So earlier in the week I was really struggling. I always feel particularly unsettled in the first few days after a therapy session. It’s a pattern I am so familiar with now that I’ve almost accepted it as part and parcel of this therapy, albeit an uncomfortable side effect. It’s as though seeing my therapist stirs EVERYTHING to do with my attachment issues up and then I walk out the room with a bunch of inconsolable children inside me and some angry teens and have to survive the week as best I can. It is utterly draining and emotionally all-consuming.
The attachment pain I feel is agony. It’s been especially bad since Easter break where the eating disorder stuff got a bit (ok, a lot) out of control. The ED stuff was certainly triggered by feelings of abandonment and rejection around the Easter break and not seeing my therapist for almost a month. I feel huge amount of shame just typing that. I am so embarrassed that I am so attached to my therapist that not having contact can send me into free-fall and latching desperately onto my teenage coping strategies like a life raft on a stormy sea.
I hate feeling like this. I hate not seeming to have found a way of ‘not feeling like this’ after being in therapy for such a long time. If anything these feelings are getting worse rather than better at the moment. I know, in part, this is because I am keeping a lot to myself.
My last post was about The Elephant In The Room or rather the herd of elephants that are wedged in the therapy room with me! I was largely talking about the eating disorder stuff being a current and big stubborn beast but there are others. One of the most persistent and long-standing (so far as this therapy goes) elephants is the one about being unable to talk about touch and holding in the therapeutic relationship. We talked very briefly about it last year – basically it’s a no from her- and since then I have struggled to acknowledge this really massive problem for me. In fact I would go so far as to say it is ‘the issue’ that activates all of my anxiety in the relationship.
I need to find a way of feeling ‘more held’ and I know that part of the problem with not feeling held and contained is that I see my therapist once a week. Before my last session I had reached the conclusion that it was time to ask about incorporating another session into my therapy or, at least, a check-in (because that made a huge difference the other week) and so I text her to ask if we could talk about this. I basically said that I can’t do the work I need to do with one contact each week. It’s just not containing enough.
My therapist was agreeable to the idea of an extra session, in fact she had suggested this might be a good idea this time last year, but as things stood financially with me not working it just was never on the cards. I hate that mental healthcare is so limited by your ability to pay in this country! Anyway, since I have taken on some home-schooling and tutoring work it’s just about doable to have another session.
Unfortuantely, my therapist doesn’t have any times available at the moment. Ugh. She has said it could be several months until a slot becomes available and in the meantime she has not got time for a check in. You can imagine how that went down with various parts of me. I sat there and absorbed what she was saying with an ‘it’s fine’ face – I mean it is the way it is, she is busy. BUT omg! It stung.
It wasn’t so much the not having any regular times available for a session that upset me – there’ll be one eventually- as soon as one becomes free it’s mine. No. It was not having time for a check in that hurt the parts that feel like she doesn’t care about me anyway. Like, seriously, she doesn’t have time for a five minute call at the end of the week to settle the parts that are struggling, or won’t reply to a text and say ‘Still here! Look forward to seeing you on Monday.’
I know we don’t have a good track record with texting but I was kind of hoping that if we spoke about it a bit we could reach a mutually acceptable way of interacting that would help contain those feelings that get so stirred up in the week. As it stands I feel stranded and alone and like I don’t matter. I know I should bring these feelings up in session today but it all feels so raw and activated that I suspect it will become another elephant.
I’m struggling, too, because when she told me that she had no time for a check in she said that the other week when we spoke on the phone it was an usual situation because she had had a cancellation. This simply isn’t true. She doesn’t work at either of the times she offered me to talk that week. And whilst I understand she mightn’t want to make it a regular thing working outside her usual hours, that is what she did that week. It felt like a big gesture on her part that she was willing to help me outside her usual working day and now it feels like something has shifted… she did mention that she felt that the dynamic had shifted…so maybe she’s gone back to the usual frame. I just have no idea.
I really want today’s session to be connecting and holding because we have another break next week. I am going away on holiday but my therapist would also have been away so whichever way you look at it we would’ve had a disruption (again!). I am so rubbish with breaks and the last thing I want is to walk out of my session today feeling anxious and lost and little – even if that is the norm.
