Abandonment and Rejection: Part 1

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It’s clear to me, and I am sure to anyone who follows this blog, that probably two of the biggest fears I have in life are being abandoned and/or rejected. There have been so many times throughout my life where I have been abandoned (physically and emotionally). As an adolescent it hurt like hell to experience this rejection for simply being me (there was a lot of rejection when I came out when I was 17) and any rejections I have experienced as an adult hurt massively because it feels like my younger self is being wounded again and again. Ouch.

Having been in therapy for a gazillion years, I am obviously now much more aware of what happened to me as a younger child and it’s only now, as an adult, that I am feeling the full force of the pain of being left. As a kid I must have repressed those feelings or dissociated them because it was too much to cope with and I had to survive.

Clearly, the reason I struggle so much now with the feelings of inadequacy, being unlovable and forgettable stems from my ongoing childhood trauma. That’s what’s really done the big damage, or created a blueprint for how I imagine relationships will go in the here and now. The problem is, despite having many many, healthy, wholesome, caring, reciprocal relationships in 2020 I still have this niggling doubt underneath that say it’s all going to go to shit so maybe I should be cautious about really letting people in. Nowhere is this more apparent then in my therapeutic relationship with Em.

It’s been a nightmare lately. Unfortunately, events sometimes come together to create and almost perfect storm, setting me off balance and making me even more scared about being ‘too much’ and then I start panicking about left by the people I care about.

There’s no denying the recent time (since just before Christmas) in therapy has done nothing to settle my ‘freaking out child parts’ and there has also been a recent event in my family where people I had let back in (after cutting them off for spectacularly hurting me when my dad died) have actually rejected me again! All that old pain and sadness has come up and I feel both devastated and angry- devastated that I thought they might have changed, and angry that I let them in only to hurt me again. Will I never learn to trust my gut and see red flags?

Any reconfirmation of the narrative that people I love aren’t reliable and will actually disappear or threaten to leave (that I formed as a kid when my mum wasn’t around much) kind of intensifies the panic. It’s not surprising I had a breakdown when my dad died suddenly whilst abroad – it kind of lit the touch paper on all the stuff that had being weighing me down but I couldn’t see. I had just blanketed my problems under ‘depression’ rather than a fucking disaster of a childhood! I can see why the recent events with my grandparents (the latest rejection) have poured salt in the wound.

It really hasn’t helped that stuff with Em has felt so shaky, too. It’s felt so bloody hard inside myself lately. Adult me has carried on getting on with the job of life but deep inside the fear of the younger parts has been mounting on a daily basis and that clearly makes for all kind of crazy to seep out.

I have kept looking for reassurance from Em that the relationship is secure and when I find none, I become even more sensitive and scared than I was before. In fact, the last few weeks it’s been so bad in therapy that I have been convinced things are on a knife edge and I’ve been clinging on for dear life which actually only seems to make her back further away.

After the disaster Skype call first session back after Christmas I contacted another therapist to put out feelers about how it might work doing therapy with someone new. The idea of leaving Em was enough to send me over the edge and the young parts were terrified that this really could be the beginning of the end, but at the same time I was really aware that things are stuck and no matter how we try and work through it there’s some basic fundamentals that feel non-negotiable on both sides. Her boundaries are so rigid and my need for more containment and reassurance is getting worse rather than better because of the feeling that the door is closed on me. I feel more and more like I am not in a relationship with her and keep getting my feelings hurt- the recent gift rejection really hurt and her refusal to sit closer to me…well fuck…that’s a kicker.

So, I was reluctant to go and see this new therapist the other week but at the same time I needed to work out whether what I want in therapy is possible or whether my needs are just too much for any therapist and I should stop wishing for things that are unreasonable.

I mean to be fair, I read enough blogs to know that it’s not beyond the realms of possibility to get transitional objects, check ins, occasional hugs or hand holding, or at the very least to be sat next to when there is the need. However, I am very aware after my experience with Em that not all therapists do this stuff (she does none!) and some might do bits and bobs depending.

I guess I have a wish list and accept that probably not all elements might be met but what I am very clear that this time I need to know the lay of the land with any new therapist from the get go – what is and isn’t possible? I don’t want to stumble across boundaries somewhere down the line (like I have with Em) when my attachment stuff has already kicked in and then end up in the same position as now, wanting certain things and then finding out it’s a hard NO.

