I notice that I have a manual about my family that says I have to be close to them in order to be happy. I live abroad, but I want them to call me and act like they care about me. When they don’t, I have (justified) feelings of panic and terror, like they are going to just stop talking to me. My family has a history of doing this, so I have some evidence for what sounds like an extreme belief.
I also believe that I have the ability to control this. If I just did what they wanted, they’d be happy and would reach out to me.
It’s possible that my family is never going to do what I want them to do. It’s possible that they might blame me for it. I don’t even much “like” them, to be honest. I don’t want to be estranged from my family, and I don’t want to feel guilty or responsible, and, I don’t want this feeling of terror that I’m currently sitting with.
I have so many thoughts:
I’m doing everything wrong
I should fix this immediately
They’re going to forget about me
I’m being left behind
They don’t care about me
None of these thoughts are helpful.
I don’t know how to get through this. I try to feel the terror, and it comes in waves, but like, I can’t really live with this feeling of terror. How am I supposed to like, go about my life when I feel this way? So, understandably, I want to change how I feel.
I know I am supposed to give myself the sense of love and security I’d want to get from them if they would follow my manual, but I don’t know how. It feels fake.
I guess I can’t expect to heal this overnight, but it feels very strong, and sometimes I don’t really see how to get out of it. This can usually lead me down quite a depressive road, which I know is because I’m not feeling my emotions, but like, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.
I know that I can just love them anyway, but I’m so far away from being able to do that.
Why don’t they love me? Why don’t they care about me?
It’s possible that I could find strength in this. But I really have no idea how to navigate that when my heart feels full of a combination of terror and heartbreak. I don’t know what else to even think, and I’m concerned that most of my life has been a giant distraction from the way I feel. Now I’m having the thought that I just need to move home and fix all of this. Please help.