My therapist said to write stuff down and bring it to session last week and so that’s kind of what I have done. I splurged on the page on Wednesday – a five page handwritten letter – and have copied it below. Today it feels unimportant, or less potent, somehow. I don’t know whether or not I will take it with me and hand it over. I guess it would prevent a silent session but I am not sure I want to be so vulnerable.
I find this whole process so bizarre. I struggle so hard for the majority of the week, the feelings are huge, it is so painful, and then I get to the weekend and things semi-settle down. I guess part of this is because I know I will have my session on a Monday and so the parts that struggle settle a little in the hope/knowledge that they may get what they need in session. I think there is probably also a bit of resistance from some of the parts. It’s almost like ‘you weren’t there in the week, so why should I care or talk to you now?’ I know!! It’s not all coming from an adult place!
Anyway, here’s what I wrote. No idea what I’ll do with it!
What It’s Like On Wednesdays
Wednesdays are notoriously the worst day of the week for me. Something horrible happens in the pit of my stomach when I wake up and it stays all day. It’s hard to explain how utterly crushing this feeling is and to anyone that’s not felt it, it must seem crazy. I know, however, that I am not alone in this and at least a couple of my friends understand.
Every week in session I struggle to talk about these feeling because they are totally mortifying. It seems so stupid that a grown-up can feel so small at times and so unsafe. What’s even worse is that these feelings are triggered in relation to you. I can’t tell you how awful that feels. I don’t want to feel any of these emotions and I certainly don’t want to feel them about you. I don’t seem to have a choice, though. Believe me when I say have tried to rationalise out what I’m feeling, to make sense of it , in the hope that it might go away…but it doesn’t.
You tell me that the young parts have done nothing wrong and their feelings are ok. Sometimes I believe you. Sometimes the way you say it makes me trust that actually you aren’t freaked out by this and you can handle whatever I am feeling. Sometimes I can feel the barriers coming down and there is a sense of connection. The problem is that a lot of the time I don’t believe what you have said, either because it’s been a while since you’ve said it (I hate that I need so much reassurance) or because I sense something is different in you. I might be oversensitive but I notice when your voice is different and how you are sitting – and even if those changes are only subtle, the parts of me that have always had to be on guard start applying a narrative to what might be going on. I don’t know how accurate it is because you rarely tell me how it is for you.
I know that my ‘worst case scenario’ thinking doesn’t do me any favours here ,but if I feel like you are annoyed or frustrated with me I shut down even further. I do, absolutely, feel helpless when it gets like that. I wish you were able to actually see what’s going on inside me when we are sitting in near silence and I feel like you are giving up on me. I know it’s difficult to picture a set of small children all alone and separate from one another suffering varying degrees of upset but that is how it is.
You said before that sometimes it’s like being blindfolded with me, and you don’t know who’s there – for me it’s like being trapped on the edge of a ravine. I can see you, just about, on the other side, but I can’t reach out to you. You cannot hear me crying. At least I don’t think you can. The critical part of me thinks otherwise and believe that you simply don’t care that it is so difficult for me and despite what you may say, are as embarrassed about how I feel as I am and choose to ignore it. It’s easier that way.
So, frequently the session is fine-ish. I talk-ish. You probably think things are ok-ish. And yet more often that not I walk out of the room feeling sad and deflated. I am frustrated that I can’t tell you how bad things feel. for the young parts. I’m still not really sure you get what I mean when I say I worry about you giving up on me. It’s not a mild sense of anxiety, it is utterly debilitating. And sure, I get it, therapy will end one day, but the youngest parts of me don’t even feel like you’ve really seen them yet and so the idea of an ending feels hideous.
I walk away feeling all sorts of agony. I really believe that it is only a matter of time before you pull the plug on the therapy. I understand what has happened lately with all the GP stuff and eating disorder stuff. I know it’s important to have a safety net but I can’t help but feel like you’ve started backing away from me because actually it’s all too much. This confirms what I have been thinking for such a long time and that is painful.
There is, of course, a bigger more horrible side to these feelings and this is what causes me so much difficulty from week to week, and on breaks. I know that I’ve said it a million times before but I don’t think you really understand that I am not being dramatic or over the top when I say that for parts of me it feels like you are completely gone – like dead- in the week. I feel panicked that you have disappeared and are not coming back.
