Ultimatum

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So I realise that my blog has fallen by the wayside a bit these last few weeks (but I’m back now with a humdinger of a post!). I usually try and write something here at least once a week in order for me to keep some kind of regular record of what’s going on for me. I used to write a journal on my computer following each therapy session I had; the blog became a bit of a replacement for that – a sort of diary that the public can read (although I have been having some thoughts about that, lately, too – weird paranoia maybe? Or just a need to draw close and be private…I don’t know).

I’ve been so busy running around like a headless chicken or maybe, more accurately, with my head wedged up my vaguely anorexic arse, sorting my kids out, and tutoring most days that now there is very little time to actually sit down and reflect on what is going on in my internal world on the page (currently writing this from the edge of a swimming pool while my daughter has her lesson!). I haven’t not been writing because I’m short of things to say- far from it- my mind is all over the place and overflowing with the usual angsty crap: attachment pain, therapy worries, bad dreams, health, the eating (or not) stuff… and now, in addition to all that, I’m in a spin over my therapist’s ‘ultimatum’…

I have really missed my writing time. I so need it! Hence stealing time where I can now before I explode! A couple of hours each week to ponder and process, I am discovering, is more important to me/necessary than I thought. I need to try and find time for this but like so many of ‘my’ things, it doesn’t take precedence when there are so many other pressing things that actually have to be fit into the day. I do need to prioritise time for me, not just for writing, before I sink even further into quicksand I seem to find myself in.

Even if I write reams (maybe piles!) of emotional diarrhoea here (and having just proof-read this it does turn into a big splurge- sorry) and it makes no sense to anyone but me, I find the writing process really cathartic. It helps me get my head above water/out the sand a bit. It’s a good way of letting stuff out when all too often I feel overwhelmed or full of emotion.

I think some of why I find it so helpful might be that I actually sit down in one place for a block of time and have a hot (rather than luke warm/forgotten about) cup of coffee – it certainly can’t hurt! I was speaking to a friend the other day and I likened myself to a bee stuck in a jar. I am always buzzing around like a crazy thing. I don’t really stop.

Of course, I also have my therapy session on a Monday which is where I should get stuff off my chest, slow down, decompress, but more often than not the session stirs up more than it lays to rest and then I am left trying to make sense of it all on my own during the week. I find the first couple of days post-session extremely hard going and it’s no secret that I feel emotionally at sea and struggle for a good part of the time between my therapy sessions. I really haven’t got to grips with that emotional containment thing yet.

Actually, I’m having a hideously rough time this week and it’s crap right now, so I am looking forward to Friday and feeling like I am over the worst of the week. Having said that, usually I am pleased to get to Friday because it means it’s actually almost Monday…but this week I am not sure how I feel about my session on Monday. I am not sure if I am going to go yet. I don’t know if I can face it. Of course the little parts want to go and have some chance of reconnecting with my therapist but right now my teen part is off the chart raging, angry and let down. Underneath that, there’s also a real fear that I have broken my therapist and it’s all going to be downhill from here.

I’ll get to the point shall I?

Last week’s session (1st May) feels a really long time ago now. I can’t really remember what happened. I sometimes get this weird amnesia following a therapy session. Does anyone else? Like I have a vague idea of what happened or sense the general feeling of the session but it’s not clear exactly what happened. I usually have a very good memory for detail in my life and remember all sorts of useless information so I wonder if I am so frequently dissociated in session that I lose what’s gone on?

I do know that we talked about the eating disorder stuff – again. My therapist asked me how things were going and said that although I may not like her bringing the subject up, that it was too important for her to just let go – indeed she couldn’t/wouldn’t let it go. The session was fine. I told her how things were and filled her in on what was going on now (level of exercise, what I am eating, how I feel about my body, and the physical symptoms I was experiencing) and what it’s been like in the past. It was ‘the no-filtered version’ of life with an eating disorder.

I think she finally has an accurate picture of what it’s like  for me and she seemed to get it. I guess part of me was quite relieved for her to show she cared and build on the phone check in we had had on the Thursday night. I felt exposed but also like I wasn’t completely alone with this burden anymore. Yet again, I failed to bring up any of the issues about the attachment and the feeling disconnected from her but on the whole it was ok.

