Termination Of Long Term Therapy: ‘No More Tricks Up My Sleeve’

Well, what can I say? This last week, or so, since my last post has been an emotional marathon – and frankly, my current emotional fitness levels are really more geared towards a meandering, leisurely stroll interspersed with pitstops for cake than an endurance race in a freezing, barren wasteland with no clue when the finish line might be coming.

What is especially shit is just as I think I might be near the end of ‘the worst of it’ I turn a corner and the sign flashes up that there’s actually another 26 miles to go….I have to do another lap and it seems like it’s an unending fucking marathon…or recurring nightmare. FFS!

It’s really not good right now. I am desperate to crawl into a warm, safe space, and hibernate…shame that life in 2020 doesn’t really allow much of that!

I should probably have a sign that says, ‘approach with care’ or ‘beware- unstable ground’ or ‘caution – disaster zone’ tied around my neck because I am certainly not feeling myself right now. Or rather, the adult fronting self is having a very hard time keeping all the distraught child parts in check, and so my various selves are all simultaneously falling apart. I’m trying my best to hang it together with my trusty ‘rubber bands and chewinggum’ but it’s a gargantuan effort. I am exhausted by it.

When I am on my own it’s felt like the earth has fallen away beneath my feet. The tenuous safety I felt in the relationship with Em has been proven to be a complete sham and I am back to the reality (which I really don’t want to believe) – that nothing and no one is safe, and trusting people with your heart is really an idiotic thing to do. I am freefalling through the abyss. It’s so lonely. (Well that’s what several parts of me feel at the moment…although I know there is evidence to the contrary elsewhere in my life.)

I have cried so much (and we know I don’t do crying!). I’m not talking a few rogue tears escaping out the corners of my eyes, I’m talking about convulsive, gut wrenching, snotty, painful crying that comes like a howl from the heart and soul, soaks pillows through and doesn’t seem to stop without a massive conscious effort. There’s really no point in trying to stop it, though, because it keeps coming in waves….tsunami seems apt.

I am doing grief in a spectacular way. The pain is immense. I know this isn’t just about Em but also so many other losses and abandonments that I have experienced in my life. However, the sudden ending of the relationship with Em in such a cold way has acted as a massive catalyst for me to come face to face with the big wound and I realise, more than ever, that I am still on the bloody endless bear hunt and have absolutely no choice but to keep going, I ‘can’t go over it, can’t go under it, oh no, got to go through it’.

It’s disappointing because I feel like all I have done in recent years is wade through ‘thick oozy mud’, stumble through ‘big dark forests’, battle through ‘swirling whirling snow storms’ and yet at least I had company back then whereas right now I feel a little bit like I am trying to do some kind of lone survival event and it’s not a ‘beautiful day’ and actually I am scared.

I’ve been terrified of the mother wound this whole therapy – panicking about being left, rejected or abandoned has felt pretty awful and all-consuming at times, especially between sessions and on breaks, even when I have had my therapist there more or less every week. So now, to be actually living the reality of that fear coming true – I have been rejected and abandoned – well it’s even worse than I imagined it would be. That pain in my solar plexus, the anxiety headache, and feeling like I don’t know what’s going on is awful. I know these are young feelings but man it’s not easy.

I want to just say, too, that whilst it does feel bloody horrendous and lonely and overwhelming a lot of the time, I am really very lucky to have some amazing supports in my life right now (this merry band of mother wounded souls included!) without whom I would be in a much worse place than I am. I have been on my arse and yet I am fortunate to have the support of a couple of close friends (who live fucking miles and miles away – grr!) that I can trust with these feelings and who are holding my hand through it, the start of a new therapeutic relationship with Anita, as well as an absolutely incredible craniosacral therapist who has basically scraped me off the floor and offered so much love and holding in the last couple of months that I can hardly believe it’s real.

