Developing an executive self and commitment phobia

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Therapy tonight. I spoke about the difficulty in how I am feeling about my relationship and the age difference and how I feel deeply anxious about being abandoned – amongst other things. I trust S but yet the age difference is difficult for me to come to terms with. T saw a photo and agreed S looked young and that made me feel paranoid. I feel confused about what I want and need and whether my feelings are to do with parts or trauma or acting out or whether my feelings are valid. My therapist believes that I have some ‘issues’ (not her words thankfully) with commitment and also brought up the dynamic of our relationship at the moment. Whilst S is building her life, I am carrying / supporting the relationship – much like what a man would do (in a heteronormative context). And it feels like a lot of pressure, that in many ways I am struggling with. This dynamic might continue over time. If S decides she wants children, then I will need to support that and I guess it is “doable” (my therapist’s words), but I feel internally resistant. Like is that what I want? I know I am futurizing. I feel unsafe and scared. So I wrote about commitment, but just used it as a prompt and then wrote the response with my left hand. This is what I wrote:

Presupposing then, that this writing is memory within my system, it is not surprising that I am absolutely terrified of commitment, age issue aside! Look what it ends in! I do note however there are some positive things written down.

I know I need to talk to my system and work with these parts. I am going to do this with my therapist next week and believe it will help. I am just feeling stuck and confused otherwise.

My therapist also said that if I develop a stronger Executive Self then this side of me can call the shots. She has another client like me who was once afraid of commitment and her Exec Self became really ruthless and made sure that no saboteur parts got in the way of her relationships and her daily life. That is what I want, because otherwise I am going to keep coming back to this place of feeling muddy and confused and wanting to act out.

I think I am ready to do more internal work and have started to write down “Rules for the System to Live By” – it’s basically just principles of life. I have gotten better in so many areas over the years but it is all still such hard work. Sometimes, right now, I feel very defeated. I still lack a lot of self worth and it affects my sense of direction and self. I do want to write more to my parts and talk to them. I think I need to develop stronger internal communication because there is so much going on unconsciously, it is hard to identify often what I am thinking or feeling. It is also hard for me to know what I want. As though whatever move I make is never right or always complex and layered and that scares me. I do wish I was normal sometimes.

Mostly, I think I am tired of feeling shame and that is what gets triggered externally with S because of the age diff. Thats what I need to work through. I wonder if the shame is going to be there no matter who I am with. The shame feels deep. I feel deeply embarrassed for someone to see me, although I know I can be seen with S and held through it. It is so freaking hard for me to reach out. As though there is a big barrier there preventing me. When other survivors do it, I am blown away. I wonder if I will have the capacity and strength to do the same? I wonder if I am addicted to the confusion and pain? Or if I will keep playing it out as some sort of trauma re-enactment to try and get on top of it and create a different ending. I feel like a rat on a wheel.

2 thoughts on “Developing an executive self and commitment phobia

  1. Hey! I’m in a relationship with a man 13 years younger. I understand what you have written about. Two things I can share about me related to this…my self resides in a younger version of myself so I attract younger people. It is very rare that an older man sees me as an equal. I enjoy being able to live in my younger self. The other thing I do is turn to my faith. I ask God to handle it and protect me so that I am not left lonely or destroyed if this man should choose a life apart from me. I know deep in my heart that is always the case, but my brain loves to tell me little lies. You are a beautiful person. You are loved.

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