In my initial email to Anita I didn’t ask about that stuff but I explicitly asked about whether she has experience of working with C-PTSD and attachment and what kind of supervision she undertakes and how frequently. I even asked her if she considered that she had done enough of her own work. I mean, if I am gonna jump ship I need to know these things, right?

Her reply to my email was kind and warm and we arranged an initial appointment.
So much has happened since that session (I have a lot of blogging to do over the next couple of weeks!!!) that I can’t really remember much about it.

I felt a bit disloyal rocking up at Anita’s house having just come from a therapy session with Em but again my session with Em had been bleurgh – more talk of boundaries and the gift giving and I felt so far away from her.

First impressions of Anita when she opened the door were that she was warm and kind.
The therapy room is a good space. It’s comfortable, nicely decorated, and is the right size to feel close enough to the therapist. It’s not Em’s room, though, which is beautiful and really appeals to my aesthetic and academic sides with lovely natural wooden furniture and bookcases full of theory stuff. But I am not in therapy for the room, I am in it for the relationship with the person that sits in it! And let’s face it, if it was all about the room I would be fine!!

I know that I was distressed when I sat down, the weight of what has been going on hit and the reality that I was about to talk to a stranger and let them see the mess that I am in felt big. I figured that I have absolutely nothing to lose at this point so didn’t hold back and sort of unloaded all the stuff I’ve been struggling with in the therapeutic relationship with Em: how I feel like we’ve done all the intellectual work, I know what my issues are, but my feelings aren’t getting met, mirrored or held and so there’s a huge block and my child parts just feel perpetually retraumatised and abandoned every time they get close to the core wound.

I said how I feel shame every time I try and connect and get met with, ‘I’m just your therapist’ or ‘some therapists may do that but I don’t work this way’, and, ‘you know my boundaries and what I want’… you know the stuff, I write about her all the time, it’s not new news to you guys!

I spoke about my issues around breaks and disruptions and how bad it feels to be ignored when I very occasionally reach out. There was loads. And what was great was that because I wasn’t dissociative, or shut down, or being hypervigilant I actually made really good use of the time. I reckon I covered about five sessions worth of content in one!

I didn’t ask directly about any of the relationship stuff with Anita but from what I said about Em she kept stepping in and saying things like, ‘I understand how hard breaks can be for people with C-PTSD and so can I tell you how I work? I will write notes, do transitional objects, and I am available for calls and check ins if necessary on longer breaks because that’s how I think I need to work. Obviously not all clients need this but for those that do I offer that and always try and take a minute to make a call – my family know what I do for a job and so expect that’. She also told me that sometimes we really need someone to hold our hand in the pain (both literally and metaphorically) and that she sometimes feels like clients need hugs from her but of course will always ask first because some clients do not want that kind of contact.

Basically, she took all my cues and on every single sore point and came back with the response I was hoping for. She’s person centred, works with attachment, has experience of working with C-PTSD and dissociative disorders, she undertakes lots of CPD and brilliantly has been on Carolyn Spring’s trainings and has read her books (which are fab btw)…she’s basically got the package I am looking for. Only, she’s not Em…and Em knows me. I’d have to start all over again. Fuck me. I really don’t want to.

Anita said that it felt to her like Em had done some good work with me but now it seems I am in a place where I need to be really met and held in the work and my young parts need to feel loved and for whatever reason Em can’t/won’t do it.

She likened what we’ve done in therapy to being like an egg – we’ve gone through the hard shell, waded through the white, and now we’re at the most vulnerable part – the yolk, and she can’t do the work, or I can’t do it in the way that she works. And this is kind of how it feels…although for the longest time I have felt like it’s just me, my resistance, my defences that are the problem – because, of course, I will always turn it in and try and find where I am at fault for a situation, but actually I am coming to accept that what worked well for me before isn’t working for me now. It’s devastating, actually, but things can’t stay as they are.

The session with Anita felt really nice and I really got the sense that I could build something with this therapist…but it’d mean letting go of my attachment figure and that is fucking terrifying. I emailed her a day or so after the session to thank her for her time and to ask about how we might move forward. I was very aware that just cutting and running from Em would be almost impossible for the young parts and I wondered if we might do some kind of transition where I could build a relationship with her first before fully moving over – because what if it didn’t click and I was left dangling with no way back.

