I need to write about last night’s session (post –misattunement episode) but my mind is so full up and preoccupied with all this drama at work that it’s hard to think about it properly so I apologise in advance for how disjointed this blog is.
Needless to say she was wonderful. I walked in holding Frank in front of my face in a playful way and she burst out laughing and said “he’s still alive then?” and we laughed. That was really helpful and reassuring because I was feeling really nervous about seeing her and that removed a bit of the seriousness and tension.
I sat down and she said how I had really used Frank as a transitional object and how helpful that was. I agreed and said that I had suddenly understood why I defaced my troll teddy as a child much more clearly. I had understood previously that it was done in anger, but now I understood on a deeper level. We spoke through what happened briefly and she said that she had been missattuned to me. She said that word herself and owned it. I said that I felt silly now that I was no longer “in it” and that I had got so angry. I said the fact she hadn’t got it right wasn’t really a big deal and so I felt embarrassed by my reaction and bad that I had taken it out on her and misdirected it.
T said that it is a big deal because it tapped straight into the feelings I had my entire life growing up and that it was a big deal when you are feeling it in that way. I told her that I had been so upset and when she replied in the wrong way, I was instantly so furious. She said she had sensed I was angry at the time, but felt she shouldn’t respond further because she didn’t want to either push me into more anger, or remove the anger copmletely because she knew it was actually helpful. I was shocked and said “Did you? How did you know? I didn’t think you noticed!”. T said that she had a really good sense for things and that she could just feel it. I felt a bit disappointed that she had known but hadn’t replied and so I told her that her not replying had made it worse. She said she just had to trust in me and my process and said she did also feel it might be a good opportunity for me to get in touch with some anger. She said that she knew when I said I had dropped Frank off the side of the bed that I had lost connection with her and that when this happened, I couldn’t remember/feel anything good about her at all – she went all bad. I agreed and she said this would improve with time.
She said very clearly that she would never trick me into anger but that if she sensed anger from me, she wouldn’t try to stop it straight away. She said she had to trust in my “ego strength” that I would come back to her if I was struggling and needed her to help and told me that sometimes the anger will be so very painful that I will really have to dig very, very deep to get the strength to go to her and trust that she won’t let me down or hurt me.
I said that it was very a scary decision to try again on Friday because I was petrified that she would get it wrong again and that it felt absolutely petrifying. She said she really did understand the terrain and seemed to really empthaise this point. [I wondered again if she was trying to tell me she has experienced this herself without saying it]. I said I wasn’t sure how I would have coped if she had. She told me whatever I did, I must not EVER hurt myself. I told her I hadn’t thought about hurting myself and she said I may do one day though, and that I needed to know very clearly that was not to be done. I agreed.
T explained the reason she had got it wrong was because she is very aware that on Thursdays I am very adult and that I’ve previously got upset when I’ve left because it’s like the child part kicks off and wants to know why it wasn’t allowed out during session. I told her she is very right and said that I had written that to her before so I wasn’t disagreeing that does happen and has happened BUT it wasn’t right for that particular time. I said I had summarised my writing when I contacted her rather than sending my entire blog and she asked why I did that? I said that I wasn’t really sure but I felt I didn’t need to give her the full blog when I could summarise for her (clearly I did!). She said perhaps it felt scary to send her a lengthy blog to read straight after session and said in future, please send the full thing. We laughed and I agreed that I would.
I told her that her offering me that session last Friday on the back of my anger email had removed my anger nearly instantly. She asked why I thought that was and I said that I guess it was because she would still see me – she wasn’t sending me away. She repeated back that I wasn’t being punished for being angry and I agreed. She said that unfortunately she wouldn’t always be able to do that and I said I knew that, but that I had really appreciated it. She asked if it was hard that she had offered me a session I couldn’t accept and I said whilst I would have loved to have gone, I was surprised at how okay I felt. It was as though just the offer was enough. She smiled.
I then read T the blog post about the sadness I was feeling after leaving Thursday. Needless to say, I cried the whole way through. It was really quite awful to be honest. It brought back a lot of the feelings and my stomach was in knots, my chest was hurting and I sobbed and sobbed. At one point I was literally covering my face and making noises crying (so cringe). T was great, as always and sat with me in my pain. She made a comment about how my mother had done all of this to me and how it was horrific. That really helped – she’s never said something quite as blunt as that before. She said lots of supportive things as I cried but I can’t really remember what, things along the lines of understanding how bloody awful the pain was as I agreed through my sobs and snot.
T picked out the bit where I had written about wanting to smell her perfume (metaphorically) and asked me if it could be an idea for her to spray some on Frank? I felt a bit embarrassed about this suggestion. She enquired whether I was aware of her perfume and I said I wasn’t, no. T said that perhaps I was and that I just hadn’t realised I was and said that before she gave me Frank, she had rubbed him around her neck. I smiled at that, that felt really caring.
