Anyone Want To Skip To 2022?

Honestly, it feels like a lifetime since I was last here having a meltdown and lamenting how hard things felt. If only I had known then what it was going to be like now, I don’t think I’d have moaned quite so much! I mean it really felt awful when I wrote my last post – stuck in the horrible limbo that happens each year between Christmas and the return to work in early January – but at least I could have my mental health crisis in relative peace!

Things felt especially bad this year with my annual breakdown. It’s a year since all the shit really started falling apart with Em and I couldn’t help think about it and turn it over and over wondering if I could have done anything differently. I couldn’t. And things are better with Anita than they ever were with Em, but there is still a profound sense of loss as well as all the feelings of rejection and abandonment around how things went down last year.

There’s still a lot to process and try and heal where that’s concerned, but 2020 didn’t really allowed a great deal of space for that. I mean Anita has held the space, but other stuff has got in the way. I mean who would have imagined we’d have been desperately surviving a pandemic in 2020 (and now 2021)? COVID and the associated lockdowns have caused so many disruptions to therapy (and we all know how shit I am with change – and working remotely!) and so a lot of the time I’ve actually been trying to work through the ‘here and now’ issues that have been brought up with A, not stuff that happened last January (although I more than appreciate that my reactions and responses to A have been informed by what’s gone on with Em…and my bloody mother!). 

Working online for half the year hasn’t exactly been ideal. However, bit by bit Anita and I have built a good, strong therapeutic alliance. I’m staggered, really. I’ve had my fair share of tears and tantrums, been needy, been avoidant and felt and expressed all the feelings and throughout Anita has remained solid and strong. I think she saw parts of me that would have otherwise taken a really long time to surface in the room when we couldn’t do face-to-face in November. I was so triggered by the remote sessions and it gave us both a really clear understanding of exactly where my sore points are. I knew already, but being safe to express how I really felt and not be told I was too much or ‘like a tick’ was huge for me.

Throughout all the upheaval I have felt Anita to be on my side, like she genuinely wants to help me and cares. I also feel like the power dynamic is more in my favour than it ever was with Em -I felt so powerless in that relationship. I trust Anita with all the parts of me. I feel safe with her and that’s really testament to how she is as a therapist – especially given how hard I find it to trust in relationships.

When I am drowning in shame and pickled in embarrassment, she always normalises my responses in relation to the level of trauma I have experienced. When I am mortified about how I have reacted or behaved she tells me it’s ok and that it’s to be expected. As I said recently, she’s like a bucket of soapy shame remover and that’s so accurate. I had a horrific session this week, the critic totally derailed me but Anita was steady, and calm, and found a way through to me and I left feeling connected. I never leave the room feeling abandoned or dissociated. I know I shouldn’t think that that is something unusual or noteworthy, but it really is after all the years with Em.

Anyway, get to the frigging point RB…!

Last time I wrote here, I was winding myself up anticipating the government announcing a lockdown and freaking out at the prospect of more online therapy. After how bad it was in November, I just really, really didn’t want to have to do it again – especially as I knew that another lockdown would be harder this time around because I felt it was inevitable that schools would close and I would be back trying to manage home-schooling for my primary aged kids as well as still working my job teaching online. I certainly didn’t relish that proposition, but the main thing that was upsetting me was knowing if my kids were home from school then I would have to wave goodbye to face-to-face sessions as I have no childcare. Ugh. Part of me hoped that Anita would go and bubble with her partner again to take the decision out my hands.

I managed to go to my session on Monday 4th January because my wife had already booked annual leave as I had therapy and the kids weren’t due back in school until the Tuesday. To be honest I can’t tell you much about it because it feels like so much has gone on since then. I know that it was nice to see Anita and we reconnected. It was so lovely to have a proper cuddle and to be able to talk about how fucking hard it had been over the Christmas break but other than that, I can recall nothing about the content of the session.

Obviously, at that point the lockdown hadn’t been announced yet and I left the session feeling ok but also slightly anxious that that may be our last session if I was correct in my assumptions. There were rumblings on social media when I got home that something was going to be said that evening by the prime minister.  I sent Anita a text:

‘Forewarning… if we go into a proper lockdown from tomorrow – or minimally schools close – after Boris announces whatever the fuck he’s going to say tonight at 8pm, I’m actually going to have a breakdown. You can join my club if you like!