The week was a bit wobbly between that session and the one I just had on Monday (8th) – but when is it ever not wobbly?! I can’t suddenly let the cat out the bag about the anorexia and not be impacted by it can I? So, yeah, it was very bad in the early part of the week again. My tolerance levels were shot, my temper was short, and I was beating myself up in a big way. It wasn’t good. Some of it was undoubtedly hormonal but I know a larger part came not having really eaten properly in weeks: my blood sugar was low, fatigue was massive, and all the stuff that I just about have a handle on from week to week was suffocating me.

On Wednesday evening things felt so utterly overwhelming that I almost just got in my car and drove away….you know, just wanted to leave everything? I was done. It wasn’t good. I’d been having dreams about all the stuff surrounding my dad, friend, dog, all dying – upsetting as hell. I had also dreamt that my therapist had left me – nooooo. Oh and then I had a dream about my very good childhood best-friend, the one with metastatic breast cancer, and planning her funeral with her. It was a week where my sleep was filled with death and loss. The feelings crept into my waking life and I felt on the verge of tears every time I woke up, and every time I felt a bit tired.

Thank god for good friends with an ability to talk me down is all I can say. A twenty minute phone call was the difference between me falling off the edge altogether and regrouping and having another stab at moving forward. Things are on a knife edge.

By the end of the weekend I had reached a place where I wanted to really talk about ‘big stuff’ with my therapist and had steadily been eating a bit more each day which undoubtedly helped with my mood. Don’t get me wrong, there was still the voice telling me I was fat, and lazy, and can’t even succeed at an eating disorder… yeah, really!…and that is not easy to have doing the rounds in my head. But there was a part of me that was trying hard to hang on and not sink down into the place where I would, before long, have been passing out. Dizzy spells, cold hands and feet are enough. I was pushing myself too far. I know that how things have been since Easter is not sustainable. I was losing the battle with the eating and it wasn’t good. I wanted to unpick this properly.

I needed to explain why the attachment stuff feeds this kind of damaging behaviour and relationship with food and how things need to change – although I have no idea how to get round this myself but if my therapist at least has an accurate picture of just how bad it can feel we might be able to put a plan in place. The eating disordered behaviour simply masks other issues. Sure there is a large dose of body image stuff thrown in the mix but primarily not eating allows me to focus on something other than feeling the pain of neglect and abandonment. It temporarily shifts focus away from the Mother Wound.

Despite feeling embarrassed – mortified, even- that my young parts are so traumatised and get triggered every time I see my therapist, I think it’s time she heard the truth about how affected I am when I can’t see her…the real truth, not just the watered down insinuated version of things. I wanted to explain how I long to connect with her but part of me feels distant and like I can’t trust her. I want her to know that when I am not with her in session the young parts cannot cope at all and it is utterly overwhelming. I need her to know that breaks aren’t just ‘a bit difficult’ they are ‘a fucking disaster zone’. I wanted her to know that touch, or lack of it, has become such a huge issue for me that it’s massively impacting my ability to function in the relationship and is attacking my self-esteem.

I sit in session every week feeling like there is something wrong with me because we are so physically distant. I need more proximity if I can’t have touch because my mind tells me that my therapist doesn’t want to hug me because there is something disgusting and repulsive about me and she is only tolerating me because she has to. It must be the idea of touching me, even holding my hand, that is nauseating to her. It’s not the first time this physical rejection has happened to me and it’s hardly surprising it’s coming out in the therapeutic relationship now when so much of the work is about my mother. Yay for huge whacks of maternal transference with my therapist! Ugh!

For me, the ‘no touch’ boundary feels just the same as my mum refusing to touch me at fourteen saying ‘don’t hold my hand. People might think we are lesbians’. We’re twenty one years down the line and since then I’ve never had any holding from my mum (I mean there wasn’t much before that point either!) and the sense that ultimately ‘being a lesbian’ is a bad thing has stuck. Little did my mum know when she said her casually homophobic remark that I would turn out to be gay and those words branded into my brain.

