So, something really awful happened at the end of my therapy session with T this week. I haven’t written about it yet because I feel like maybe it doesn’t sound like a big deal… but it hurt me so much that I really need it to be taken seriously. I still don’t know whether I’m going back, I’m terrified of talking to her tomorrow… it’s just a mess.

Our therapy session itself was quite difficult. To start with, I didn’t particularly want to be there. I’d had a very good day of news at work, was feeling very adult and generally not in the mood. Was also feeling some residual anger around T being away the previous week… but I took myself to therapy anyway. T told me when I sat down that there was somebody else in the house – which I was grateful for, because I would always much rather know. It makes it hard to talk, though, so I mostly talked around anything important. Eventually, I fell silent, and T asked me what I was avoiding talking about. I’m cross with you, came into my head, but I didn’t say it.

T eventually said she had something she’d like to talk to me about. I instinctively, reflexively flinched, covering my face before I forced myself to relax, act normal. T tried to ask me what had just happened, and I felt like screaming at her because she wanted to talk about me flinching when I desperately, maddeningly needed her to finish what she wanted to say, in case it was going to be something awful.

I don’t remember 100% of what she said, but I remember how it left me feeling. I had texted her on Sunday night, when her plane landed, to check she had definitely come back. My text said, If I had any way, at all, of coping (that I haven’t already tried), I wouldn’t be texting you. But I don’t and I’m being unsafe because I’m fucking useless. Please just say you’ve come back home. Please. Sorry. She replied, saying that she was home safe and looking forward to talking to me tomorrow. My anxiety reduced immediately and any unsafe behaviours were paused or diverted. She wanted to talk to me about us communicating on weekends – some bullshit about boundaries keeping me safer and what if her phone had broken or she hadn’t replied. All I could hear was you’re too much and I was waiting for the punchline of so no more contact. I’m not 100% sure how the conversation even ended, but I know I got very cross with her.

I was cross because I am SO much better with contact than I was. A year ago, when I needed her, it couldn’t wait. No matter what. Now, it is extremely rare that I need a reply immediately – in fact, it now only happens if I am very distressed and dissociative, or when she is back from being away. In both of those situations, ‘need’ doesn’t cover how I feel. It is Little’s emotions – an utterly overwhelming, physically painful, breathtakingly awful, agonising distress that Can. Not. Wait. It doesn’t matter that she’s told me a million times that she’s coming back, it doesn’t matter that it’s only 24 hours until we can talk… Little needs her NOW and her need is not something I can negotiate with (without serious harm, anyway). In all other times, I will email her (which she has always said is fine), but most of the time it’s more of a journal than a need for a response, and I can wait. That progress is HUGE. Absolutely huge. The times that I need her, like, now, are so much reduced.

T acknowledged that that overwhelming feeling comes from a very young part. She did say something about wanting Little to know how much she cares, and helping me retain that. But it was too late – I was already very, very cross with her. What I’d heard was I get that this is hard, but I want my weekends free, so let’s set some boundaries and I will pretend they’re all to help you.

I cried. A lot. T came to sit next to me and I sort of wanted a cuddle but felt so rejected and so hurt and so cross that I couldn’t snuggle into her and get the comfort I so, so desperately needed. She did hold my hand, rub my arm and nearly, nearly stroked my hair – all of which helped, but I was struggling to receive her love. Rejection feels so hard. Even though she reassured me she wasn’t cross, that’s what I heard. You’re too much.

So that was shit. And then it all went VERY wrong.

K said we needed to end. I was struggling to move, but she said she had a client afterwards so I pulled myself together and we got to the front door. I unlatched the door, then turned to ask her for a hug. She said of course you can have a hug, and held me whilst I tried to bury myself inside her… then the door opened. Next client. I panicked, pushed myself back into the coats, lost any sight. T asked the client to come back in a minute, but it didn’t matter. I was trapped. To my left was her next client, to my right was the voices of the people in the house (I feel like they came out of the room, but I’m not sure they did… their voices were just so loud in my ear that it felt like they had). I was trapped, panicking, shaking… it was so, so awful. So awful.

I eventually ran from the house, almost straight into her next client, and leapt into my car. Doors locked. The time? 8.09. My session was from 7.15, so her next client was early. Nobody’s fault, but still… I was shaking, crying, panicking, it was awful. I rang my best friend, ended up on the phone to her mum who talked me down enough to be able to drive to theirs. I slept on their sofa for a bit, curled into my best friend, and then I stayed with her for the night. Thank god. She keeps me safe.

