Separation Anxiety: A Letter To T

Dear T,

Yesterday afternoon I found myself re-reading an old blog called “An Hour Is Never Enough“. I sent that blog to you back in June and we spent an entire session talking about it. Whilst reading it again,  I found myself crying and feeling the same (clearly that is why I went looking for it).

I wish that I could find the words to help you to understand how I am feeling but I can’t, it is really confusing. At first I wanted to write and say that I felt like I was just missing you, but something doesn’t quite feel right with that word. I can’t miss you because I had only been gone for a few hours.

I thought that perhaps it was because I just didn’t want to leave my session. I was enjoying my session and I felt very warm inside.

When I let myself cry at home, I got such a pang in my chest. I’ve written that before, it is a feeling I can never articulate very well but it always comes back when I am crying about loss somehow. When I nearly quit therapy when I lived in [    ], I remember vividly crying on the bathroom floor and having that same pain.  I keep thinking about losing my Thursday sessions and wondering how the hell I will cope without them if I was crying having seen you twice this week already.

I wrote a blog yesterday about how it must be because I hadn’t “had enough” yet which is another thing I’ve written about and told you about before, but since then I have come to realise that it is actually a bit more complicated than that. It’s almost as if the fact I felt so connected to you yesterday/recently is what is hurting me.  That is the only way I can explain it.

I wrote about the feelings I got when I was first dating [   ] and he would leave my flat to go home or to spend the weekend with the children. I would be in bits within seconds or minutes of him leaving. I would cry so much. I would yearn for him to be back and I hated it. I would be preoccupied with him and the only thing that helped in that time apart was that we had constant text messages and he would tell me that he missed me or that he loved me.  The pain feels very similar to that but obviously the attachment with you is different – the pain is the same though.  Does that make any sense at all?

A lady whose blog I follow wrote this (Life In A Bind):

“I wish I could email my therapist. Sometimes you just want to reach out to the person your heart feels safe with. Not even for a reply or an acknowledgment, but to be received and wrapped in thought.  You know that it will pass. That you will talk about it tomorrow. But right now she is the only person you feel intimately connected to. And you miss her, very much.  I wish that I could say: “I’m crying, and you make me feel safe ; I just wanted you to know”.

And that summed it up for me so well. I also know “it will pass” and that I can talk to you about it next week, but that doesn’t seem to help much. I acknowledge the huge amounts of shame that I am feeling about all of this. I try to tell myself its the child feelings and not the adult which makes me feel a little less pathetic (I can hear you saying “don’t do that to yourself” as I type that)!

I understand why I might be feeling sad and as though I am missing being there with you, I can understand that to a point.. but I can’t understand why getting what I’ve always wanted and needed can hurt so much at the same time. That doesn’t make sense and that feels so cruel and unfair.

If I have always wished I had someone (a mother) who was warm, attuned, who cared about me, who tried to “get me”, who I could talk to, laugh with etc.. then why, when I get those needs met do I leave feeling such heartache?

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21 thoughts on “Separation Anxiety: A Letter To T

    1. Always want big hugs! Thanks 🤗

      I emailed it to T about… 3 hour’s ago. She hasn’t replied yet, so I’m just waiting. I feel better since sending it, weirdly.

      Thank you for helping me to express that the fact we connected is what brought the pain. I am hoping this may be a useful part of the puzzle for me xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I personally don’t think there are any answers to this. I may be wrong and I’m sure people will correct me if I am. It’s grief. A lot of grief. Having to leave someone who cares for you and validates you will be painful because you need it so much. x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess it is grief yeah… I also thought today that I guess when I regularly left my mother, I was out of sight, out of mind and when I left my father (who I didn’t see often), it could be months and months or sometimes longer before I saw him again, even if we had a nice time. Only a year ago he came to my house for the first time and when he left, I cried so much.

      But yeah, I guess it could be as simple as not wanting the feeling to end! Xx

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      1. That’s how I interpret it in myself. I haven’t had the courage to explain it to my T yet though. Perhaps you’re trying to intellectualise it too much. Although I do get the need to understand why you feel a certain way too. It’s good to explain it to her because part of the work. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do seem to get a bit obsessed with intellectualising my pain or feelings that I have. I used to use it as a way of avoiding my feelings but now I think it may help to reduce my shame… who knows. Xx

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    1. Oh does it Laura? That’s reassuring for me but I obviously am sad for you!

      It’s scary! This is the second or third time I’ll be telling her this sort of thing. It’s getting easier actually. I found being angry with her much, much harder xx

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  2. I relate to that terrible emptiness you can feel when someone you love or are close to leaves. When my ex would leave to go surfing and I would wake up alone the emptiness was so deep. I think its a good sign you can feel all of this and start to articulate it. Its a very very deep feeling that goes back to the original emptiness we felt with unavailable parents and as children it is just huge. I hope in time a loving adult inside you can step in at those times and give you all the love you need, I know that doesnt mean we lose the other feeling but at least we have a way of comforting ourselves in the midst of it. Dont know if that makes sense to you. ❤

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    1. Oh I’m sad that you can relate to that feeling. It’s horrible. Omg really? I would have been the same! I used to be a mess within seconds of my boyfriend leaving to go somewhere unless he was going to be back within a few hours.

      My T just replied to my email (ten hours later and I didn’t freak!!) and said much the same as you. She said about the feelings of loss and how the pleasure and pain is due to pleasure at our connecting and pain is the realisation of what I’ve missed out on.

      The adult in me theory makes total sense to me, but I’m not “there” yet koz the thought I can do it myself is laughable. It still feels like it needs to be someone else mah xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh. My. God.

      Genuinely you have written the exact way I feel!

      When my fiancé proposed in August. I cried SOOOOO much that he said he was genuinely worried. Whenever he tells me, properly, how much he loves me and how wonderful I am, it’s sweet and all but it’s like I either don’t believe him or I feel too awkward or something.

      What you’ve written about explains how I felt with my T since my session. I felt so much attunement and love and then such pain and sadness and that explains why!

      Thank you so much xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome! I have to tell you, it was eye opening and very helpful for me to read your posts and your struggle. This has always made me feel like something is terribly wrong with me. You have helped me to see without a doubt that this clearly is not us, but it is a result of our past trauma. Lots of hugs to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You are getting so much awareness T.T. I see it in this post. I feel similar when leaving therapy. The connect- disconnect is very triggering. Weirdly I was thinking about writing about this to explore it further because I watched a webinar which mentioned something about it.

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