It’s Monday afternoon here in England, about 1.30pm as I start to type this up. I haven’t got much to write about but I feel aware that I haven’t written much lately which is quite unusual for me – team that with the fact I am officially “on a therapy break” now, that is very surprising.
My memory is pretty hazy on my last session Thursday before the break began. I went in feeling fine – I had no physical symptoms and nothing I particularly wanted to discuss. I told my T this and smiled and felt pretty good but she seemed to think perhaps I had gone into “self-sufficient mode”. That is something she says I do at every break. I said maybe, it is possible but I generally felt okay.
Then, much to my surprise, something weird happened….. T was saying something about how she understands that I will miss coming, and miss her and that she will still be holding me in mind (blah blah blah) and that she cares for me or she will be thinking of me or something like that – I can’t quite remember what it was she said, but what I do remember is that I felt very embarrassed as I usually do if she speaks about her feelings for me. I remember I looked away and kinda acted like it was all fine and then she said “that touched on something didn’t it!” and I quickly said “no it didn’t” and then tears rolled down my face!! WTF. I genuinely don’t understand why or how that happened. It shocked me. She seemed to be almost pleased with herself, not that she had made me cry of course, but almost like that reaction proved her right in her feeling or something.
I said that I felt okay but that I wouldn’t really know how I was going to feel until some time had passed and that the weekends were generally okay because I was busy with the kids and didn’t have much time to think about therapy stuff.
She said that sentence again “it’s okay to be okay you know?” – I don’t get what she means by that. I think that it almost annoys me because I take it mean that I don’t HAVE to fall apart when she is gone – which I clearly know so that’s annoying. I don’t exactly enjoy being a loser. A nearly 29 year old that acts like a 6-year-old when she is gone. I do know it is “okay to be okay”…. Raaaa.
(I think I am in a bad mood today so this possibly is a bad reflection of the session).
Later in the session we were discussing something totally unrelated to therapy – baby massage and she told me that her friend came round once and did baby massage on her dog. We were laughing about it and she said how much the dog loved it. She told me the dog’s name and I felt like I had been let in on a secret element of her life….. it’s only her dog’s name, hardly something to write home about but I liked it. I have remembered it and I like that I know. I have wondered since whether she let me have this little snippet of information to hold with me during the holiday… or whether it was completely unintentional and not something she gave a second thought too. Who knows.
I said that last time we came back from a break we had discussed transitional objects and things like that but that I realised the day before this session that we hadn’t discussed it and that I felt it was too late. I also admitted that someone on here suggested I emailed her that day (Wednesday) but that I fought against this internally and didn’t. She said something about how I am still very afraid to show her any that I have needs. She said this all stemmed from my mother’s hatred of anything “clingy” or “needy” and she said she thinks I think she will be “punitive” (her word) if I was to show her I had needs.
On reflection, she is probably/possibly right about this but then I feel like saying well if you know I have needs, if last time I came back from a break I told you how hard it was.. I told you I would like a transitional object or something to help me through.. why haven’t you just offered it to me without me having to be here on the last session again….
I feel like a child saying that. I know it isn’t up to her to offer these things to me but I need to ask for them. I just can’t ask.
She said that if the break is hard I could email and I said I knew that. She said I wouldn’t email though would I? and I said probably not and laughed. She asked why? I said I didn’t know…. She said that she thinks I am worried about hitting some invisible boundary and being punished and I agreed. I said sometimes I worry because say I wanted to email her and she had only been gone 3 days for example, then I would worry because what if I then needed to email on day 7 and day 10 and day 16?? It would be too much. She said I become self-sufficient because I always did.
I said I wouldn’t know what to say if I emailed her. She said “even if you just say “I am feeling like total shit” that’s fine!” I laughed. I like it when she swears, it seems to make her less formal and less like a teacher or something. She said she thinks that she “wears off” when she is away because I can’t keep going back to “check in” and so I lose the connection and this could make me turn her bad (I haven’t done that yet). I said she is right that I start off okay but gradually I forget the good feeling and the nice stuff and it does wear off.
I asked her how am I supposed to feel when she is away? What is the right thing to be saying/feeling because if I say I am fine she thinks I am going defensive and self-sufficient but if I am falling apart crying then I am being too childish *she doesn’t say this, this is my take*. She laughed and said well….. you would just swing between the two less. It would have less effect on you.
Anyway, I did end up borrowing a book. It’s called “ Every Day A Little Closer” by Irvin Yalom (who also wrote Love’s Executioner) – it’s a book by a therapist and his patient and they both write a note of each session it is very interesting being able to compare their views/take on how the session progressed. I’ve already read quite a bit of it so it is unlikely to last me the whole therapy break but it’s something. If I am honest I would have preferred a note but I feel hugely embarrassed to ask her for that and I don’t know what I want the note to say…. I just imagine I would like it.
I can’t remember much more from that session but I left feeling okay and I have felt okay since. Like genuinely okay. I actually am quite relieved to have a break at present, but who knows if that feeling will last.
I had a weird dream Saturday night which I’ve noted down for T (if it still feels at all relevant by the time she comes back (unlikely).. we shall see how it goes.
I hope you are all doing okay in the break so far.