One of the things that comes up again and again when working with people is the fear of being alone. In many of these instances this fear can be traced back to childhood trauma with chaotic family dynamics and lack of self worth and feeling loved. As the child grows they continually seek out this self worth and love from both the family, who may or may not be able to provide that, and from relationships with others. And because people find themselves in damaged places emotionally they can often make poor choices in those relationships.
In these relationships people often gravitate towards partners who are emotionally unattached in some ways. Someone who really doesn’t show that they need them or want them. Someone who doesn’t want or accept any children they may have. Someone who can easily let them go or cheat on them. It provides a kind of constant chase or work to get these people to be invested in them much like they would have had to do with family who wasn’t emotionally invested in them. The other kind of relationship people who fear being alone gravitate to is one where the other person is extremely controlling and seemingly very invested in them. If the partner is constantly questioning what someone is doing, where they are going, who they are with, wanting them to be with them 24/7 then the person who feels alone will think they are getting all the attention (love) from their partner when it is actually abuse.
Once people become involved in these kinds of relationships, they may also have a tendency to excuse bad behaviors of their partners to hold on to the relationships. This is usually also a learned behavior from childhood trauma. Excusing family for bad behaviors so that the family might still love them and see them as valuable by their defense of them. Also, in order to try and hold on to those damaged family relationships people try to avoid conflict at all costs even accepting physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse in order not to lose this relationship. This translates to older relationships and the same patterns occur over and over.
Another byproduct of the fear of being alone is holding on to past relationships in order to have a back up if the current relationship ends. Because many people who fear being alone have no self worth or self esteem they feel they must have someone else to validate that in them even if it is negative validation, it is still someone whose attention is on them. Something they did not get in their childhood traumas and family relationship chaos. These past relationships become the fall back even if they are abusive, it is still someone to pay attention to them, someone for them to chase, someone to provide them with a false sense of self worth.
So, how does one avoid falling into these relationship patterns and fighting this fear of being alone. There is only one way – working through, processing, and accepting the childhood trauma so that there can be understanding of the choices they are now making in their relationships and to work on building their own self worth, self esteem, self love.
It is not an easy path to change. The fear of being alone and the childhood trauma have been a part of their lives for a very long time, years, and it has become an automatic behavior. It can take a very long time to rework and replace those thought and feelings and build a new way of thinking and feeling. It takes a lot to create a life for yourself that you do not need another person to make it okay for you.
Until next time,