Boundaries, Schmoundaries

As you will know if you read my “Ugly” post yesterday, things turned pretty shitty for me after my session yesterday and it seemed to really throw me into something.

I’m really aware that the thing that seems to be giving me the most pain is that I had to leave. I HAD to leave the room, I HAD to leave her and I wasn’t ready to go.

I really, really wanted her to come out to me when I was sobbing in the car. I wanted her to care and come and console me.. I wanted her to text or email me last night to check in and see how I was because she knew I was in pain.  Even today would be nice.. but of course she didn’t and she isn’t going to.

The logical part of me knows that it’s all to do with the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship but if I am totally honest with myself, it makes me want to scream “Fuck the fucking boundaries!!!!”.

BOUNDARIES

The fact that there are even “boundaries” makes me angry.  Why can’t I have what I need?

Why can’t she love me in a genuine way that isn’t part of a job or part of a process or part of a journey that will end? It is a very real reminder of the fact that she ISN’T my mother no matter how much I might wish she were.

I don’t doubt that she has genuine feelings for me of some kind. Maybe she might have even wanted to contact me, but knew she couldn’t.  Perhaps it is for my own good and all that bollocks like when you’re forced to eat vegetables when you’re a kid because they are “good for you” but I don’t care right now. I don’t want to eat the vegetables.

I struggle already with my feelings being “too much” and with feeling like I might “kill her off”, so the fact that we have to have fucking boundaries just feels like proof of this because they are there to “keep her safe“. Safe from me – safe from my feelings.  I mean, over the last few years, she has taught me to put in some boundaries to protect me from my narc mother. So that is what boundaries are there for. To protect us.

I guess I am being a bit of a toddler and having a strop. I want it and I want it now and I can’t get it so I am going to have a hissy fit and throw my toys out of the pram.

I just can’t understand why it is that it is so hard to have someone stay there with me when I need them. Like whenever I need them – not just when it’s acceptable. You know? Like 2 hours a week.

I can’t contain my feelings to only be allowed when it’s convenient!!!  

AGHH. Okay I think maybe I’ve found some anger. It’s been a long time coming.

I still love her. I am not angry with her in some ways, yet in other ways it feels too rigid and too black and white and too cold and clinical to just be able to send me on my way knowing I can’t cope with these feelings alone.

The fantasy is that she’s already forgotten how much pain I was in. She probably cared for ten mins or so and then forgot.  She’s forgotten me in my head – whether that is reality or not.

I’m sure this is transference – maybe the pain I am feeling is what I might have felt as a child when my mother wasn’t there when I needed her but even the understanding of that isn’t helping at the moment. Because she isn’t my mum – she is better.

She really “saw” my pain and then left me alone with it (even though it was me who left physically…)

I keep debating reaching out to her. Maybe sending a text or an email and telling her that I am struggling but I’ve never done that before and it is SO scary.  I keep telling myself to take a chance at being vulnerable and letting her potentially help me out a little…. but I worry she will say something that I perceive to be too clinical and it will hurt even more than it already does now and I can’t bear that. I guess I could tell her that. I don’t know yet.

 

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30 thoughts on “Boundaries, Schmoundaries

  1. What if…she’s been waiting for you to reach out all along. I’d bet my money that she can’t be the one to come to you, as much as the non-job part of her might want to. It has to be your steps in your time when you want to, when you’re ready to test those waters and see if she shows you it was safe to do so (I recall in one of your posts she has identified herself as being the secure person you can trust, to relearn the way it should be). Loads of love, you’re doing so amazing xxx

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  2. That thought did cross my mind but I put it down to wishful thinking. She has encouraged me to reach out when I need to and she has told me that the more I do it, and the more she responds positively, the more it will help me to heal from stuff. I am really up against a battle of the stubborn part of me and the adult. Thank you for your lovely support, you are a little ray of sunshine. I look forward to reading more from you soon please!! XX

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    1. Ah I didn’t see this comment until now!

