A therapy impasse?

I’ve not written much lately about my therapy, aside from the lovely birthday card that T gave me and the reason for that seems to be that I have nothing to say.

I’ve had this feeling for a while now, that every week when therapy day rolls around I feel I have no need to go, nothing to discuss and it’s a bit unsettling.

In one sense of course it’s a good thing that I am not in absolute desperate need to go and discuss something that’s troubling me, or to be pining for T between sessions or emailing her in the week…

But in another sense, it feels kind of pointless to be going there each week with no real material.

The last few weeks I’ve been filling my sessions with chit chat or random conversations. Last night for example we spoke about my hen do and I showed her photographs and then we spoke for at least twenty minutes about my best friend and her marriage troubles.

I guess with my wedding looming perhaps it’s just that I’m somehow switched off or without realising I’m avoiding something? But it doesn’t feel like that. It just feels like the urgency and the troubles have died down a bit.

It’s actually strange because it makes me wonder if my therapy time is coming to an end and that makes me sad because I love t and I love her being there and her support. I don’t think I’m really ready to stop, I’m not entertaining that seriously – I’m just thinking out loud I guess.

I have one more session next week and then T is having a week off. Usually I’d be worried about that but it feels it’s coming at a good time. I admit to thinking I can go to the gym that night for once when usually I can’t.

Maybe it’s just a phase. Maybe I should enjoy the lack of drama? Maybe I’m unsettled because life is usually so full of drama that I don’t know what to do with this period of (relative) calm?

I guess we will see.


Last night was my first session since season T “that” email I mentioned briefly on Friday. The one about the song and how great she is basically. The one where I told her how grateful I am to have her and how I often play this song on repeat and think of her.

I admit, during the day when I “remembered” it was T day, I felt nervous. There is something about seeing her in person after having sent something like that – something so vulnerable. I know I shouldn’t feel nervous to see her, I should never feel nervous with her but I did and so I kept trying to silence any thoughts whatsoever I was having about my session. I did this to the point where I actually thought “do this in stages… get train to home station….. (then) station to house (then) house to t’s”…. and that’s so OTT just because I sent her a nice sentimental email.

I knocked on the door and tried to look as confident as possible. I knew she would be interested in seeing how I was feeling and sometimes I can *feel* the air charged with whatever I’m feeling, be that fear or happiness or sadness.

I walked in, sat down and we both smiled. I felt the anxiety, aghhh. T started talking by saying she was just re-reading my “beautiful” email. She then looked at me and I tried to play it cool. I said something about how I had also read it a few times. I then told her how I had woken up with those thoughts and how I’ve played that song and thought of her for about a year but now felt like the right time to tell her…..

T said how I was very good at finding transitional things. I queried that, was I? She said yes and reminded me of how I use my rose quartz necklace and songs etc. As she said the word “rose quartz” she jumped up and said “ooh that reminds me” and walked into the back room of her purpose built therapy room. When she came back she was holding a card with my name on and I couldn’t hide my smile.

A card!! For me!! From T!!!!! 😄😄😄😄😄

She said “for Saturday” (she even remembered the day!!).

I was shocked and touched.

I sat it next to me and thanked her. I was so shocked as in 4 years she not given me a card – not for birthdays or Christmas etc… so I genuinely didn’t expect it. I thanked her again and she said “well it’s a special one” and I took that to be her reasoning behind why I don’t normally get one but am this time?

(I admit to already feeling slightly sad at the fact I won’t get one again… is that weird?!).

The card sat next to me for my entire session which I’ll write about another time, and at the end of the session I popped it in my bag. I wondered what she has written….. I was so happy.

T wished me a happy birthday for Saturday and I left. I put my handbag on the floor of the passenger seat and drove off but I paused for a second at the end of her road AND I looked towards her house as I drove past which I never do.

I felt my eyes prickle…. I had a heavy heart. What was I upset for?

Same old stuff of course… I didn’t want to leave. I missed her already… I didn’t want to go so soon.

I put the radio on but all I could think about was how I felt like crying, how I needed to drive AND the card. A few seconds later I turned the radio off (unheard of).

It sounds weird but I was almost willing my tears to come. They were burning my throat and my eyes were heavy. Yet they wouldn’t come.