Adult me knows that this is unlikely to be the case but the child parts have had a lifetime of people disappearing: my dad was ‘gone’ when I was nine months old until I was three and a half; and then my mum was ‘gone’ Sunday to Friday between the ages of five and eleven – and even when she came back she was often ‘not really there’. Top that off with my dad dying when on holiday – it’s little wonder that I struggle when you are not there and on breaks.
It should feel like I am onto a winner if I can hang onto the sense of you being out the somewhere but even that isn’t straightforward because when I can’t see you I miss you. And because I miss you I feel massive amounts of shame and embarrassment. It really is like having all the sadness and pain of my childhood playing out week after week and it is really hard to manage. I am convinced that you find me irritating and think I am deliberately keeping myself stuck and you are reaching saturation point.
I don’t like feeling this way. I want to find a way to make things feel better between sessions. I want to find a strategy that helps to contain the feelings. That’s why last summer I asked you to send me a message. You said after the break perhaps writing a message on a card would help and then the fucking pebbles disaster happened. I really wanted to succeed in making a successful bridge to get through from week to week and it’s not really worked because I still have no real sense of you, which I guess should not be surprising when the words were not yours.
So when I feel disconnected, like today –hellish Wednesday- I cycle through all kinds of emotions. The little parts feel completely alone and unseen and the older parts want to run away and give up. The smallest ones want to be close to you, to close the space between us, and the older ones want to tell you to stop hurting the small ones.
I completely get what you are saying about therapy needing to take place in the session and that sending long messages isn’t a good idea. I don’t want to ‘do’ therapy outside the room but really every time I send you something it’s to check you’re there. Obviously getting no reply doesn’t help matters in the least. I don’t know how to get round this. I feel like I am drowning with this stuff and can’t see how to make it better. How am I meant to feel secure when my brain conspires against me all the time?
I get to session and all the little parts want you to notice them and yet you don’t for a really long time. I try not to disappear when I see you because I want to be able to connect but there is such a huge fear of being seen and then being rejected that something happens and I don’t behave in a way that I recognise as even being me. I feel embarrassed when I sit there saying nothing because I feel like you are automatically judging me negatively. Sometimes I want you to come closer to me because my head is telling me that you can’t bear to be near me. I’ve said before that the space can feel enormous and when things are bad it feels awful.
I have no idea how to get around this. Sometimes I want you to sit near me but I don’t ask and then shut down because the shame and embarrassment of needing physical proximity feels awful. So when this happens it triggers another level of hell. It’s like I must be utterly disgusting to you, you can’t even tolerate being near me. This feels horrid, especially to the parts that want to be able to touch you and can’t. I don’t think you have any idea how big an issue this has become for me. Week in week out I feel like I am re-enacting the relationship I have with my mum. Every session we have confirms to me that on a fundamental level I am untouchable and unlovable.
I struggle, then, to trust in the relationship because on a basic level I have confirmation that you don’t want me anywhere near you. It feels so confusing because I feel like therapy did ought to feel more nurturing and connecting and yet I can’t help but feel like it is impossible to get close to you. And then I wonder what I am actually meant to be doing! Like what on earth is a therapeutic relationship?
You said once that boundaries are not barriers and I have never really been able to get my head to make sense of it because if they are inflexible then how can they be perceived as anything but barriers? I seem to keep banging hard into boundaries and feeling like I simply cannot get therapy right.
I can’t help how I feel. It’s doing my head in. I hate that wanting to feel close to you causes me such high levels of anxiety but I hate, too, that I seem to be caught up in wanting something that isn’t available. Right now I have a lot of children’s feelings and nowhere to put them and so, instead, have been trying to shut them down by attacking myself. It’s not sustainable but there feels very few options out there.
I think I still want you to read the thing I wrote about ‘The Mother Wound’ because I think it sums up just what we’re dealing with. But perhaps not now….
And lastly, finally (phew)… last week you said you would expect that perhaps I’d be relieved to have a break next week given how things have been. This really surprised me. I’m staggered that I give off such a strong sense of not wanting to be there or that I discern nothing useful from the process – but I guess that’s because I rarely show you the vulnerable bits that actually want to be there, to be seen, and to connect because they don’t believe it’s possible and are scared of showing up properly only to be told to go away.