Anita responded and said she had an idea but she needed to run it by her supervisor first. Unfortunately, her idea was shot down by the supervisor – she had thought, given my trauma history and difficulty with attachment and trust that she might be able to function as a support whilst I left Em meanwhile building a relationship with me so that I didn’t have to abruptly leave Em knowing that would feel so hard to those attached young parts.

Her supervisor said it would possibly cause grey areas and so she couldn’t work with me until I was no longer working with Em. The email was really caring and understanding and whilst I felt gutted that her idea (which sounded so like what I needed) wasn’t possible it felt nice that she had at least tried to think of a solution and had cared enough to contact her supervisor. It shows she is keen to work ethically which is really important to me.

I responded to the email with this:

Hi Anita,

Thanks for getting back to me and thinking about this. I suspected this is what your supervisor might say and do understand. It’s a complex dynamic.

I need time to think about what to do next. There are so many competing parts inside right now and it feels overwhelming. I really want to move forward and away from this horrible place of feeling rubbish all the time but the fear of the vulnerable parts losing Em is enormous – like annihilation and it’s not going to be a simple transition to another therapist after eight years with all that’s been triggered in the relationship.

The reality is that I don’t trust people easily and so it is a real barrier to leaving. I guess it’s something about better the devil you know and whilst I sense that you would be a good fit for me from what you have said there is definitely a voice that is saying, ‘what if she’s just the same and you get hurt again – at least Em knows you’.

I know, ultimately, it’s going to take a leap of faith now but any change is unsettling for me. I understand, too, that there’s a possibility that by the time I have managed to leave M you mightn’t actually have availability or capacity to see me…which makes the whole process feel daunting. I guess I’ll just have to trust the universe on this one.

I don’t really know what else to say but I am grateful to you for trying to help find a way forward.

I’ll be in touch…soon… I hope.
RBCG

So I sent that and felt a bit sad. I felt like I had a choice to make. Leave Em and hope for the best with Anita or give it one last stab at throwing everything at Em and seeing what she came back with.

We had another really tough session on the Friday, I can’t remember why now (!!) but it was not easy. I guess my young parts were having a meltdown inside and so take pretty much everything as a rejection and a lack of Em wanting to connect to me.

Oh god.

It’s just come back.

I said that I was wondering whether we could recover from where we were at because it felt so bad. I said that I wasn’t sure that it was enough anymore and the therapy doesn’t feel holding enough. We sort of talked around what leaving might feel like and what parts might feel what but it didn’t feel good at all. She said that if I left she would feel ‘sad and disappointed’ that we hadn’t managed to get me into a better place and it wouldn’t be the ideal end, that’s when the teen piped up, ‘As if!’ and I rolled my eyes. Like, come on lady, you literally give no shits about me and don’t try and pretend after the recent shit show that you’d be sad to see the back of me.

I made some reference to her not caring and she did the usual, ‘If I didn’t care about you I wouldn’t be working with you, but I care about you as a therapist, and I get the sense that parts of you want a different kind of relationship’ then she started on about that think about me wanting her to be my partner or friend again and I was like ‘NO!’ and she then said that if it’s unconscious I wouldn’t know.

Ugh.

I get what she’s saying but honestly when she says the slightly caring stuff I just can’t feel it or take it in because it doesn’t seem very warm or genuine. It feels like I am perpetually asking her for reassurance and she gives the absolute bare minimum of herself. She keeps herself so far out of the room. I said, this, actually, ‘every time I try take a step towards you it feels like you back away’. She said that that’s because I haven’t had secure attachment and if I had I wouldn’t experience her that way. I said, ‘I know. But I DON’T HAVE SECURE ATTACHMENT AND IT IS HOW I EXPERIENCE YOU!’

I remember that she asked about the story I’d given her as a gift at Christmas and said that as an English teacher I must have lots to say about it. This pissed me off. Like why on earth would I want to share that deeply vulnerable stuff with her, and how and why the character’s journey to therapy when she’d basically rejected it the moment we got back from Christmas? I am so hurt by how she handled that that there was absolutely not a chance in hell that I could go to that vulnerable place…for what? To be knocked down or be told, ‘I am just your therapist’ again.

I left the session feeling unseen and desperate and she asked me to let me know if I make a decision about terminating but that she’d be there on Monday all the same. I didn’t know what to do. And started writing when I got home adding to the draft of stuff I had written about following the Skype session (in the last blog post) – it ended up being close to 4000 words! (see there are words inside I just can’t say them out loud!!). I emailed the letter to Em on Friday afternoon – knowing she wouldn’t reply but literally was so confused and unsettled that I didn’t know what else to do.

You know that perfect storm I was talking about at the start? Well it was picking up strength. So, imagine my surprise when Em responded that she would read my email before the session.

I felt nervous and a little more positive like maybe we could find a way through. I tried not to stress too much over the weekend and went into Monday feeling hopeful but also terrified. I know that all my attachment stuff is going berserk right now but it’s hard to explain why things feel so bad it’s a feeling perhaps more than what’s actually being said.

I’ll write what happened next bit in another post…

41 thoughts on “Abandonment and Rejection: Part 1

  1. slantgirl January 25, 2020 / 1:17 am

    Omg don’t leave me hanging!!😂😂

    Liked by 4 people

      • slantgirl January 25, 2020 / 8:54 pm

        In your own time! Anita sounds great and like the T you need right now. But I can imagine how much your littles must be feeling 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 26, 2020 / 9:42 am

        Anita is nice. I saw her again on Friday and am due to see her tomorrow too. She’s very affirming…but I don’t know her yet…and I miss Em. The little ones feel like daddy has died…which is more unprocessed grief I need to tackle. FFS! I’ve got a big year ahead I think!!

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  2. easetheride January 25, 2020 / 1:55 am

    Going to see Anita was brave and a big step. It sounds like she has the space to do a lot of really great work with you, and to give you what I feel so much like you deserve. But of course, I know this isn’t easy. I hope whatever you end up doing, you can be at peace with it. Therapy should not be breaking your heart like this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 25, 2020 / 2:53 pm

      Thanks Hun. It’s been absolutely hideous. There’s loads left to write but right now I can’t even go near the pain. It’s so confusing. X

      Liked by 1 person

  3. CC January 25, 2020 / 3:32 am

    I’ve already seen your tweet so I can imagine the next post, and my heart is breaking for you.

    After a relatively big rupture, I talked to my T about the thoughts of leaving I had had during the rupture, and she told me that she would have fought for me to stay. I have no idea if and how she would have actually done this, but I do wonder why Em isn’t fighting harder for you? It would be one thing if she felt like she had done all she could, and she was upfront about it and helped you transition to someone else -I imagine it would still hurt like hell, but at least it wouldn’t look like complete rejection and abandonment.

    Actually, Em sounds really territorial to me. I get that she has boundaries, and a right to them, but has she ever explained to you why she doesn’t “do” certain things, like transitional objects? Has she ever tried to figure out a compromise of sorts that would address both your and her needs? I just don’t get this ‘tough love’ approach she seems to be taking.

    It took a massive amount of courage to meet with Anita, and it sounds like she would be very understanding not only of how your past affects you, but also of the issues an end of your relationship with Em would create. I hope she can support you through whatever comes next.

    Liked by 4 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 25, 2020 / 3:01 pm

      Thanks CC. Yeah this is currently the worst agony I’ve experienced- it’s akin to when my dad died. I keep bursting into tears. Hideous. I don’t know why Em has never sought to offer a compromise or alternative other than I think she genuinely believes any of these interventions are detrimental to the therapy and breed dependency. She’d never fight for me because she’d see it as maybe taking my autonomy or something. Of course all this does for my trauma brain is confirm she doesn’t care. Anita is nice. Fortunately I also have an amazing craniosacral therapist whom I’ve recently gone back to and she is literally a rock right now. I am so upset by all this though. And it’s making me really doubt myself. Like is it really that I’m too difficult and demanding? Ugh!

      Liked by 2 people

      • CC January 26, 2020 / 3:54 am

        You are not too difficult and demanding. Your requests are completely reasonable, especially given your history, and they are worth respect and attention, even if they can’t be granted. The line between attachment and dependency may be a fuzzy one, but I thought the whole point of attachment is that it helps you move toward independence, not dependence.

