— trigger warning for detail of sexual abuse, graphic dreams (not real) —
Last week, I officially switched my GP. So A is now no longer my GP.
With hindsight, I shouldn’t have switched when I felt so poorly. I did it because I had backed myself into a corner – I had said that I would that week, so I felt that I had to.
A had been totally wonderful when I was super poorly. My husband had to drive me to him to pick up the prescriptions I needed – I remember very little of the appointment, except for crying and crying and crying whilst he talked gently to me about medication etc.
As we drove home, my husband said to me that A was immensely kind to me. Kind and calm and gentle. I couldn’t agree more.
A few days later I registered with new GP. And then I started to freefall.
Mostly, I’ve felt the freefall as I’ve slept. I have had the most horrendous, hideous, torturous dreams about A. Multiple dreams a night, every night since I switched. There are so many that I couldn’t write about them all, but they all seem to slot into three categories of hellish nightmare.
1. He dies. His death is always really graphic, messy and loud, and always my fault. Once They cut him into pieces in front of me. In another They stamped him to a pulp in front of me. I always wake up feeling absolute panic that he is dead and it is absolutely my fault. I always wake up replaying his screaming over and over.
2. He makes me have sex with him. In these dreams, he starts out nice and then morphs into one of Them. In one dream he put his arms around me to give me a cuddle, he smelt nice like he normally does, then he suddenly smelt toxic and poisonous and evil so I yanked away from his cuddle and he had one of Their masks on. In another dream he ripped his face off to reveal who he really was underneath. In all of these dreams, he then rapes me whilst I sob and howl and beg for him to stop. I wake up sobbing, feeling disgusting, and with the throbbing pain that body memories bring between my legs.
3. I make him have sex with me. In these dreams, it feels like Sass is in control, and she knows that she can control him by sleeping with him. It’s the only way she knows to stop him leaving. In one dream, he came to pick up his daughters from school and Sass was there, and she didn’t want him to leave. She begged and cried but he still kept trying to leave so then she used her body. He didn’t want to, in these dreams he’s resistant and I have a real sense of a big age gap… But Sass gets her way. He stays. He cried afterwards, but he stayed. In my dreams this week she has fucked him over and over. Each time he doesn’t want to to begin with but then she sells herself and he gives in. He feels guilt afterwards but Sass doesn’t care about his guilt. From these dreams, I wake up feeling like I’ve violated him. I wake up feeling like I want to kill myself for having such disgusting thoughts.
Every night so far I have had at least one. On a few nights I have had multiple dreams, each one building on the horror of the one before. I am terrified to fall asleep (I am writing this blog post at gone 11pm to prevent myself from sleeping). I feel like I shouldn’t be near him because I am disgusting and he should keep far away from me.
Added to these hideous dreams has been an added obsessional thought process of jealousy of his daughters. For context, A has totally gorgeous girls who he clearly adores. They’re the kind of girls my mother wanted me to be – beautiful, bright, intelligent young women who will become doctors or something equally wonderful and they’re just the kind of girls that my mum points out to me and compares me to – my entire school career was punctuated with “Why can’t you be more…. like …. is?” and to be honest, she still does it to me as an adult. Most of the time I’ve learned to live with my mother’s insecurities and I understand that nobody is ever as perfect as they seem… but that’s the context to his girls. They’re totally perfect. I’ve always known this (there are photos in his office) and, much like with T’s kids, I swing between being totally fine with them and wanting to physically destroy myself because the jealousy is so overwhelming and immense.
A spent the weekend on a family trip away. I forced myself into a promise that I would not contact him and taint his perfect weekend. That forceful insistence from my adult part sent Little into a whirlwind of attachment panic. I was still really, really poorly and that never helps, it always makes the attachment panic worse. On Saturday evening A posted a photo on Facebook and I could have clawed my eyes out with the jealousy it brought up. Simultaneous to the jealousy was all the normal, appropriate emotions – like being so happy for him that he was having a good time – but poor Little, her meltdown was excruciating. Jealousy is a tremendously unpleasant emotion. Most of Sunday passed with Little dying with jealousy, a need to be loved and a desperation to be cared about in the way he clearly does with his girls, Sass having an almighty meltdown because the whole world was stupid and she was stupid for ever wanting him to care about us because we are nothing, we are stupid and useless and disgusting and look at his girls and look at us and how could we ever think he would want to be anywhere near us (and so on…), and then my adult self just desperately trying to BE NORMAL!!!!!! and keep all the crazy away from A, who didn’t deserve for me to ruin his weekend.
