Summer 2019 – Therapy Break #2

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Ok, so buckle up because here we go again! Yesterday signalled the start of therapy break number two of the summer. THERAPY BREAK TWO???!!! WHHHHYYYYY DOES MY THERAPIST NEED TWO TWO WEEK HOLIDAYS IN A SIX WEEK WINDOW????!!! (whispers: ‘because she’s more than earned it working with me!’) Let’s be completely clear here (in case you struggle to read between the lines) this break is ALREADY a total shit show and I am only 31 hours into it! The feelings and emotions I am experiencing now compared with what I was managing for most of the last break are as different as night and day (and not in a good way!).

FUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK IT!!!!

And…. breathe…

..breathe some more…

…it’s not working!…

Seriously, though, as I said in my last post the last break was pretty good by all accounts. It didn’t feel like Groundhog Day from day one and I didn’t fall into the depths of attachment pain the moment I left Em’s house on the 19th July. For the most part I kind of just got on with things, actually had an ok time despite my day-to-day life stresses and it wasn’t until the second week when I started to get the wobbles a bit so far as missing Em went. Given how things have been in the past with breaks I take that as a significant win. Shame I can’t continue the trend now, though, eh?!

The first break of the summer wasn’t perfect by any means but for a two week disruption I was pleased with how I managed especially as therapy hasn’t been exactly easy for a while now. Basically, what I am saying is, compared to what’s already going down now I did a bloody amazing job! I guess getting wiped out with a week or less to go to the next session is more manageable, there is only one Monday or Tuesday or whatever left to get through and tick off whereas right now I think it’s three Fridays until I am back in the room and I am already on my arse…help me!

I was certainly looking forward to seeing Em again as the break came to a close but I wasn’t desperate to see her, it didn’t feel like life and death (which is how it feels now)- I had not been engulfed by the gnawing ache in my stomach for the entire 16 days she was gone. I missed her but it was ok. I wanted to reach out for her but I didn’t. I could hold stuff for myself and could wait til I saw her again in person on the 5th. I think it was all helped by the fact that I took a risk in my last session leading into the break and told her how I was struggling and not ok about the break which enabled us to do some work on it and settle some of the niggling doubts before I left. I was able to connect to her in that session and that carried me through for a good bit.

The return to therapy was great too. I have had four really really good sessions where I have done nothing but talk – no awkward silences, no dissociation, none of that horrid stuff that usually happens. I have had so much to say to her. BUT it’s been so much to say about what’s been going on in my current life which is to say stuff that affects me as an adult. There’s been some really nightmarish stuff happening the last couple of weeks here and I have even had to talk to the police about the harassment I’ve been experiencing and so there’s plenty of grist for the mill in session.

It’s been a relief to go in to my sessions and just talk and be able to make eye contact and to laugh and just be NORMAL. It’s been nice to see Em be angry on my behalf, to swear (she almost never does that) and to feel like she’s genuinely on my team and really cares that someone is trying to make my life difficult and is annoyed by it too. I guess, if I am honest, I like it that she seemed to be protective of me…it’s all felt connecting and positive. I have felt more able to cope with what’s been directed at me because I have been able to talk with her about it… and now she’s gone again and I feel like a wobbly jelly.

It was almost inevitable that everything would come to a crashing halt yesterday, then. Session five and the last one before the second break and boom – welcome back child parts! They’ve not been seen by Em for weeks and weeks…and they missed her on the last break … they have been dreading this second break too and it all just got too much. I knew it was getting a bit dicey inside and the system was getting agitated so I mentally planned out what I wanted to say in session. I was all prepared to go in and talk about how I was worried about the break – I had even drawn a picture and written some notes around it to start things off:

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But of course I never showed it to her because the moment I got in the room I completely dissociated. I’d felt it starting to happen as I was driving to session. We ended up having a painful session where I was almost completely silent throughout. Em tried really hard to help me talk but it was just too hard. I couldn’t do it. The feelings around being too much, too needy, and potentially bombarding her with my suffocating feelings felt horrendous. I desperately needed to connect and yet I found myself stuck behind a glass wall unable to reach out.

