As my romantic attachment patterns dissipate like the last wisps of a tornado, I begin to notice the gales of other types of attachment. The most noticeable one now is in relation to friendships.
In my romantic attachments, the people I have been most attached to were screens upon which I projected all my fears, anxieties, hopes, and aspirations. This behaviour obscured the true nature of those people and the actual relationships we had. I became aware of this quite some time ago, but I knew that removing the person from the picture didn’t turn off the projector, and the second a new person stepped in front of it, the story would continue. This motivated me to continue interacting with those same people with the disclaimer that much of my emotional state was a product of this projection, not of any actions or qualities of theirs.
Now that friendships are at the front of my mind, I believe the same pattern of projection exists here. I have a certain way I want things to be, a particular manifestation of the close relationships in my life. When the friends and partners I’ve had have deviated from my ideal, the control freak in me has come out, trying nearly anything to get them to be or act how I wanted. What scares me is that I didn’t do so consciously. I only recognize this in looking back. It brings a terror and physical revulsion to realize something about myself like this, that I have been a manipulative, condescending control freak with the few people who have been brave enough to get close to me.
So there is lingering fear that these patterns are still extant and active in me. Because I wasn’t aware of them as they occurred in the past, I have concerns that they may occur unbidden and unnoticed again. All I can do is hope that my acceptance of their existence and my intention to notice them will keep them in my awareness should they occur again.
There is an underlying current to all these patterns, namely the desire to control the nature of my interactions with others. This is actually not desirable to me anymore, though it may have been at one time; now, I would prefer to be surprised by the people around me, to be challenged, and not to be able to predict every interaction. This fundamental shift in attitude will likely guide the resolution of these patterns which no longer serve me — or those around me.