I drove most of the way home in silence trying to stay with my thoughts. I just replayed some of the session in my head. I thought briefly about the subjects we had covered, vulnerability, my friend’s T leaving and my concern for her, my dreams and lack of sleep lately, my birthday, my mother (of course) and… T’s break dates. 3 more sessions she said. I acted cool as a cucumber about that too.

I thought to myself that I should save the card until my actual birthday. That it would make the morning more special having a special card from her….

I stopped at the petrol station for a couple of things on the way home and when I got back in the car, I thought about the card. Again. Jesus, who knew some card/paper could have such an impact?!

I pulled up outside my house and before I went in, I ripped the envelope open and looked at the card. The first thing that crossed my mind was that the actual card was personalised – it had my name on! How nice is that? Secondly the card was pretty. It was girly and just lovely. It was so thoughtful…. it had really been chosen for ME! Actual me. She knows me.

I laughed as a few bits of birthday confetti fell out into my car and I smiled to myself that she knew that would happen. There’s still a bit in my car which I’ve left there on purpose.

She wrote a nice message about having a good birthday and year ahead and signed the card “with love” 💓

It’s such a small thing but I love it. I’ve thought a few times today that I would email her thanking her and admit I had opened it as quickly as I did…. but then i felt embarrassed and also worried I would offend her somehow.

I am pretty sure a card has never been so important and so sentimental before.

Thank you T. Even though you’ll never read this!

My Name Is….

I nearly completed the sentence on the title of this blog.  But half of the enjoyment from writing everything on here is that I can be brutally, unfiltered-ly honest.  Over time though, I’ve written posts in anger and used real names for not only myself, but for my T, for my sister and probably other people.  In the past I think I’ve liked the ability to write anonymously because it was necessary for me to be able to write. It was a safety thing… and now I think it is more about protecting the people I write about and their privacy.  After all, it’s not really fair for me to write shit about them when they don’t even know and can’t defend themselves.  So using my blogging name removes that I suppose and so when I write as Twinkletoes, I can pour it all out. Uncensored.

However, I have just read a new book (in two days) which is called “My Name Is Lucy Barton” and it got me thinking.

The story is about a character who comes from poverty and ends up living in New York City, as someone with a very middle-class life.  It is also about the story between her and her estranged mother who ends up visiting her in hospital one day and about their conversations and the character’s feelings about her mother. It is quite hard to explain as it is complicated.  Anyway, I guess the story is about her coming in to herself, being able to say her name and know who she is.  Something which I guess I can relate to.  Something which I guess I am trying to do myself.

This also hit a nerve, the whole ability to stand up and say “My Name Is.” because only yesterday at work I was in a training session where we were told to go around the table and introduce ourselves. This immediately filled me with dread. Terror even.  Ugh I hate that, why do they do that, why???? Luckily I was last, and so about 20 other people had to go before me, none of who looked remotely bothered by the task at hand.. me on the other hand, I was sweating, and kept having to replay the sentence over and over in my head. What my name was and what department I worked in.

I’ve never really looked into this too deeply until just now. Until finishing this book, until writing the title of this blog and writing the gist of the book… I guess then it makes sense that I am not yet able to confidently stand up and say who I am.  I am still finding myself. I am still finding, or possibly creating myself.

It’s been a strange week for me. I don’t really know how – which I know doesn’t make a lot of sense but I have had a lot of thoughts and a lot of feelings and the thoughts and the feelings have been about so many different things that it’s all a bit confused.

I’ve been moaning a lot recently to my fiancé that I feel like since we moved to our new house in April that every evening and every weekend are so busy.  I have been saying that life used to feel much more relaxed and that lately we never seem to have time to just…. well, be.  It has only been the last couple of days that I’ve questioned that a bit and have pondered, am I really that busy or am I making sure that I am busy in order to avoid something?

On Tuesday before my therapy session, I sat on the sofa for ten minutes before leaving home and I was watching a YouTube video about being scared of a narcissistic mother.  That was what was on my mind that day. The fear. The constant (illogical) fear that has a hold over me even now.  As I watched the video, the enormity of it all hit me just for a second and I cried.  I was relieved that I was soon off to see T.  Yet in my session only my anger and panic came out = the tears didn’t make it there which happens sometimes. Not the end of the world I guess.