Now the panic has passed, I’m not really sure how I feel. I’m not cross that it happened – I can’t be sure if the people in the house came out, and her next client being early, well, it happens. I’m almost always the last client, it was unusual and unfortunate but I’m not cross about that. What I am cross about is that T hasn’t contacted me since. I understand, logically, why she hasn’t – but fuck me, it hurts. It hurts that I left her house sobbing and shaking and hysterical, and she hasn’t so much as bothered to check I’m alive. There will be all sorts of therapy bullshit reasons why she hasn’t, but it hurts my heart. It really hurts my heart. 

I’m also feeling all sorts of emotions about her having chosen between me and her next client. I know how illogical that is, and I know that this is transference, but it is unbelievably difficult for me to accept that I was hurting and scared, and she still let me go to be with someone else. I needed her and she left me alone. I know that’s stupid, but I felt very abandoned. Very scared and alone.

There are lots of positives in this. I coped, I rang the right people to get the right help and the right love where I needed it. I haven’t contacted T since – partially because I’m slightly incredulous that she hasn’t contacted me, but mostly because I don’t want to say something I’ll regret. I’m not feeling like therapy is all over – more proof that my attachments are improving, my black and white thinking has a lot more grey in it now. I’ve done okay.

But I am just so hurt. I am hurting in a million places, I feel broken into a million pieces…and scared that this was a stupid thing, a minor thing, that T might downplay it tomorrow or suggest it was my fault or tell me it’s all over because I froze and left the corridor in my head long before I did with my body. I’m hurt that she hasn’t been in touch, to check I’m alive or to reassure me that things are okay… oh, I’m just hurt. I’m hurt in a million ways.




7 responses »

  1. You are not stupid at all. I completely understand why you were cross before even going into session and then why you were in distress over the voices and the early client and then your T not checking on you. These are all very big deal things that would make many clients upset. I hope you’re able to talk to her about these things and work through some of the transference you’ve been experiencing. xo

    • Thank you for validating my feelings, really needed to hear that. I feel confident that we’ll work through this, it’s just very sore whilst I do!! Thanks again x

  2. That does sound just awful and so hurtful. I hope she’s able to process what happened and have a really good conversation with you that will make this better.
    I could be wrong but it seems to me that maybe SHE’S got a bit of a fright that you depended on her so much that not hearing from her was causing you to use unsafe methods of self-soothing? For some reason, when therapists get spooked they seem to pull boundaries out their ass and I really think it’s more about their needs than the clients. They think boundaries keep you safe but all they do for a client who has attachment problems is cement the message that they are too much and are being emotionally abandoned.
    She does have a point in that you both need to work out a way to keep you safe in times in extreme stress, because like she said, what would happen if she was away and her phone broke, or was stolen or got no signal and she missed calls or texts from you and that escalated you to the point of really hurting yourself? BUT working out a way that works for you both needs to be collaborative, not just her pulling access to her if that’s what you’ve been used to.
    Can you suggest her helping you strengthening the ego part that CAN keep you safe, work on techniques to ground you and bring you back to your adult self? There’s better ways to help you and keep you safe rather than just putting in boundaries which only alienates you further and feels punitive.

    • I do wonder whether you’re right. If she got panicked because I was panicking. And yes, I agree that we definitely need to develop that part of me – but I am constantly growing, and we’ve moved on from the place of me needing her absolutely always. So there is progress! Grrrrrrrr. Lol.

      Putting boundaries in place does feel punitive. I don’t want her to ever do anything that makes her feel uncomfortable, but equally, I can’t cope with perfect attachments yet. That’s why I’m in therapy. Lol!!

  3. All of this is a big deal. Seriously. I would be really upset and hurt, too. I agree with SG about there being better ways to work on safety than placing stricter boundaries.
    Take care of you. Im sending lots of safe hugs (if thats okay and you want them). I’m so sorry this happened. Xx

  4. I agree that it sounds like she was frightened and had a knee jerk reaction.

    It sounds like you consistently need to know when she gets back into town. Is that true? Would it work for the two of you if she sent a text when she got home? That is what my therapist did for awhile. Just so I would know that I could relax and know that she was safely back. She still does it sometimes when she knows that I am in needy mode, even if she has only been out of town for a weekend. I don’t self injure, but her going away brings up all sorts of abandonment fears because I had some bad abuse experiences when my mother traveled away from me. Just a thought.

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