Some Things Are Forever.


I’ve just got off the phone to T. I was hyperventilating when I picked up. Terrified she was going to be mad at me for being so selfish when she was gone. Terrified she wasn’t still going to her… that we weren’t still going to be us. 

We are still us. I cried and she coughed (she’s poorly!) through half an hour of me apologising for being such an awful, selfish person… and her saying that it was okay to feel the way I did. That she didn’t think I’d been selfish but actually that I had been thoughtful and kind in my texts to her. 

It was hard to talk through all the crying. I hope we will get into it more in our face to face this week… but for now it feels okay just to have heard her voice and to feel her love. To feel that she’s back and we are still ‘us’. 

She reminded me, when I said that she’d abandoned me to look after her son, that she often prioritises me over other things when I need her. She makes time for me and this was just one of those times that she needed to prioritise herself and her son. She does prioritise me. She’s right. 
She replied to my email on Saturday morning, about my awful dream in which she ripped up the book most important to us. I will never hate you, she wrote. I know that is a huge fear but some things are forever and I will always feel good things about you. And if it doesn’t feel like that because I hear that you are scared that it isn’t like that, then I ask you to trust that underneath I feel so much good to you and I have never hated you.

Tonight reminded me of our foreverness. She’s sick, I was bawling my eyes out, but we are okay. We are still us.

We’ve got a very mixed up few months now. Only one session before she’s on holiday for a week. Then only a few more before I go away, then she goes away before I get back so it’s three weeks apart. I feel anxious that I’m not going to be able to find enough peace in one hour on Thursday to sustain myself the gap. 

Someone with two daughters once described their daughters to me as buckets. One was watertight. One had holes punched in the sides. She told me that, for the watertight daughter, once you’d shown her love and care, she kept it within her. For the other daughter, the one with the holes ripped into her, she had to ensure she always poured in more at the top that poured out at the bottom. It was a constant unbalanced equation – more needed to be poured in or she would run dry. I’m the bucket with the holes. I was empty before tonight…having spoken I’m a little more full but I can already feel the love seeping out the holes. By Thursday’s session I will be empty and know that I will need T to pour enough in the top to sustain me through the next break, so unfairly soon after this most recent unplanned one. 

She might not quite manage it this week because my reserves are so low… but as she said in her email, some things are forever… we’ve got all the time we need to build them back up. We’ve got forever, for as long as I need. x


3 responses »

  1. Glad it is OK. On the subject of therapists prioritizing patients, I’d say there are frequent moments — not every day, but more often than anyone might want — when the therapist (given an absolute free choice) would rather be on a beach in Hawaii than in his/her office doing the work. A parent would say this as well on occasions, with respect to tending to the child’s needs. We are human. Sometimes we’d rather be with you than with anyone else, anywhere else; sometimes not. Sometimes it is enough if we show up, be fully present, listen hard, connect with you, and “make it new” out of a sense of dedication and responsibility. It is not always a joy, but it is a career full of meaning, because we do want to help.

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