        I grew up with a pervasive sense of being “too much”, first for my mother and then more generally. At some point, my T said that I probably was too much for my mother, but because of her limited capacity to respond to me, not because I was inherently too much. I’m still working on getting that message to my inner 6yo, but as an adult, I do know that different people have different levels of capacity to respond to my needs. The difference with Em is, if you are “too much” for her, it’s her responsibility to seek support and/or be honest with you and refer you out, rather than blaming you and reinforcing a narrative she is surely aware of.

        I don’t want this to sound like I’m trashing Em when she has clearly been a hugely meaningful person in your life. I’m outraged for you that she would let it end this way given all she knows about you. Please don’t blame yourself and keep going toward the people who get you and want to support you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 26, 2020 / 9:55 am

        Yeah. I think the thing is I need to be allowed to be dependant for a bit, to learn it is safe to trust someone and have needs, to experience getting some met, and then can build independence from there. I don’t have the secure foundation to build on. I keep trying and everything keeps falling down.

        I’m sorry you’ve had to experience the feeling of being too much. Once it’s taken root it’s so hard to remove isn’t it? We all deserved so much better as kids. Sending your six year old a hug x

        Like

  4. skinnyhobbit January 25, 2020 / 9:33 am

    Anita sounds really good. My T has said yes and no to stuff, but she has always explained WHY. Eg yes to notes, no to more touch beyond a hug or high-five.

    I really should get “the velveteen rabbit”… it’s not something I grew up reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 25, 2020 / 3:06 pm

      Def get the book. It’s awesome. I only came across it in November which is why I so badly wanted to give it to Em. It’s all so hard. It’s just how she works and her boundaries but they just feel so punitive to me and it’s making things worse rather than better repeatedly feeling like I’m wanting too much. Ffs!!

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      • skinnyhobbit January 25, 2020 / 3:07 pm

        Hugs. You’re not wanting too much. Anita showed that some therapists are completely fine with what you’re asking ❤ But I also know it’s really hard to leave an attachment figure. When I was contemplating leaving my current T over some stuff, I really struggled.

        Liked by 1 person

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 25, 2020 / 3:09 pm

        Yeah. I know. I’ve compromised so much of what I want/need and it’s not helping me. I don’t expect to get everything I want but some warmth would go a long way. And empathy for the parts that want to be close.

        Like

      • skinnyhobbit January 25, 2020 / 3:19 pm

        I remember when I seriously considered leaving my current T whom I was also very attached to. Multiple friends were saying I deserved better, I could have a T willing to see me at the frequency I need, offer small grounding touch in seasons beyond a goodbye hug (I also feared T regretted promising never to take away hugs), someone who would be more nurturing etc. I cried as I looked up other therapists.

        In the end I chose to stay, because I spoke up about everything and she did compromise. I didn’t expect to get everything I wanted, and I didn’t, but there was enough compromise to meet my needs. In the end, my T proved “good enough” for me.

        M doesn’t sound like that. But also I understand a little about how it’s so hard to Leave.

        Liked by 1 person

      • skinnyhobbit January 25, 2020 / 3:45 pm

        Yup. Sorry if I sounded like you didn’t already know, I was trying to be validating ❤ Hugs if wanted. I honestly feel you deserve better, but you deserve support regardless of what you decide. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 25, 2020 / 3:47 pm

        It’s become a nightmare in the last week. I’ll update when I can. Right now battling tears at repeated intervals. Never imagined things could disintegrate this badly when I actually don’t think I’d been all that bonkers!

        Liked by 1 person

      • skinnyhobbit January 25, 2020 / 4:02 pm

        I really wish we could transmit hugs over the internet. I’m so sorry you’re suffering. Please know you are cared about. I know it’s different: M isn’t friends. We’re here, even if we can’t ease much of the pain. You are being VERY reasonable, really. Hugs ❤

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  5. Lucy King January 25, 2020 / 1:35 pm

    Wow! You’re so brave, I admire you for going to speak with Anita. I think she sounds brilliant and I’m sure you will build a healthy attachment to her. I know you feel attached to Em but it’s been such a painful and damaging attachment I can’t help wondering if it’s a trauma bond of some sort. I know she and you have done some brilliant work together but you’ve grown to need something she can’t offer you now. A move sounds like exactly what you need 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  6. rubberbandsandchewinggum January 25, 2020 / 3:08 pm

