“So it feels from your emails like this has been a sad week.”
“Really sad. I don’t know where to start.”
“Well, tell me about your mum…”
Therapy HURT. Bloody hell it hurt. Not like an injury, sharp kind of pain but like the pain you feel when you’ve been in the dark and you are suddenly blinded by a stunningly bright light – you know the light is good, but every cell of you feels like it is trying to turn itself inside out to manage the discomfort.
It was a session of three parts this week, so sorry for the long post! I did start by talking about my mum and the pain she causes me by her insensitive comments – especially those about my weight. I feel like T and I got a bit further forward this time than we have before… we talked about how mum’s words are caused by triggers within herself and how it is helpful to me if I try to remember that she isn’t always saying the things she says with the intention of hurting me. There IS an agenda underneath the comments, but that is HER agenda because of HER triggers and it’s not caused by a want to be malicious. T was careful to check with me that I didn’t think she was trying to say it’s not painful or difficult, but rather that it is less painful to remember that she doesn’t mean to be nasty. I agree (and this conversation was good timing as I am visiting mum this week…). I was fighting Sass the whole time through this conversation – she wanted to scream angry expletives about how awful my mum is – but I am glad she stayed in check as it helped us to have a helpful, adult conversation.
Then I went quiet. T asked me what had happened and I wasn’t quite sure really. She asked me if we needed to talk about her not coming to the wedding again. I’d totally begged her by email this week to come. Please please please please please… but when I’m with her, it feels harder to have the tantrum I want to have. L wants to beg and cry and scream and promise T the world if only she would come to the wedding. I said something along those lines, and she offered to explain her reasons again but I said I didn’t really need to hear them… I said that it feels like a therapy boundary and that is too painful.
She immediately said that although there is always some element of a therapy boundary, that was not her reason for not coming. She did then go on to explain…firstly that logistically she is flying abroad so the distance made it impossible, but her primary reason was that she felt she could be more loving and supportive by NOT being there on the day. She talked about this in detail. I heard her, in the moment, and her reasoning made me feel warmed and loved and held tight… and it felt like the wedding would be okay. Then I left the session and her words started to slip through my fingers… I started to lose the love and it began to not feel real.
I emailed her to ask if she could write down what she said so that I could reread it again and again to try and keep a hold on the love. She did.
I feel I can be most loving and caring for you by not coming to your wedding but by being by your side as it were by being able to speak on the telephone and by thinking of you. Not coming is nothing to do with not being there for you. It is about being
there for you.
Your wedding is going to be a very special day with all of its intricacies and I can be most there for you by not being a part of it in the presence so that I am part of the event, but by being in a place that you can reach to when and if you feel that you
need to so that you do have that support.
I haven’t gone through any other reasons because this is the core reason and the most important
With love, T.
The session plus the email has started to make it feel okay that she won’t be there. She is right – if she was there, she’d be a guest and she wouldn’t be able to talk to me whilst I’m getting ready, I wouldn’t be able to quietly check in with her during the day… she is going to be closer to me emotionally by being further away physically. That feels both hard and better at the same time.
Towards the end of our session, after this conversation, I kept thinking that I wished she’d just adopt me. How much easier and happier my life would be if I was hers. Secretly, this feeling always comes with a dimension of anger and jealousy because I’ve always been fairly sure that T adopted one of her own children. I’ve known this partially because of things T has said and also from some external sources…but I’ve never been sure, obviously. The guessing and assuming that she did has always brought a lot of pain to me – her adopting me is one of my greatest wishes and I often fall asleep trying to imagine what it would be like if I were hers.
I have never asked her before but I just decided to, in the moment. Did you adopt your child? T went very quiet for a number of long seconds and then told me she had. My heart sank, my stomach hurt and I had to bite my tongue not to cry. They have you. They have everything I want. If you adopted me everything would be okay. T held onto my hand and said no. Adoption doesn’t heal the hurt caused by being separated from a birth parent. Even the best adoptions cannot heal the primal wound and it’s residual scars. I went silent then but she went on to tell me that her child still struggles with issues around their birth parents – that pain isn’t and cannot be removed by adopting. So they still hurt, even though they have you, I/Little said. That’s not nice for them, but in a way that makes me feel better. That even with you, this would still be so painful. I said how I just wanted to be hers and for her to be mine. She said, how would a piece of paper make this any different? And that felt like enough. That felt like everything, actually. We cuddled for a few minutes, her heartbeat beating loud and large and warm inside me.
For the first time in a while, I feel that this is enough. I am enough and she is enough. The love is enough and we are enough. x