I needed to tell her that I was anxious about the second break because things were so unnerving with the harassment stuff and I feel like without her regular support I wouldn’t cope as well especially if I received any more communications from the person in question. I wanted her to know that I have my cancer follow up next week and I am scared about it. I wanted to tell her that the young parts were going to really miss her too and that whilst the work we have done in the last couple of weeks has been essential and helpful they felt like she’d forgotten about them and would therefore not have them in mind whilst she was away this time…and they are terrified of that.

Anyway, basically I needed some tangible words of reassurance about us and the relationship and I stopped myself asking for them/getting them because I AM A MORON/I WAS TOO SCARED OF BEING REJECTED. I am so frightened of Em rejecting me that I couldn’t even tell her what I needed. It’s so frustrating. I am so angry with myself because I have basically plunged myself down into the belly of attachment pain by failing to be brave and trust that Em won’t deliberately hurt me. How much evidence do I need from her that she is safe and is not going to shame me or abandon me??? Clearly a load more – ugh!! The problem isn’t as straight forward as choosing to talk or choosing to withhold. I don’t deliberately sit there thinking ‘ah ha, I’m not going to say stuff!’ actually when that very young part comes in she is just utterly frozen and terrified she can’t talk.

I left yesterday’s session feeling totally steam-rollered and it’s been agony ever since. So, needless to say, because I am in the grips of the fucking hideous pain where my chest aches and my stomach hurts and my whole body feels like it is crying out to be held, today has felt as though it would never end. I have achieved next to nothing and struggled to even get out of bed til after midday – which is not like me at all. I have felt so flat and ugh and depressed it’s been really horrible. I have thought about writing here but haven’t known what to say – I still don’t really but am just seeing what comes out – diarrhoea by the looks of it! I thought about doing something creative/arty but have just sat on my bed staring into the middle distance. It’s been shit, really.

Anyone who regularly reads this blog will know that usually I am really busy, productive, whizzing about… but to be honest that has its own pitfalls and doesn’t always mean time goes quickly on breaks, it just means I get more burnt out when trying to navigate the fall out of the mother wound. Being still today and moping about has really shown me (again) how hard the feelings I have actually are because I feel as though I am drowning. I hate it. I want to run away. I don’t know how to make them stop. I don’t know how I am meant to help the young parts of me that feel like they are going to die because Em is gone. I know this isn’t about Em, or not wholly about her, but the little girl that was abandoned all those years ago is still hurting…what on earth do I do for her when it all seems to be happening again?? How do I self-soothe??

My best friend told me this week that she thought I was the most feeling avoidant person she knew…which is a great accolade 😉 but she’s totally right. I am so terrified of sitting with the overwhelming feelings that I literally do anything I can to not have to experience the full force of them. The other day I was experimenting with feeding my feelings (rather than starving them!) but that just made me feel like I was going to puke. I don’t think binging is my thing! It’s occurred to me today that perhaps I should get on the treadmill and focus on exercise…but I am so lethargic/down/sad that I can’t be bothered right now. The Critic isn’t here just yet but give it a few days, if things continue to feel this desperate then no doubt I’ll be lacing my trainers and putting myself through my paces.

(I know that none of that is self-soothing btw!)

I literally don’t know what else to say. It’s all just a great big pile of crap. On the plus side I haven’t sent any desperate texts to Em (yet) which felt like a very real possibility this morning!

17 days to go.

It can only get better right?

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16 thoughts on “Summer 2019 – Therapy Break #2

  1. easetheride August 21, 2019 / 3:29 am

    Feel the feelings. I know that sounds awful, but it’s going to come back to bite you if you don’t. These feelings are real and they are okay and they don’t mean anything bad about you. Give yourself all the permission. But please take care of yourself too. Hang in there x

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum August 21, 2019 / 9:19 am

      Thank you 😊 I know you’re right… so right in fact by avoiding the feelings they’ve just ramped up another notch and idiot me sent a text this morning 😞😞😞😞 just so I can get even more upset when she doesn’t acknowledge it until the session on the 6th! When will I learn?! I’m catching up on your posts but will actually email you this evening xxx hugs xxx

      Like

  2. LovingSummer August 21, 2019 / 3:44 am

    “I like it that she seemed to be protective of me…it’s all felt connecting and positive”
    Yes it really helps to build the relationship doesn’t it? My first turning point with my therapist was when I dreamt he was protective, then I noticed he was checking up on me in real life and it promoted me to comment on my blog that it felt like Dad protecting his daughter each time they meet up again (against the big, bad world – which I know it’s not always!). It felt so nice, yet completely alien too.