    Thanks L. I’m on my arse right now. There’s so much gone on this last week I can’t even bring myself to write yet. Thank you for being so supportive. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. LovingSummer January 25, 2020 / 4:10 pm

    Anita does sound like a great therapist for you but I appreciate she doesn’t yet have a history with you like Em has had until now.
    I can’t imagine how painful this is for you and I’m genuinely sorry this is happening. To keep reaching out to someone and still get nowhere is the worst experience. I wish I could change it for you, I think we probably all do. You’re such a courageous person to have been so objective about this, with the way you’ve been level-headed and been to a session with Anita to proactively see what your options are. I know this awful grief and pain will eventually abate, but I hope it happens very very soon for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 25, 2020 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you so much 😊. The support here is so valuable because ‘everyday’ friends can’t comprehend what this means. I’m a wreck. Literally cried myself to sleep every night since Monday. It’s a catalogue of disasters. Em is very knowledgeable and what she’s saying isn’t necessarily wrong but it just doesn’t work for me. It’s gutting to be in this position. I feel so stupid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LovingSummer January 25, 2020 / 4:45 pm

        From my limited understanding, feel stupid is likely to be the shame of the part who is experiencing this anguish, but I defy anyone to suffer what you have and not experience the same sort of wounds; everyone else would almost certainly have that same part if they had been through what you have. People here get it. I think I do too. It’s easier said than done, but please have as much compassion for that part as you possibly can… for what it’s worth you’re absolutely not stupid for any of this, I for one would be exactly the same.

        Liked by 2 people

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 25, 2020 / 4:48 pm

        Thanks Hun. Yeah. It’s shame. Devastation. Loss. All of it. It’s the thing I have been terrified of all my life- if I really let people in they’ll leave because they won’t cope with my need. Therapy, I hoped, would create a different narrative but all it’s done is reinforce it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LovingSummer January 25, 2020 / 4:57 pm

        It’s absolutely awful and you deserve to get what you’ve asked for with Em. It’s such a pity she can’t deal with this in the way we have all been willing her her to, no one more than you, of course.
        I can understand how it would reinforce the narrative, though the hopeful part of me (that you’d probably – understandably – want to bury under the patio right now!) is remembering reading other peoples’ journey and how it worked out okay in the end; they found an even better therapist that helped them heal the wound of the previous person.
        Please accept my apology if this is the completely wrong thing to say to you. I don’t want to add to your burden.
        And I wish, like I’ve said before, that I could change this all for you. Though I recognise the survivor in you and you don’t need people like me to say ridiculous and impossible things like that!

        Liked by 2 people

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 25, 2020 / 6:53 pm

        Thank you 😊. I know what you’re saying. I’m hoping some good comes of all this but right now I feel like I’m on the waltzers and I feel sick and disorientated. I just want to be able to go back into the room and somehow make things ok and get through it, but that isn’t possible so now I’ve got to come to terms with the loss of a really significant person in my life when it’s really not what I want. X

        Liked by 1 person

      • LovingSummer January 25, 2020 / 7:23 pm

        It is such a loss for you, of course you have will naturally have such intensity of feelings and disorientation 🤗
        Grief is so raw.
        Yet your tremendous courage still shines through when you say say you hope some good will come out of it (in due course, of course).
        I wonder if you can get therapy with Anita for this next week or is that the last thing you can face right now? X

        Liked by 2 people

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 26, 2020 / 9:32 am

        I went to see Anita on Friday – it was a good session but it’s so painful and she doesn’t know me yet. I feel so alone at the moment. I’ve just blogged the next part of ‘week from hell!’ – thank you for all your supportive comments xx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. droppingintome January 25, 2020 / 7:39 pm

    oh no 😔. I have so much compassion and empathy for you. I imagine this would ALMOST be easier if you couldn’t find a therapist who’d agree to the things you need to feel safe, because then you wouldn’t have to confront that Em just doesn’t work that way.
    heartbreak and grief are soul-sucking black holes of emotions and I am so sorry you have to feel them in the context of a therapeutic relationship. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 26, 2020 / 9:36 am

