What is Really at the Heart of Adult Separation Anxiety?

holding hands 2

I have always suffered with separation anxiety and still do as an adult but slowly slowly I am finding my way through the complex maze that is this condition.

For me the anxiety is that bad that I haven’t wanted my husband to go out to the corner shop or the doctors without me. I have trailed along here, there and everywhere because I have been too afraid to be by myself. 

I have wanted to change but just haven’t been able to make that first step. 

But this year I decided to have a play with the anxiety, to try to test its boundaries and get inside it to find its heart. 

The first thing I decided to do was to make sure my husband recognises it as a real problem. If we run out of onions and he says “I could always go up the corner shop  but there again you probably won’t let me out.” then we have lost before we have started.  In the same way if he goes out and comes back 10 minutes later and I say I struggled and he laughs because to him it is funny to miss someone in such a short time, then we have no where to go from here. I feel humiliated and guilty and the pattern starts once more.  I must say at this point that my husband is possibly the kindest man on the planet so if he has misunderstood my needs I know it is because he is human.

So . . I explained to my husband that the anxiety is obviously a problem, otherwise we would have had a very different lifestyle a long time ago. 

Next I decided on a realistic step. When I look out of my work room at home I can see into the next street (a gap between some houses) and by road this a 10 minute walk from our house. I thought it would be fun if my husband walked to that spot and then waves at me. We tried to add the fun of the tracker on his phone but unfortunately we couldn’t get this to work. My husband left the house, I timed 10 minutes and then sure enough there he was waving at me from our chosen spot. 

How did I feel in those 10 minutes? Empowered, confident, happy!

Where do I go from here? I don’t know yet? I gave up guilt when I admitted I had the condition and so there is no standard to achieve for me to feel good enough. We will go where the adventure takes us.

The important elements in taking that first step were HONESTY, SINCERITY, KNOWING AND ASKING FOR MY NEEDS, PLAYFULNESS . . . AND BEING PREPARED TO MOVE FORWARDS ONE STEP AT A TIME!

So . . what is at the heart of separation anxiety . . . . I think, a feeling that you are silly because you don’t like being by yourself!

 

Sensory Processing – To Hide or to Be My Insecure Self in the World? – That is the Question!

looking through window

I have spent my whole life wondering why I have this tension in my body, I can’t always think straight and I feel sort of insecure a lot of the time. I have really worked my socks off to get to the bottom of this and I thought after 12 years of very intense therapy and working with my issues around the clock, that at least one morning I could get up and feel relaxed!

But no! It seems I was wrong! There is something more than issues or anxiety going on. And it is all about my senses and my difficulty with processing. I can find it difficult to process light, colour, sound, taste, touch, motion, temperature and mine and other people’s emotions.

So what do I do? Do I hide? Or do I take my insecure self out into the world?

Well, I’m done hiding! I’m done waiting until I feel sorted enough to make me feel worthy of being in the world. I’m done waiting for others to give me their nod of approval that says ‘Yes, You’re ok now, You’re good enough to be one of us!”  I’m even done waiting to feel secure enough to dare to step into the world.

I AM DONE WAITING!

I know I am quirky, I know I look tense, I know I can appear socially awkward, I know I can look insecure and scared. I know I can swing between seeming distant and a chatterbox.  I know I don’t seem like a teacher or a healer and certainly not a leader . . .

But I am . . . and I AM HERE!

 

 

Who Shall I be? ME – just ME!

flowerI have always wanted to BE something. I thought if I could just BE something then I would feel ok about myself and others would be happy with me.

So what should I be? Shall I be the music teacher as I have a musical gift? Should I be the artist as I have a desire to express my childlike spirit? Should I be a healer so I can feel part of other people’s positive change? What shall I be?

ME – just ME!  The person who gets up in the morning and says to God “What shall I do today?” The person who looks out of the window and gets carried away with seeing a flock of crows perched on the branches of our big tree or the pounding of the rain on our driveway . . .the person who may pick up a musical instrument only if it feels ok to feel the strings, sense the rhythm and hear the tones TODAY  . . .the person who is looking for a hug and kind words by 10:00 in the morning . . . the person who finds the green of the grass too bright some days, doesn’t like crowds or parties and loves chocolate truffles . . the person who likes to scoot around the park wearing her purple coat and summer beanie. . . the person who loves to help others when her own world is calm and organised enough for her to do so . . . 

Who should I be? – ME – just ME!