I know it’s not my therapist’s job to physically hold me but I am not sure she realises how traumatising not being touched at all is for me. Every session with her reminds me that I am not worthy of her physical care – and might it be because I am gay? Is that the problem? I know it’s not rational. Adult knows this. But there are plenty of others inside that feel it to be absolutely true. The young parts of me want to be physically close to her and not being able to be feels utterly rejecting. How can a young three year old part make any sense of why an attachment figure won’t come close?

To my therapist, no physical contact is just a therapy boundary but to me it confirms everything I believe about myself as being unlovable, untouchable, and repellent to be true. That’s how it is. It’s hurting me. It properly makes my stomach ache and my chest feel tight and I want to cry when I think about it. It’s a big wound.

So yeah, with all that ready to air it was going to be a big session! I had reached that ‘now or never’ place. I was feeling brave. Go me!

So, I walked in, sat down, made some passing comment about the lovely weather and how I wanted to go to the beach – I’d actually been considering asking if maybe one day we could have our session on the beach seeing as it’s only about a five minute walk away. I looked at my therapist and immediately sensed something was up.

Fuck.

What was wrong?

My internal system went on high alert. My poker face went on. I steadied myself. I waited.

And then out it came…

We needed to talk about the eating disorder stuff and she said it couldn’t wait until the last few minutes of the session. She’d been thinking a lot since the last session about what I’ve told her since coming back from Easter break. She said that she was very very concerned about my well-being. She was worried about my low BMI. She was worried about the fact that my body is clearly struggling and shutting down. She was aware that the dynamic between us had shifted and that she’d fallen into being more like my mother and almost policing me by talking about what exactly I’m eating and suggesting strategies to eat more [sounds fair enough]

But then came…

She was not prepared to hold this level of risk and be so worried about my physical safety. It was not her job. She wanted me to go to the doctor, get bloods taken, have an ECG, and get weighed. She wanted the doctor to confirm I’d been seen and communicate with her. Or if I wouldn’t go of my own volition she wanted to write to my GP and ask for these things to be done. She wanted someone else to be responsible for my physical well-being. She needed a safety net.

She said I was either agree to all that or we’d have to work towards an ending.

After the words ‘work towards an ending’ I didn’t hear a great deal more. I shut down. Properly shut down. I was a mess inside, though. Like utter full-on flat-out panic. The young ones wanted to burst into tears right there and then. It felt like a hole had opened up beneath me and I was falling. Not seeing my therapist anymore would be akin to a bereavement. This. Cannot. Be. Happening.

The Teen part stepped up, though and waded in. Her thoughts?:

There we are then. Confirmation that when I let stuff out and trust someone with my shameful secret it backfires. I am too much for my therapist. I am too much for everyone. She isn’t prepared to work with me alone. She said she would be here for as long as I needed and now there are conditions attached. Why did I trust her with this? I’m an idiot. I fucking hate her.

Look. I (adult) absolutely get that what was said, and what came afterwards in the rest of the session, was coming from a place of care and it wasn’t only about my therapist covering her back. It is completely reasonable that she would need a safety net for if things get bad so she has somewhere to touch base and get me help if I needed it. It’s no different from when I saw her in the NHS and she had my details on record. But that wasn’t how it came across at the beginning of the session. To be given an ultimatum within three minutes of sitting down where the choice was ‘go on record about your eating disorder and enter into the NHS circus again or we’re done’ didn’t feel like much of a choice if I am honest.

I’m glad that she didn’t leave this stuff until the end of the session because we needed an entire session of talking about this stuff back and forth – as painful as it was. The moment she mentioned the possibility of ending I felt so sad and scared.

We like to convince ourselves that our therapists will be there no matter what. Well actually, I struggle to believe that is the case and am always feeling as though shit is going to blow up at any given moment so I best be vigilant. For me it’s been about trying to believe she is as good as her word. That she is reliable. That she won’t abandon me when the big stuff comes out. I was starting to believe that maybe she won’t leave and that as long as I need her she won’t let me go – hence finally telling her fully about the eating. It’s not true though. When it comes down to it, she can and will sever the tie. It is just a job to her. Sure she cares but she has to work within a framework and that means being hard line sometimes.