But then tonight I walked into my house and before I had even made it into the lounge, I could feel my eyes stinging. I was about to cry. I shocked myself with this.  I slumped onto the sofa and laid back and just let them come. I think I knew that I needed the relief.  I wasn’t sure what the tears were for precisely but I was kind of glad they were coming.

A bit of background from today in case it is relevant – it may or may not be, I actually don’t know.  This morning I was on the train and a song came on that makes me think of my T. It makes me think of her so much that it often makes me cry. I admit that I have been known to play the song on repeat and think of her.  This morning was no different. As I sat on the train, I listened to the song, and again, and again.. and then I found myself typing out an email to her where I basically told her how grateful I was to her.  I told her how a friend of mine had some awfully sad news about her own T and that it had clearly been playing on my mind and made me realise how utterly devastated I would be in her shoes.

The song is about someone’s love never-changing. I guess really it’s about unconditional love.

I sent the email, and then I played the song a few more times and eventually T responded with a lovely email.  I’ve read it a few times.

I think there is a  whole load of sadness caught up with the gratefulness in a way that is hard for me to describe to you.  I’ve said/written about this before but for me, getting what I always needed as a child or even giving what I never got as a child can be quite triggering for me.  Seeing/feeling these feelings for T was lovely in a sense but also quite heart-breaking in another sense because, well, to be blunt, it should have been my mother shouldn’t it?

I know that sounds really ungrateful but hopefully those of you in therapy will be able to understand what I mean by that, at least a bit.

It’s the contrasts isn’t it? The contrasts which have a fecking huge light shining on them at these times.  A bit like the light that will be shining on the lack of my mother being at my top table on my wedding day – at least it’s truthful. Her sitting there smiling and acting the doting mother would have been a lie – and I can’t lie anymore about my story.

It’s feeling the adoration, love and warmth for someone who is not my mother – knowing I don’t feel that for my mother anymore. It’s feeling the security and love and care back that she gives so easily (or so it seems) that my mother doesn’t and hasn’t ever given me.

It’s that feeling of mattering to her. Being someone important – someone who didn’t deserve to be made to feel like a fucking burden. It’s the ability she has to remove my internalised shame.  The ability she has to let me be myself. To have feelings. To have some kind of impact on .. her? the world? I don’t know.

I am crying again now that I get into this…. it’s so raw.

I realised as I cried earlier tonight that I felt LONELY.  I don’t think I have ever really felt lonely before – well, I suppose what I mean is that I never associated how I’ve felt as being that.  I know it sounds a bit of a cliché, but lonely was for people who were physically and literally alone wasn’t it? Now tonight I feel I can understand what lonely is more than before.

I felt lonely my whole childhood. I continued to feel lonely into my early twenties. I am tempted to say until I met my fiancé and until I “found” T but there is part of me, perhaps the wounded and sad child that is out tonight, who is saying I still feel that loneliness sometimes.

Maybe it’s a form of loneliness when I see my stepchildren being loved by my fiancé and by myself and I see what I missed.  Maybe it’s a form of loneliness when I am crying from deep within me, from a place that is preverbal and I cannot explain to myself what I am crying about.  Maybe it is literally re-feeling the old feeilngs of utter loneliness.  The feeling of literally having no impact on anyone in your world… not existing.  Having been totally engulfed perhaps. Or maybe it was before that, before she could even care about that…

I think there is a type of lonely that comes from growing up not being loved by one’s mother.  I may be the only person in the world to think this, but I think it nonetheless.

Every now and again I feel lonely in this journey I am on. Yet I know logically I am far from alone on this journey.  There are people reading this now, no doubt who are on a similar journey who want to be able to stand up confidently and say “My Name Is….” without their face burning from the shame and insecurity they feel by being seen.  I know logically I am not alone at all… but the journey feels lonely sometimes because … well maybe because you have to feel the old feelings don’t you? So tonight I feel in touch with the lonely child that I was.  I was always alone and I felt like life would always be that way I suppose, looking back.  A child doesn’t know when and how things will improve does it? It doesn’t know any different really…

I had a vivid dream once where I met myself as a child on a beach. I was clearly sad and lonely there – walking on my own, scared, wearing my nightie.  What an image of loneliness that I’ve only really just this moment decoded.