      Thank you 🙂 yeah, you’re right. If other therapists all had the same rigid boundaries then it probably would feel better…although I imagine that not many people would bother with therapy!! haha. I am so upset. I really wish I could make the relationship feel enough, as it is, but actually it’s not even really about the texts or the sitting next to, it’s the feeling that I am not held…and other people can hold with words alone. ‘I am here with you’, ‘what do you need from me?’ ‘I really see the pain of those young parts and wish that I could have been there with you as a child to stop this’… none of that requires touch. Ugh. xx

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Bourbon January 25, 2020 / 8:09 pm

    There’s more to this to come so I shan’t say too much but I am just another one here listening and sending you warm thoughts should you want any right now. I recently had to walk away from my ex therapist of 8 years so I understand walking away from a significant therapy attachment, I really do x

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 26, 2020 / 9:38 am

      Thank you. I know you know about this stuff, and actually reading your journey and knowing what you have with your new therapist makes what I am going through now feel slightly possible. I’m finding the second guessing myself really hard. Like one minute, I’m angry at how things have happened and the next I’m like, ‘what if she’s right and I leave and I lose someone who could help’…it’s agony!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bourbon January 26, 2020 / 10:28 am

        What if who is right?

        Like

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 26, 2020 / 11:03 am

        Em. What if her way is right? And I lose her because I’m stubborn and can’t see it.

        Like

      • Bourbon January 26, 2020 / 11:05 am

        There is no “right” way. Ems way may work for some. But definitely not all. Definitely not all. Trust your emotions I say. In your gut you know you need a different way of working. This chaos won’t last forever. It’ll settle x

        Liked by 1 person

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 27, 2020 / 2:19 pm

        Thanks hun. I hope so! I feel like a cow right now and don’t know which stomach/gut to choose – they’re all saying different things! ha!

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  10. Kerry January 25, 2020 / 8:34 pm

    Oh love! I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I hope you can sort things out so that however you decide to move forward it will be for your benefit.
    Anita actually sounds a lot like my T (except for the hugs…he won’t do that). The outside contact and all of the other things he offers has been so vital to our work together. I honestly don’t know how you’ve done what you’ve done without that extra support.
    Sending big hugs. No matter what you decide to do we’re here to help you through it. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 26, 2020 / 9:40 am

      Thanks Kerry. Yeah, I feel like I have been very alone trying to limp my way through therapy and the time outside the sessions. Not all the time, of course. Most of the time I am completely functioning and capable, but the occasional times the wheels fall off it’s been devastating to be left hanging. Thank you for your hugs xx Hope you are doing ok xx

      Liked by 1 person

  11. behindapaintedsmile30 January 25, 2020 / 10:39 pm

    Ugh, I’m sorry hun. This has really escalated, but not changed on Em’s side of things.
    Em seems to be trying to change the attachment to erotic transference which is bizarre. It really shows that your very normal needs are getting into her stuff somehow.
    Therapy with Em has been able to get you to a place where you no what you need, but Em isn’t the therapist to give that to you. She isn’t a good attachment or trauma therapist in my eyes. Regardless of whether she cares or not, it’s not a reflection of your needs being too much or you being worthless. You have the same needs as your children. You’re not too much.
    Anita seems great and the supervision stuff shows that she has support, and suggests that she has her shit together. I agree that you have been brave to contact another therapist and be upfront about what you need from her. That’s vulnerable and shows that deep down you know that you deserve better. You still had the choice to keep trying with Em and to cling on to the younger parts hope that she will become who they need her to be – without meaning to sound harsh.
    I know that none of this changes the huge amount of pain you are in, but maybe it has broken through the dissociation and tapped into the grief of the younger parts. Don’t go back to those later sessions until you have support in place – or at all if possible.
    We’re all here for you. xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 26, 2020 / 9:47 am

      Thanks babe. Your support means a lot. And you don’t sound harsh. It’s the reality. Adult me needs to take control here and protect the young parts from keeping getting retraumatised. If adult me was the only part in therapy Em and I have a great therapeutic relationship – unfortunately adult me doesn’t need much help and the child parts do! I am very in touch with the pain of my young parts now and it’s literally set a nuclear bomb off inside about how it was as a kid, getting my heart broken by someone I loved as a teenager, and my dad dying….it’s kind of a perfect storm. I wish that Em was able to stick with me through this now that I have really got in touch with myself but I don’t think it’s holding or supportive enough and the work I have to do is huge. I need more support at certain times than is available and I need to feel like I am not a burden. This is not going to change. xxx

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