Here’s everything on feeling needy…. Last week, in my relationship, I felt needy.
I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly, but I felt sensitive, raw, emotional, and easily hurt/rejected by my partner. I cried a lot, and spent the week trying to figure out what it actually was I was feeling and needing, both so that I could explain it to my partner (who really wanted to help), and so that I could sort of “put it away” in the right spot in my mind.
Few things are more upsetting than when my emotional filing cabinet is a mess.
Not understanding what I’m feeling means I can’t properly process it, and having a bunch of unprocessed feelings sitting around is similar for me to how some people describe walking into a dirty kitchen with all the drawers and cupboard doors open, and dishes overflowing the sink: it’s fucking stressful.
This is why I regularly do the work to understand myself. I notice what I’m feeling and wanting, what hurts, what might be going on, and what I need. I use a narrative-based style of emotional processing, turning the story over in my mind (or out loud with my people) and exploring it until the narrative comes into focus and I know where to put it.
Related: 10 Signs You’re Being Needy
So anyway, I’d been feeling needy and sensitive, and I kept asking myself questions to see what the root of it was.
1. Am I feeling needy just because of the pervasive stress of Covid and #blacklivesmatter?
2. Is this about the upcoming move, the huge risk I’m taking with my new love, or the uncertainty of the next few months? (Oh yeah, I should probably tell you that this weekend I put my stuff in storage in LA, and flew to the east coast, because my boyfriend and I are going to be spending the next four to six months with our families.)
3. Am I feeling needy because I’m leaving Los Angeles and I’m sad?
4. Is this, as the mean voice in my head keeps insisting, because my boyfriend is mad at me, or because he doesn’t love me as much as I love him?
Because that’s the thing: the sensitivity and anxiety was definitely centered around my relationship, even though I couldn’t name why.
Granted, it was a wildly stressful week for both of us as we navigated the complex logistics of our move. He’s driving, and I flew, so we had tons of moving parts leading up to it. Storage units. Missing license plates. Towed cars. Sold furniture. Donation boxes nobody would take. My boyfriend put his three cats on a plane and sent them to his parents, a process which went horribly in every way you can imagine, although they eventually safely arrived and are doing well.
Looking back I can see that that’s when my neediness first arose. The day he put his cats on a plane, he was hurting and exhausted, and wasn’t up for hanging out.
While I always had pets growing up, I’ve never felt connected to, or loved, a pet. So when other people are feeling feelings about their pets, I’m always a bit lost. I’ve never felt that bond, and I don’t get it. This is something I used to feel immense shame about (and frankly is a bigger topic for another day), but that day I mostly just felt insecure about being a shitty partner.
That night I sent him doughnuts on doordash, and told myself that it was totally ok for him to need space. But the needy feeling had already arrived, and even though we spent time together over the next few days, I never felt quite re-connected.