‘I love you too’

After promptly diving down into the black hole of shame on Friday and then young parts suffering with all the attachment stuff and fear of being left over the weekend, I decided to send my blog post about expressing loving feelings and being the Queen of Avoidance to Anita shortly after I’d written it on Sunday.

I figured I had nothing to lose, really, because whilst parts of me were in a tail spin about being so vulnerable and worrying massively about being rejected for being ‘too much’, there were other parts who know that A and I can work through whatever I bring to her. Enough of me trusts her for me to be able to tell her I am struggling and knows that she won’t shame me for my feelings. And because it’s ok for me to communicate with her outside session, and she’s been happy read my blog posts when I have shared them with her in the past, it seemed silly to continue suffering when actually I could give her the heads up and then we would be on the same page for our session the next day.

I didn’t expect her to read it until Monday or reply but I felt much better for just getting it off my chest. When I am dysregulated, I find expressing how I feel in writing much easier than trying to explain it verbally and Anita really understands this. That’s not to say I don’t talk in the room (I really do!), or that the therapy is taking place outside the room and not in it because I write to her or blog.

A knows there are parts that will take time to trust, need to test her and the relationship (repeatedly) and by allowing me to check in outside those two contact hours a week, those tentative, vulnerable, scared, flighty parts of me are able to do what they need to do, express what they need to, and this has enabled them to make it into the space face to face more often.

I am certain that it is Anita’s flexibility and presence outside the room that has actually allowed me take more risks and do more work in the room. I haven’t developed some unhealthy addiction to her because I check in during the week and she hasn’t bred some terrible dependency because she acknowledges the child parts need something more (which is what Em was certain would happen).

A understands that the attachment happens regardless. If the feelings are there lying dormant then they’ll be ignited in the therapy, but how this is all handled definitely impacts on us as clients. We either feel seen and held or abandoned and rejected…and I know which one is accelerating my path to healing!

I mean it’s not rocket science, relational trauma needs healing in relationship.

I saw this on Carolyn Spring’s Twitter the other day which totally summed it up:

When we are in distress, whether as a baby or as an adult, we want a person, not a technique. Human beings don’t respond to techniques. We respond to feeling seen, and feeling heard. and feeling felt.

And this is where the problems were with Em, a clinical psychologist. She had so many techniques but refused time and again to let herself into the relationship. I’ve never experienced anyone more blank screen in my life. And for those of us with CPTSD that way of interacting is so traumatising. I mean honestly if I could imagine my way out of my trauma with visualisation then I’d have bloody done it!

Anyway…A is not Em. Thank god!

A is brilliant.

Have I said that before?

As I said, I wasn’t expecting a reply to my blog on Sunday and I didn’t feel stressed worrying about a reply/or not getting one because ultimately I knew A would understand, so I was just getting on with things when I got a message later that morning…like the best message. I have literally waited years to be told something like this:

O my goodness. I am not going anywhere. You really aren’t too much. I care about you sooo much and I love you too, in a caring loving way 💜🧡💛. I am aware Em saw the love in a romantic way. I don’t think she got how the love between client and therapist is so different but can definitely be there if the relationship is allowed to grow x

I couldn’t believe me eyes. All the parts inside, even the critic, just melted. I felt so reassured. So accepted. So understood. So cared for. So loved. And that outside communication that some therapists seem so scared of entering into, and A actually being real enough to express love in a clearly boundaried way, well I can tell you, that alone has done more good and been more healing than the entirety of my therapy with Em. My child parts took the risk, expressed vulnerable feelings, and have had them accepted and reciprocated…and that’s therapy gold. And I feel so much more able to bring the really hard stuff to her now, because I believe she’s in it for the long haul with me, and she genuinely cares.

Did I mention that I love my therapist?!

13 thoughts on “‘I love you too’

  1. slantgirl September 23, 2020 / 2:38 pm

    A,MAZ.ING!!!!! I am so glad you took the risk, and were rewarded with abundant love and care! All of you deserves it! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 23, 2020 / 3:00 pm

      I can’t even explain how it felt to receive that. Like obv I’d hoped she felt something positive towards me but after Em I wasn’t expecting anything like this. I feel so much more settled and like I have a safe foundation to do the work from. There IS a relationship not just my hope of one. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 23, 2020 / 3:02 pm

      Yeah, really just lovely isn’t it? She gets it. Isn’t freaked out. And knows it’s not anything other than genuinely warm loving feelings that I have. 😊

      Like

  2. Lucy King September 23, 2020 / 2:55 pm

    Wahhhh she’s fantastic! I love her reply 💕 well done for reaching out to her and taking a leap of faith in hoping, each time, that she will be different! 🙌

    Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 23, 2020 / 3:03 pm

      I know! So so so happy to have her on my team. We’ve got so much work to do, and work to undo! But she’s really been so brilliant for me. And I’m learning to trust it. There’s nothing wrong with my feelings and I am lovable 😊

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lucy King September 24, 2020 / 3:50 pm

        🙌 yas! Nothing wrong with your feelings and you are lovable.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Q September 24, 2020 / 7:19 am

    I love love love her response. I am smiling and feeling so happy on your behalf!

    By the way, the fact that you were able to share your post with her, trusting that you and she would work out any messiness that might develop–that is HUGE. I feel that way now with E, well, most of the time, but it has taken me years. You haven’t known A nearly as long, and you came to her newly re-traumatized. It’s such a testament to the work you and she have done together that you feel so much trust now. xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 24, 2020 / 9:29 am

      It’s such a great response. She just seems to really get it, you know? I feel so much more settled after years of trying to work out what Em felt it’s a relief to have someone who can express feelings. I wish Em could have just been honest and not dragged it out with me for so many years when clearly she actually didn’t like me much at all. I’m glad you’re in a good place with E. We definitely ought to get a prize for how hard we try in therapy! 🤣 take care xxx

      Like

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum September 25, 2020 / 3:00 pm

      Finally! I feel so blessed to have two brilliant therapists on my side now. How are you holding up? Xx

      Like

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