Oh, and actually, I’d much rather know the truth about how things are – I might not like hearing that I am annoying you or that you think this isn’t working but it’s actually better that I know. I can’t keep doing things the way I am/we are and so something has to shift. I can’t currently work out whether that is changing things and ‘colouring in’ or ‘leaving’ – because I have no clue where we are at. All I know is that the levels of anxiety and physical drain is really hurting.
Eloquent, clear, vulnerable and powerful. I hope you’re able to share this with her.
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I feel sick and anxious about it! I feel like I could cry (only I don’t cry). Everything feels high stakes right now. I don’t know whether to share it and know at least I have two weeks for the dust to settle or to leave it until there’s time to properly deal with it. Oh the joys! X
Oooh the joy of therapy! It’s hell, aint it? Haha.
Could you perhaps lead with that concern? “I have something to share, but I also am going to need some help in figuring out how to contain the feelings that are inevitably going to come up around it.”
My friend told me this about her therapy recently. She and her therapist were about to go on a break, but they’d hit on some very powerful subject matter. So they wrote down together what they intended to return to after the break and hid the list in the therapist’s office. I think she said it was under a planter or something. Over the break my friend was still distressed, but somewhat comforted by the fact that the list was there in the therapist’s office and she knew that what she was feeling was going to be revisited.
I don’t know if that will help, but I thought I’d pass it on.
Supporting whatever you decide is right for you! 🙂
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I did it- handed it over with twenty minutes to go. It was a good session and connecting. Phew. We’ve agreed to come back it first session back as only scraped the surface of the letter but at least we made a start and she was lovely 😊
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I know how you feel. The shame of having little parts that want something they can’t have. It’s unbearable. I sometimes dream of my therapist then my brain will feel ashamed so she’ll turn into someone else mid way through the dream! I don’t know how old your t is in relation to you but mine is only a year older which makes it really bad. I feel like as my peer the care giving should be mutual not 1 sided and latching onto someone my age in a child like manner is abhorrent to me.
I totally understand it. The bugger is… there’s not much that can be done. I went through this. I actually got so distressed about it I started looking around to see if someone else would give me what I thought I wanted. What I found was that while another person may have been able to meet a need my current therapist might not, nobody was ever going to be good enough because it is not really about the therapist. It’s about the mother wound. And while one therapist may… give you a hug there might be a different box they can’t tick. I realised that the few therapists I spoke with and saw all had one thing in common… they weren’t her (my current therapist). None were good enough because I didn’t just want a hug… I wanted a hug FROM HER. Not any old hug. I wanted extra time with her. And what’s more she ticks all my boxes. I can be very anal, like things ‘just so’. I plan meticulously and I’m highly organised. I love structure and linear processes. However, I’m also artistic and creative. I love going with the flow, going out for a drive for no reason at all to see where my wheels take me. So to have a therapist who does ‘DBT (linear structure) informed Art Therapy (go with the flow)’ is also a box I don’t think anyone else will fill. But even more than that, I have a relationship with her. I’m saying this because with all you have expressed lately I’m left wondering if there’s a part of you wondering if she’s the right therapist? Only you can answer that really but I would say if you have the relationship with her that you seem to, then maybe if you went looking as I did, you’d find what I did too… none quite compare to her.
There is no easy fix unfortunately. Transitional objects often lose their power or never really work in the first place. Schemes and plans and visualisations don’t really work either in my experience. It sounds like a really shit thing to say but sometimes the only thing to do is to keep going. Having contact has helped me develop a stronger relationship with her but bear in mind even that won’t last forever eventually you will lose that too towards the end of therapy or when GDPR crap gets in the way (!). A second session will be your best option. I only have a 30 min phone session in addition to the 50 min face to face but it has massively helped. So hold out for that I’d say.
I’d also say that what I’m learning about right now… if you can tell her what’s in this letter rather than have her read it, your relationship will be better for it. I’m like you, a natural writer. But I hide behind it. I lose out on that connection with her because I can’t/don’t actually talk. It’s beyond hard and is not an overnight change, but I think you might find that she becomes much closer if you can talk to her about this.