How did she leave me all alone? I can’t bear it when my stepson locks himself away for too long on his tablet in his room. I have to make sure he is okay after a while, make sure he knows that I CARE about him being gone. Not like my mother, she told me to be gone. She didn’t want me there.

And now she has the utter cheek to cry about how Idon’t want to see her.

How fucked utterly fucked up is that?

Sorry, this became much more angry than I had anticipated…

Anyway, I will continue working through this pain every day until I can stand up and say “My Name Is” without any fear.

Writing, Reading & Forgotten Dreams

I found myself chatting with a friend last Sunday on a long road-trip. We were mainly speaking about my mother (shock!) and about my childhood in general. At one point I found myself telling her how my mother didn’t used to make me go to school very often and how, at the time, I thought that was great – obviously, but now I am sad at how much my education was affected.

My mother would let me stay home if I said I didn’t feel well, she would let me stay home if I said I really didn’t want to go because of a feud with a friend or because of a lesson I hated. Some days she would ask if I wanted to stay home and do all her housework or her ironing in exchange for a day off and being a kid, I lapped that up.

Obviously now as a 30-year-old woman, I can see the negative impact not going to school had on me. My attendance record was shocking – a fact that at the time, didn’t matter to me whatsoever. The weird thing is, I quite liked learning. I liked reading, writing, drawing. I liked being taught things, I liked the feeling when something “clicked” and I understood things. I liked feeling clever or up to speed with the rest of the world – with the adults perhaps.

Unfortunately alone with not making me go to school when I did try hard at school, when I came home with certificates for good work or good behaviour, for effort I was mocked by her. She used to call me a boffin, a nerd, tell me I was boring.  I’ve written about this before but she used to call me Saffy from Absolutely Fabulous (a 90’s comedy series) who was a normal well-behaved child who had a narcissistic party-animal mother who used to do the same to her ….

I digress… the point of this is, I WANTED to learn really. I WANTED to be clever but due to these things, I didn’t learn. I’m not saying this to fish for compliments like some people do, this is genuinely the truth. I am not clever. I really do not know much about anything. I have no knowledge of history, I am useless with geography. I am pretty ignorant about religions.. the list is endless really. As a now 30-year-old, I feel this a lot and I really hate it. I am embarrassed by it. I am ashamed by it really.

I wish I could hold an intellectual conversation about things that (seemingly) everyone knows. I wish I didn’t have to go quiet or pretend to be busy when these things come up. I wish that when I went to quiz nights with friends or family, they didn’t only look to me when the question was about celebrity gossip or modern music because, as much as I laugh this off, it does hurt you know? Being the girl who is only useful about things that don’t matter to anyone…… I feel like some legally blonde equivalent, but even SHE got a degree in law!!

I used to be studious. I still am in a way I suppose but it’s more reading about psychotherapy or narcissism! Ha, it could be my specialist area on Mastermind! I still have a weird love for books, for stationery. I regularly spend money on notebooks and pens. I could spend hours and hours in book shops. I love book shops – the atmosphere there, the smell, the texture of the books. The opportunity that the new books give me… it’s like.. who knows where that book will take you? What will you learn, what will you feel?? A shop full of brand new notebooks and pens and folders… excites me so much – is that strange??

For example, I spent about an hour in Waterstones yesterday (book shop in the UK) and I was so excited. The lady that worked there saw me and said “ooh if you liked that book, you will like this” and handed me another and I was made up! I came away with 5(!!) new books. I can’t possibly just buy one and get the next another time, no, it would feel like a real loss leaving my new-found friends behind.

I have often thought about doing an online course in something and somehow creating myself a whole new career. I even admitted to my friend (who is also my team leader at work) that my job is okay, but it most certainly is not what I wanted to be “when I grew up”. It wasn’t the dream.  She asked me what the dream was and I told her I always wanted to be a school teacher (for young children, primary school age rather than secondary – those older kids scare me!).  I have replayed this conversation a lot since because I guess I *heard* myself.  It isn’t something I’ve consciously thought about for many years. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be something – I had a dream… what happened to that dream? 12 years since leaving school and I am working as a legal secretary, still….  And I certainly do not wake up in the morning excited about going to work.  I’ve often put this down to me just being “one of those people”.  I guess the truth is, I am not fulfilled.