I wrote a while back here about having just gone back to seeing my craniosacral therapist, K, after a long long break (years!) because I was feeling more and more like lots of the healing I have to do needs to be done with my body and through touch which wasn’t possible with Em (who wouldn’t even sit near to me!). And I can definitely say, that’s absolutely the case. I get soooooo much from my sessions with K on a body level. It feels amazing when everything starts flowing and I can feel the shift inside myself when I get a bit of internal space and holding. But what I have also realised is that what I have always been seeking is an authentic connection with another human being and through that, a path to healing – it’s not just about the body, it’s not just about words, it’s about two people being with one another and feeling something, cocreating a relationship that feels real.

K is not afraid to connect with me and she seems to feel what’s going on in my body even when I am not saying anything. She gets me and accepts me in whatever state I am in. I’ve always really liked her loved her and felt safe with her but maybe in my late twenties/early thirties wasn’t quite ready to do the work that I now feel is unavoidable and essential. I’ve done the intellectual work with Em but now I am ready for the soul stuff.

K is so present. So warm and accepting. She has steadily encouraged me to be more vulnerable to allow her in which clearly feels so risky after years of being pushed away.  I can actually make eye contact again now which is lovely. Seeing K again has made me feel like I am valued and loved – but not only that, she makes me feel like I am cared about all the more because of my flaws and vulnerabilities. I don’t need to hide with her. It’s scary but also exactly what I need especially given what’s just happened with Em. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I went back to her when I did.

It’s written EVERYWHERE that the healing of relational trauma takes place in relationship and I have needed this kind of deep, holding relationship for the longest time. I’ve known for a while that Em and I were not going to last (but obviously have clung on to the hope that if I just behaved long enough, didn’t reach out etc she might meet me where I needed her to). In fact having been to see K again for the first time and then gone to therapy and told Em about it, she said, ‘Where does that leave this therapy?’ and I remember replying, ‘I don’t know’. Being with K was such a sharp contrast to the experience I have been having with Em that it really highlighted to me just how badly my young parts were being neglected.

My child parts are so connected to Em and it’s killing me right now, but really it’s a trauma bond – we all know that. There has been no holding. I haven’t really felt her care. I have been ‘like a tick’ to her and it’s basically been a retraumatising experience being in that therapy. I have tried and tried to make what was on offer enough, but it just wasn’t. I probably sound like I am doing black and white thinking here ‘amazing K vs terrible Em’ but it’s not like that. Not everything in my therapy has been bad but it has been really bad for my young parts and this ending has done nothing to help. I mean it’s trauma 101 inside. The narrative I have been trying to escape for all these years that I am too much has been completely confirmed. It’s so painful.

So, anyway, gushing on some more about K. I’ve been talking to her a lot about my therapy since I have gone back – there’s been lots of confusion and frustration, K has patiently held that with me, not telling me what to do, but understanding just how excruciating it’s been to have been so vulnerable and get nothing back….In fact, god, I can even remember popping over to hers for a cup of tea a few years ago and moaning about Em then and she said to me, ‘What is your therapist doing to hold this?’… and even then I couldn’t come up with any answers.

I’ve spoken a lot about feeling like I need to leave but also feeling like it is impossible due to how attached I am. K has been nothing but understanding as I have swung from one state to the other and I am so grateful to have had that space to work through what I feel and also what I need. K has basically made me realise that it’s ok to have needs and ok to want to get some of them met. What a revelation!

As we all know, in the end things came to a head much more rapidly than I had anticipated with Em and suddenly termination was happening – and not in the way I had hoped. The day I got the two line email from Em wishing me well for the future (aka ‘bye then’) I fell apart. It was so painful. I was a mess, crying on the kitchen floor. I text K and told her what had happened and she was so sympathetic but more than that, she did something incredible that I am still blown away by. Sensing my distress and need she offered to move some clients around in order to make space for me to be able to see her the next day.

I can’t even explain what that gesture did for me. I was drowning in abandonment and rejection feeling like I wanted to self harm, and I guess parts of me actually felt like they wanted to die, and here she was making an island for me to come and rest for a bit.