As for the shame… It’s a fucking nightmare (scuse the French). But you’ve no reason to be so ashamed hun. It’s not your fault. My guess is, she does get it. She does understand and she won’t turn around and say you’re annoying or all the bad things you’re thinking she’s thinking because she cares about you and understands. Remember the stone disaster? Remember how you thought she was saying she didn’t want to write on the stone because she didn’t care and actually what she was saying was ‘I care too much to get this wrong for you’ remember that? Can you hold that? Can you see the care in that? She’s not annoyed or ashamed of you. If she wasn’t your therapist, she’d leap over and give you a big hug. I’d put money on that (I say that cos I know sometimes reading your words has me wanting to leap in my car, come find you and give you a hug… literally). I’m not disgusted or appalled by you… she won’t be either. It’s just a professional boundary put in place to make your relationship safe and sustainable. She’s doing what she needs to in order to make sure she can be there for as long as you need her. The times when she’s called you during her free time… that’s sweet of her. I agree she shouldn’t have fibbed and told you it was a cancellation and that was wrong that she did that. But you know she can’t keep that up long term. Once or twice is fine but regularly and she’s not taking care of herself. Therapists have to take care of themselves… that’s literally written into their code of conduct. Because it’s what’s best for us long term. I don’t want a burnt out therapist!! I know you don’t either.
I’d hold out for the 2nd session if I were you. That seems like a safe and easier way of getting your needs met. Meanwhile, just keep showing up and being as present as you can. It’s so so hard and I admire you for your determination and desire not to quit. You will get there.
Big hugs across the miles
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Thank you lovely for such a thoughtful response. I know you get it. I am struggling with kids’ bathtime so will reply to this later, properly xxx
Right, quickly back before swimming lessons! Oh the joy of being a parent eh?! Thank you again for you comment. I know you understand the complexities of this stuff…which is both reassuring and devastating. You are right about finding another T. I did that after the Xmas rupture. She was lovely. But she wasn’t my T. You know? When I am in my adult head I can see the merits of the relationship, understand the frame and boundaries, and accept on balance that this relationship gives me a lot of what I need. It jus Just like you found out with yours, she ticks plenty of boxes. It gets tricky when the young ones get insistent and just want cuddles, though doesn’t it? But I think the fact that they are consistently there and calm and accepting is massive. My T is probably about ten years older than me – my wife’s age or thereabouts. I have never asked. I am holding out for that second session. And actually just really going to try hard to tell her what is bothering me and try and let my vulnerability out. Eeek. Thanks for the kindness and virtual willingness to hug xxx
Not being able to find any extra time for you sucks. But I guess if she is part time as it sounds, that explains why.
I hope you’re able to find the courage to give her the letter. It gives her everything that she needs to work with. It’s a scary thing to do, but you should be proud that you even wrote it. You may get the connection you are needing because you is able to address your thoughts. I hope that she will at least be willing to sit near you. It’s not a major thing without touch. I understand her boundaries, but physical contact can be done as long as it is done carefully. Good luck with your session. You can do it.
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Thanks hun. I gave her the letter after about thirty minutes and we started talking it through bit by bit. We have agreed to come back to it and really work together on it when the holiday is over. All the really hard stuff is waiting … but I feel ok. She was so good today and I feel happy.
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I hope you are able to show the letter to her. Feelings can’t be addressed if they’re not out in the open. And it may be worth checking in with her what she sees as the benefits of the boundaries she’s set. Who knows, she might be thinking that a midweek checkin reinforces insecure attachment and doesn’t help the underlying issues. If it was clear where she was coming from then it might be a little easier to manage. An interesting strategy that I heard from another blogger recently was that her therapist had recorded herself reading a short story aloud, and then the child parts could listen to the recording later when they were missing the therapist.
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I’d love for my T to read a story for me. I’m not sure how she’d respond to that request. Fine probably. We are all set to pick up where we left off today after the holiday. We started with the letter after a really connecting first 2/3 of the session. I’m tired out!
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I am sorry to say but sometimes I feel like it’s time to dump your therapist. It seems like your needs trigger her or something and she is not in the same vibrational wave with you. To flat out reject check-ins that’s crazy. How are you supposed to connect and move further? It seems like she is having some sort of negative countertransference towards you. Maybe towards the fact that you are not getting well fast enough, or connecting fast enough.