I get that she wasn’t actually saying ‘you’ve said x and now I am terminating you’ far from it, she said it isn’t her job to be neglectful and I’ve had too much of that from others in the past. She isn’t trying to let me down, in fact it is the very opposite… but the very mention of the ending sent me into orbit. I know it was probably a bit of tough love and she was maybe riding on the fact that my attachment to her is strong that I would help myself rather than lose her. I dunno.

Even though we’ve left things on ok terms I still feel massively unsettled now. I mean things were already a bit all over the place and now it’s like I am on very shaky ground. Unsurprisingly the eating is feeling really hard again now…because I feel out of control and like I am going to maybe lose the person that I need to help me.

The initial request/insistence that I must go and get checked out or work to ending has changed a bit/been negotiated over the course of the session we had. Somehow in amongst the teen shut down there were periods were I strongly advocated for myself. I have now given her my GP details and agreed that she can contact my GP if we discuss it beforehand. I’ve said that if she thinks things are bad she can act but I have to know about it first; I don’t want to suddenly get a call from my GP asking me to come in because my therapist has contacted them and me not be aware it was happening.

The reasons we got to this point are that I had been eating and had been looking after myself a little better this week. I was honest with her and said that things haven’t gone away but that I am not in immediate danger right now. I probably was the week before and so her reaction was entirely reasonable. She had cause to be genuinely worried about me last week. I was genuinely worried about me too. I told her I would tell her if I was slipping. I know that this is going to be a challenge because part of me is worried about ever bringing up this topic again.

I also reminded her that as part of my cancer follow up care I get full bloods taken every eight weeks and I get weighed (which I hate but I can’t really argue with). They monitor me very closely and so I said that if they are not overly concerned about my BMI (it has been mentioned but nothing done) or my blood chemistry then I think that’s good enough. She wasn’t aware I had such a thorough work up at the hospital so this went some way to settling her concerns.

I said that my eating disorder is definitely an issue, has been massively active, and it is absolutely something I need to work on but the idea of going back to weekly weigh-ins and GP appointments would actually make things worse for me. I don’t want to run away from this stuff anymore (hence letting her know about it) but equally I know what hasn’t worked for me in the past. If I get weighed all I want to do is chase the scales downwards – not maintain.

There were times in the session where I was really reactive and grumpy and shut down and dismissive and ‘I don’t care’ and ‘what’s the point?’ but she could see it was all a reaction to what she’d said. I’d sent her my post about the Mother Wound and asked her to read it because, actually, I know that this is where so many of my issues stem from. She didn’t have time to read it before the session and so I felt a bit irritated about that. Remember I was in pissed off Teen 😉 and when she offered to read it in the session I just couldn’t bear the idea of her sitting there reading the vulnerable stuff and then having no time left to discuss it.

I left the session. I didn’t want to go. I wanted to settle things properly and leave feeling better. Doesn’t work like that though does it?! Time’s up. We over ran by five minutes but I knew I had to leave. I drove home and had a good think about what had happened and then sent this text to her about one o’ clock:

Today felt really hard for me. Having had some time to reflect and untangle – actually the request for my GP details really is a non-issue and had you just asked for them and explained that it was because you feel like it’s important to have back up, I would’ve given them to you. I completely understand why it’s a good idea that you have them and it’s fine if we agree communication beforehand if it becomes necessary. The thing that shut me down/activated stuff was how what you said was delivered. It felt like you were giving me an ultimatum along the lines of – ‘see your doctor or we’ll have to work towards and ending’. All I heard was ‘we’ll have to work towards an ending’ and so every vulnerable part felt the rug come out from underneath me. This is the sort of thing I dread happening but am always sort of expecting, and why I am always reluctant to let stuff out. When it feels like things are so tenuous my instinct is to leave before I get left- hence how I was today. It’s been really hard opening up about all this stuff especially just after the Easter break when I feel like trust is an issue and still feel disconnected (I really missed you) – and to feel like that was essentially being me with ‘it’s too much’ (even if that’s not what was intended) is not easy. Unfortunately, there is a part that struggles to believe that this isn’t actually just about getting rid of me and there are other parts that feel completely bereft. Trying to be rational but it’s not always my strong suit. Anyway, that’s about it I think.

