Christmas break.

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Whilst I was reading blogs earlier, I read this beautiful letter which says what I want to say so clearly and painfully. I’m not going to manage so beautifully but I need to try because I feel so, so awful. 

From the very first time you sit down with a professional, you know there will be endings, breaks, holidays, goodbyes. It’s inevitable and those times come and go with varying degrees of difficulty. I’ve written many times on here about holiday breaks – sometimes I’ve managed them well, sometimes not!

This Christmas break is feeling totally agonising. I feel abandoned, scared, panicked, unloved. I’m jealous and anxious and I HATE myself for being such an ungrateful little bitch. There are so many people who are grieving friends and family, people who are going to be spending Christmas alone, or ill or dying and here I am, moaning because I’m on a therapy break. I despise myself for my insensitivity, ungratefulness and for how pathetic I am. 

It’s only three weeks. I’ve already had a conversation with T by email, yet it’s not enough. I feel like a baby that’s been put down even though it’s not settled – arms outstretched to the adult walking away, screaming and crying but it making no difference. I feel panicked, like I’m exposed and unprotected from the world. I feel abandoned. I feel unheld, unwanted, unloved. 

I feel unreal. The rest of the year I feel a part of their lives. A small part, I’m not naive enough to believe I’m too important, but I’m an upcoming appointment or phone call. I’m a part, a real part. At Christmas it’s impossible not to feel pushed aside – replaced with the really real people. The daughters. The sons. The loved ones. At Christmas it is impossible not to become a job, a client, something that is pushed away and replaced with the joy of the holidays, the break from work – the break from me. 

This year it’s left me with an unsettling feeling of not feeling quite real. They’re pushing away work but I’m pushing away therapy, too – nobody wants to hear about my therapy amongst the happy, sparkly Christmas conversations. It makes me feel like what I KNOW to be true the rest of the year – I’m loved, they care about me professionally and as a human being, I’m a person and not just a client etc – all of that feels unreal right now. It makes me question my own love for them – how can I feel so strongly for these people who at this time of year are nothing more than an illusion? That worry then unsettles all the core beliefs, the secure attachments that form the basis of our connection.

It’s a reminder that I’m basically faking it the rest of the year. All the love I take from them, all the parenting, all the care and the guidance and the support… all the times that I go to them when I need a secure attachment person. It’s beautiful but it’s fake. They’re not my parents. My parents are still who they were when I was little. I’m still the child left alone, scared and vulnerable. I’m still the adult that child grows into – vulnerable, unsure of myself and trying to do this alone without parental guidance. The rest of the year they help me fake it. At Christmas they can’t.

It’s not that I don’t want them to have a break. It is SO lovely to hear that they have family plans. I love them both and it makes me really happy to know that they are going to be happy. I’m just so, so jealous I’m not part of the picture. I’m so jealous of their children who will have something so special and probably not even pause to appreciate it. I’m so jealous of the people in their lives who don’t get pushed aside for the holidays.

I’m jealous and angry and scared. I’m sad. So, so sad. I’ve been put down and I’m screaming to be picked back up, to be rocked and held. What scares me is that I know, from bitter experience, from Little’s experience, that feeling of love and security isn’t coming back right now. Not for a long time.

My best friend said on the phone tonight that she thinks most of this is about control (or lack of it). I agree – mostly because I feel like I’m having one massive, barely controlled tantrum. Christmas is a time for broken routines, changes and differences. It’s a time when I cannot beg for a session, I can’t ask them to speak to me just because I need them. I feel out of control. Problem is, the two people I rely on when I feel like this are with their real people. The two people who hold me tightly until I am calm are not within reach. They don’t feel real and I don’t feel real. X

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3 responses »

  1. I’m going through pretty much the exact same feelings. You’re not alone. I understand that isn’t a soothing thought when the only person you really want to be by your side, can’t be. But just know, there’s a lot of us feeling the same, and this time will pass for all of us.

    • It helps to know im not alone. I feel like I’m surrounded by normally attached people who would have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about… yesterday I felt totally panicked. Today I’m just refusing to get up out of bed.

  2. From time to time, as I walk down a downtown Chicago street, I think of all the stories we don’t know — all the stories of people also walking down the street who don’t know my story either. They all seem intent on getting somewhere, on the phone, or in conversation. Some look like they are having fun, but not all. Your unhappiness doesn’t have to be validated by not suffering as much as some others. You do have a good deal of company, but that is cold comfort in a cold season. Hang in there.

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