Thanks Vera. I can understand how it might seem like my therapist and I are at crossed purposes a lot of the time. Actually she is very consistent but how I read her varies depending on what part of me is in the room. It’s impossible to please all parts! Undoubtedly we have our issues on and off but we generally are able to work them through if I allow her in and show her my vulnerability. It’s just so counterintuitive to let anyone see the level of need I feel. Fortunately my session was good and she responded so warmly to my letter that I felt so held and heard. Lots of work to be done but I’m confident we can do it (adult head on today!).
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Bravo to you for giving her the letter. I commend your openness and that you are always willing to take the difficult steps. It is not easy to have your words picked apart, it must make you feel so vulnerable, yet you approach all the toughest stuff with her time and time again. You are better for it, I believe that. Even if it does not always go in the best way, it’s such a huge thing for you to be so upfront with these feelings. Attachment is so, so hard. I’ve said that before and I’ll say it a million times. You deserve the strategies you need to hold her in your mind between sessions. I hope she is able to work to find a way to meet your request for extra time. Hugs to you! xx
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Thanks lovely! I was shitting my pants but the first half of the session was so warm and easy and connected that I felt brave enough to hand the letter over. Vulnerability paid off again and she met me exactly as I needed. We ran out of time and so there’s still all the stuff about transitional objects, texts, boundaries, and touch to address but she says categorically that I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about and that we can work together to heal this. I love her! Gush! We, without, doubt have a lot to work on but actually this last six weeks has seen some really big stuff come up and somehow we have got through it and strengthened the connection. Just need that Friday session to become available and for the summer break to hurry along and be over. Thanks for you support xxx
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That letter was awesome, and you should be super proud of yourself for sharing it with her xx
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Thanks Hun. We’ve made a start on it and she was lovely. Being vulnerable is so hard but so worth it sometimes x
Ah thank you. I am getting better at sharing. I might be crap at talking in session sometimes, and it might take me writing a big heap of stuff, but eventually I get there! Man! Therapy is tiring work isn’t it?! x
I love the fact that I hadn’t realised I’d already replied to your comment!
I’m really pleased that you had the guts to give her the letter. So much of what you experience in relation to breaks inbetween therapy and how therapy sessions go reflects my experience. I feel shame and embarrassment and call myself “pathetic” all the time; but your therapist will be very used to this dynamic I’m sure and understanding of how the vulnerable parts just want to cling onto safety (her). I am in exactly the same boat, but I am petrified of talking to her about it. I would rather talk about my worst traumas than tell her how I feel about her! It’s deeply personal. You have inspired me that maybe I need to be braver and just say how I feel even though it’s scary as fuck. I hope you’re feeling ok today Xx
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Me too. I am pleased I was brave enough to let her see how I am feeling. It’s so hard being vulnerable, especially when it felt like my recent vulnerability seemed to backfire. I know it didn’t really and the more we talk about it (ED GP contact stuff) the more I realise that she has done everything because she cares about me and my safety…and I am beginning to internalise that care…well today! Maybe not tomorrow! ha. Shame and embarrassment are horrendous. I, like you, would rather talk about all kinds of horrid stuff than about my feelings towards her. It took me a year to even tell her that I like her…and this is not year 1, this is actually a year in this cycle of therapy so 2 years. I am nothing if not cagey. I just don’t want to get hurt. I am finding, though, the more I am open and can share how I feel about her and the relationship the closer I feel to her and the better she responds. Take one of my brave pills and tell your T how it is. You might be pleasantly surprised xxx
Aw thank you. That really helps. She does say that I keep her at arms length. I am too afraid of losing my dignity after a humiliating childhood; so I experience the vulnerability of therapy in the same way. I hope you realise that I gain so much from reading your posts as you articulate things so well. 💗💗💗💕
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Aw thanks! I’m glad some of what I say is helpful to you and I really hope you can start to let your T in a bit more. Childhood neglect and trauma is just bloody horrendous isn’t it? Like in whose world does it seem right that the expression of feelings, even love, is dangerous? It makes me so sad. Sometimes I do really well at being open and vulnerable and other times I’m a locked door. Humph! 💕
