,

I have RAD and I do recognize the clinging on to people. I have that tendency with middle aged men. I know very well that it is not sexual at all. For me it is more like longing for a mentor/father figure (in your case I can imagine maybe looking for a mentor/mother figure?)

Have you ever considered looking for professional help? I think the opinion of a professional could maybe give a lot of insight on the situation and tools to deal with it. I know very well that with RAD the threshold to get professional help is often very high, so I'd fully understand if you haven't, but in my experience it can do a lot of good.

It seemed to me that maybe your mother-in-law is not the right person to lean on to right now. It looks like you're setting yourself up to be disappointed. And when that happens I fear for your relationship with your mother-in-law. I remember that my clinging often is too much for the person I'm clinging to and it will destroy the relatively good relationship we had. It makes for stormy, short-term relationships. Not deeper and long-term ones.
I wouldn't want that to happen to your relationship with your mother-in-law, since she's family.

In therapy I mourned about not ever having someone take care of me like I needed when I was a child, and I learned that I need to become that person to myself.
I got RAD because my (very loving parents) were not capable of taking care of me emotionally. I've gotten everything I needed, except for emotional support and because of it I've spend much time looking for it in other people. Many people I encountered in my life have been "potential fulfillment" to that emotional need, but no one could ever actually fulfill it.
Now I'm learning that I can. I can fulfill my own needs: because I am always available and I always understand exactly what I'm feeling. If I need compassion I can be compassionate towards myself. If I need comfort I can comfort myself. etc.
It requires mourning over the loss of something that no one can ever give you anymore (in my case: unconditional parental emotional care), learning to understand and recognize your emotions and learning how to be kind and patient towards yourself (unless you can already do that of course...).
I believe that if you can be that person to yourself, your other relationships can become more healthy (and happy!)
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Re: Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

Postby Searchforhealing » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:37 pm

Pm'd you Hope

-- Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:40 pm --

Pm'd you Hope
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Re: Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

Postby JosieAnne » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:22 am

I, too, have attachment problems. I grew up with a single father because my mom left when I was ten. I grew up with two older brothers also. I have always felt a desire for affection from older women. I love my boyfriend's step mom and feel like she is my own mother. Although my mom and I have a good relationship now, I just feel like she doesn't even fill that void. All I want to do is lay my head on her lap and know that someone is there to take care of me. I have always tried to hide these feelings because I feel like others won't understand and they are embarrassing at times. I just have such a strong connection with her and it happens with other women too. I, too, have had feelings of her saving me and how great it would feel for her to hold me like a mom would and comfort me.
I am just at a loss. I like the affection, but don't want to feel this way all of the time.
Thanks, Josie
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Re: Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

Postby I_HAVE_RADS » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:03 am

I just found out I have Reactive Attachment Disorder. I'm very relieved to find this forum because all of my life I have felt so different from everyone. I have experienced emotional neglect and every type of abuse as a child. My mom was super depressed during and after pregnancy and she admits to being emotionally distant. I was also a depressed infant myself. Ever since elementary school, I have gravitated towards older women (teachers who showed interest in me, sunday school leaders etc). I had favorite teachers whom I would become super clingy with. I would day-dream about these women nurturing me and loving on me like a child. I'd have fantasies about them on a daily basis (none sexual, just maternal). I am now a young adult, college grad and things have not changed much. I have this constant 24/7 need to be coddled. I am still just as clingy to selected older women. It's always one at a time though and it's like I'm obsessed with them. I fear that the person I am obsessed with now is going to abandon me. She recently found out I have this disorder and I'm scared to death that it will scare her away. She is a middle-aged women w/ no children of her own and as a matter of fact, she's a psychotherapist! Not my psychotherapist. I think because she is a therapist, she may know how to deal w/ me...? She started setting really really really strict boundaries in our relationship. These boundaries are a way of ''rejecting'' me... well at least it is in my brain and it's making me beyond depressed. I feel that these boundaries are a way of her emotionally distancing herself from me and that is the last thing I need! I need to be held, loved and cared for. I hate having this desperate need! I hate thinking about her all the time. I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way...I've always felt like a freak and so alone!
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Re: Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

Postby bebebaybe » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:51 am

Hi! Is anyone still on this thread?
I want to share my story, but not to an empty room LOL
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Re: Advice / Help needed for Adult Attachment

Postby mark1958 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:06 pm

Greetings and welcome to the forums!

This thread is 3 years old, I do not think the original posters are here anymore. Perhaps you would like to start your own thread and story.

Best of luck

Regards,

M
There are no failures, only lessons!
Resistance leads to suffering, acceptance leads to peace
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