Of course there was no reply to that. And then I started second guessing myself. Texts haven’t gone well for us and after what happened at Christmas where she thought I was criticising her and nothing was good enough I wondered if what I had text might be read as another criticism of her rather than just saying how it felt for me. So at six pm I sent this (groan….when will I learn to just shut the fuck up and manage for myself?!):

And none of what I said in that message is meant as a criticism – in case it comes over that way –it’s definitely not my intention. It’s just what happened in my head when you said what you did. What I hear and what is meant can be quite a distance apart…which highlights to me just what a mess my head is. I wish this young attachment stuff would just go away but it gets triggered so easily. That part is always there listening, and then it doesn’t settle down and becomes another jumble of mess to manage. On the plus side, I’m delighted that you don’t feel I’m psychotic.

(We’d had a bit of a joke at the end and that was what the end bit of the text was about.)

Obviously, it’s been complete radio silence since those messages on Monday – which sucks. But it’s the boundary…another that I seem to have no say in. Ugh. It’s felt pretty rotten at times over the last few days and yet now I feel I can’t reach out to my therapist for help or support. I can’t text and ask for a check in or an additional session like I did a couple of weeks ago because I feel like I am already too much for her. It’s horrible. I need to work this stuff out with her more thoroughly and yet it feels impossible and so I am sitting on it all, brooding, and cycling through the whole range of emotions. I don’t like rollercoasters but I seem to stuck riding one right now.

This morning I woke up at 5am feeling sick after having another dream about my therapist leaving. I’m just about hanging together with rubber bands and chewing gum but it feels like I have done it now- I have broken the therapeutic relationship. I am frightened that I will go back in on Monday and she’ll terminate me. She’ll have had some more time to think and that’ll be that. It’s a complete head fuck. I’m trying not to get worked up about something that is unlikely to happen but unfortunately some of the parts have different ideas!

So that’s that. Nothing earth shattering or insightful – just how it is in the therapy and life of yours truly!

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Author: rubberbandsandchewinggum

Mid-thirties. Mum of two. Procrastinator. Therapy and mental health blogger.

28 thoughts on “Ultimatum”

  1. Ah so that’s where your name comes from! I’m sorry the ultimatum understandably sent such shock waves through you and now you’re left feeling too much. I hate that feeling. Thinking of you x

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  2. I think you’re being totally reasonable. Before you even got to that last bit of the post, all I could think was “where’s the respect for your autonomy and ability to make adult decisions?” The mature way for a therapist (or friend, or family member, or colleague – anyone really) to handle this sort of situation is to be open about their concerns and then ask “How do you think we should handle this? Can we come up with some solutions together that leave us both feeling safer?” instead of immediately assuming you won’t respond to anything less. It’s doubly hard when someone you love and parts of you really look up to acts like this. I hope you are able to get this across to her and that she can try and deal with it non-defensively.

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    1. Thanks DV. Yeah. You’re right. I think that’s a big part of it- I said I felt like I had no choice in the matter when she first said it. She said I did! What was my choice? Leave? Ugh. We did get to an ok point at the end but I think if I can get it out on Monday I need to reiterate that sense of her steam rolling me. She said she’d become like my mother and it wasn’t her role but kinda still was behaving in a parental way. Oh the fun of relationship dynamics! X

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  3. I can completely understand how you feel and I’d probably feel similar myself…however I do think your therapist did what she did; acting in your very best interests, because she cares about you. My therapist would have done exactly the same thing in that scenario, but I probably would have reacted the same as you, emotionally. I think the texts you sent her showed insight. It’s perfectly ok for you to explain your emotional reactions to her; and she will probably be expecting you to feel the way you feel; for all the reasons you’ve said. I honestly believe that she will not terminate therapy. I think she said that to make you realise the seriousness of your eating disorder. Perhaps it was shock tactics to an extent. I am sure that she does care, and you *will* work this out. 💗💗💛

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    1. Fingers crossed! It was which tactics but I’m not sure why she’d imagine I wouldn’t respond positively to her expressing concern and then working together to create a safety net. She knows I’ve been controlled and coerced by my mother and this felt like I was in familiar territory. Thank goodness it worked out by the end but I still can’t help but feel unsettled and like the relationship is less solid than I’d begun to believe. Ugh!

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  4. I’m so sorry, sending a huge huge hug. I so get that unbearable feeling of needing to reach out for extra support but being terrified that will push them further away.

    My T did something similar a few months ago after I’d had a horrific week or two, and started the session saying I needed more than her and she wasn’t enough and that I maybe needed referring to CMHT and when I managed to ask ‘instead of working with you?’ she said yes and I lost my fucking mind. We’re okay now, more than okay, but I spent the week terrified I’d get there the next week and that would be it. I really think if your T knows you’re willing to keep the eating in check and be open about it then all will be okay, but waiting to know and FEEL that is intolerable. What’s also really frustrating is that there always seems to be such a fine line between telling them how we REALLY are, and not telling them how we really, REALLY are in case they freak out and don’t think they’re helping us.

    I also really get the frustration about not even being able to manage to get an eating disorder properly. It makes me feel like I can’t get anything right. Have I mentioned To The Bone before? It’s on netflix and I think it’s an amazing film. Normally when we watch anorexia-related stuff my anorexic/orthorexic parts just want to be really ill and the self-hatred for not managing that intensifies, but by the end of that film even the worst parts wanted to recover.

    Thinking of you xxx

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    1. Thank you. 😊It’s a bloody minefield right now. I so could do with an extra session or a check in but am terrified she’ll say no and it’ll confirm that my needs are ‘too much’.

      I’m so pleased you were able to get through your episode/rupture although I’m sure it felt totally horrendous when you were in it. It makes me feel a little more confident that things will work out with my T. She’s never threatened an ending before and so I’m properly freaking out. It doesn’t make eating any easier!

      You have mentioned the film before. I want to watch it but I can’t work out a way to watch it won’t make the tutor come up on the viewing list on Netflix. I don’t want my wife panicking and then things getting tough at home 😞

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      1. No, that level of angst is definitely not conducive to eating! On netflix you can go to ‘my account’ and select viewing history, then remove things from the list. I’ve done this to remove stuff from the continue watching list as well. Hope that helps! Take care and hope Monday comes soon xx

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  5. Ultimatums are never a good idea, especially in therapy. They just result in hurt feelings and boxing the client into a corner. When the aim of therapy is for client-centered change, I could never see how this would motivate someone into doing something they didn’t want to do without damaging the relationship. Win the battle, lose the war. Good for you for advocating for yourself and taking back that control. I’m sorry you are sitting with so many anxiety and even sorrier her boundaries are what they are. But you’ve said what needed to be said, and I want to believe based on what you’ve spoken about her that she will be open to hearing it. Just only during your session. I hope you can use this as a springboard to discuss the attachment stuff that you’d been holding in. Sending love and hugs! xxx

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    1. Thanks lovely! It’s been a bit messy but I’m trying to hang onto the sense that I know what she said was meant well and she clearly is worried and cares. We were much more collaborative in our endeavours as the session went on but it was a sucker punch at the beginning! It’s been very unsettling. 😕

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  6. Ugh that is so hard to deal with. I had almost exactly the same thing with J about six months back. She said she didn’t know any therapist who would keep working with someone who had such a low BMI (tacit threat) and that she would contact my GP if I didn’t. I was coerced into going to get bloods, have an ECG and be weighed, and I hated it. The most crazy part is that the NHS wouldn’t offer me any ED support anyway. So it was all pointless and stressful. She phrased it in the same way re risk and her not wanting to hold responsibility for my physical health. It felt horrible and overpowering and made me think she wanted to end working with me. So I totally get how this feels. Sending love and hugs xxx

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  7. It sounds to me like she felt like she was enabling you. The ultimatum is a bit much, but I think that it’s more a case of her making sure that she is enough for you in terms of support. If your eating disorder is really out of control then you may need inpatient care. It’s part of her job to assess that risk I guess.
    I do think that she cares about you though. My therapist has given me an ultimatum and she didn’t say that she ‘couldn’t hold ‘ it. If she didn’t care, she would just say that it’s not her job. I would have shut down if the same thing had happened to me, but I agree with Summer that she may have felt that shock tactics were required. I don’t think that she will terminate you as a client. But I personally don’t think that just having a therapist as an attachment figure resolves anything. I’m glad that you explained how it made you feel and it sounded to me like you felt more ready to try to be a bit more open after the Easter break. I hope it’s the start of a forward move! 💪🏼 x