I did my work experience placement when I was a teenager, maybe 15 at a local primary school. I really enjoyed it (apart from lunch times because I had to sit in a hall on my own as I wasn’t allowed to mix with the teachers in the staff room OR the kids on the playground) but my mother hates children and her disgust and dislike must have rubbed off onto me. Who would want to work with children every day? (me apparently…but that soon vanished).

On my way to work this morning I was engrossed in one of my new books, “My Name is Lucy Barton” and found myself excited and moved somehow at certain quotes.  One such quote being “and then your heart deflates and says: Oh” (describing the disappointment one feels when a partner shows their true colours and you know, it just won’t ever work).

I find myself typing out the quotes and words that move me on my Twitter page.. I’m not too sure why I do that but I like it nonetheless. This made me think, I actually love words, sentences like that. I love the way the writer can affect another person… I love books, I love writing, I love my blog, my journal….

Maybe I want to be a writer?

And then that set my brain off on another tangent because when I was young, I used to tell people I wanted to be a journalist. To be totally honest I think at that age I had just heard the word and thought it sounded intelligent because that wasn’t ever a real dream of mine, but being an author was. I used to write stories (like a lot of kids) and I used to draw pretty book covers and staple the pages together. I used to hide my “books” away in the video cabinet and check on them regularly to make sure nobody had stolen them – LOL!!

I thought to myself on my walk to the office, I am my happiest when writing. I love it. I love the way that words just fly out from your subconscious.. they just come out and they appear on the screen or the book in front of you and you weren’t even consciously aware of them yourself until you read them back and think.. Ah! Wow.

Isn’t that something?

Then I think that I’m not sure I want to be a fiction writer, I don’t think I have the imagination or the skill at plotting a book and the characters and making things all tie up neatly to give the reader something magical.. so I think maybe I just like writing about myself and my own thoughts. Is that selfish? I feel it’s a little self-indulgent in a way but writing has been such a huge part in my healing process and throughout my therapy journey that maybe that is all I’ve known/tried so far?

I don’t really know yet, these are just random thoughts flying around in my head that I’m trying to grab onto and turn into something.

Anyway, that’s about it for now. Today I am sitting here trying to think what it is I want – where are these thoughts taking me….. should I do something about either of them? Perhaps I will write a book on therapy or perhaps I will write my own life story… the story of birth to now? I’m not sure if anyone would read it or whether it would just be nice for me.. I have visions of getting it printed and bound into a proper book and making my mother read it one day to make her see what she has done to me… and then I remind myself that is completely pointless because it STILL wouldn’t be anything to do with her. It would just be more proof of me being brainwashed and mentally unstable.

So I will sign off here whilst I continue to ponder these thoughts…. Do/did any of you guys have a dream that got stamped on? Do any of you think about doing anything about it from time to time?













































A game?

Last night when I was on the train travelling home from work, a message came up on my phone from my mother. The first message since she told me she was removing herself from the top table at my wedding.

I know this sounds nasty but whenever I see her name come up, I literally feel the dread coursing through my body.

I previewed the message without opening it and it asked for my address.


She hasn’t known where I’ve lived since about February when we had to move. It was only ever a matter of time until she asked but I was not prepared for her asking now – whilst she’s so angry with me – straight after I’ve stood up to her for the first time in my life….

I panicked immediately. What do I do?

I knew not giving it to her would be rather tricky. What could I possibly say? I thought that after how harsh I had been the other night in refusing to see her etc that this was an impossible situation. Equally I didn’t want to tell her for several reasons. 1) I like having the security of my house knowing she can’t “get” to me there and 2) so she can’t turn up on my birthday.

I deliberated over what to do for literally hours. I admit to feeling fear over the fact that she would surely know I was avoiding her message as she had sent it hours before and clearly I would have looked at my phone in that time… also I had been online on WhatsApp and if she knew what to look for then she would know that.