      It’s absolutely not wishful thinking my lovely. I was so blessed yesterday after reading one of your posts linking to the anxious-preoccupied attachment style (HELLO THAT BE ME!). So today I’ve been googling “so er how do I switch to a secure attachment style?!” and its exactly as T has said, create a new secure attachment with someone who is already secure. It’s made me look at my own relationship with my T (aka Marge) and realising I’ve been holding back from her, similar to how you’ve described. I think I’m just a job to her, and whilst she’s lovely, I haven’t wanted to be any sort of burden, haven’t asked her about her life as assumed that would be crossing a boundary she wouldn’t want an active client delving into. But we’ve never spoken about these attachment types before and its just made me have SO MANY light bulb moments about myself.

      If I had any pom poms, I’d totally be dancing around singing something encouraging because you are so so so close! Talking about doing it myself leaves me with a bunch of uncomfortable butterflies, fearing some awkward weirdness, so I’m understanding more why it’s not so easy to just jump in. But I’m so encouraged that T has literally said it to you, she has a big neon sign above her head saying “Twinkle lean on me! It is ok! I will not let you down!”

      God I’m all teary now! I want this for you so badly, I’ll be dancing the day you can say you’ve done it

      xxxx

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      1. *GULP* totally just text my Marge to ask if I can email her, and said I’ve been wanting to do it from the start, but was anxious she’d think I was taking the mick because it wouldn’t be paid time.

        Gosh I’m so glad you found me, so I could find you!

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      2. Oh you little beaut! You’re responses have made me all teary eyed!!!! ❤️️

        I’m also very glad we found each other! If we can help each other on this journey then that’s amazing! It’s so validating when you read yourself in things.

        Have you read much about insecure attachment? I go between insecure attachment and disorganised. Omg I have a fab book you just HAVE to read. It was incredible (more relating to relationships) but will change your life. It’s called attached – but I’ll have to google who wrote it. It was two people from memory.

        I’ve read pretty much everything written about attachment types so have a pretty clear understanding of the process now.

        It’s taken me 2.5 years of solid therapy and another year of quitting over and over to figure this out. Clearly I was petrified to get close to her, to depend to her and to let her matter to me. That’s why when she went on holiday and she would ask me how I felt, I would laugh and say fine. Why wouldn’t I be?

        Yet the recent break was HARRDDDD and I even cried when she mentioned it a week before which kinda shocked me and gave it away that clearly I did care. I admitted it.

        I hope you can read some of my blogs and get some ideas. The most important thing I think is to know that we will be/are being reparented by then and we will then get over our insecure attachment related issues. It will be amazing. Hence my post the other day when it was all sunshine and rainbows!!

        Learning to have needs and reach out to have them met feels foreign to me because I wasn’t allowed to do that as a child or was punished so I try and convince myself and T that I’m all good and don’t need anything… that’s why my feelings today have been scary as hell!

        Things have ramped up from 0-100 soooo quickly! Suddenly she’s so important and time apart is so hard. That’s the trouble with this work, you have to get in touch with the shitty pain to be able to work through it and come out the other side.

        I go from feeling strong to so weak in seconds sometimes and it’s scary! Yet I still have faith. I trust her and like you I am soooooo excited for that day when I am better!!

        I hope Marge responds positively! Please let me know what she says either way.

        My T sent a lovely reply (I’ll post about it at the weekend). She’s sweet x

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      3. Ah this made me smile so much 😊😊. I haven’t read about insecure attachment but you KNOW I am going to now, and try to find that book, because I also read everything. Are we the same person?! #therapysisters
        I can totally go from top of the world to bottom of the ocean too, it’s horrid isn’t it! Makes it hard to enjoy the high moments because the lows feel like they come outta nowhere.
        Marge hasn’t responded yet which is a bit uncomfortable, the mind runs wild with the possible negative reactions she might be having obviously! But I did do it on the basis that she may well have a negative reaction, or at least not the way I want her to react, and I want to learn how to deal with that. I’ve been pushing this area the last week, once I’ve decided I want to do something I tend to storm ahead! Then go arrrggghhh what am I doing?!
        Looking forward to hearing about the reply from T! Xx