Thinking about it makes me want to cry. She didn’t have to do that and yet she did. It allowed me to maybe believe that I wasn’t actually completely unlovable and forgettable maybe I do matter…

Anyway, since then she has been amazing in so many ways, so kind, supportive and holding, she has repeatedly built me up and tells me how much strength I have and in a way I believe it when she says it. But I don’t want to talk her or it too much here because I feel really protective of the relationship. I feel like I have something really precious but also fragile and so I want to keep it safe inside me a while.

So that’s nice isn’t it?! Yay.

Alongside this I have been seeing Anita – and that’s going well but I will post about that separately later on.

I guess, what most people are wondering is what ended up happening with Em in the end?

Crikey.

Well, I couldn’t make a decision about what to do for a few days. Part of me was so angry and upset that I couldn’t see how it would be possible to go back only to face more of the same. As my friend said, it would be like walking my young parts in to be slaughtered if I went. To a degree she was right. But at the same time I felt like I should try and get some kind of ending and closure because I have had so many endings where I haven’t had a choice in it. If I never went back to say goodbye I’d be essentially left with all these feelings and keep beating myself up about it… because that’s what I do. This is familiar ground to me!

I spoke at length with Anita about it the week before and in the end I decided that it would be best to go to one termination session, try and end well, but then immediately come for a session afterwards with her to try and process it. Basically, a session with Anita after would act like a safety net. Whatever the session with Em was like it was never going to be easy and the pain I have been experiencing has been like a bereavement so I knew I’d need support.

All last weekend I had nightmares and felt sick to my core knowing that I was going to Em to say goodbye. I knew in my gut that it was going to be sterile and flat…that’s partly why we are in this place. But still part of me hoped that it would somehow be connecting, a reflection on the work we’d done and the relationship we have had all these years.

I arrived, and straight away knew it was going to be agony. She didn’t smile. She didn’t even look at me. Just sat in the chair staring off into middle distance. Still face exercise. Fuck. Child parts were scared and devastated. This is not what I wanted at all.

I started with, ‘well this is shit’. I think it was probably a teen part coming out. I literally didn’t know what to say her.

I felt so distant from her.

It was painful.

She felt robotic, using stock phrases, ‘I see you are feeling strong emotions’ , ‘I understand you are disappointed’, ‘this must feel rejecting’…bleurgh. But it felt like a stranger talking to me….when she did talk which wasn’t often.

Early on I said that I couldn’t believe we were in this place but also that this is what I have feared all along that would happen and now it is real. I tried to tell her how much she’d hurt me in the last session by likening me to ‘a tick’. I had hoped she might have tried to repair that but she simply said, ‘it was a metaphor and I stick by what I said about those parts and the unconscious behaviour’. I wanted to leave then. Like wtaf? The last session and she says that? She takes zero responsibility for her part in this. There was a lot of silence from then on. I mean there was no repairing the relationship but man, this was bad.

She said that she was sad that things had got to this point and was disappointed too…but it felt like the kind of disappointment you might feel when it’s raining outside and you’d planned to go out for a walk – nothing more. It wasn’t heartfelt. It felt flat. She said she could see this was painful for me and I said that she had ‘no idea’…as in she had no idea just how terrible this felt for me but no space was opened up to discuss the feelings. She didn’t want to know.

‘I’ve reached the limit of my competency to help you. I have no more tricks up my sleeve’ – I suppose at least she was honest but it also felt crap. Like, to me so much of therapy hinges on the relationship not what’s ‘being done’ and yet it feels to me like she is very much about strategies, ‘try this visualisation’, ‘follow this dot with your eyes’… blah blah blah. And this is always what’s made me feel disconnected. The only strategy she was unwilling to try was putting herself into the relationship. It’s sad really, because I don’t doubt that her ‘tricks’ might have worked if we could have built a solid enough relationship to build from.

She said she was glad I had come to end in person…and it shows how much I have grown to be able to do that and face the feelings. But again, it just felt like she was going through the motions. I noticed her eyes repeatedly glancing at the clock. I guess she was wishing the time away because it wasn’t exactly easy in the room.