In the end I decided to give her the address. Not because I wanted to but because I didn’t know what else I could do. I’ve set a lot of (reasonable) boundaries but refusing to tell her my address couldn’t end well could it. I decided that if she turned up with her husband to have a “talk” with (at) me then I would just have to deal with it. I just needed to show her that I’m not scared of her (even if I am). Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?

So I eventually replied with my address and she read my message immediately and then went offline herself for several hours.

Eventually she replied and her entire tone changed, she said “thank you darling but hopefully I’ll see you before your birthday to give you pressy xxx” …..

Me and my fiancé think it was a test. A test to see if I gave it to her or not, a test to see if I was going to refuse and hide behind her not being able to “get” me. I don’t know….

Now the fear over my birthday is even bigger. I know what she’s like and I can already imagine things she will do. Like turning up on my birthday with balloons or presents unannounced – if she comes with balloons etc I can’t be angry can I? And then she can see who I am with, what I’m doing, what I’ve left her out of…. it’s a clever way for her to push her way in.

I could be totally wrong obviously, but she’s manipulative at the best of times.

Today I’m thinking about how annoyed I am that I am so scared of her. I hate admitting that. Why am I scared of her when I’m 30 years old? I don’t care about getting her approval anymore and I’ve given up on any hope of things being better … so why the fear?

Stood my ground

Well it all kicked off last night with my mother. Or should I say SHE kicked off.

She text me asking what my top table plans were and so I told her. I have been waiting for this as we have a max of 10 people and sadly after myself, my fiancé, my 3 stepkids etc that doesn’t leave many places and so I have allocated one to her and on to my father (sitting at opposite ends of the table) and then my fiancé’s parents.

She read my reply and went offline for an hour or so. I knew she would be seething. Eventually she sent another message which asked me to meet her. On my own.

My initial reaction was panic. I didn’t want to. I started thinking about what to say and how and before I knew it, my fingers types out a message which I can’t even really believe I sent. I told her that those were our plans and I was sorry if they upset her but that there was nothing more I could do. I told her i wasn’t happy to meet her alone and said there wasn’t anything to discuss.

That did it….

I then received a long message which along with lots of other things asked me “why can you not meet your mother??” It said that my stepdad had a large part in my upbringing (for the record I was already 18 when they met and apart from a couple of short stays after break ups with boyfriends, I didn’t live there. She clearly wanted to say that they had given me money but I think even she knew that was a low card to play.

I was brutally honest in my response. I told her I was not happy to meet her alone. I told her I could sense her unhappiness at my life, my decisions and my wedding plans and that I didn’t want to feel that. I told her that yes he played a large part in my life for those ten years but that over the last 8 months I’ve not seen him other than the few encounters on the train where he was only ever aggressive and rude.

I said that I made contact with her before my wedding so that neither of us had to have any regrets. She said “firstly I thought you contacted me because you wanted us to be mother and daughter again. I’ve never given you any reason to feel anything but loved and happy” 🤣🤣🤣 deluded??

I then told her that following our huge row nothing at all was resolved and that 6 months followed where we had absolutely no contact – I said that I have completely given up with wanting to discuss that, or my/our past ever again. I said I’ve put it to bed now.

She told me I should give her place to “my dad’s wife” (my stepmum of 28 years!). I told her “if you don’t want to sit at the top table, that’s your decision”.

In the end she sent “thanks for your honesty. Speak soon”.

Wow. I’m still in shock.

My feelings about this are positive – does that sound weird? I feel a huge sense of relief that I’ve been so honest. I’m proud of myself for standing up to her, for saying no, for not being crippled by the guilt she always projects onto me. I’m shocked I was able to say it all (thank Christ it was by text!!).

Weirdly though, a while after the final message I felt soooooo awfully sick. I genuinely felt like I was going to be physically sick. At first I thought perhaps it was because I had pushed myself too hard at the gym earlier that evening, maybe I was getting food poisoning…. but then I realised my body was probably flooded by adrenaline. I must have gone into the fight or flight mode and then once the fight was over, my body was drowning in the chemicals and was making me feel sick. I googled it and it suggested deep breathing, a hot shower etc so I had a cup of tea, a shower and went to bed where i tried to do some deep breathing. Sure enough it went away and I’ve woken up feeling better today.

Zero tears. A bit of shock… mainly relief.