Roll on Monday evening and BoJo confirmed my fears, yep, it’s time to lockdown. My heart sank. I was instantly all over the shop, internally, even though I had known it was coming.

The next day A replied to my text with, ‘Yes it’s not going to be easy. I guess we need to go back to WhatsApp’ ended with a crying face emoji.

To be honest that really didn’t cut it. I mean, sure, ok, I get it but NOOOOO. Having sessions whipped away again like that just felt sooooo bad. I would really have liked to have talked to her to discuss it and settle the chaos that was going on inside. I get that she must have also been taken by surprise and would have had to have cancelled or rescheduled all her clients for the week but I just needed a bit more than that in her text – some reassurance, I dunno.

I responded by telling her that I felt sick and just wanted to cry because I couldn’t believe we were in this position again.

She sent me a cute gif with a hug but, again, it just didn’t cut it because by now my system was having a complete meltdown. Things escalated internally as the day went on as the reality of what this lockdown meant hit home. I asked A is we could speak and have a check-in before our Friday session and I think this is where she got the memo and recognised that I was flailing like a fish out of water.

She offered me a time the next day and I took it. When we got online, I genuinely had only intended to talk for ten minutes and then go… somehow, we ended up at an hour! I literally let it all out in the biggest way. It was like the floodgates opened. The Christmas break and this latest disruption had seen me really fall into the depths of the doom. The stuff around eating (or not!) had reawakened, and even thoughts of self-harm were doing some serious time in my head. It wasn’t good.

I told A that I felt like an unset jelly that had been dropped on the floor and was just spilling out everywhere and that I felt enormous amounts of shame for reacting so strongly to this lockdown. Ok, not the lockdown, but the separation. My young parts just couldn’t fucking cope. I asked her when she was going away, assuming that’s what she was doing this time around, and she said she’d definitely be here until the weekend and told me that if I wanted, I could see her face-to-face on the Thursday or the Friday if I could get childcare.

Internally, there was a lot of relief when she said this, but also a dread. My wife is flat-out at the moment – you only need to look at the news to see what a state the health and social care sector is in right now – 14 hour days are the norm for her right now (in fact looking at the clock she’s still not home and left 15 hours ago) and then endless calls to mobile when she’s home. There was no way she could take time off for me to go to therapy – and I didn’t want to have to explain that despite seeing Anita on Monday, and having spoken to her on Wednesday, that I now needed ANOTHER session on Friday because I wasn’t coping.

I have spoked a lot to a friend of mine that lives a few doors down about what’s been going on for me this year. After the shit with Em I just couldn’t cope on my own and needed support from friends. Our children are friends and we’ve basically dragged each other through this year by meeting at the park in a socially distanced way and letting the kids let off steam. I’d spoken to her just before lockdown and told her how precarious it was feeling. She text me after my session to see how I was and I told her what had happened. When I told her what Anita had said she immediately said that she was happy to form a childcare bubble with me if it would help me to access the support I needed.

I tell you what, not all superheroes wear capes! Thank god for friends.

So, on Friday I went to see Anita. It felt bittersweet. I so needed to see her to work out a plan for getting through the next few months but was painfully aware of how this was going to be the last session for a while. I sat there not really knowing what to say. How many ways are there of saying the same thing – ‘I really struggle when you aren’t here and my young parts are giving me hell! I literally cannot do this again. It nearly killed me last time!’…

Imagine my surprise when Anita told me that having spoken with her partner, that this time they were planning to stay here. She said she may need to go to their other place to check on the house every now and then just to check pipes etc but the plan was to be here most of the time and so, therefore, I could have my face-to-face sessions if I wanted them because she knows how I need them and that we could find a way to make it work.

Honestly, I could have cried.

She said she understood that I wouldn’t be able to make daytime sessions and that two sessions a week would probably be tricky for me given how much I work, but she wondered if we might do a longer session one night a week and then have one online to keep touching base? I mentally scanned my timetable. I work every evening of the week but knew that I could move an evening session or two to during the day, during lockdown, as my students are not in school. I just needed to run it by my wife and see if she could commit to being home from work by 6pm one night a week.

