When “I love you” turns into “I need you”

There are 2 very opposing sides of me. The colder, more distant and avoidant version…and the more needy, clingy, very, very broken version of me.

These 2 different versions of me could not be more opposing. They are both very broken, but I guess they are different kinds of broken.

The version of myself that I am now has turned “I love you” into “I need you”.

I don’t look at my husband and tell him I love him. I look at my husband and tell him that I need him. It’s the strongest way I can express the very broken way I’m feeling.

Honestly, I really don’t know what it means, or why those are the words that come out of my mouth. But I know that I feel it very deeply. Like, I need him, not only because I love him, but because I am feeling so broken, so alone and so scared, and I need him on the deepest level to help me fight to stay alive.

If I were a person that were more able to speak openly and vulnerably, I would tell my therapist the same thing. That I need her. Again, I really don’t know what it means when I say it. Only that it’s something I know I feel very deeply.

I’m definitely afraid of how I’m feeling right now. I haven’t felt this low in a really long time.

Yesterday, someone offered me a drink, and I took it. And it felt amazing. Not physically, I couldn’t even feel it. But emotionally, just knowing that I had a drink in my hand again…it’s those feelings, those moments that tell me I’ll never be successful in being sober. (The drink was tiny, like, less than a quarter of a real drink, and I filled the rest of it up with a fruit smoothie. So it really doesn’t count as a drink, except that emotionally, it did.)

I hate the emotionally vulnerable version of me. It makes me feel…well, vulnerable. Open to getting hurt more, open to more pain and suffering.

Usually, I’m the queen of “I don’t need you.” That, and “go away”.

I push people away, run from them before they can run from me. Don’t get hurt, hurt yourself first. So you can see how this is a stark difference.

The broken pieces of me right now are scared. They’re terrified. It’s only when I feel this low, this broken…does this side of me come out. I guess it’s like my survival mode. Like I know I’m not going to be long for this world feeling this way, and I know I need someone in order to survive…really need them. Needing someone, almost desperately so…it’s scary.

I don’t know if you know what I mean, I don’t know if I’m making any sense.

All I know is that when I say “I need you”, it’s coming from the most vulnerable and broken places in me. The part that, for some reason, is still fighting to survive.

I hate how I’m feeling. I hate that this is a thing, that people have to go through this and feel this. Right now, I’m broken enough to be afraid. And to admit that I really, really need my people.

I don’t know how I got here, but I just hope I can pull myself out of it. But I’m starting to wonder if I can.

7 thoughts on “When “I love you” turns into “I need you””

  1. I think it’s normal to fear vulnerability but when your trust has been betrayed in the past. That angry, avoidant part of you is actually trying to protect you. All our protector parts can become overactive, however, to the point where their protection is actually a problem. I have definitely experienced this and ended up feeling so alone! I think what helps us to gradually make small experiments in being vulnerable. Telling your truth in a setting where it is probably safe. Taking a small risk in therapy or with your husband. I know they aren’t always perfect at understanding what you need, but it seems like they both want to, right? Anyway, no pushing, but when you feel ready. For me small ventures into vulnerability slowly helped me figure out where and when and whom I could trust. I hope you find that too.

    1. My protective parts are definitely overactive, but it makes sense that they are. I’ve been hurt…more than I’d like to admit.
      I know I need to get significantly better at being vulnerable. It’s like the more I get hurt, the more I shut myself off from it.
      Taking small steps seems like a good start. I know I can (usually) trust them, but lately it’s been a whole lot harder. Maybe tomorrow when I have therapy, even though I’m pretty upset with her, I can attempt just a small bit of honesty and vulnerability, instead of just shutting down.

  2. Ow I really felt this! My ex relations told me I’d be lost without them, setting me up to always need them, and in that way doing everything they asked me to do because “they made sure I would get by”.
    I feel being vulnerable and either loving or needing someone or to be afraid and push them away. To me these are two natural things and they come quite easily…
    I hope you may be able to talk about this with your therapist, maybe she can shed a light and take apart the love and need so you may find the words you really want to express! Big hugs to you 🤗 🤗 🤗

    1. Yes, I’m hoping I’ll be able to find the words and the appropriate feelings to match. It’s hard to feel so vulnerable and hurt all the time.

      1. I’m rooting for you! I know what a relief it can give when you find the right words for your feelings… And I hope the right person will be listening when you say them out loud! 🍀 🤗

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