It frustrates me so much that I know people care about me, but I lose the feeling of connectedness the instant they’re no longer there.
My therapist at Riggs called it a lack of object permanence. I think she’s right–it’s the relational version of that. The reason babies love peekaboo games is that they’re discovering object permanence, and it delights them. It gives them a sense of security to learn that even when they can’t see someone, that person still exists.
Somewhere along the line, I missed the relational aspect of that developmental milestone. My suspicion is that it’s because my parents were not safe people to attach to. If you can’t attach safely, you can’t feel safe without them. If you don’t have that attachment to your parents, you can’t develop it with other people.
I spent most of today with campaign folks, doing a Get Out the Vote training. I was excited. I felt involved and important. I felt connected.
And now, at home, I feel utterly alone. Worthless. Peripheral. Valueless. I feel irrationally convinced that I annoy everybody, and they’re just to polite to tell me to shut up and go away.
When I’m with my therapist, I feel connected and cared about. Then I get on the bus to go home, and it all dissolves. Same thing with my treatment team. Even online it happens: I obsessively check my inbox, hoping for an email that will make me feel connected.
When I’m alone, I’m not just alone. I feel abandoned, unwanted, unloved, hated. I know intellectually that it’s not true, but I feel entirely isolated.
I rarely tell anyone that I feel like this because I’m afraid they’ll think I’m saying that they don’t care about me. I don’t want to make people feel like they have to take care of me. I don’t want to make people feel guilty when they’ve done nothing wrong.
But right now it’s just so painful. It feels almost unbearable.