I told Anita that this would be amazing. I felt the tension I was holding in my body lessen and promptly burst into tears. The relief was palpable. Anita came and sat beside me and I cuddled into her and cried and shook for ages. My system finally settled after about twenty minutes as I tuned into her heartbeat and her breathing and I could feel myself almost drifting off to sleep. The week leading into this session had been absolutely exhausting. I was emotionally done in.

My wife agreed that she could get home on a Tuesday night and I went ahead and arranged my sessions with A. We booked in 90-minute sessions for these times…although next week I can’t go Tuesday evening but will go during the day on Friday as my wife is home. It makes an impossibly long stint between sessions, though.

I even struggled on Monday not having my regular session this week. I just think that there has been so much upheaval that my system is off its tits. I’ve been so unsettled and jumpy and generally just struggling to get through. It’s been absolutely manically busy trying to teach my children and fit in work. I was actually a couple of minutes late to two of my own lessons last week (shudder) because I was caught trying to sort out technical issues on my kids’ devices trying to access live lessons on Microsoft Teams. It’s felt relentless and stressful and I just can’t sustain it for very much longer. The nightmares started up last night so I know I am dangerous ground.

Anyway, I was so so so relieved to be able to go and see Anita on Tuesday evening. But FFS…parts of me had other ideas about it when we got there. It was so dark, and I was so tired driving that when I arrived, I was just flaked out. The room felt really bright/light and A made the fatal error of sitting in her chair. It was the last thing I needed. Everything instantly felt wrong. I had so hoped to just be able to go, relax, and talk about the stuff that was bothering me – the Em stuff…and the fact that it was a year since Anita and I had met, the relief I felt about being able to see her in person…but no…ugh!

The critic stepped up really quickly, instead. That hasn’t happened in ages. My ‘false adult’ talked about shit that had gone on in the week – filler – for 30 minutes, all the while hoping that the critical part would move out. But it didn’t. It had all the vulnerable parts locked down. From then on it just all started falling apart inside. I couldn’t connect at all because the critic was so on her game.

Anita was amazing, so calm and kind. She asked me if I wanted her to come and sit with me and I refused. Of course I wanted her to sit beside me but how could I admit that? The critic would never allow that need to be shown. The young parts, by now, were absolutely distraught. Anita kept steadily reassuring me and asking what I needed but I couldn’t say. I was so overwhelmed. It was agony. I could see the clock ticking down. I felt awful.

I managed to ask Anita if we could turn the light off and put the little lamp on instead. I felt so exposed under the bright light and so distant. Immediately, things felt a bit better. It felt more intimate and less exposing being in a softly lit room. It was a relief to have a gentle orangey glow rather than the ‘big light’ in the ceiling doing its thing.

Anita told me that she felt like we were a long way apart and asked me if it would be ok, now, if she came closer to me. I barely nodded but at least it wasn’t a flat refusal like earlier. Maybe the critic was backing off a tiny bit? A kept gently talking to me, telling me she was still here, and did I want a hug.

YES…

But the critic said ‘No’.

FOR FUUCKKKK’S SAKE!

I told Anita that I couldn’t feel her and I felt like I wasn’t there either. It was that impossible situation where you are so disconnected from yourself that you cannot connect with others. It’s shit.

Finally, my barriers came down enough that I let out a huge sob and my body convulsed. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. Anita moved over to me instantly and held me for the last ten minutes of the session whilst I sobbed and convulsed in her arms. It was so fucking painful. I needed her, that holding, so much and yet I had deprived myself of it for 80 minutes. WTAF?

I settled just as the session was coming to an end, which is something at least, but what a fucking performance! I left the session feeling so confused and upset with myself. What had just happened? I drove home trying to work it out in my mind and wrote this email to A first thing on Wednesday morning:

Hi A,

I’m trying to work out what happened last night so I can try and put it to one side before the craziness of the day kicks in. I feel really sad about it.

Driving home last night all I could come up with is how when I feel overwhelmed, I disconnect from myself just to survive day-to-day life because it’s too much for me…and that’s how it feels right now. I feel like I am hanging on by my fingertips. When it’s like that I want more than anything to feel safe and to feel connected to you, but my autopilot kicks in and some part of me feels it’s safer to go it alone than let you in or reach out.

