Individual Therapy, Inner Demons & My Crazy Fear of Commitment
Does the thought of commitment make you pee a little in your pants and turn your hands stone cold? If it was not for individual therapy I would have surely turned into a stone hearted man with no meaningful relationships ever.
I want to share my story because I see a lot of people like me struggling with commitment and hurting their loved ones because the demons inside them can spin out of control.
Actually these demons are nothing but the wounded parts of ourselves. The parts that need a bit more loving and a lot more healing. This is what I understood and learned in therapy. For years and years I had suppressed the painful memories of my childhood and hated the sheer thought of love or commitment.
I was born into a family that seemed normal and almost happy on the outside. The smiles and laughter were only reserved for the public eyes. Behind the closed doors we were a dysfunctional family who was only glued together because ‘log kya kahege”. (what will people say)
As a child I saw my father throw curses at the universe. He despised my mother and considered her the reason for all his problems and troubles. My mother tolerated the abuse only because she was terribly scared of my father and nowhere else to go.
Their marriage was an empty shell. They slept with their backs turned against each other and never once I saw any exchange of love or affection between them. I was convinced that love was a myth and can only be possible in the movies and marriage was nothing but a contract to ruin your life.
I went to Manchester, UK to pursue my studies and escape the unbearable fate of my parents. Life in London was something else. The taste of freedom was sweet in my mouth and I became reckless in my pursuits especially when it came to relationships.
Technology has made it crazily convenient to engage in superficial relationships and the illusion of choices makes you want to never settle down. In a span of 3 years I had more than 15 relationships and all of them never lasted for more than 2 months.
After a certain period of time I started questioning my choices and my inability to commit to anyone. A lot of women cursed me for being emotionally unavailable and almost animalistic in my approach. I never paid much attention to it until I met Kiera.
Kiera and I became each other’s bestfriends. We could never be without each other and our energies were magnetic. But it all changed when she asked me the most dreadful question of my life, “what are we?”
The question rang an alarm within me and I ended up ghosting her for weeks. She tried reaching out to me, checking up on me through mutual friends, showing up in my university but I always gave her a cold and indifferent response. I made her feel that she meant nothing to me at all.
Back then I did not quite understand what was happening with me. I felt numb and I sincerely could not figure out the sheer cruelty of what I was doing to the one person who meant so much to me. I hurt her and I made her feel that it was all her fault.
Months passed by and the indifference turned to guilt. she seemed to have moved on with someone else while I ended up with sleepless nights and anxiety attacks. Fortunately, I had an amazing professor who was able to detect my anxiety and feelings of sadness.
He encouraged me to go for individual therapy and talk about my feelings and concerns to a therapist. I could no longer bear the void and emptiness I felt inside me and so I agreed to seek individual therapy.
It was nothing less than a life-altering experience. I had no idea I had buried so much pain and resentment of my parent’s broken marriage. Individual therapy was a space where I could open up and tell all my thoughts out loud without sounding crazy. The more I talked the more I came face to face with my demons.
The superficial relationships, the fleeting moments of intimacy, my lack of emotions and the cold treatment was much more than just fear of commitment. It was fear of losing, fear of failing at love like my parents did, fear to get hurt and so much more that stopped me from opening my heart to real and meaningful relationships.
I had a strong belief system that if I never got into a serious relationship then I would never end up the way my parents did. Individual therapy forced me to see the truth. And the truth was that I was stuck in a prison of my own negative thoughts and feelings. The emptiness I felt would never really go away until I show my vulnerability and let love fill in the empty spaces.
Individual therapy challenged my beliefs and gradually healed the wounds I was carrying for so long. My anxiety attacks reduced and I gradually found myself feeling okay with the idea of commitment.
Change never happens overnight. It was not that Individual therapy made me forget my past and transformed me into a new person completely. It actually created something that was even better. Individual therapy instilled a sense of hope and confidence within me. The confidence to take a step towards overcoming my fears and the hope that my parents’ broken marriage does not necessarily seal my fate as well.
I won’t lie. Individual therapy was difficult. I had my fair share of enlightenment and darkness. There were sessions when I would do nothing but cry. That was my inner child coming out. It was crazy!!
At present I am much more accepting of my emotions instead of shutting them out like an unwanted guest. I made peace with Kiera and sincerely repented for putting her through hell because of my personal fears. And now I am searching for a love that feels stable, calm and passionate.
I am willing to take the leap of faith and be more open to commitment rather than running away from it. Individual therapy was a great blessing along with my professor’s encouragement, my choice to do the inner work, Kiera’s forgiveness and the light of hope and love.
Like Saurabh if you are struggling with fear of commitment or fighting your inner battles then taking therapy can give you the support, strength and tools to understand your fears and overcome them.