Easing Back Into Therapy…

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So, that’s the summer breaks done and dusted…thank goodness for that! To be fair, these recent breaks in therapy have been pretty good compared with some other times (but it’s all relative and by all accounts I am still pretty shit at breaks! – hence texting Em two days into the last break!).

I won’t lie, I am really relieved that it’ll be a while now before there is another holiday/break in therapy. I can’t even really think about Christmas just yet because I have managed to make the break MUCH longer than it would usually be. It’s going to be nearly four weeks long because I booked a holiday the week before the break would usually start. Eek!

Don’t get me wrong, the idea of some all-inclusive sunshine just before Christmas definitely appeals but…argh…I’ve had some humdingers of Christmas therapy breaks over the years. I really don’t want to end up spiralling into the depths of attachment doom again. Ending up in a big rupture is never fun and so I am really aware that a longer break might pose some issues. Having said that I am usually pretty good until New Year and then that’s when the shit hits the fan!

I guess the positive is that Em and I are aware of this fact, now,  and will ensure we spend some decent time putting things in place so that (hopefully) things don’t descend into emotional Armageddon. Well, that’s the plan, anyway 😉

Having just glanced back over what I have written I just wondered something. Does anyone else usually try and time their holidays to coincide with their therapist’s breaks in order that there is no so much disruption to their therapy? Until this year I have ALWAYS taken my holidays when I’ve known Em will be away because the idea of a therapy break being down to me and not her has been a hideous idea! I did find May half-term quite hard this year because USUALLY Em takes a break then and this year she didn’t… and I was away in Lanzarote. Two missed sessions all down to me. Groan!

Anyway, I’m sure it can’t just be me that does that…can it? Lol! Sometimes I wonder if therapists have any idea just what hideousness goes on behind the scenes with us. I mean take the ‘therapy toilet stops’ en route to session? I mean does anyone ever tell their therapist the effect that therapy nerves can have on their bowels pre-session??? I’m guessing not many of us would sit down and say, “Crikey, it’s been hideous today, I’ve had several bouts of diarrhoea on the way here and had to stop twice! Thank god for the Tesco round the corner!”

I’d hazard a guess to say that most of our therapists do spend quite a lot of time checking in with us about what’s going on in our bodies during a session. I for one have never answered, “I feel like I might shit myself!” when Em has asked me to check in with what’s happening on a physical level. Usually I complain about feeling sick. Having said that, interestingly, the dodgy tummy evaporates once I get to session and the nausea kicks in instead. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not EVERY SESSION  that I suffer with ‘therapy tummy’ but it’s certainly more often than not – especially when I have ‘big things’ to say.

Anyway, enough of the shits. Let’s get back to breaks (which are also shit!). I know it’s insane but I tend to find that once May half-term break has happened I almost retreat a bit from therapy. Of course I still turn up to my sessions (because duh! I can’t not go because I am sooooo attached) but the knowledge that the long summer break/s are imminent makes me go into a kind of self-protection zone. I rarely do deep work in the lead up to summer…unless it’s the final session before the break and then months of stuff comes flooding out in desperation.

The good news, I’ve been in therapy long enough to see patterns with how I seem to work and the good news is this next three months is September-Christmas is generally when I do the most work and things  generally move forward. Ironically, I have been back with Em for three sessions now and I’m pussy footing around and not really going to the hard places. Adult Me has been largely in the driving seat (apart from a few moments when the young parts moved in) but it’s been ok. Sometimes adult me has stuff going on that needs attention too and it’s a good way of easing back into the room. It takes the younger parts time to build trust again and believe that Em is safe and will stay (and isn’t disgusted by/or hates them).

I’m far less concerned by this slow dance that happens after breaks than I used to be. I used to be impatient to get on and do the work then moment my bum hit the sofa on session one. I was frustrated that I couldn’t just open up and go the vulnerable places after a break when I had clearly been ‘feeling all the feelings’ when I hadn’t been able to see Em. Now I understand that it’s all part of the process. My system takes time to adjust. It is what it is and I’ll get there eventually. I am not going to beat myself up about ‘all the things I haven’t said’ or worse feel like Em in some way hadn’t done enough to make it so that I could talk.

