Sherry,http://shirahvollmermd.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/slippery-attachment/ has trouble holding on to the notion that relationships persist in the mind, as well as through face to face contact. She copes with these slippery attachments by developing obsessions which help her latch on to people. When she feels fondly for someone she becomes preoccupied with their life, often by internet stalking. This connection to the person, through her intense focus, helps her feel more securely attached. When she stops focusing on their life, then she becomes sullen and depressed. Her obsession protects her from feeling alone and empty. One could also argue that the wiring in her brain predisposes her to get locked into a feedback loop in which she cannot stop. She is anxious about feeling alone, leading her to use the internet as a ”transitional object,” thereby calming her down temporarily, but soon she has to start the loop over again.
“I remember when you were obsessed with Mark and you created multiple narratives in your head about his lifestyle, based on your internet research, and then the obsession went away and you felt very down,” I say, discussing this issue that her obsessions are her way of feeling connected and the loss of her obsession leads her to despair. “Yes, that is how it works. I go from obsession to obsession, and in between I feel empty,” Sherry says with remarkable candor. “It is because it is hard for you to trust that people care about you, even if you are not actively thinking about them.” I say, highlighting the developmental notion of object permanence, the stage of infancy where a baby begins to know that people are still there, even if they don’t see them. “Yes, I do not think anyone thinks about me at all when I am not sitting in front of them” Sherry says, without a sense of sadness. “I think about you when you are not here,” I say, pointing out that she sticks in my mind. “You do,” she says with utter surprise. “That is so nice. I am going to have a good day,” Sherry says, with a childlike sense of enthusiasm.