We didn’t make it through the weekend. Sunday afternoon we had a conversation in half texts and apologies. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. (I’m sorry for tainting your weekend, I’m sorry I can’t cope, I’m sorry I’m jealous, I’m sorry I’m so useless/disgusting etc).
All of this, the dreams and the jealousy, I am sure will have been triggered off by the switch in GP. I knew that transitions are always difficult but I hadn’t expected this.
When I told T about the different dreams she told me it was clear where the anxieties are. She said that I’m totally torn between pushing him away, forcing him to leave (killing him off in my dreams), begging him to stay and wanting him to care about me even now I’m not a patient (making him sleep with me), and struggling with a boundary transition with a man (him making me sleep with him). The way T said it was like it was totally normal and to be expected……. It definitely does NOT feel normal. I feel completely crazy.
This is the damage that insecure attachment does.
Part of me wants to push him as far away from me as possible – this relationship is too risky, I care too much, he probably doesn’t care at all, he’s going to leave, it will be much less painful if I make him leave than if he walks away from me.
Part of me (almost all of me…) is desperately crying out for him to stay, to not leave me. But this part knows that I have nothing to offer. I’m not pretty or kind or smart or funny, I’m a nothing. All I am is a fuck toy, something to be used. This part knows, from many experiences previously, that she can make any man stay with her if she tries hard enough. If she sells herself well enough. This part is the part who remembers being passed around between men, being used, just being holes, not being a person. This part is convinced that she has no other value. This part is holding all the anxiety that, now I’m no longer a patient, he is going to leave me.
And finally, part of me is totally terrified of the change of boundary. T said to me in our session that men in defined, clarified positions in my life don’t hurt me (sexually, anyway…) – my experience so far is that male family members, male teachers etc are safe. It is unknown men, masked men with no connection to me, men who I couldn’t name and have no description for…. They’re the danger. I had never thought of this before, but she is right. T feels that the moment, in this freefall place after the transition, A is an “other”. He’s no longer defined by a role, which makes him feel dangerous and unsafe to whichever part of me is trying to raise the alarm in my sleep. The fact that I know him and I know he would never, ever hurt me intentionally and he would never cross any sexual boundaries with me, that knowledge isn’t enough for this protector part. In fact, I’m not even sure she can hear me.
All of this, all of this pain and confusion, all of the disgust and hatred of myself… It makes me want to lock myself away to protect A from me. I love him and I don’t want my dirty disgusting thoughts, emotions and dreams to damage him. I don’t want to break him, I don’t want him to run away from the rot. I don’t want him to leave me. All of this has built into the most overwhelming attachment panic that cannot be soothed.
I tried to cancel my catch up with him this week but he told me he would be there. He wanted me to be there, he hoped I would. That I can’t break him. But yesterday, in a moment of terror shortly after waking up from a whole night of horrendous dreams, I texted them to him (mostly to give them to an adult, to get an adult to take the terror and the disgust away from me) and he couldn’t read them. He deleted them. It terrifies me that the rot that lives inside me will force him to break, to leave me.
I don’t want to break him. I love him and I don’t want to be something disgusting that he has to carry round even though he’d much rather not. I want to see him on Friday, I’m freefalling and I am desperate for him to catch me, to squeeze my fingers or give me a cuddle and show me that we have transitioned but it is not the end of us.
But I’m so dirty, disgusting, rotten. I don’t want to taint him. I know that he wouldn’t have ever felt like I would taint him before… But now, with these dreams and emotions, with their intensity… I just don’t know.
I know that seeing him will help but I cannot picture how to walk into his room and sit down next to him, when I have had such disgraceful, damaged, disgusting thoughts and dreams.
I keep trying to remind myself that in a few weeks I will have met with new GP and spent time with A and everything will settle down. I know that attachment panics don’t last forever. I know they’re triggered by instability and change. But it is absolutely fucking agonising whilst I’m in it.
It is so late and I need to sleep. I’ve typed this whilst lying in bed, T’s blanket wrapped around me. It’s not her I want to be clinging to, though. I have no tangible piece of A to cling to, and I am terrified to fall asleep and add more disgust onto what I have already done.
The part that doesn’t want him to leave us would give everything tonight to fall asleep, my fingers holding his for safety and love. He makes me feel safe when I am with him and I cannot find that feeling at all right now.