Abandonment, rejection, fear, longing, anger, sadness. Six emotions that are burning through my blood this week.
Therapy with T is feeling really tough right now. For the last few weeks, although it’s been brewing for longer than that, my attachment needs are uncontainable and overwhelming. I need her, all the time. It’s excruiatingly painful, because it brings with it fear of her leaving, anger at myself for feeling this way, grief that she can never be who I need, and yet more anger at her for letting me down.
She cannot possibly keep up with what I need, because my need for her is insatiable. We can speak, and within seconds of her hanging up, I need her again with such intensity that it takes my breath away. I can express my feelings in bite-sized texts, and she can reply, but the momentary relief, the release of tension, is only a bright flash of light on my darkest of days – the clouds cover over again almost instantly. We finish our session at 7.30, I drive home for an hour and by 8.30, I can be sobbing for her because it is so, so long until I can sit in her safety again. In the last few weeks, our contact between sessions has been far too much – I absolutely adore it, and need it, but I knew it was too much, and yet couldn’t stop because I need her. I need her with my whole heart.
One day this week, I had a training session at work and it was intensely stressful. I had pre-planned for this, mentioned it to T, though she couldn’t do a session that night. I am sure that we agreed to speak for 20mins that evening, on the phone, to try and prevent a crisis. I survived the training by counting down the hours until I could speak to her… then I texted her to say how tough it was (admittedly not asking to speak, because I thought we’d agreed it)…. and her text back told me we’d talk about it tomorrow. I absolutely flipped, felt anger at her in a way I never have before, and it made the drama of the day ten times worse.
Thing is, it wasn’t her fault. She didn’t think we had agreed in a set-in-stone way. She also couldn’t be a mindreader – I didn’t explicitly ask to speak to her, nor tell her how panicked I was, nor how much I needed to hear the softness of her voice to throw a blanket over the jagged, violent edges of memories, poking me from the life from before. I didn’t tell her, and she didn’t save me. On that night, I couldn’t have hated her more.
I knew that in our session this week we needed to set boundaries. We talked, a lot, but I don’t remember too much of it because I was so blinded by the ripping, stabbing and twisting going on inside my heart. Our boundaries seem fair – one session in person a week, one by phone (a half session). I can email whenever I want in between – but she won’t ever, ever respond. She will read them, and we can talk in our next session, but she will never respond. I have absolutely no idea how I am going to afford this, because realistically I cannot, but I also have very little choice as I cannot cope without her. I am back to being ‘just a client’, back to being a scheduled inconvenience, back to being one of many. She agreed that this is a good idea, that the boundaries will be clearer so I will feel more secure. I think she’s probably right, but since our session I could not feel more rejected, more abandoned, more unloved.
Our session was also tough because, well, here I am again. Here I am, loving someone who cannot love me back. Here I am, scared and so alone, and watching the person who I thought could save me, backing away. Here I am, watching the blood pour from my skin and hating myself for feeling this way. I repeat this same, stupid cycle over and over and over, watching different people love me, discover me, despair of me, become disgusted with me, and leave me. I’m here again, questioning whether I will ever get over my attachment issues, whether I’ll ever find someone who will care about me, whether I am ever going to heal. I am utterly terrified that I will feel this way forever.
We talked about this worry I have, that this pain will be endless and unrelenting. I cannot bear to picture my whole, entire life being this way. I can’t bear it. I can’t. I have to believe that healing is possible, but I am not sure that I do. I can’t see any change, any improvement, any way to recover. I was so certain for a time, that T would save me; so confident that she could rewrite my life, stick all my broken pieces back together with her care, protection and warmth. I was so certain, and so when she said “I can’t save you”, I think part of me died.
She went on to tell me that her role has always been to walk alongside me, it has never been to save me. I feel like maybe I forgot that, somewhere along our walk, because in my mind and my dreams it is her; she rescues me from their hands, she is pulling them off me, she is the person cleaning my wounds and wiping their mess from my face and my hair. It is her, but she says it is not. How can that be?
How can I have fallen for someone so intensely, yet again? Yet another person who can not be.
We talked last night, and I didn’t want to tell her any of this because I wanted to hear the melody in her voice which she seems to lose when I am sad. Connecting did help, but I am still desperate for her today. We will carry on, she has some stuff for me to read on self harm, I need to spend time planning with her about work, and maybe this will pass. But I feel that I am grieving for us, and grieving for before. I am grieving for the little girl who has yet again lost an adult she begged and prayed would save her. She is alone, again. Just like always.
I went for a massage today, I thought it might be a positive way of reconnecting with my body, something I have totally lost since my eating disorder took control. I picked the lady (S) really carefully, because I knew I needed to work with someone who ‘got it’. S was lovely and, though it was completely weird, I enjoyed feeling again. My poor body is absolutely knackered from my job, plus I am holding so much emotion internally right now, so it felt ok, nice maybe, to be allowing a way out for some of that tension. When I arrived I felt really buzzy inside, and when I left my demons felt much calmer. I did freak out at the end, my internal body clock is so set to 1hr appointment times, I knew it was coming and I knew she was going to let go and I just couldn’t cope anymore. The most overwhelming white noise of panic rushed straight through me, I lost all sensation in my fingers and toes, I sat upright straight away. We were about to disconnect and the panic was absolutely excruciating. The rejection, or maybe the abandonment, was so painful it had a colour and a texture and a taste, and suddenly I could genuinely experience what it is that is happening to me right now, how the emotions from before, of rejection and abandonment and lost love and broken trust, how they’re inside and they’re so fucking painful. S was sweet and sat by my feet quietly until I peeled myself off the ceiling. It felt safer to have ripped myself away from her, rather than feel her leave me again. I’m not sure which pain would have been worse.
I am not sure where I go from here, and that isn’t a very cheerful way to end a post, but it is the true. I’ve started reading The Alchemist, because T recommended it. It isn’t really my kind of book just yet, it’s a bit washy, but one of the repeated choruses throughout is “when you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it”. Please, universe, conspire; but better yet, find me a personal calling, because I fear that mine got lost, damaged or destroyed on someone’s putrid, plastic sheeted bed, many years ago.
When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide