“I don’t want you to go away”

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With just ten minutes of Monday’s therapy session remaining I finally said it. In words. In the room. To her face. Not written down. Not kind of implied and hoping she might read my mind. I actually said the sentence that has been persistently in my head for the last month (well, it’s always there) aloud. It may not have been very loud, it may have come from a young part, but it was loud enough for her to hear:

‘I don’t want you to go away’. 

OMG what just happened?! Did I actually directly tell my therapist how I was feeling about the summer therapy break and show vulnerability and need even when several parts were screaming at me to keep my mouth shut? Looks like it, doesn’t it?

We all know by now that these feelings are always there in one way or another. Every time I have to leave my therapy I feel like my therapist is ‘gone’ and it’s a huge struggle for the youngest parts to just make it through the week…but therapy breaks, well, crikey, they are the absolute pits and no matter what I do, or how I try and prepare for them I always end up on my arse, in a heap, sooner or later.

Ok, so I did kind of have to throw myself over the metaphorical ledge to get the words out and take a forty minute running jump at it: sliding through dissociation, silence, and shaking just to reach the drop off, but I did it- and you know what? It was ok. She didn’t freak out (of course she didn’t) and it opened up a really useful conversation about breaks and the difficulties I have with maintaining connection with her.

It’s fair to say that therapy has been a bit weird lately. It’s my fault. I do want to kick myself sometimes. I’ve been struggling to really connect with my therapist/hiding from her for a variety of reasons. Some of it is definitely a hangover from last Easter break and how she reacted when I finally properly let her in and told her about the eating disorder stuff. I have struggled to trust her with the big things since then because I am worried that if I so much as allude to issues with my body or food she’s going to overreact and write to my GP or threaten to ‘work towards an ending’  again (shudder).

My rational adult knows that I can trust her and that we now have an agreement (that we worked out together) in place around what we do if I end up struggling with eating and she is concerned that things are bad but even so, the teen parts are still hurting after how things were handled and most of what I need to say to my therapist comes from these younger parts. As I have said many times my adult knows what she’s doing and has it together…it’s the others that let the side down! They’re the ones that need the therapy and if they don’t feel like they can trust Em then we’re all screwed.

In addition to stuff around the ED I have been struggling to reach out or let her in because I’ve felt pushed away – and that bombshell about needing ‘to work towards an ending’ if I didn’t go to my GP has just got stuck on loop. Fucking soundbite from hell. I feel wobbly at the best of times and parts of me are certain that she wants to get rid of me… Disorganised Attachment 101. I do know this is really very much about my skewed perception of things rather than it being the reality but I don’t require a lot of evidence of her supposed lack of care in order to shutdown and hide. It is a nightmare.

For example when I asked for a regular check in around the time when the ED was off the chart bad and she essentially said she had no time I couldn’t help but feel like the whole therapeutic relationship was just a huge pile of shite and that she did not care at all. It takes a lot for me to express any kind of need and so to do it and then get a no was just hideous. Add to that the hell that was the beginning of July (cancer follow up at the hospital neatly coinciding with the anniversary of my dad’s death) wanting to reach out to my therapist and knowing I couldn’t, or could but she wouldn’t reply sent me into a complicated rage and devastation cycle:

 Why the fuck do I bother? She clearly doesn’t give a shit about me.

I wish she was there and could give me some reassurance. I miss her.

I’m done with this. I hate her.

What is wrong with me? Why doesn’t she care?

I hate myself.

It’s so hard constantly trying to juggle and manage utterly conflicting but intense emotions. I get that this is where the work is. On a good day I can completely see how my therapist is just a therapist and is doing her best to help me but other days it is so much more complicated than that. It drives me insane.

When the five week summer break started flashing persistently on the radar it added in another level of internal struggle. I absolutely want and need to be able to connect with Em before the break but the moment any kind of vulnerability or need starts to creep in the room I have dissociated. I am gone and it takes ages to try and get back to her. It’s been horrendous feeling like she is behind glass and I’m stuck in a long dark tunnel. This week was even worse than usual. There wasn’t even the ten minutes of adult small talk at the beginning before a plunge into young parts’ chaos and dissociation. Nope. I sat down, looked at her, and went numb.

AAAAAHHHHH FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!!!

It’s so annoying. I spend all week wanting so badly to be in that room in order to try and work on this stuff and yet my mind plays tricks on me. I can’t even really remember what we talked about in the session, now. I know that she was trying really hard to draw me out and connect. I really wanted to talk and yet there was a part inside freaking out ‘if I tell you how I feel you’re going to leave’ which is hilarious, really, because of course there is a therapy break coming up next week anyway, and she is leaving, so what’s the difference? I guess a therapy break isn’t forever, though, and yet to some of the young parts there is a real and genuine fear that I will get terminated for being too needy if I tell her how I really feel.

It’s that old chestnut: I am too much.

No matter how many times she tells me I am not too much and that she wants to hear everything I am feeling I still can’t trust in it fully. I really want to, though. I am trying. And I do get there eventually.

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So often what happens is that as we creep towards the eleventh hour in therapy I am able to talk a bit. I guess I build up enough trust, or perhaps enough desperation to let some stuff out the bag. I sense the clock ticking down and I get a ‘now or never’ sort of motivation but also an ‘oh she is still a safe person’. This is a pattern I have noticed in my sessions – the last ten or fifteen minutes is where the work is really done. But this is also true as we head into a break. I conceal how I feel for at least a month leading into a holiday (‘what’s the point in telling her anything, it won’t change anything’) and then suddenly the break is almost here and I let it all out. I don’t know why exactly. Perhaps it’s about feeling like I can’t contain it on my own during a break, or maybe it’s about safety. If I let all the really vulnerable stuff out just as a break starts then I have time to recover from it, let the dust settle a bit, we can pretend like it never happened if it is totally mortifying… I dunno.

So anyway, when I said ‘I don’t want you to go away’ I felt like I’d had some kind of out of body experience. Who the fuck said that? It was a young part for sure but I have never allowed that stuff out in this way before. Sure some of you might be thinking, ‘seriously, you’re getting wound up about this??’ but it was huge. Em handled it really really well. She asked me what I was scared of and I said ‘that you won’t come back’ and we talked a lot about how massively traumatising this all felt especially in relation to my dad having gone away and died on holiday.

I always feel silly getting stressed about her going on her summer holiday. It certainly is the hardest therapy break in the year and not just because of its length. It just falls so soon after the annual sucker punch of my dad’s anniversary. I have experienced someone I love not coming back from a holiday, and I have had it front of mind for the whole of July, and then off she goes on holiday for a month in August. The timing sucks.

I wish I didn’t get so scared and anxious that she would respond negatively to something that is fairly normal and understandable. Like surely it would be more weird if I was completely unaffected by her going away for 5 weeks especially given the timing. But I do fear her rejecting me. It is a huge stumbling block for me. I wish that I could retain all these positive therapeutic experiences where she responds to me as I need her to. If I could hold onto her and her kindness and care I know it would enable to be more open and vulnerable but unfortunately I just cannot hang onto these connecting moments and file them away in my memory banks to give me some courage the next time I have stuff to let out (which is basically every session).

I know it’s a process…but god…it’s long isn’t it?!

Anyway, that’s kind of where I am at now. I have one more session on Monday and so that revelation in the last ten minutes of the session might have been the start of the emotional flood gates opening. I kind of hope so. I don’t really want to sit on all this attachment stuff over the holiday and feel alone, unseen, and unheard. I want to tell my therapist how it feels so that she can help me put things in place so that everything doesn’t disintegrate the moment I walk out the door.

She said we are going to work on building on the felt sense of connection between us in session next week…..god only knows what that’s going to entail but I’m telling you now if she gets me to imagine fucking angels or a sodding box to hold positive feelings in I will throw my pebble through her window!!

X

 

 

 

Author: rubberbandsandchewinggum

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

23 thoughts on ““I don’t want you to go away””

  1. Lol! I love you for being so vulnerable and saying what probably more people than just you, or me, feel. I’ve said those exact words:“I don’t want you to go. I’m afraid you won’t come back.”I’ve spoken them more than once. Little me feels that so incredibly deeply- still. There are many a things I am too afraid to say still for the fear that she will leave; that she will reject me. That she will think I am too much.  5 weeks though?! Shit! I went 20 days a couple weeks ago and just about died. And I COULD check in with her about 3x a week.  I’m so thankful to have run into your blog. Keep on keeping on!  Kelley 

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    1. Thanks Kelley. Glad you made it through your break. It’s never easy having a protracted period away from a therapist to whom you are very attached. I hope that you are processing the break now and getting some good work done. I hate the first few sessions back because I am always really cagey!

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  2. The last bit! 😂 Breaking her window is a certain way to be terminated as a client! But I hear you – no airy fairy shit please!
    I’m so glad that you have been more open though. I don’t think that it’s silly at all. It’s a normal reaction to such a sudden death to think that history will repeat itself. I hope that you are able to feel connected earlier in the session. I think that there is a lot of shame getting in the way, but it takes time to push through that. x

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    1. Ha, yeah, it’d be funny though wouldn’t it?! Although am sure that a transitional object isn’t meant to be used to destroy a therapist’s property! LOL! I am hoping tomorrow is ok but am feeling sooooo nervous about it. Whether it goes well or not as of 11:20 tomorrow I am on a huge break. I have just bought a book on ‘Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame’… you know, light summer reading 😉 Hope you are feeling a bit better xx

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  3. Go, you! That was so brave to say as honestly as you did, who cares if it took a 40 minute running start?! It makes complete sense why you feel that fear for many reasons and I’m glad she took it well, but I understand what makes it a difficult thing to utter. I hear you assigning yourself fault for the disconnect in the room, but I don’t think that’s helpful or fair to you! You’ve been holding back, yes, but that’s the sum of a lot of parts contributing, previous history and outcomes of honesty, and dissociation. It’s not as conscious of a choice as it seems. You’re still showing up each week and working so hard, with her, on this blog, and in your daily life. Like you even said, that in itself is the work. You’ll figure your way through these 11th hour confessions over time. This is evidence of that! Please give yourself the room to take your time. You’re getting there, I can see it in your writing. I hope you’ll be able the share the things you need before the back. Sending lots of love and hugs! x

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    1. Thanks Hun. Yeah. I know. Gotta give myself credit for speaking up and being vulnerable. And yes, everything that happens and the choices I make consciously and unconsciously in the room and relationship are influenced by my past. I’m really aware of my process now. I wish I could circumnavigate it but doesn’t seem possible yet. Ugh! I’m terrified that tomorrow is gonna bomb out and I’ll be left floundering for five weeks. I really want to enjoy my summer break with the kids but this attachment pain is just so heavy. Big hugs back at you x

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  4. three words….BREAKS ARE SHIT….
    I absolutely hate them with all of my being. I hate it even more that I cry about it like a giant baby.
    I’m just about through my 18 day break (with no contact at all) and the last couple of days have felt awful. I might just have to break down and text him. :/
    5 weeks?!?! I’d be packing myself in a suitcase and shipping me to wherever he was (sort of like ‘What About Bob?’).
    Good for you for telling your T exactly how you feel. I’m sure she knew it (damn that insight that they have) but it means a lot that you’ve said it out loud. Good luck tomorrow! I hope it goes well…… xx

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      1. right!!! I one time told T I couldn’t handle depending on him because I was worried he would want to practice ‘death therapy’ on me once I sent him over the edge with my neediness… :/

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    1. Yep! That’s exactly it! Breaks are shit! I hate them. Hurrah for almost getting through your break. Phew. It’s so draining just hanging on in agony though isn’t it? Five weeks is a long time. I’m kind of in denial about it right now – but I know the wheels are loose and are gonna fall off very soon. Thank god for WP and people that get it! Thank you for good luck wishes … I so need them! X

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  5. I’m glad the younger voice got heard. So important, but I can totally understand the whole ‘holding it together until 10 mins before she leaves’ thing! Take care of you x

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      1. I guess you might be on and off and on and off for a bit. Rollercoasters don’t last forever when you’re on them but they don’t cease to exist when we are off them I guess. I hate the things anyway with a passion. Yuck!!

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  6. Well done, so proud of you 🙂 XXX so much of what you wrote describes my experiences too…you were brave and can be braver still, though I know what you mean about reels playing in your head of the moments you’d rather forget….but you’ve taken a step, and can keep being vulnerable, I know you can ….big hugs for your break, here for you xx

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  7. I always get desperate in the last few minutes and blurt it all out! Glad it isn’t just me. Well done for your progress. Attachment work is tough. I’m seeing mine tommorow (or maybe a phonecall) but I asked for a face to face because I miss her 🙈

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