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      4. Hey no nothing! She may not have seen it or may just be mega busy as she does work on a Saturday. HAHA SHE JUST REPLIED MID MESSAGE. She says yes to emailing her, she won’t respond by email but we’ll pick out anything needing discussion in the next session. So a pleasant response but I’d say not a loving response? But I did suspect that, I don’t think she’s like your T. But based on everything I know now about secure attachment that just intrigues me now. I’d like to know how she views it, what boundaries she likes to keep, and if not securely attaching to her then what she would be encouraging me to do instead. It was just liberating to send the message 😊😊😊 xxxxxxxxx

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  3. I can relate to this right now. I have reached out occasionally and she has been lovely but still clinical. There is no harm in reaching out but the fear of not getting the love you need is difficult. You’re aware of the boundaries though. It will always have to be us who reach out and ask for help and there’s nothing wrong with that. Do what you need to for you x

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    1. But as long as you can accept that you will get a clinical response, it’s ‘easier’. My T will usually give said clinical therapist response and then finish with “you can do it :-)”. It’s a difficult relationship but they do care about us, just not quite in the way we need sometimes x

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  4. I often feel this way with woman my moms age or other people’s mothers..I try so hard to please them and get validation and acknowledgement that my own abusive mother could not give me. It’s really hard sometimes I feel like I’m screaming for a mother figure to love me and I’m 26 now. But you’ve got this! Healing from this is a lifetime journey and I promise is gets better 💜💖

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    1. Hey, oh I so know what you mean. I have done that lots of times too, but never as intensely as with my T. I am 28 (nearly 29) but that gaping hole where the loving mother should have been won’t ever fill up will it? I hope it does! Thank you. It’s so up and down isn’t it – the other day I was all happy and in love with the comfort of it all and today it hurts. x

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  5. I love the title of this post! It made me me laugh. But the content, oh it’s so painful, I completely hear you on the boundaries. Even knowing why they are there isn’t enough to make them hurt less. I wish they would reach out more often. But often they are waiting for permission, I think they will meet needs if asked but won’t anticipate needs as that could be seen as rescue or something.
    I hope you can be brave and reach out to her. Even if you don’t get the reply u want, it’s all part of the work. But you might just get the reassurance you need. X

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    1. Ha thanks. It was going to be something a lot more angry and abusive but I thought that summed it up quite nicely.

      Eugh it is shit isn’t it? I’ve not ever felt like this before. I think as my attachment to her has sky-rocketed, the problems with that are becoming apparent. No wonder I tried to resist for so long, it’s like I knew!

      I sent an email about midday and she replied about half an hour ago (it was a long wait) but she was nice and it HAS helped so that is a huge relief!!

      Thanks for your support as always xx

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  6. Didn’t she say to you last week that you need to learn to reach out, again and again in order to learn where you are safe?
    Also, on another note, let that little toddler tantrum out, I say. This could be a huge part of your healing process. Let the little you kick and scream, and then take her in your arms and give her all of the love and security that she needs, wrap her in blankets and soothe her, tell her you’ve got her now and she’s safe in your care… you won’t abandon her like others have before. You’re her mother now. When she’s settled down, place her in your heart and keep her there forever, knowing that you can look after her and give her what she needs now. Any time she acts up, soothe her again and keep her safe.
    I’ve done this exercise myself, many times lately, and it is so powerful. Visualise it, see it, feel it, believe it. Xxx

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    1. This is beautiful 💕 yes she did say that, that was the only thing that gave me the courage to take the risk. I am glad I did! My inner child was very angry yesterday but I feel much better today. I’ll post later or tomorrow what was said between us. Thank you again xx

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