I told T that the perfume bit was intended metaphorically and she said that perhaps it was at the time but that perhaps we could just “go with it” and see if it was comforting or helped. I have my suspicions that nothing would have helped other than just being with her, but I guess it’s an idea.
I told her that the bit at the end where I said it “really hurt like hell” didn’t feel half as strong as I wanted it to. She said that she fully understood the pain sometimes was impossible to articulate and I agreed. She said she felt this pain went right back to “baby in arms” which was why I was so very upset about leaving and she said that she thought my mother would have picked me up and then put me back down far too quickly and that I really didn’t get chance to “take in her face, her smell” etc for long enough and that was what the pain was about. I wasn’t steadied for long enough. She explained how important eyes and face are for a baby in that the mum’s mirroring was vital and she felt I didn’t get a lot/enough of this. I agreed.
I told T that I find it odd that when I am not in front of her, I can’t remember her properly. I said I would struggle to explain her or draw a picture of her and that I found that odd. I admitted sometimes when I am there I try to really look at her and remember things but then she’s just gone in my memory so fast. T said that perhaps I didn’t need to remember her face and that she found this interesting because she often thinks of my mother as being “a faceless mother” (in terms of the lack of affection and love in her eyes, the lack of kind smile etc). I agreed and told her that I had dreamt of her the other night and had mentioned in my notes that either it wasn’t really her or that her face wasn’t right or she didn’t have one. T laughed and nodded as if to say “exactly”.
I said how I found it quite remarkable that I can spend so many days upset, angry or preoccupied and yet so quickly feel regulated in sessions with her. I looked at the clock (for the millionth time already) and thought it had only been 30 minutes. I remarked that in the session after I had Googled her, it had only taken about the same amount of time and that it was such a surprise to me. She said that I just needed to have here there able to handle it – to stay and to sit with me. She then asked if I found myself Googling her during all of this and I said no, absolutely not – the thought hadn’t crossed my mind and that I would never do that again. She told me not to punish myself.
I had ten minutes left of my session and so took the opportunity to tell T about the latest with work friend. She advised me very sternly not to give or send her a letter. She listed off some of the dangers of doing that such as her sending it to people, copying it, putting it on the internet, taking it to management and claiming bullying and all sorts of other things. She said that there really was only one way and that was to very clearly say I no longer wanted any friendship other than to be professional at work. I told her that seemed so harsh but that was actually what I wanted to happen. I told her all the stories I’ve written about already and she wasn’t surprised. She said that the woman has no boundaries whatsoever. I told T that I felt rather invaded and that her pushing herself on me at lunch times despite the fact I was with other people (and we aren’t talking!) didn’t seem to matter to her. She shook her head and said I had to make sure I didn’t engage in anything she did.
I told her about the stupid quote she had put on Facebook about how she only wanted good people in her life and T rolled her eyes and said how passive she was (remember T has had 3 years of examples). She reminded me that I could just delete her and I said that felt scary. She told me to take my time and reassured me that there was no rush.
When I got home I felt like I’d been run over. I actually think most of the tiredness and emotional exhaustion was about work friend and re-reading the sadness email. The anger barely came into it – the anger stuff wasn’t an issue or a big deal AT ALL shockingly. I cried A LOT and took myself to bed feeling totally wiped out (not before bitchface (mother) had text to invite me to her birthday weekend in September…. wahhhhh).
Today I woke up and the first thing I did when I opened my eyes was delete work friend from FB. I just did it. I woke up and thought fuck it. I need to stop worrying about how it looks to people or how she will feel. I need to remind myself that it doesn’t matter whether she realises how manipulative and blackmailing she has been or not – the fact is that she has and she has worn me down over the years and now I’ve decided I no longer want that friendship and I have the right and entitlement to make that decision for myself. So I deleted her to avoid seeing her shitty posts and statuses and to take another step into removing her from my life. I know deleting people on FB sounds rather childish and petty, but for me it’s actually quite a big deal. Usually I keep people for months before deleting them after a serious fall-out because I always worry about what they might do or say if we made up. So hey, there we go. I did it and I am glad I did.
Today at work she hasn’t shouted at me when I’ve walked past which is lovely and I even managed to have lunch with some other friends in peace. She sat nearby with some colleagues she’s never had lunch with before but hey, I’m glad – I don’t want her to be punished or lonely, I just don’t want to have to be the one sitting there with her either.
BUT she did then tell our Team Coordinator that I was ignoring her and she had no idea why (which isn’t true – clearly) and that is annoying. I’ve read enough about this stuff to know she is just trying to play the victim and make me look bad and have people feel sorry for her. Surely if she didn’t know why, she would ask – and has she? No. Of course she hasn’t.
Mate I need a glass of wine and a bubble bath. Oh and a new job ha!