In the past when I have felt scared and stressed and anxious there has never been anyone there to help me. No one has seen how hard I struggle – of if they have, they’ve ignored me and left me to manage on my own or shamed me for my need. And my brain hasn’t updated and got the memo that I am not completely on my own now, and that you aren’t going to shame me or reject me. I get that the isolation I feel is created by me, now – not because it’s real anymore but it doesn’t make it feel any less real in the moment.

When I disconnect from myself it’s meant to be protective. I am numbed enough to get through the days. Only I’m not quite cut off because I feel like my senses are being attacked even with my armour on. My nervous system is on alert. I get jumpy and feel unsafe – last night even you speaking sometimes or moving in your chair made me physically jump. It’s nothing you did – you were nothing but gentle and kind but my system is on overdrive. It’s crazy hypervigilant. Everything is heightened – my sense of smell is off the chart at the moment. And I understand that this is a somatic response to feeling threatened (as in life is too hard right now) but it’s hell to be in it. My brain works overtime trying to work out what’s going on and if things are ok – so even something as simple as you sitting in your chair gets filtered through my distorted lens and gets read as ‘she doesn’t want to be near you’.

There is definitely a part that is trying to protect me from being/feeling abandoned. Change and disruption is just about the worst thing for my system (that’s not new news!). Seeing you last night, at night wasn’t all that big of a deal – yes it felt a bit different but it wasn’t that that destabilised me. It was the realisation that, when I stopped and stepped out of my life for a minute that I feel like I am not coping and actually it was going to be ten days until I see you again in person. That feels like a lifetime right when every day is a struggle – especially to the young parts. And I know this is not your doing, this is my life and my commitments getting in the way of things but try explaining that to the young parts that just don’t understand it at all.

I know it’s counterintuitive to stay away, not connect, and not let myself get what I need when you are sitting there in the same room with me, but there’s a part of me that feels as though if I get close to you then it’ll be harder when it’s taken away again and I think this is also part of the hangover from the last lockdown and Christmas break.

You’d think, by now, I would know that this actually doesn’t help at all but it’s not conscious when it’s happening. I am not deliberately putting myself in a prison cell. I want to get out but as I said it feels like I have my hands tied behind my back. I can’t override that part because it’s so powerful. I know you were there, you kept telling me, and yet I can’t hear it when I am like that, I can’t feel it, but even when I do start to hear it, I can’t move towards you because I’m frozen. The only thing that seems to break through that numbness is when you touch me.

I wish it didn’t feel so painful and exposing to say, ‘I feel shit, things are hard, it feels like it’s falling apart inside can you sit next to me and can I just cuddle you tonight to try and make things feel better?’ I get that was what you were trying to tell me I could ask for, but it’s impossible when I feel gagged and bound.

I know that what’s going on now really isn’t helped by the events of this time last year. I feel like my level of need has ramped up again…(how much higher can it get?!) and I really, really don’t want that to show…I mean I know it does…so I am wasting my time…but actually I really, really don’t want you to reach your limit and tell me I am too much and send me away. I can’t get that ‘tick’ comment out my brain and the critical parts has latched onto it.

Anyway, that’s about it.

Speak to you on Friday and thank you for persevering with me xxx

——————————–

And so that’s where we are at. Online session tomorrow and eekkk…I don’t even know where to start!

15 thoughts on “Anyone Want To Skip To 2022?

  1. LovingSummer January 14, 2021 / 10:19 pm

    I cannot tell you how pleased I am for you that you have your one nice long session every week IN PERSON! I know even having one online session must feel one too many, but I really hope that long session will really see you through.

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 15, 2021 / 8:00 am

      Thanks LS. I am glad I have the longer session but it’s also really not enough. I’m trying to be grateful as I know how awful the alternative is, but despite this I feel almost abandoned – it’s the young parts losing it at losing the routine and safety of being there every few days. I have online today but I don’t want to do it. My system is railing against it. I just don’t want to see her and feel like she’s backed away. It’s nuts. But it’s the reality for some poor wounded part inside. It’s another week til we’re face-to-face due to stuff I have this Tuesday coming and it’s just too far away. Man it’s tough. How are you holding up with lockdown. I’m trying to catch up on blogs as I’ve been in a complete crazed hole of busy this last two weeks… hence no writing! Xx

      Like

      • LovingSummer January 15, 2021 / 8:21 am

        I did wonder where you were, and I’m glad you’re still alive and kicking in your part of the world! I get what you’re saying about the online thing, I really do. Although T and I did some good work online in the first lockdown, it was just not the same experience. I asked T about this last week and he said he felt the same way.

        To me, it’s like going to a theme park and paying the full price ticket, but then finding the best rides are out of order. Feel somehow cheated!

        Liked by 1 person

      • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 15, 2021 / 8:45 am

        I’ve been like a hamster in a wheel. Starting home school at 7:30am and working solidly til midday with my kids before moving into my own lessons – usually finishing by 8 or 9pm. It’s nuts. Online just feels not enough for me. I get stuff said but it’s more filtered through the adult and then it doesn’t get the holding it needs. Young parts just don’t get seen…. and we all know that’s where my work is. I’m terrified of angry teen pitching up again after what happened last lockdown. I can’t bear the stress!! 😅 it’s definitely like the theme park analogy!

        Like

      • LovingSummer January 15, 2021 / 8:47 am

        Yeah, I think we’ll all be glad this is over, therapist and client alike!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. easetheride January 15, 2021 / 12:48 am

    I agree with LS, face-to-face therapy is just so much better and I’m glad you’re able to get that from A. Keep being patient with yourself as far as the protective instinct. You need to recognize how much growth is already there! And there’s more to come, don’t pressure it! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 15, 2021 / 8:03 am

      Yeah. I know you’re right. I need to listen to what that part was trying to tell me on Tuesday. It’s not that they think A is unsafe it’s more needing to protect because she won’t be there. It’s like those last sessions before breaks where it can all go to shit! I guess we’ll see how it goes today. It would have helped if she’d have acknowledged my email 😞 now I’m stressed that she is backing off. Fuck!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. mialeanne January 15, 2021 / 11:16 am

    Sending you love, you are in my thoughts. I am so glad that you’re able to keep seeing A, she sounds like such a stabilising and loving force of energy for you. Try and remember you need to rest too! Xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 15, 2021 / 2:44 pm

      Thanks darling. I’m trying. Everything is so hard right now. Online is just crap. We’re skint. And therapy costs are adding to my stresses so I’m living my best life right now. How are you holding up? X

      Like

  4. Claire Louise January 15, 2021 / 5:02 pm

    I have been thinking about you and how your were, and when you didn’t post I wondered if you had to go back online and you were struggling. I guess I was half right! I’m hoping to get back to in person in a couple of weeks (my T still offered them but I was too anxious about virus levels and getting the bus). We had a rupture, and I’ve not really got into talking about it with her (doing my usual fawn and gloss over) and now I’m panicking about not getting a reply to an email that I probably sent too late at night, so I’m thinking I’m in trouble.
    I hope you can get some rest x

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum January 15, 2021 / 7:00 pm

      Hi ya. Sorry to hear about your rupture. I think it’s probably rupture city in therapy across the world at the moment…it’s hard going just getting through! Sending hugs. I’ve just cancelled my Monday session after today’s online. We’re skint and I cannot afford to spend money we don’t have on getting triggered! 🙂 xx

      Like

      • Claire Louise January 17, 2021 / 12:05 pm

        That sounds tough, sensible and distressing all at once! I hope this lockdown doesn’t last too long x

        Liked by 1 person

  5. someexpressiveplot February 25, 2021 / 1:57 pm

    Hello,

    Firstly just wanted to thank your candid writing. I have been in therapy for 18 months and I have realised so much about my own therapy through your writing. But more importantly, it’s made me feel less alone during this isolating period. I have similar fears around abandonment and rejection so much so that I have been protecting myself and my therapist from real, deep, intimate feelings.. therefore preventing meaningful connection and the opportunity for healing. I resent myself for rarely ever being able to enter into relationship with her, for never really ‘arriving’. I’m stuck in the child state of subjating parts of self in order to survive, leaving a whole host of unmet needs. I’ll reject her humaness (there is lots of it) and crave it (painfully, really painfully) all at the same time. Reading about your positive experience of a tangible therapist both inside and outside the therapy room is giving me hope. My therapist has recently said she’s willing to “off set” the denied, inaccessible and painful experiences of other human beings in my past that carry through to haunt me in the present. But I don’t know what that looks like and I’m scared that 1. She won’t know how to navigate it or worse, won’t want to navigate this. Won’t want to enter something more intimate. Because I do sense there is a love between us and I sense she might be cautious of it just as much as I am. 2. Boundary holding will be extremely difficult for both of us (I find it difficult as it is). 3. There’s a fear around my sexuality/homophobia and I’m afraid she’ll be secretly disgusted by this need for intimacy. She’s accepting of my sexuality but I have no idea how she’d feel being on the receiving end of such passionate, sometimes sexual feelings, from one woman to another.

