Spinning our wheels: Getting Real

Bea wanted me to finish filling out the workbook questions from the EFT workbook (emotionally focused couples therapy workbook) that I had refused to fill out. Her thought was filling it out would be a good way to at least start the conversation between Hubby and I regarding my fears of allowing him to be close. She had spent some time in therapy going through the questions with me, helping me work out my answers, so when I sat down to write them, it wasn’t very hard.

Chapter 4 was the chapter I got upset about. It was all about our attachment relationships in the past, and what those relationships have taught us about ourselves. Answering those questions felt way too exposing to me, and I left many of them blank. The entire time hubby and I shared our answers, I had a bad grumpy attitude; I essentially acted like my 15 year old self. It was only made worse in that hubby found the questions easy to answer, and everything he had to say seemed so normal and typical. He clearly had a very healthy, secure attachment style, and I had this broken screwed up attachment style that I most certainly didn’t want to admit to– ever.

I sat down, though, and I answered the questions:

On a scale of 1-10 how worthy am I of receiving help from my spouse or friends?
It really varies depending on state on mind and mood. Bea says I have these frozen in time parts, the traumatized parts that don’t really match up to the grown up parts. So some parts would be very low on this scale, and others would be higher.

On a scale of 1-10 how comfortable am I allowing others to be close to me?
Not so much. I’m afraid of letting people close to me, and don’t like feeling vulnerable. I usually act mad to hide it. That’s why I got so bent out of shape about these questions in the workbook– they felt too exposing to me.

Who was the person that comforted me when I was upset, how did they comfort me and what did that teach me about myself?
My mom, she tried to distract me, and it taught me that my real emotions, and to some extent my authentic self was not acceptable.

Have you been in an abusive relationship in the past? Has this made approaching your current partner difficult at times?
Yes, my relationship in college was physically and sexually abusive.

I gave Hubby the worksheets and told him that he could read them later, but that I didn’t want to talk about them right now. I woke up this morning to email from him.

You’re sleeping now but I wanted to say thank you for sharing your answers. I’ll take every opportunity to know more about you. It makes me feel more connected to you. I love you more and more each day and I think you’re an amazing wife, mom, and person.

I love you and always will because of who you are.

I let him in, and now I need to try not to kick him out. I only hope I’m stronger enough to do it.