You left to have your baby yesterday.
I’ve known this was coming for a while; 20 weeks of knowing and processing but yet sort of ignoring and pretending it wouldn’t happen. But bump grew, and you got sick and healthy and sick again. You’re tired now, exhausted, so you’re leaving with a few weeks to go. I understand.
On Tuesday this week, I sat in your surgery room and sobbed. I felt like we’d been there so many times before; the first time you met me I just needed a contraceptive pill prescription, but your gentle probing about what was going on for me had me opening up to you about the torment inside. Since then, you’ve sat in my car holding my hand and rubbing my back whilst I writhed in emotional discomfort with Little howling and clinging to you after a negative meeting with a psych nurse. You have taken time after our yoga class to hug me and check in with me – both of us in gym kit and sweaty. You’ve sat with me, you’ve spent hours on the phone with me, on so many occasions because I’ve needed you. You have gone above and beyond in every way imaginable, and yesterday it all ended with a letter.
I didn’t write you anything. I tried, sort of, but trying to structure my emotions into logical sentences felt like an impossible task. You’ve always connected with me, known what’s been going on inside even when I have had absolutely no idea. I hope that you knew, yesterday, what my heart was trying to say. We sat together in awkward discomfort; me trying to choke back tears and all of Little’s emotions, you apologising more and more as my emotions rose. It felt cathartic and important to just sit with how painful it was to say goodbye. Thank you for showing me that you were struggling too. It would have been easier for you to hide that away, I guess, be ever the professional – but knowing that you struggled too has helped immensely.
You pulled me into a hug at the end, told me my hair smelled nice, and that’s when I broke down. Something about it being the last time we could be close enough to notice things like that about each other, I guess. Or maybe, if my hair smells nice to you, I must be real – I must be a part of your world, which I won’t be anymore. You watched me with concern and care whilst I tried to package all those abandonment feelings back into a box. You gave me a letter, and then I left. Good luck, thank you, there are no words but thank you, was all I could say.
I didn’t read your letter until I had fled to dinner with a friend. When I did, I could not contain the tears. One A4 page of your handwriting, calligraphic and precise and beautiful (just like you). Just wanted to write something for you to keep and look at in times when you feel less strong, it says. You are doing very well. I have every faith in you that you will achieve everything that you wish to in your life. You are young, pretty and good – just the way you are. Love , G.
Here is what I should have written for you.
You have taught me to stand up for what I need. You helped me make decisions about my health and my wellbeing, not based on what the book says or what the back of a tablet packet suggests, but based on my gut feelings. “What do you need? I’ll do what you want”, you said – and slowly, I’ve learned to ask. I’ve learned to know when meds would help, or when I have a bit more fight in me left.
You have given me perspective on my crises. I have learned to measure them more accurately, confident in the safety net of your knowledge of me. We’ve dissected the truth behind the panic together, so many times – and so often, just explaining to you and having you understand me has reduced the crisis without any further intervention. But when I have needed help, you have given it your backing. Every time, you’ve trusted me, and that has helped me trust myself.
You’ve shared fragments of your life, and shown me that despite your beauty, grace, elegance and eloquence, life is still shit sometimes, and that is quite normal and ok. Through my graduation, my break up, my unemployment, and all those other trials and tribulations of being a twentysomething, your honesty has helped me see that I am not that different to the rest of the world; your perspective on your twenties and your struggles has helped me reconsider my feelings that maybe I’m so damaged I don’t deserve to belong.
You’ve helped me be more honest. I’m more able to ask for what I need, to explain what is truly happening, and to have the hard conversations even when I’m afraid of letting you down. Though, you’ve shown me that really, it would be impossible to let you down – our relationship did not hold such judgement or criticism.
Yesterday, I cried at the thought that ‘here we are again’; that you were leaving me and I was still stuck in the same old circle of crisis, coping, success, coping, crisis. “I think it’s more like an upwards spiral,” you said, “you come to the same places, but each time you’re in a better place than before”. You have given me a little bit of your faith that I’m going to be ok.
What I should have said yesterday was that I am going to miss you horribly, that I appreciate everything you have done and that I am so sorry to lose you. But all I said was good luck, there are no words but thank you; I hope my tears at your departure told enough of the truth.
I am sat in my car on the common, rain pouring and windows open with the wind shaking the car and perhaps representing the emotional turmoil inside. My attachment to you is/was strong, and I’m not really coping this weekend – but I will cope again. I will move on from these intense abandonment feelings and look back at our time working together with love, gratitude and bittersweetness. Thank you for giving me the faith to believe I will get there, young, pretty and good – just the way I am.
Best of luck with your next step in your journey. You will be so brilliant. Thank you, with all my heart. Love,