    I’m really beginning to realise that therapy sessions are only reinforcing my self-containment, loneliness, isolation and my needs are becoming more and more unmet. That can’t go on. Yet somehow, somewhere along the way, I have accepted this as a part of therapy. I just really want her to not be so tantalising. After every single session, I have to soothe a younger me that knows she won’t be held, fully, completely in a way I so desperately need. Is that ever possible? How can the relationship be healing without it? Should I just accept that this is a part of therapy, this painful boundary, keep going and keep mourning?

    Thank you for providing a space for me to post this comment. It’s good to get it out.. after about a year!

    Like

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum February 26, 2021 / 7:49 am

      Ah, hi there! Thank you for commenting. I’m so glad my blog has helped you a bit and made you feel less alone. It certainly has been an odd year but I think the feelings we experience around therapy can be really isolating too. Not many people would talk about this stuff face to face I don’t think – there’s a lot of shame tied up in what are, actually, normal human experiences (especially for those of us that have a trauma history!).

      It sounds like you are very aware of your process and I understand how shit it feels when you can’t connect and let the depth of your feelings be expressed when there are parts that really need that. I guess what I would say is that trust your process and really think about why parts of you are scared -you mentioned fear of abandonment an rejection….and by the sounds of it, fear of being too much. You say that you think you’re T will struggle with boundary holding if you really ask for what you need or allow her in to try and offset the past. Why do you think this?

      I totally understand the fear around you T being disgusted by the need for intimacy and linking that with your sexuality. I realised that as much as I am an out lesbian and have been for twenty years, there is still some internalised homophobia that is held by my 17 year old part. That part was rejected by a lot of people and so has been wary. And as for the erotic transference I have thought quite a lot about this over the years and I think, for me at least, if that ever creeps in it’s just another way that we seek intimacy. As a child it’s about proximity, holding, and cuddles and yet the adult lens moves this into sexual intimacy. It’s just another way of wanting to be held and known I think. There’s no shame in it (although lots of shame!!).

      Anyway, I hope that you can keep moving forward with your T. I know it’s scary to ask for what you need but it sounds to me like she is waiting patiently for you to come to her. Have you had conversations about what is and isn’t possible in the therapy so you know where the boundaries lie?

      Take good care and my email is open if you want to discuss things ever xx rubberbandsandchewinggum@gmail.com

      Like

  6. someexpressiveplot February 26, 2021 / 12:37 pm

    Thank you so much for your generous reply. And totally agree about these therapy experiences rarely being talked about. Shame is a big silencer and I’m often victim to it (though trying not to be).

    Yes – it feels like I’m deactivated, tied up somewhere and subsequentially, without even doing anything, have made a victim of myself even though I have a gentle, patient and safe person beside me. Very frustrating! Thank you for asking me to probe a little deeper into why I’m scared. I do realise that the fear about boundary holding is transference based. Past attempts at intimacy have often resulted in dismissal, rejection and shame. Got to trust she’s not going to do any of that. But also there’s a fear she won’t.. that she’ll break that pattern. She may become extremely important to me then, too important… for showing me that. When you wrote “if I get close to you then it’ll be harder when it’s taken away again”, that made so much sense to me.

    Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone with the internalised homophobia. It does rear its head sometimes though I am so proud and conifident in my sexuality. And for sure, that’s a great description of erotic transference, one that shouldn’t really be rooted in shame!

    I think I’m just so stuck on how to fully admit to my needs without fear. How to actually begin to say them explicity because I’m quite confident she knows implicity. I need a way in, I suppose. I know she is waiting patiently for me to come to her, as you beautifully observed. I think more conversation about boundaries may be a good idea.

    Thank you again for exploring this a bit with me and for sharing your email. Would love to talk more and hopefully return some kindness and recognition to you. Take care x

    Like

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