It’s Monday today, my usual therapy day, but as it’s a bank holiday in the UK I’m not having a session. My therapist is still on holiday.
It’s technically day 21 of the 22 day break and with only one more day to go until my (rescheduled) session, I know I have almost survived the therapy break – so why do I feel so bad today?
Well, today signals the third (and last) missed Monday session of this break (phew!) and despite my having a session tomorrow instead, there’s something about the ‘actual’ therapy days that I really struggle with when on a break. I’m not sure what it is but it’s like my internal clock is now set up for me to be in that room with my therapist each week, and so being anywhere other than in that room, in that chair sitting opposite her, talking to her just feels plain wrong. I’m not where I should be and I feel agitated and upset about it. I am painfully aware of her absence. It throws all the issues about being abandoned into sharper focus because SHE IS NOT THERE.
It doesn’t matter what I do, I can plan in really nice activities to take my mind off it, spend the therapy money on a treat, and yet wherever I am, whatever I am doing, inside I know where I really want to be, need to be, where my heart is. I know she’s not there. I know her seat is empty. So it makes no sense to be like this but I can’t help how I feel. I really miss her.
Once the session time has passed I feel a little better because I’ve essentially ticked another week off the break. It is never easy on a Monday if I don’t have a session and if I am honest I know it filters down through the rest of the week. I am not as present as I usually would be at home. I try and find time to be alone because I know I am more grumpy and short-tempered than usual.
Essentially the little ones inside me start to have a tantrum, or the Teenager is pissed off and sometimes it comes out with those that are near me in the form of snappy comments, long sighs, or generally being frustrated about totally inane things: toys on the floor, the dishwasher not having been loaded and put on, laundry not in the basket, someone not replacing the toilet roll, those sort of things. I’m at my absolute worst when I am on my own in the car driving. I am a safe driver but I have a running commentary about every ‘fucking wanker’ on the road! I guess it’s kind of funny.
I think part of the problem is that therapy is basically functioning as a lifeline for me right now. I absolutely need that time each week to sort through my head and be supported by someone who can handle what I have to say and hold what I feel. Without that weekly check in I find it really hard to cope. I have allowed myself to become dependent on my therapist and so when she’s not there it really isn’t good!
Don’t get me wrong, I also find the therapy really hard too. Sometimes it feels like it’s the source of my problems (i.e feeling abandoned from week to week and horrid therapy breaks!), but I’d rather be emotionally overwhelmed and possibly silent in her presence, in session, than on my own…and of course I do talk to her most of the time!
I’m going in for a session tomorrow evening and again Friday morning this week. My therapist knows I am hopeless when there is a break. We’ve had a few ruptures since Easter and one was simply caused by her having to move a session to another day, she didn’t cancel me and make me wait until the Monday, and yet I still was sent through a loop. I’m not sure I’ve really recovered from it all yet.
She suggested having a couple of sessions this week to cut down the length of the break and to hopefully recover from it a bit sooner. It takes me a while to find my feet again after any kind of disruption. I feel like I have to start building the trust from scratch and it takes a while.
Last year I did the full 28 days of the summer break, basically fell apart inside, and it took about a month to get back to business. I never told her, then, how much it had affected me as I had only recently returned to therapy. But the long break last year echoed the previous three years without her and it was really hard to hang onto the fact that she was coming back and that I would see her again.
Despite how much I have written about how much I therapy breaks and how much I need to be back in therapy I can’t deny that there are parts of me that really can’t be arsed with it all, too. There is definitely part of me that doesn’t want to go to session tomorrow. I feel so torn.
The youngest parts absolutely need to go tomorrow night. They need to see her and be reassured that she does still exist, that nothing has changed, and that they are safe in the relationship. The thing is, there are several parts of me that are just so tired of all this. Tired of feeling shit. Tired of missing her. Tired of never quite getting what I needed in session. It’s exhausting.
I hate going into session knowing exactly what I need to say and then invariably hitting a block. Sometimes my mind goes blank the moment I sit down and sometimes I have so much whirling in my head that I say nothing.
Sometimes I feel my adult disappear on me part way through a session, the littlest ones show up, they are crying inside me but don’t feel brave enough to tell her. Sometimes the Teenager attends and is just really fucking obstructive, sarcastic, and angry. By far the worst though is when the Critic is present. I can’t say anything to my therapist and am basically locked in a tormenting interior monologue. All I hear is the attacking voice that tells me she isn’t there, that she doesn’t care, and that I am pathetic.
I really hope that tomorrow I can talk and have a positive, reconnecting session.
I know I will be there. I have never yet not attended a session. There is always some part of me that drags me there. Maybe it’s a parental part?!