Reaching Out for T

Thank you everyone so much for your help yesterday when I was feeling so upset and angry. Your replies helped so much. So I took your advice and tried to muster up the courage to email her yesterday when I was right “in it”… this is what happened. 
Me- 

Since I left yesterday I have felt pretty crap. 

When I walked out of your room, I just about made it to the car before I completely broke down in tears. I drove home feeling pretty away with the fairies and when I pulled onto my driveway I cried again. Then again when I got into my house, and again an hour or so later. 

However the feelings have changed quite a bit from when I left to now in that I thought at the time I was crying about what we were talking about and the shame/embarrassment I felt about it but today that feeling seems to be about something else. 

You always encourage me to tell you my honest feelings and have always encouraged me to tell you things I don’t want to – to get in touch with my anger and I so I have decided to take the plunge and send you this but I need you to understand how scary it is for me to send this. I really need you to understand that my biggest fear right now is that you will reply “clinically” because then it will feel even worse. For clarity, when I say clinically I think I worry you will say something like… “it is painful, we will discuss next week”. Because it will feel like a fob-off and cement in the feeling of being “a client”. 

I feel guilty telling you that because it puts you in an impossible situation and I also know that you’ve always told me that emails can be dangerous and that we can’t “do therapy” via email – so there is another battle. 

Basically the whole boundaries thing really painful. Having to leave yesterday was shit. Just because my time was up. Not being able to stay was shit and when I was crying in my car I thought I was afraid you would see me from the window and come out to console me – until I realised today that actually, that was exactly what I wanted to happen. I kept hoping all afternoon and evening for a text or email from you to see how I was doing because you knew how much pain I was in – but obviously that didn’t and can’t happen and that hurts. 
I guess I am pissed off at the boundaries and pissed off that there are even boundaries – that there is even the word boundaries. It just makes the reality that you aren’t my mother (that is cringe to type) or my family hard to ignore. Only being able to come to you for help during my scheduled hours feels unfair. I am feeling a bit like a child throwing her toys out of the pram. I guess this is how I felt when I used to bash the door in with my hairbrush as a child!

I haven’t “turned you bad” in this anger (yet??) I am just feeling angry and alone – I think with the unfair reality of it all. The only thing making me feel safe enough to tell you this is that I know you’ve had your own therapy and may have felt this before. 

She said: 

Reading your e mail I can really hear how much pain you are feeling and how perhaps it feels I don’t care because you we’re so upset at the end of our session? – and then you had to leave? I also hear you are angry too. It’s good you could reach out for me to steady you a bit. It’s ok, as I have said before, for you to do that. Sometimes the therapy boundaries feel like utter shit I know, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care because I very much do care and you have been in my thoughts since our session. It’s ok for you to feel angry too – but also scary to show me those feelings perhaps ?

Hopefully, your courage in being able to send this e mail will open the possibility of a dialogue between us that can help a bit. I very much look forward to us being able to do that together. Also we can talk about leaving when you are upset, and ways to help with that. Although time boundaries are quite prompt in therapy it doesn’t mean they are rigid – as I said before you left – you don’t have to just up and go, it’s ok to take time to ground a little before you go! I certainly don’t want to push you out before you are ‘ back in the room’. Try to hold onto that or it can all feel horribly punitive and I have no wish to hurt in that way.

I hope my words can help settle a bit now and are what you needed. Hold on that I am here and you are held fondly in my mind.
I hope the weekend can be enjoyable for you.

Warmest wishes
I replied: 

Thank you so much for your email. It was exactly what I needed to read and has helped. I am relieved.

I know that you care really, but it feels unfair and punishing when I had to leave even if I understand the reasons. It did help that you said I didn’t have to just rush off, but I felt I did because I would have needed more than 5 or 10 minutes to have felt totally okay I think and it was easier for me to get myself out the door before being pushed. That would have been unbearable I think. I guess it felt like I had wasted some time talking about things that then seemed irrelevant in comparison..
It helps to read that you have thought about me since our session – sometimes the fantasy is that I disappear after about ten minutes. 

I am looking forward (probably too strong a word!) to speaking about it all next week for sure. I am sure somewhere in it, I will be able to learn something about myself which will help. It’s just a shame it has to feel so utterly crap in the process.

Thank you again and have a nice weekend.

P.s thinking about custard just being custard has helped to make me smile 😊.

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16 thoughts on “Reaching Out for T

    1. Oh bless you! Thank you for saying that! What a lovely thing to say. It doesn’t feel like an important step at the moment but perhaps I will look back on it as one?! I actually feel a bit rubbish again today but putting that down to talk of mothers’ day – bleughhhh x

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  1. Great job twinkle! It’s definitely an important step forward being able to reach out to your therapist via mail, I’ve been in the same spot and know how hard it can be to do so. At the same time, it can be immensely useful and helpful to correspond with your T via email, it’s like a supplement to your weekly therapy sessions. Just my take on this matter, big hugs and kudos to you! 😉 xo

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    1. Awww thank you Psy for your validation: it’s so helpful having you guys here knowing how I’m feeling and making me feel less nuts !! It certainly made me feel better somehow which is pretty amazing considering the facts haven’t changed lol! Xx

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  2. I can completely relate and am so happy that your T responded in such a kind and affirming way. I hope that it will encourage you to be open and willing to talk with her more about this during your therapy session as well. This is a big step, admitting our vulnerability in therapy and being validated is a huge building block for attachment therapy and for your own personal healing. Thank you so much for continuing to share your journey…you have given me courage in my own therapy more than once.

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    1. Wow what an amazing comment! If it’s given you any courage or anything then that’s wonderful and exactly what I hoped to gain from sharing all this stuff. I worry about posting the more negative or vulnerable stuff but I do because I don’t want to only give half the story. Thank you xxx

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  3. I’m glad that you reached out to your T. She seemed to meet you where you were.
    I wouldn’t have the courage to say that I don’t want a clinical response! But reading your posts has made me realise that I don’t express my needs in the therapeutic relationship. Definitely food for thought. x

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    1. It’s not something I would normally be able to voice actually… but when I’m in it like I was, I seem to lose my filter. I used to read posts where people asked for their needs to be met and think that would never be me, I still have a long way to go, but I’m trying to push myself. I’m glad it’s given you some food for thought, perhaps you could talk to your T about that? X

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      1. I think it shows that it’s not a bad thing to lose your filter! Yeah I think so. I try to avoid talking about the relationship with her. I don’t want to ask for too much or cross a boundary and scare her off. But I’m getting more aware of the child, parent and adult states so I have worded it in that way in my journal. It’s so difficult. x

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