I started crying.

I wasn’t beside myself (externally) because even in that moment when my heart was absolutely being torn in two she just didn’t feel safe to let it all out with. Big, fat, silent tears rolled down my face and I felt like I was going to explode trying to hold back the flood and started shaking. She said nothing for ages and then said, ‘I can see how full of emotion you are about this’. Like no shit! This is huge to me –  I HAVE NEVER LET OUT MORE THAN A SINGLE TEAR IN THIS ROOM….but clearly all this was only big to me not her.

She didn’t look at me or make eye contact and I felt so alone in my pain as I cried and she just sat there. It felt so abandoning. She was not prepared to meet me in that moment at all. And I get it, maybe she can’t.  I guess this has been the problem all along. Maybe she was trying to hold the space and that’s the best she could do. But it felt awful. Like I wasn’t expecting warm hugs and smiles because that is not where we are at (nor have we ever been!) but it couldn’t have felt worse really.

The only good thing was that I managed not to dissociate – I could feel myself trying to disappear and kept bringing myself back. I wanted to be present and in the room with her for the last time even if it felt like she had left the relationship already.

The icing on the cake was at the very end. I was still silently crying and sniffing she said, ‘We have to stop. I wish I could have done better for you, but it is what it is, and I honestly hope for the best for you’.  Through my tears I managed to say, ‘thanks’ and I got up and that was it. There were no more words. No ‘take care’, no ‘goodbye’ just the shutting of the door behind me. And that’s when the dam finally gave way and I broke down…

…on my own again.

 

37 thoughts on “Termination Of Long Term Therapy: ‘No More Tricks Up My Sleeve’

  1. individualmedley17 February 5, 2020 / 5:15 pm

    F**k. I’m so sorry, what a heartless b***h. How can she call herself therapist? I hope in the end, with K and Anita’s support, you will come out the other side of your grief and see that you are better off without the pain she put you through. Much love.

    >

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 5, 2020 / 5:35 pm

      Thanks IM. It’s been absolutely fucking hideous. I am wiped out from the emotional exhaustion. Keep trying to be pragmatic and harness anger too but it’s the nighttime when I’m sleepy that it all gets terribly bad. I’m so grateful to have K and A but they can’t be there all the time and so holding this is really tough. I’m so glad I have my blog because at least there’s space to let this out. Xx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. LovingSummer February 5, 2020 / 6:37 pm

    I feel so angry at that woman, I can’t even say her name! She needs to find another job because she is certainly not a good match for this one.
    I am so sorry for your experience with a so-called therapist like that, but every little bit proud of the way you conducted yourself, with honour and integrity. I know you likely wouldn’t have felt like those attributes because pain can make it feel different in the inside, but bloodyhell, you really deserve a medal for the way you went back and were the only authentic human in that room. You can hold your head up high as you walk away onto a better future for yourself.
    Brilliant idea to have a session straight after, absolute genius. I seeing hope Anita really helped.

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 5, 2020 / 8:03 pm

      Thanks Hun. I’m kind of gobsmacked as well as heartbroken about this ending. I still keep wondering what I did that was so wrong to end up here. It’s going to take a long time to process and recover from what’s happened in this therapy. Thank you for validating my experience and being kind. I tried so hard to reach a decent solution to all this. Maybe I should have just raged instead! X

      Liked by 1 person

      • LovingSummer February 5, 2020 / 8:11 pm

        You’d have been well within your rights to rage, but I’m not certain you’d have benefitted from it. We will never know but probably just as well!
        You really are coming across as so brave. You’re going through something we all dread happening and you’re doing incredibly well.

        Liked by 2 people

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 5, 2020 / 8:13 pm

        Thank you. I’m trying not to fall apart because I actually have to function but inside it’s an absolute catastrophe. 🙁

        Like

      • LovingSummer February 5, 2020 / 8:16 pm

        I can honestly imagine. I have a sneaky feeling things are going to turn around much faster with Anita and K on board, both fulfilling your overall therapy needs like you truly deserve 💛

        Liked by 1 person

  3. slantgirl February 5, 2020 / 7:45 pm

    oh my god, i didn’t think could get worse with Em but they did! how terrible. I am so glad you have Anita and K to support you. i feel like this could turn out to be the best thing, even though I know if it feels awful right now.

