First and foremost, thank you all so very much for your comments!! I can definitely relate to a lot of what's been said here, especially when it comes to suffering from a fear of abandonment, which I hadn't realized was the main issue until it was mentioned here.
Every morning when I wake up I feel tremendous anxiety because I don't know how my day will turn out in regards to my relationship. Like I said in my original post, I usually wake up to a few texts from him wishing me good morning and checking how I'm doing. Some mornings there'll be no text and right off the bat I feel sad - and then I ask myself: why can't I be the one to text him good morning first? He's probably still sleeping and I'm sure he would enjoy waking up to a text from me just as much as I enjoy waking up to his texts. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don't, depending on how I'm feeling about it.
Today I woke up to a few texts from him and was really happy of course, but then, as usual, I kept re-reading the texts, analyzing his "tone" and choice of words, and wondering what he really
meant. We texted back and forth for most of the day, with a break of about an hour or two between conversations every so often. Whenever I took long to reply because I was busy doing something, he would text me asking "what's with the silence?" or "helllloooo are you there?" which always makes me smile because (to me) it shows that he cares. But on the flip-side, if at one point I took long to reply and he didn't say anything, I would find myself getting kind of sad and wondering if he actually does care... I feel like I'm losing my mind here because regardless of what he does or says, I always find a way to distort the meaning of his actions. What makes me feel even worse is that I'm aware of what I'm doing and yet I can't seem to stop!
"No, no, no. You can't afford to put it off. You need professional guidance RIGHT NOW. Otherwise, your abandonment fear will sabotage your current relationship with the young man. As soon as your infatuation for him wanes, you will start an endless series of "tests" and "challenges" to make sure he really can be trusted to remain loyal to you. Yet, because your fear is so great, each successful test will give you relief from that fear for only a few days. It therefore will be followed by an endless series of tests and, each time, you will raise the hoop higher for him to jump through." Uptown, you are absolutely right!!! I do this a lot! He doesn't know it, but in my mind I know I'm testing him, his tone of voice, his choice of words, etc (even though most of the time it's unintentionally since it's become so second nature to me). Whenever he "passes" my tests and I feel relieved, it is short-lived. Sometimes I can manage to hold on to the feeling of relief for a whole day, but eventually it always vanishes, and then I start with the tests again, and if I don't get the response I'm expecting, I immediately start imagining the worst...
The anxiety got so bad today that I had to hide in the bathroom so that my siblings wouldn't see me crying.
"The first thing that you are going to have to do is make the choice to trust your boyfriend. You have to trust that he has your best interests in mind. I have learned that trust is definitely a choice and it can take some practice." Seesah, I am trying so very hard but it's not coming easily! It's not so much that I don't trust him, I just feel a constant need to know and control his every move (though I'm really good at resisting the urge and so far have not given into the temptation of being blatantly controlling). I know he's his own person, has his own life outside of our relationship, and doesn't have to be available to me 100% of the time, and yet still love me, but my anxiety doesn't let me think clearly, so of course I don't rationalize too well when I'm having one of those episodes, which have been happening a lot more as of late...
"Eventually your fear will get the best of you and you will either leave the relationship because you can't handle it anymore or you will begin to question him." In regards to this quote, I think I would sooner leave him than become the dreaded controlling girlfriend. I've already broken up with him twice - once when I was overseas and didn't hear from him for a few days because he was out of town visiting some friends, and once during the week after my most recent trip to go see him, when my angst got the best of me. Both times he was so hurt and shocked because he wasn't expecting things to end, especially not in the way they did, that I felt terrible and ended up making up later the very same day. He told me that he was becoming afraid of doing or saying certain things because he really didn't want to upset me and that the mere thought of me being sad because of him made him feel horrible. After the second break-up I decided to get a grip and stop overreacting because I could tell he was starting to walk on eggshells as a result of his fear of hurting/upsetting me. I've been really good at not making rash decisions when I get anxious, but the downside is that instead I let it eat me up inside. I just feel like I can't win this battle if I keep going at this rate...
"When I'm anxious, I find red flags where there are none and I try and control EVERYTHING, especially my husband." - that's how I spend most of my time, looking (and "finding") red flags that aren't even there to begin with!!
I could blame all my issues on my dad who was what many might consider emotionally unavailable when we were growing up (he was just very strict and stern and always expected perfection from us, but he's a good father and never harmed us) or on my mom who, although is one of the sweetest, most giving and caring people I know, sent us to come live with our dad in the US almost 9 years ago for a better education, and essentially left us without a mom while we were still very young, which forced me to be the mother figure to my younger siblings (brother is 3 years younger and sister is 6 years younger) because our dad had to work so much. But I need to take ownership of the person I am and the things I do because whatever my parents did was not with the intention of harming us, they just wanted us to have a good chance at a good life.
I definitely want (and NEED) professional help ASAP because I feel like I'm losing my mind and my sense of self, but financially I just can't afford it right now. Right after I graduated from college I went to work on the internship, which lasted a year. After I finished with that I went to visit my mom for 3 months and I just came back a few weeks ago, so I have no job right now and consequently no income. I'm moving to NYC in about 2 weeks, and hopefully when I get a job there I'll be able to start seeing a therapist...
I'm so sorry my posts are so long, but I really need to vent - otherwise my head might just explode.
Thank you all once again for your comments, you've helped me a great deal today!! I look forward to reading some more of your comments!!