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    1. I do too. I’m certainly aiming for forward movement! It’s all been such a mess of emotions with the long break at Easter, taking on more work, and the eating going awry. I’m hoping to get some sense of stability before I go on holiday in a few weeks…which will equate to a three week gap in face-to-face sessions 😞. I’ve asked to talk about getting an extra session or a check in. One session a week isn’t enough to contain what I’m stirring up. Eek!

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  8. I read this when you first posted it and thought I’d responded but obviously didn’t! DoH! Anyway, not much to add to what’s already been said but I did just want to say that advocating for yourself without getting madly upset and being able to communicate clearly through the pain of the ultimatum… WOW. That’s absolutely amazing. Well done you! You said in a previous comment that perhaps the relationship isn’t as strong as you thought. I’d actually say it might be stronger than you think. If she can make a mistake (which it probably was) and instead of getting hurt and angry you managed to talk to her and she was able to hear that… That’s a big sign of a pretty good relationship. She’s going to fuck up. You’re going to as well. But as mine says to me ‘the hope is that one day instead of swinging between absolutely amazing and totally terrible you’ll have a stable sense of the foundation of our relationship being OK where space is allowed to mess up, make mistakes, apologise and move forwards.’ She said that in ourselves and in our relationships true healing is not about who’s right and who’s wrong and no bad stuff ever happening or nobody ever making mistakes and hurting us, it’s about feeling that we will be ok come what may and so will our relationships. I think if you can work to regain the trust and she can work to earn it again then you have the foundations of an ‘ok come what may’ therapeutic relationship. Your ability to talk about her ultimatum with her in the moment shows it’s quite resilient already, as are you.

    I’m proud of you but really sorry this happened. I can imagine the heart stopping moment of hearing that. If you ever want to talk, you know where I am. You’ve listened to my woes often enough! Works both ways hun xx

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    1. Thanks lovely. Yes. It’s not the end of the world (when I’m in my adult head) and I can see that things were left ok with a view to picking up the conversation again on Monday. It’d be fine if we were only dealing with that grown up, functioning, rational part of me- the problem lies in the fact that there’s a bunch of upset parts who struggle with a week between sessions and no outside contact and basically they are increasingly freaking out because (of course) she hasn’t responded to the messages I sent and they are reading it as ‘she’s not replied because she hates me and really just wants to terminate but didn’t have the balls to’ and so it’s a bit tricky. Part of me wants to see her on Monday but others are feeling really let down and rejected. Man it’s a circus in my brain. I’m sure it’ll all be fine but I can’t deny that when I’m tired or I have a dream about therapy I go into a blind panic. Ffs!

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      1. I am the same… exactly the same. Always stressing out about ‘why hasn’t she responded’ and thinking that her lack of response is indicative of some kind of hatred/fed upness towards me. I’m actually kind of better since email contact was removed in some ways. It was a joint decision making process prompted by the new GDPR stuff but it was a team effort and I’m still not 100% we have got it right for the parts which need her and hate this so completely. You never will get it right for all parts of you. That’s the bugger with having parts, the dialectical dilemmas and confusion. I’m better than I was; when she said stuff like that to me before, my adult would know she was right but I couldn’t feel it in the little parts. Gradually I’ve noticed they still hate it and still cry and shout but they also know it’s true. Now I’m in a grieving process of what can never be and what never was but should have been. It’s hard. So hard. I don’t know which is worse, being given all you want but never really coming to accept that loss and the little ones therefore expecting it to always be met or having to come to accept it via grief. Wow… major off shoot there! I think they’ll get there… somewhat reluctantly (understatement) but they will. All your adult can do is try not to let them dictate your behaviour (ie don’t give up therapy!) as they navigate the pain of not getting some of their valid needs met. xx

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