The painting above describes my overall state of having been overrun by very difficult emotion turmoil for days now. The tears hold both exhaustion and relief.
As soon as I left work, I began feeling better. The chaos and agony and “hell” that I had been experiencing for a huge part of the day subsided. I’m not sure why exactly, but this has led me to believe that perhaps it is my work that is triggering me**. I don’t know why it would; Little Guy is amazing. We have a great relationship, a wonderful bond, and as he gets bigger I feel as though I’m able to understand his wants and needs much better and therefore he’s much less frustrated than he was before. So why would this be triggering for me?
My therapist suggested that it’s difficult because I’m starting to experience, with him, the type of (healthy) interaction that I didn’t get from my own parents. With me he has a secure attachment; with my parents, and my mom in particular, I believe I had an insecure attachment. Until my therapist said that though, I honestly hadn’t even thought of it that way. I love and appreciate the relationship that Little Guy and I have, and I cherish it. At some point when I first started this job, I was thinking about starting graduate school in the near future. But there’s no way I’m going to do that now. At least while Little Guy is… well… little. He has developed an extremely strong attachment to me, and as my therapist aptly pointed out, “You have become his primary attachment figure. Just make sure that you don’t disappear.” She is absolutely right, since I believe I have become his primary attachment figure. Which is wonderful and challenging at the same time. When he is deeply distressed, he only wants me to hold him. Not his mom… Not his dad… but me. I love that he loves and trusts me so much, but of course this bring in an element of confusion and jealously from the parents, especially the mom. And the sad truth is, he is usually quite distressed when he’s around his parents – for reasons I’m not going to get into, but I have an idea why. So… coming back around from my tangent… I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. I’m sticking with Little Guy.
The most frustrating part of all of this is that these feelings take over me without any seeming trigger or provocation. Today, for example, was spent just me and him. Both his parents were out of the house. And my inner world turned to hell, especially when the little guy was asleep.
All things to think about and ponder. But for now, I will simply enjoy the relief from all the inner turmoil, and take some deep breaths in case I get pulled under again. Fingers crossed I won’t!
*** Artist credit: WYANNE
** For those who don’t know, I care for a young child as my full-time job. I guess you would call me a “nanny,” although I don’t particularly like that term.