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 5, 2020 / 8:09 pm

      Yeah it was pretty impressive really. I’m almost in shock. ‘It is what it is’… fuck me!! I hope things feel better sooner rather than later because I feel so lost at the moment. X

      Liked by 2 people

  4. droppingintome February 5, 2020 / 9:48 pm

    I wish I could make you coffee or do something tangibly nice for you. I give you my heart as I read this.
    This is appalling. The role reversal you have described is just so antithetical to how therapy should be.. it’s her job to be strong and respectful and supportive- not YOUR responsibility to fulfill in order to keep her. I mean yes it’s huge and honorable to make a last session For closure, and you did everything so beautifully. At the end of the day, it really seems (from an outside perspective) like you felt you had to be that way because you knew she wasn’t going to be supportive or help buffer the impact of the blow. And that’s not right! If we can take a minute and compare this dynamic to a caretaker / care-receiver dynamic, she has really parentified you in this interaction. You had to take on the attitude that she is supposed to take. UGH.
    I hope you can be super kind to yourself and I’m glad to hear K and Anita are there to maybe take the sting off just a little bit for right now, as I understand how huge of a loss this is.
    xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 5, 2020 / 10:05 pm

      Ah thank you for this. A coffee would be lovely 😊! I’m struggling a lot with what’s happened. I’m devastated. You’re right, she should have held the space for me but for whatever reason she just can’t handle my young parts and has to get away. I shouldn’t have felt like I couldn’t be how I needed to be… but my protector parts were available enough to know it wasn’t safe to really be there fully. I went and broke my heart for the first twenty minutes of my session with Anita and it was only the fourth session. She feels present and safe. I’m realising that so much of this wasn’t my stuff 😔. I can’t believe I’ll never see or hear from her again. It’s a huge loss. X

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bourbon February 5, 2020 / 11:45 pm

    Whether there is goodness coming around the corner or not (which I wholeheartedly believe there is with Anita and K), the loss is still huge and I just hope you can be really kind to yourself as you navigate this. You were so brave to go back for a closure session. So so so SO brave x

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 6, 2020 / 8:58 am

      Thank you for your support. I’d be completely fucked without all this validation from people that get it! X

      Like

  6. Chloe Ronan February 6, 2020 / 3:49 am

    I’ve been quietly following your blog for some time as so much of your story resonates with me. I have been hoping your therapist would change and see the error of her ways but it is clear now she needs to do her own work. It makes me so angry the way she has dealt with things. So so wrong and retraumatizing for you. You are so strong to walk away and I really admire your strength. This is a big loss and right now is the hardest part. Your new T and Craniosacral T sound like they will be a great support.

    It’s not the same situation I know but it somewhat reminds me of a recent ex-boyfriend I was with in high school for the next 15 years. We broke up 2 years ago. We had so much love between us for so long but in the end, we grew up, grew apart we were no longer compatible. We both agreed to the split and I had hoped we could end somewhat amicably but in the end, he just became so cold and emotionless. It was like he switched off his feelings and emotions and none of the past 15 years meant anything to him. It felt almost cruel and it baffled me. Breaking up after 15 years together was so painful in itself but it was his lack of emotion about the whole thing that was the hardest part. It was as if the1 5 years accounted for nothing. Now I tell myself it was his way of coping with the loss. Not making excuses as still hurts and was horrendous but what I mean is maybe the connection when you did feel it wasn’t all fake. She is clearly not equipped to be working in this type of therapy and you are making the right decision by leaving. Wishing you all the best with this new T.

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 6, 2020 / 8:58 am

      Thank you Chloe. Lovely that you’ve come out the woodwork. This has been utterly horrendous and I can see exactly how this relates to a long term relationship like you had with your boyfriend. People do change and move in different directions. It’s so sad when things get cold 🥶. I think Em really shouldn’t be working with cptsd and attachment – she’s even more avoiding than I am! 🙁

      Like

  7. pocketcanadian February 6, 2020 / 4:28 am

    I am having so much trouble finding words. You are far braver than I am, to see her that last time, knowing it would likely be terrible. Nothing like your longtime t completely tuned out to activate all of those mean, punishing messages from long ago. I’m just really sorry, rbcg. I can identify so much with what you wrote here, and I’m so sorry that you know it too. Sending care…

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 6, 2020 / 8:55 am

      Thank you so much. I’m hanging on by a thread. It really has been such a disappointing thing to happen. It’s a lesson in trusting my gut and not being overcome by young parts. I should have left two years ago after Christmas rupture but I’m so conditioned to think it’s all me that I kept trying. Ugh. X

      Like

  8. Lucy King February 6, 2020 / 9:36 am

    I’m so sorry. You really deserved so much better. Reading this made my heart hurt for you and also made me question Em’s mental state. Her not being able to look at you sounds like a shame response (though that may not be how it was when you were int he room with her). It just sounds like she knows she failed. She knows it was her lack and she didn’t have whatever it takes to own that and help you work to a healing close at the very least. She’s been completely inept and has done the one thing that all in the helping profession fear the most – she’s caused harm. Massive harm. None of this was your fault, it’s all her. I’m so glad you’ve got other examples of kind hearted, strong, daring women around you to show you that you are absolutely worthy of life and care. I know you won’t be thinking of this just now but Em really should be held accountable for what she’s done to you. And imagining her doing the same to more people… perhaps younger clients closer to the edge… wow. She really needs to be removed from the field.

    Anyway… thank goodness for this wealth of inner strength you have, for K and Anita and all your friends and all of us. As for Em, I don’t know how she sleeps at night! Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 6, 2020 / 9:32 pm

      Ah L… it has been absolutely horrific. I can’t even really fully capture in words how heartbreaking it’s been. I’m thoroughly exhausted by what’s happened but also cannot believe this situation and that I’ll never see her again. She has done harm. So much harm. She knows all my history and issues and to drop me from a great height with no safety net is terrible. She knows I have a history of self harm and a pretty active eating disorder and yet hasn’t asked me if I’d like a referral or how I’m keeping myself safe knowing this has triggered my huge issues. I’m only really realising now how unethical she has been. You just don’t treat cptsd like this🙁. I’ll write more about the being held accountable stuff when I get a minute. I’m so glad I had the foresight to get Anita in the mix before it went totally belly up and K has literally saved my young parts this last few weeks. Em has no idea I’ve got these supports – for all she knows or cares I’m sobbing my heart out without support. I’m so sad. Thank you for your understanding and care xxx

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lucy King February 6, 2020 / 9:55 pm

        It is terrifying. You’re right, there just aren’t the words. It’s astounding that she’s not for a second stopped and attempted to check on your safety. I’m very glad you have K and Anita. 💕💕💕

        Like

  9. behindapaintedsmile30 February 6, 2020 / 12:15 pm

    I’m sorry that Em was so cold. I do think Em perhaps hoped she could help you without giving you what you need, but she let it go too far. I don’t think there would have been an easy way to end this relationship because having a therapist say that they don’t think they can help you would still feel rejecting.
    It’s so good that K has been there for you. Anita sounds great and I’ll be interested to see what your sessions have been like. I’m just sorry that it has been such a shit storm and there are things that Em could have done to prevent that. I hope that time makes things easier and the younger parts will get some nurture and care to learn that there are safe people out there. Sending love xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 6, 2020 / 9:51 pm