I’ve had a night of tears tonight….letting some pain out. Grieving for the happy childhood I never got.😖 I am very changeable too because of the inflexible fragmented personality I have: switching between parts all the time. It’s bloody exhausting and such a confusing puzzle with no picture on the box! I shall definitely be vulnerable in therapy on Thursday I think because I’ve had a shit week, plus she’s away at half term so I’ve been going from weekly to fortnightly to weekly to fortnightly gaps and it’s a head fuck. I’ll miss her so much after thursdays therapy having to wait two weeks-ugh. X
I’n sorry you’ve had a horrible time of it. It’s so hard having such big wounds that can never truly heal only be learned to live with more effectively and not allow them to derail the present. I imagine the changes in sessions would feel hard. I need consistency in therapy contact or my world falls apart. Taking a huge deep breath today as I pack for my holiday. Part of me can’t wait for some sunshine and relaxation, other parts are terrified she won’t be here when I get back. Man! I want to be normal and boring and unaffected by things!! Big hug x
I want to be normal too! I tried explaining all my parts to a friend today and showed her writing the younger parts had done for my therapist and her mind was officially blown! I also cried a lot. Holidays always destabilise me as I’m such a creature of familiarity and habit and home comforts. But the relaxation and reflection time will benefit you I’m sure even if you have the odd wobbly moment. I’ll be thinking about you and wishing you well. 😘 *hugs* PS. I started writing a similar letter to my therapist about attachment and separation anxiety and it was nowhere near as good as yours so I’m not sure if I’ll give it to her tomorrow 🙈🙈🙈 X
Hope you got your letter written and showed it to your T. I think people that don’t have these issues find it staggering what goes on in our heads. I’m about to board a flight for holiday so I’ll probably be absent from WordPress til I get home. I’m hoping my data roams but who knows?! Let me know how you got on. Hugs x
I did show her the letter and also a doodle I’d drawn basically telling her I love her and am obsessed with her and jealous that she has other patients and a family of her own! There’s nothing like half measures!! We had a good talk and it was a relief to get it out in the open. She said my feelings are expected and typical and it’s good that I understand it’s about my unmet needs from childhood. She was nice…I still feel like a complete TIT but she says I shouldn’t beat myself up for having these natural feelings. I said I resented how unequal and non reciprocal the therapy relationship is and that I feel she’s the only thing sustaining my life. I told her I think about her all the time and that I hate it. Ugh. It was like bloody confession. But she said it’s good that I’m open and that the adult understands why she has to have those boundaries. She pointed out that I’ve been seeing her almost continuously for two and a half years and I get longer appts than her other patients so I’m already getting a lot of her time and she has no plans to stop until we’ve finished this piece of work and I’m ready. I said I dread the end of the therapy relationship and think I’ll want to die when I lose her…but she says there will come a point where I don’t want to die. Anyways….it was a good sesh and I’ve made the brave decision to go to the police and make further allegations against my family as I have not told the police the full extent of everything. I’m going to take control and empower myself. Still feeling eek about what I told my therapist but relieved too. 💖💕 I really hope you have a relaxing and restoring holiday. I’m glad I have had the encouragement from you to be brave in therapy today so thank you xx 💛💛💛
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Can’t believe I missed this! Wow. Well done you! Amazing. I wish I could let it out like this. I think if I had a drink before I went it it’d happen (I don’t drink at all so am a lightweight!) Basically, some days in my head it’s like ‘I love you. I love you. I need you. Please hold me. I think about you all the time’…on a loop. Unmet childhood needs suck balls don’t they? I dread the end of therapy but if we do the work right when the end comes it shouldn’t feel annihilating. I am nowhere near that point… eeek. It’s a brave decision to go to the police. With your T’s support it’ll be manageable as I am sure it’ll bring up all kind of issues. I am just so sorry that things have been so bad for you. Big love brave woman x
Thanks for making me feel warm and fuzzy on a difficult day 😘 I have successfully almost survived the therapy separation, I see her on Monday, but I’ve emailed her about six emails 🙈 The poor woman! She never gets a break. I’ve had to write to her to remind myself she exists and when I write to her I pretend I’m talking to her in therapy. It’s like a visualisation thing. I have thought about her loads and all I want is to be loved. But my husband loves me and my kids love me, so why is that not enough?!! I feel like unless she loves me that I’m not lovable, but she’s my therapist so I know she doesn’t, and that hurts! It does suck balls, massive ones! 😂😂😂 I’m proud I did the police thing. I won’t be blogging about it as I don’t want the prick to know yet, but I’m bloody proud. I’ve had horrible flashbacks since though 🙈 Big love to you too and thanks for cheering me up 💗
