“It’s lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight
And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
Till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone”
T was really human with me yesterday, and we had such a productive session.
I love it when she feels human – when she relaxes from that therapist role and allows herself to be a little more ‘her’. For the last few weeks, she’s felt very professional, very considered – I’ve absolutely needed her to be, I’ve been so poorly and I need her to be a consistent and strong person when I’m low. Her professional hat isn’t a negative – but it is lovely when we can take a break from it. It reminds me that there are days which can be better, which are better, where we’re not constantly fighting fires.
I didn’t have anything I needed to talk about yesterday, which is very unusual! There is a lot going on in my life, but none of the plates I’m spinning felt like it had more importance than the others, which left me a little stuck for words. I filled T in on some of my worries this week, but after a brief check-in, we got a little stuck.
So we talked about the future. I sat cuddled into her sofa whilst she told me the story of how I’ve grown, what growth is still to come, and what the ‘happy ever after’ will look like. I listened as she talked to me about when I won’t need her anymore – lapped up her reassurance that I will be the one to walk away, when I’m ready; she won’t leave me. She told me how she’d begin to feel I was ready when I was in a settled job, a job I’m happy in, with healthy coping strategies, no self harm, no binge/purge/starve, and a more balanced day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month. She said all this like she was so sure this would happen, and they might be the most reassuring words she’s ever said to me.
I shared some of my fears. I’m scared that there will never be a time where the flashbacks don’t scare me and undermine me; she is confident there will be, she is sure there will be a time when I am in control, not my past. I am scared that our ending will be horrid, like it was when I left uni; it will be different this time, I have control this time, she said. I am scared that when we end, she won’t keep in contact, that she’ll vanish from my life, that I’ll lose my safest person, that she’ll forget about me; she reminded me that all this time, I’ve been taking little bits of her and making them part of me, so when I leave, those bits will come too, and I won’t be without them. She reminded me too that I could always come back. She told me she’d never forget me.
We talked a little about how far away this all feels – jokingly we talked about how when I’m 40 I might consider leaving her, but it does terrify me that there will never be a life without therapy. It worries me that I feel I have regressed – I’m back to sucking my thumb, sleeping with toys, clutching a polar bear because they give me a link to her. T works with families involved in adoption, and reminds me at times of worry like this that adopted children often regress when they find a place of safety – because they finally feel safe enough to do all those things they could never do before. In this sense, she said, regression is to be celebrated – it is not a permanent state, but it is something that needs to be gotten through, just this time whilst learning all the healthy, safe things that didn’t happen before.
I am scared that I am so reliant on her to be a substitute mother right now – but that’s ok, apparently. It won’t be this way forever she said.
So yesterday’s therapy lesson was this:
It is not all fixed and perfect, yet. But ‘yet‘ is an important word. It is there to remind us that this is not permanent, but temporary, and I will get there – I’m just not there yet.