      Thanks Hun. Yeah. It’s really sad that it’s got to this stage. I think Em really believes her strategies work – and maybe they do- but not for developmental trauma and attachment issues. Being so withholding and distant is retraumatising. I think she didn’t set out to hurt me and probably didn’t want to feed the narrative of rejection and abandonment so kept trying, hoping that what she did would be enough – but because she’s so rigid it steadily crept to the point where she couldn’t help, I was getting more and more upset and we created the perfect storm. I am so upset. I feel like I’ve been completely abandoned. 🙁 I’m swimming Anita tomorrow x

      Like

  10. CC February 8, 2020 / 2:42 am

    I am so impressed that you went and faced Em and stayed fully present even with all the pain you were feeling. I can imagine that the memory of this session will elicit pain and grief for a long time, but I hope that at some point, you will also feel pride for yourself for having done it and having concluded this relationship with nothing to blame yourself for.
    As for Em, there may (or may not) be an explanation for her behavior, but there’s absolutely no excuse. Termination is one thing, but terminating like she has done is unacceptable from a professional, ethical and simply human perspective. That’s probably hard to reconcile with the picture of her you had been building over time as well as the hope you had invested in the relationship, and the discrepancy would be so confusing and disorienting. I’m glad you have steadfast support from Anita and K while you sort through it all. One day (hour/minute/second) at a time. You are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum July 5, 2020 / 9:30 am

      CC I am so sorry I didn’t acknowledge this message. I don’t know how I missed it. Thank you for your understanding and validation. The fact that I have seen this message now, going back over the blog, probably shows I am emotionally self-harming….like why go back and relive the bloody hideous episode! Ugh. Hope you are ok x

      Like

  11. Harriet February 8, 2020 / 11:37 am

    Wow, this T needs to be reported I am so pleased you have other support around you but what if you didn’t. People like this should not be able to practice. I have a psychoanalyst and she doesn’t behave like this so I don’t think she can hide behind theory here.
    If you have the transcripts of the last few sessions then send it in to her supervising body and let them have a look. As for paying to read an email well that is disgraceful if you don’t want to work outside of sessions than don’t become a therapist.
    Keeps going you are doing amazing xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 8, 2020 / 1:21 pm

      Thanks Harriet. I definitely think I have recordings for the last two years so fools easy transcribe the last couple of months … I just think I need a bit of space and time to grieve the loss then I’ll work out how to proceed. It is sad that it’s come to this. Thanks for your support. Thankfully my new T is completely different- it’s so alien to have some warmth!!

      Like

  12. lavenderandlevity February 9, 2020 / 2:25 pm

    Hugs. Have you ever done any work on inner safe spaces for young parts? It’s…kind of hard to explain, especially if your therapist doesn’t even get parts. There is a book called Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation that teaches a lit of techniques and might be good for stabilization for your young parts. It’s written in a way that anyone with a diagnosis of C-PTSD up through DID can kind of relate, which is nice. Maybe something to check out and talk to Anita about because it gives some concrete techniques that Em sounds like she was both unwilling and incompetent to learn about in parts work, so you might not know them. As for Em herself…well, I think my thoughts about her from your last post remain the same. So, just pretend I wrote the same exact comments – but now with a few extra swear words for good measure!

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 12, 2020 / 2:27 pm

      Yes! I have the book ‘treating trauma related dissociation’ and found it useful. I read a lot!! I wish it was as simple as learning cognitively what is wrong and needs to happen. I try and do stuff to make safe spaces for the little ones inside but because I am always so dysregulated with Em it was too hard. When I’m more in a window of tolerance things feel more possible. It’s still really bloody hard this end. I so don’t want this to have happened and desperately want to fix it with Em. I know that’s impossible but it’s agony. Sorry it took a while to reply to your comment. I’ve been in survival x

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Q February 11, 2020 / 11:46 pm

    I am appalled that Em could end things in this way. I mean, any ending would be painful and hard, but it’s almost like she is choosing to make it worse.

    For example, what’s with the “tick” metaphor? How can she consider that an appropriate and professional thing to say? It’s so hurtful.

