Babies learn something called object permanence. Object permanence is knowing that something or someone still exists even if you cannot see it (hear it, smell it, touch it etc.). Peek-a-boo is one of the best games to play with babies to teach them object permanence. When it comes to people, especially primary care providers for babies, it is important for them to know that just because someone leaves it does not mean they are gone. This is part of the reason why babies cry when a person leaves. This understanding builds healthy attachments. It is important for a baby to learn that when the one they love leaves they will come back.
Object permanence got me thinking about where some of my attachment issues some from although, from a more emotional place. My interpersonal relationships mean a lot to me. I enjoy having frequent contact with friends and family and when this contact decreases I begin to feel very detached from them. I have no doubt that this is normal as relationships need to be fueled in order to survive. Where I start becoming stressed is when I start feeling this detachment from someone who I see or speak to frequently.
This detachment comes in the form of feeling and thinking that this person does not exist in my life. It is as if they are a distant memory, not that they just left my presence 5 minutes ago. It is equally distressing because when they are present I find it difficult to believe that they are there. It’s like a dream. Just yesterday I found myself looking B while we watching a tv show, completely overwhelmed that he was physically in my presence. While he has spent a lot of his time working I do believe that this should not lead me to be so facinated that he is physically in front of me. Looking at my boyfriend should not feel overwhelming and unbelievable, like I’m looking at a unicorn for the first time.
I do not like beleiving that if someone is not physically or emotionally connecting with me 24/7 that they do not exist. Awareness if the first step so I hope that I can figure out how to work through this. I think a review of mindfulness skills is in order.