There was definitely a good period of time where I would feel disappointed by how a session had gone because it didn’t follow what I had wanted in my mind before I had arrived. I was annoyed when Em suggested that I was trying to script things a couple of years ago but I see what she was getting at now! So, when a session hadn’t gone to plan (from my pre-worked script!) I would feel almost let down by Em because somehow ‘she should have known what I needed and didn’t provide it’. I don’t get that now, really. I see just how bloody hard she works with me and know that whatever happens in the room is what needs to happen in that moment. You can’t force it.  That’s progress right?!

I am aware that whilst Adult Me might want this process to hurry the fuck along so I can do something else with £450 a month I have to accept that parts of me can’t do the work yet or need to do it ‘bit by bit’ as therapists so like to say! Working with so many parts is tricky. I can never know for sure which part of me is going to show up in session – sometimes it’s none, sometimes it’s loads and we just have to work with what comes up! … and let’s not forget there’s a good chance of dissociation at some point too. Joy!

Soooo, I don’t really have much to say. Whilst I have had three sessions there’s not a great deal to report because I’m in the thick of working through a few things so I’ll wait til it’s all resolved before I post anything as I haven’t really got any ‘lightbulb moments’ yet. It’s been so nice to be back in the room with Em. I know I don’t like breaks and they are tough but sometimes it’s actually being back in the room when I realise just how much I have really missed her – it’s like there’s an extra level of realisation – and that, of course, has set the cat amongst the pigeons!

The attachment stuff is swirling about again (despite being partly settled by her text reply to me on the break) and I wonder if this is because I can’t allow myself to fully feel just quite how awful it feels being away from her when she is gone and so it flares up once I can see her again. I suppose the positive is I have two sessions a week to see her and work more on this core issue: the mother wound and am not left hanging now. I do feel like I want to sit across from her and gush just how much I love her….but hey, this is me, and we all know I won’t say it out loud.

Right, that’s all for now. Take care all x

 

 

25 thoughts on “Easing Back Into Therapy…

  1. Sirena September 14, 2019 / 7:32 pm

    “therapy tummy” you’re so much more polite than I!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. LovingSummer September 14, 2019 / 7:50 pm

    I enjoyed reading this! In answer to your question about therapist breaks, I never know when mine is on his in the summer so it’s pot luck, but every half term and Easter or Christmas school holiday is guaranteed break.
    Had to smile about the shits stuff, I might just mention this to Guy next week and see what he thinks! Surely therapists who go to therapy experience this themselves – or maybe DID once upon a time? 🤔 I bet it’s more common than we think!

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 14, 2019 / 9:25 pm

      Please ask Guy about the shits … I’d love to know what he says!!

      I get months and months of notice about breaks – I think I got six about this year’s double whammy summer! I’ll probably hear about Christmas in the next week or so … once we’ve settled into things again. I always behave like I’m not even bothered but inside my little parts are having a meltdown.

      X

      Liked by 3 people

  3. individualmedley17 September 14, 2019 / 8:07 pm

    I can really relate to what you say near the end of your post; I almost always plummet after the first session back after a break. I think I must hold back a lot during the break and then seeing my therapist again activates the neediness of all the young parts. It’s agony!

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 14, 2019 / 8:12 pm

      It really is shiny! Sorry that this happens for you too. I’m trying to work out how to broach it because I feel so bloody vulnerable now and yet unless we talk about these feelings they’ll just drag on. They always settles in the end but I know a conversation will make it better … only some parts think it’ll actually lead to rejection and total annihilation – fun times!!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. skinnyhobbit September 15, 2019 / 1:28 am

    It’s hilarious to hear about “therapy shits” from fellow therapy goers, makes me feel less weird. It took me ages to tell my therapist I experienced them and my fear of soiling myself before sessions!