    And she KNOWS you, ffs. She knows how all of this exactly plays into your fears and repeats past experiences. Knowing that, a truly professional person who had to end the relationship for some reason would still work to ensure you have appropriate alternative supports. She would give you positive messages to carry with you out of this relationship. She would consider what you might need so this wouldn’t be a repeat of past pain, and she would help to create that for you.

    But she didn’t do any of that. Instead, she seems to have given in to her own freak-out and completely forgotten about what she owes you.

    I agree with Lucy’s comments above, that the lack of eye contact comes from her own discomfort and sense of failure and shame.

    Whatever. She did this very badly, in a very clumsy and hurtful fashion. I am so sorry that you had to experience that. You deserve better.

    I hope in the midst of all your understandable grief you can spare a moment to tenderly tell the little ones that they deserve attention, patience, steadiness, and love. That you are going to do your best to find it for them, from K, from Anita, from other friends, from a variety of sources. There is nothing wrong with them. There is nothing wrong with you. You are beautiful and important and so deserving of love. xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 12, 2020 / 2:35 pm

      Oh Q! I can’t even believe this has happened. I’m utterly devastated. I keep wondering what I could have done differently but I couldn’t keep sacrificing my needs and throwing the young parts under the bus week in week out.

      I can tolerate a lot but her not helping prepare for Xmas break, leaving me struggling over the holiday, and then rejecting my gift at Christmas in the first session back …and then calling me adhesive and like a tick … I just couldn’t do it anymore. It all came together in a perfect storm. She told me to let her in and bring the feelings – I did that when I gave her my notebooks and email and she backed away.

      I’m beating myself up though and maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m ‘sensitive and defensive’ like she says and should have been able to see the good things we have done and built together- although I’ll be honest and say we felt like strangers in the last session.

      I want to reach out to her and ask to try again but I know that she won’t respond or will refuse. It’s absolute agony and has totally confirmed the narrative I’ve tried so hard to work against. My young parts are in chaos…and she’s just left me. Surely there should have been a safety check and an offer of an onward referral…

      Thank you for being so kind. Xx

      Like

      • Q February 12, 2020 / 5:59 pm

        Oh, dear one, it’s so, so hard! Please try to avoid asking yourself what you might have done differently. Everything you did was fine. You were working hard to heal in the best way you knew how. You were putting in so much effort in good faith. It is NOT your fault if Em felt overwhelmed for whatever reason. It’s her responsibility to deal with countertransference, and she didn’t, or couldn’t. One hundred percent not your fault.

        It doesn’t matter if you are sensitive or defensive or even “needy,” though that word has gotten a bad rap. Of course you are sensitive after the way you grew up. Of course you have developed defenses to protect yourself. Of course you have big unmet emotional needs. That’s why we go to therapy! It’s normal and okay!

        Please, please tell yourself that over and over: “I am okay and acceptable and lovable as I am.” Tell your young parts that it’s okay to yearn and need the way they do. It’s entirely true. If you aren’t sure you can say it and believe it, then say, “I am learning to believe that I am acceptable and lovable as I am,” or even “I want to learn to believe that I am acceptable and lovable as I am.” Whatever you can say that is affirming and true, say it to yourself a thousand times a day. Your suffering parts need something to counterbalance the old story that says they are not enough.

        I’m really, really sorry about your suffering. I know it will pass, in time, but I also know it is agonizing while it lasts, and I wish I had a way to alleviate some of that for you

        Sending many heartfelt hugs! – Q

        Liked by 1 person

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 15, 2020 / 9:35 am

        Thank you for being so understanding Q. This has completely knocked me for six and my whole system is in chaos. It’s really unsettled me and I feel so anxious and like everything is wrong. I can feel myself shutting down in other close relationships because I don’t want to be seen and potentially ‘left’. I know this isn’t healthy but it’s protective in some way. I’m just very lucky I sensed this coming and had already put feelers out with Anita. She’s very validating and solid. I feel as safe as I think is possible at the moment with her. It’s just sooooo much to sort through now… I was trying so hard to rewrite the narrative and Em has just gone over it in sharpie pen! Thank you for your support. It means a lot x

        Liked by 1 person

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