posted by Anonymous on 01 August, 2021
before the title misleads anyone, i have a healthy loving relationship of nearly 5 years with my s/o, i won't go into too much detail about it as i deem it not necessary. to also make the story easier to understand, i suffer from anxiety and panic attacks on and off and i'm a very sensitive person as it is. i had a rough childhood which has most likely contributed to some of these things carrying into my adult life. so my issue started a few months ago after my partner went through a very busy period in her life, where she would have less time to talk to me and less energy for most forms of intimacy. i'm normally very understanding of such periods, i understand they come and go with life and i don't think about them what so ever, i just go with the flow and let it pass and don't bother her about them too much. but this time for some reason, the lack of response to most of my advances and sweet things i would say would start to get to me, and my anxiety would start to run wild in my mind. i would get thoughts like, "what if she's lost interest in me", "what if i'm bothering her or making her stress worse", "this isn't a good time for this", and i would become desperate for her attention and seek it out in a more obsessive way, bombaring her with compliments and love. after a week of this, she sat me down to talk to me about it, and told me i'm overwhelming her and its very hard for her to respond to the constant stream of affection i'm pushing out and trying to receive. she made clear it's ok to feel needy especially when she's busy and that she understands, but sometimes she just has periods in her life where she feels less affectionate due to outside reasons for example; school, family, or any other reason out of the million very valid ones. when she told me this, i felt like my eyes had been opened and i realized what i had been doing, and felt extremely guilty and upset with myself, despite her telling me that it's alright and she feels better just from telling me about it, knowing i understand her. after the talk, i could visibly see her get better in a matter of days which made me extremely happy. i would give her the space she needs and get the affection i needed whenever she's able to give it, just as i had done every previous time something like this happened. i want to note that she's always made it clear to me that it's ok to upset her and that she's not going anywhere and that nothing bad actually happens when i do upset her. but the guilt i felt for overwhelming her and making her upset stayed with me, and i wasn't sure how to talk about it, as she was still busy for a little bit after the talk. she would of course listen to me whenever she had the energy and time, but sometimes when i would bring it up, she would get upset about it and i felt like i couldn't say what i wanted to say when i needed to. looking back i realize i should've reached out to my family or friends and talked to them about it to release the tension i felt. the whole thing caused me to spiral into a terrible wave of anxiety and overthinking thats lead to me feeling down and less interested in generally everything i've always been interested in and its been ongoing to this day. before all this, i would often think about our future and what i want to do etc, but due to the constant stream of anxiety going through my head, (often times it'd be about nothing in particular, just a black cloud in my head) i would find myself to be mentally exhausted most of the time. i would get thoughts about things like "what if she's lost interest in me/what if she leaves me" or when we would be lovey with eachother during this time, i'd get an intrusive thought telling me "what if you're doing too much or saying the wrong thing". this made it very hard to be lovey wether it came to receiving it or giving it to her. in turn and time, the thoughts would spiral into things like "what if i'm falling out of love, what if this is the end" and i would begin to doubt myself. i know by heart that these thoughts are just that, intrusive negative thoughts, and not reality, and not the way i feel, but it's killing me to have such thoughts interupt any form of intimacy we try to initiate. this all leaves me to the current situation today, i mostly feel better in regards to my anxiety, i still feel tired out from having to go through such a wave, but i feel like i have more good days than bad days now and im getting the hang of managing my anxiety. i also feel lovey and affectionate a little more often, and i'm beginning to get better at receiving it aswell now. but often when i feel like saying something sweet, i get stabbed by a quick thought saying " maybe it isn't a good time, maybe it's too much" and it upsets me, and sometimes deters me from saying what i really wanted to say. this back and forth i go through in my head really gets to me and makes my anxious mind worse. now i'm fully certain that what i'm experiencing is just my anxiety flaring up, and wether i'm in the middle of it, or at the end of it, it's still on going but it will get better as i get treatment and give it time and patience. that being said, i sometimes still get intrusive thoughts about the whole situation, and by the way, they can happen anytime, even while we would be in the middle of pillow talk, saying things like "what if it never gets better", "what if you don't feel lovey not because of being mentally exhausted, but simply because you don't feel love anymore", "what if you're just lying to yourself". although i know these to be untrue, as i could be feeling tremendous love 5 minutes before the thought arises, it still makes my mind flare up. i'm not sure if this whole thing makes sense, i tried to read through it to make sure it's atleast a little sensible. but what i'm here to ask is, how can i convince myself that she's okay and that she infact doens't get bothered by me being sweet to her and giving her love and that i'm not doing too much at all and that when she is bothered or out of energy, it's not about me or my fault? she makes it very clear with how she responds to me, how she acts and with what she tells me but for some odd reason my anxiety tends to still bug me about the same old thing, and it's really bothersome. i just wish to be rid of these thoughts, because literally everything is going perfectly right now, i'm as happy as i could ever hope for with the relationship and her, and from what i can see, it's also vice versa. we've been going super strong for 5 years and have always managed things like these, but i'd really appreciate if anyone would have any sort of insight to how to deal with anxiety so specific as this. tldr: perfect relationship, lovey girlfriend, we communicate well, yet i can't get rid of negative intrusive thoughts.
dear anon, im glad to hear that you're in a relationship where both of you want each other, try to grow with even if your emotional states vary at the moment. i hear the cycle of your thoughts and kinda get what you mean about wanting to show love but not wanting to be a distraction (not a burden, like you may think so) im gonna keep this short as say that.. her needing space is just as valid as your need to be with her to show your appreciation and affection. but think of it this way (im gonna try an analogy) she's at a mental state where she's pushing herself to deal with something on her own and needs just your support and respect (for the moment). but being the lovely bun yourself, you wanna bring down the stars for her which she wouldve loved at other point of time but now her focus is on something else. so, id say.. try to guage and give your love when she needs. having said that, your needs are also important to be dealt with. so, please take care of yourself. be kind and patient with yourself, especially when you're bubbling with nervous / anxious energy. try some grounding, calming exercises or have the calming music play on when you feel restless. id also suggest writing letters for her when you feel like dousing her with your love and store the letters to give them on a later date when she feels receptive. if that feels like eork, then you can always use post its and stick them in random places (not in every room like i wouldve done in a frenzy xd) you can also reach out to trusty friends who mean well or a therapist who hears you out and guides you to help declutter the thoughts. its gonna be alright, anon. she still loves you and your communication shows how much you respect each other (even if you disagree) cuz that's how it works :) have a yummy slice of cake on me, will ya? ~ sending you good vibes and a bear hug!