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 15, 2019 / 7:25 am

      Wow, you told her! That’s impressive! There’s definitely a merry band of us that suffer with this … what a club to be in 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • skinnyhobbit September 15, 2019 / 11:43 am

        It -did- help to ask what would happen if i did no show due to soiling myself hahaha

        Liked by 1 person

      • skinnyhobbit September 15, 2019 / 11:54 am

        T is moving to a private practice clinic with other clinicians. We started out in a public clinicwith toilets on every floor of the building.

        There better be a toilet for patients near the clinic lol. Because going to the toilet BEFORE the commute doesn’t help one bit. It’s always right before therapy when I’m in the waiting room, like clockwork lol.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Q (formerly known as Quemada) September 15, 2019 / 1:55 am

    I really want my therapy breaks to match hers, but this never seems to happen. She mostly takes breaks in August, but they have run into September before, and one year she left for three weeks in May, another time ten days in March.

    I tend to plan my own vacations really early, and then I tell her the dates and suggest she should go away at the same time. She tends to laugh and agree but then she doesn’t really do it. Sigh. So this year, it means she was gone a week in early August, then back for two weeks, then gone another ten days, then back for two weeks, and now I’m leaving on my vacation. It’s two weeks an two days but the way the days fall, I’ll miss three full weeks of therapy. So to me, it feels like from late July until early October, there is no continuity and no progress. It’s all about hanging on.

    Of course, the therapy break is easier when I’m on vacation, even if I’m kind of depressed, because I am distracted by visiting some new and interesting place. It’s a lot hard to be home and have Wednesday afternoon roll around and think that she’s busy in a new and interesting place, not thinking about me at all.

    Of course she needs and deserves those breaks. Every therapist does. But it’s hard when we are struggling and they are such a source of safety and stability for us!

    Liked by 5 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 15, 2019 / 7:34 am

      Oh Q! I hear you. That’s exactly what it is, lack of continuity, and for people like us that’s huge isn’t it? Your summer sounds really disrupted, too, and I’m not surprised it slows the work up. As I said I’m pretty useless in summer for the same reasons. This year I handled the first break ok and then the second one was too much – too quick in succession to the last. When I think about it it seems like there’s so much working against me! I mean I rarely spend a whole session talking properly – maybe it’s 15 minutes at best and sometimes only 5 – percentage wise that’s a crap annual hit rate isn’t it? Lol. No wonder it’s slow going 😬. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and can immerse yourself in wonderful places and activities. Be gentle with yourself and at least on the positive, once you’re home it should be a while til there’s another break. Sending loads of love xx

      Liked by 3 people

  6. behindapaintedsmile30 September 15, 2019 / 11:59 am

    I’m glad that Em is back and the fact that you are working through stuff sounds encouraging.
    I am another sufferer of ‘therapy tummy’! It’s very inconvenient at work!Luckily it tends to be out of my system by the time I leave work! Then my bladder joins in. The struggle is real! 😩

    Liked by 2 people

  7. easetheride September 15, 2019 / 11:36 pm

    I don’t vacation a lot, but I remember hoping desperately this summer that my one vacation would line up with any break J would be taking. This was before I knew she was expecting. Then, I was in agony at the thought of not getting to see her because I was choosing to go to something fun (the horror!). Our vacation ended up getting cancelled and I was so grateful I would be able to see her…then felt pathetic for that. I sure do love attachment issues.

    Liked by 4 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 24, 2019 / 9:27 pm

      I don’t know how I missed this?! Sending you hugs and you’re definitely in my mind. Xx I hope things are going ok xx

      Like

  8. Kerry September 16, 2019 / 4:40 pm

    Last summer T asked me when my holidays were and then booked almost all of his holidays at the same time, so I think it ended up that he worked one week I was away and then later in the summer he was away for one week. So for the whole summer it wasn’t too bad really.
    This year….forget about it!! With his health issues we had a 27 day break (May-June) and now we’re at day 25 of who knows how long of a break. There’s definitely been A SHIT-TON of holding on for dear life in 2019…
    I’m glad Em is back for awhile and I hope things settle quickly xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 24, 2019 / 9:29 pm

      Oh kerry – it sounds so hard right now. I hope you’re doing ok. Tie a knot in the end of the rope and hang on. Big hug xx

      Like

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