    Being stuck behind the glass wall and being unable to reach out because of it – despite wanting to – is a very recent experience for me too, last week. It’s a strange feeling isn’t it?

    “How much evidence do I need from her that she is safe and is not going to shame me or abandon me???”
    I am guessing this must be completely normal to feel in our situation, because how else do we explain this insatiable need for evidence?! It defies logic sometimes but is a mixture of the ghosts of the past and just raw fear; fear of history continuing to repeat itself on some terrible kind of ‘rinse and repeat’ cycle that feels impossible to break out of. I say ‘feels’ because that’s not necessarily ‘facts’, which is the hope I’m clinging to! I hope the second break becomes more bearable than you dare hope or expect 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  3. rubberbandsandchewinggum August 21, 2019 / 9:41 am

    The glass wall is no fun is it? ‘I can see you. I can hear you. But I feel isolated and alone!’ I have a set of different walls and barriers in therapy: the bubble, the tunnel, the glass wall, the metal wall, the brick wall, the barbed wire… it goes on and on and that’s even before I work out who is in the room! 😉 I hate the disconnection I feel and knowing that it’s me that’s doing it. How can we need connection so badly and yet everything in out bodies runs screaming from it? It sounds like you have a good foundation with your therapist. I (adult) know that Em and I are solid but it’s just trying to convince all the younger parts… and the critic. Breaks most certainly don’t help. I feel like I’ve slid into a pit of crazy 😜 x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. LovingSummer August 21, 2019 / 9:58 am

    I know what you mean when you ponder the conflict between needing connections and fleeing from them. It’s like living with the enemy, except we can’t escape as we’re stuck inside the shell of one body with only one set of running legs attached 😆
    Good thing that given time and the right assistance we can adapt and manage what goes on inside that frame!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. LovingSummer August 21, 2019 / 10:00 am

    Oh, and, totally get the break thing. We had one a few weeks ago and a few weeks before that too, and now having another one next week 😱

    Liked by 2 people

  6. skinnyhobbit August 21, 2019 / 10:48 am

    Hugs if wanted. Finally saw my therapist after an 11 week break and she’s off again…

    Liked by 2 people

      • skinnyhobbit August 22, 2019 / 7:11 am

        Relatively OK I think. There’s good news: I’m following her to private practice and despite the added cost, I may no longer need to beg work bosses for time off to attend therapy. It sucks being at the mercy of bosses because we don’t have legal accommodations like in the West.

        I hide out on instagram because I’ve weird people following my WordPress blog

        Liked by 2 people

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum August 22, 2019 / 8:05 am

        That’s brilliant … apart from the cost! I did this with Em and I don’t regret it at all and you find ways to pay. I work more but it’s worth it. Sorry you’ve got some weird people following your blog. I just block people from commenting that behave badly on mine! It doesn’t happen often thankfully! Xx

        Liked by 2 people

  7. lavenderandlevity August 23, 2019 / 12:37 pm

    Hugs. Be very kind to your child parts and also remind them *you* are still there for them. They aren’t alone trying to manage the whole show like they likely were in childhood, which is probably part of their fear, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum August 23, 2019 / 3:37 pm

      Yeah I know. You’re right. Sometimes no matter what I try and do for myself I just can’t get round the overwhelm, though. It does always pass in the end but jeez it’s no bloody fun whilst it’s happening. Ugh. I think I need to be better at sitting with the feelings and letting them come and go rather than panicking I’m gonna die every time they come! 😱

      Liked by 1 person

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