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Sorry, just read this as (as you know) I’m in therapy hell right now. I’m so pleased you handed over the letter and she responded well. I don’t know if this helps, but K and I do a Friday email check-in every week (normally, won’t be fucking emailing her this week that’s for sure!!!). It started as a 10 minute phone check-in (which she was very boundaried about) so now when I email I try and write about the amount I would say in 10 minutes. Knowing that time is there, regardless of how I am and whether I’m in crisis or stable, has helped enormously over the past 2 1/2 years. It really helped parts learn to trust her and that she is ‘still here’, and it helps me contain stuff, knowing I can at least share a little of what’s going on and hear back from her. It’s helped young parts stay connected and they usually write a bit about what is happening or ask questions or send pictures. What is also nice is clicking send and feeling no shame or panic that I shouldn’t have contacted her/she won’t reply (or call me when she’s triggered and angry!!) – she always replies and it’s usually enough to then help me manage till Monday. I don’t feel it is very onerous on her either, and it means I don’t usually walk into a black hole on a Monday evening either. Sending hugs and love xxx
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I think my T is anti emails as she really wants us to keep the work in the room. Sometimes I text her and ask her to read something and she will. I’m hoping we can agree a text midweek to just literally be like ‘I’m still here, and I’ll be there on Monday. See you then’ – so not therapy just settling down the young ones that struggle to maintain a sense of her. Guess we’ll see how that goes. I’m sorry you’ve had a rotten day. How about we go on a visual bike ride? I love cycling and would love to have a mental companion on my rides! X
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Yeah my T is the same with keeping it in the room (which I get, but AAAAGGGGHHH) so she’s always very clear it’s not ‘therapy via email’ but a check-in. And it’s a reminder about resources, proof she still exists, etc. Midweek text sounds like it would serve the same purpose, so hope she agrees to that. My T has also read us loads of stories and let me record them sometimes, and a couple of times before a break we’ve made recordings with her saying that we are connected and joined together and that she holds us all in her heart and other nice things. Asking for recordings was the SCARIEST THING EVER, but she was fine about it and they have helped young parts hugely. Unfortunately my phone lost all the nice ones, so I just have two stories left to listen to with none of the nice messages 😦
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Oh bum! But at least she did it all for you and knowing that goes a long way even if some of it is lost. Sounds to me like you need to listen to one of your stories and snuggle in a blanket tonight x
Oh and yes – visual bike ride sounds good! I was planning to go out this evening as my daughter is away, but am basically hiding in the dark and brooding!
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I understand that. I’d be doing the same x
I have only recently come across your blog after spending months and months reading other blogs and websites and I am so glad I have found it. What you write resonates so much with me as we have some many similarities especially regarding the therapy relationship. My therapist is amazing. She has strict boundaries but she is always willing to discuss things and has been flexible on one or two things when she saw that it would be helpful to me. I too go through a constant cycle of feeling cared for, connection, disconnection, pain, anger, missing her etc and it seems so unbearable and never ending at times.! I desperately want to hold on to the moments that I feel cared for but it doesn’t last!
I have to say I am surprised by your T’s reluctance to allow a check in. I mean you told her it is something you would find helpful so it’s odd that she was not even willing to discuss it further. It’s totally understandable that brought up a lot of things for you. It seems very rigid and would make me angry too. I would have to bring this up again.
Anyway thanks for all your posts I am loving them. They are so open, honest and vulnerable it really is great reading and you are very brave! Keep up the good work.
Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found my blog and it resonates with you.
I think there’s still lots of work to be done on check ins with my T. I think she thinks it needs to be long (ie half an hour) which is what she did on the phone when I was having a crisis recently and she doesn’t have regular time like that with her commitments. I’m more about having a text check in but need to say this to her and see what we can agree on.
She’s usually really amenable and accommodating- or tries to be and then I throw it back in her face when it doesn’t meet my standards 😂
Fingers crossed we’ll find a helpful middle ground until an extra session becomes available.
Take care x