The “Real” Her.

So.… it’s now 24 hours since my session with T.  I am feeling sick (literally) and crying again.  I am still feeling totally confused and disconnected and weirded out.

I also stupidly emailed T to tell her I was feeling shit about 5 hours ago and haven’t had a reply yet which has only added to the shit.

I think that last night I really realised or perhaps the word is accepted – that I am seeing T because I am in therapy.  That she is my therapist.  That she isn’t my mother or my family or my friend or anything else other than my therapist.  I don’t mean that in a “she doesn’t give a shit about me” way like I imagine she will assume I mean.  And I don’t mean that I suddenly don’t care about her either.  What I mean is, she genuinely and literally is my therapist.  Not my mother.

And this means I need to get on and do “the work” (fucking, fucking, fuck, fuckkk!!).

I need to stop “being good” and likeable and loveable and all the rest of the people-pleasing shit I clearly do to get T to adopt me.  I need to accept fully that I am there to do the job – get the therapy shit done.

Easier said than done.  My heart hurts even writing this.

She said I need to use her to get all the shitty feelings out.  Use her to rupture and repair with. Use her to get angry at and all of a sudden……..she changed.

All of a sudden she went from being fantasy T, to … a therapist.  A therapist who cares for me yes, but a therapist who I am paying to help me to heal.

It literally feels like she’s died.

Suddenly she is not “mine” anymore.

Suddenly this fantasy figure has vanished and in front of me last night was a real woman – THE real woman.  A woman who I care for, deeply, but not the fantasy anymore and shit, the pain is literally tearing my heart in two.

Is this meant to happen?

She spoke to me about splitting last night and how I had split her after our last session.  She spoke about the good mother and the bad mother and how, in my head, she was either completely and utterly attuned to me, or, not at all.  She said that I swing from one extreme to the other and couldn’t hold on to any middle ground.  I actually disagreed (in my head) because I had managed to stay okay all week despite this and I had managed to get myself there without crying or falling apart.  I had been okay I felt and I had been able to hang onto the fact that she’s helped me before and would help me again.  I didn’t feel I had “turned her bad” at all.

I don’t feel this is me splitting either.  I can very clearly see she is a kind, caring lady. I can clearly see that she is not all good or all bad.  I can hold the fact that she does care about me as a person.  I’m just saying that the illusion of her has fallen away and now I can see the real person.  Is that splitting? I don’t think it is, but hey, what do I know?

Who knows, perhaps it will speed my therapy up now.  Perhaps accepting that she isn’t going to adopt me and turn into my mother will help me to do the work quicker.  Perhaps that was holding me back.

Perhaps now I can see her for the real her, the therapist, I will be able to get angry at her.  Perhaps the fear of her leaving me won’t be quite so awful.  I mean… she’s dead anyway right? LOL.

Is this normal? Is this meant to happen? If no, then what the fuck is going on?

Am I angry at her for not being who I need and want her to be? No. Why should she be.  I just feel like a total fucking idiot really.

I think when this hit me last night I just checked out. I think I dissociated and then nothing made sense and nothing felt real.  I could see and hear her last night, but not how I normally do.  I literally had nothing to say and felt numb.  It all felt dead.  I think that happened when this reality hit me.  Maybe it was a bit like shock?

I question if this is transference somehow but I don’t really see how it could be.  I didn’t see who my mum *really* was until fairly recently so it can’t be a replay of being a child and realising my mother wasn’t who I needed her to be.

God I hope this doesn’t make me sound like a complete psychopath.

No wonder nothing she said helped last night.  What could she possibly say? No wonder her using words and phrases like “you need to be the client” and “therapist” and “therapy” hit me so goddamn hard! It is like finding out someone is dead and then having someone else shouting out DEAD! DIE! DEATH! as you are trying to take in the news.

She even LOOKED different.  She may as well have been sitting there with a clipboard or something.

I was frozen and devastated. I cried non-stop and yet I had no words.










66 thoughts on “The “Real” Her.

  1. To me that sounds like the disintegration of your splitting, rather than splitting. Previously you were idealising her and projecting the all-good feelings into her. Now it sounds like you are integrating her into someone that is neither all good nor all bad. Not perfect and definitely not the saviour you’ve been praying for. That’s actually an amazing development though it feels awful now (Melanie Klein called it the depressive position, makes sense, as you can see it is a bit fucking depressing!)

    What you would hope might come next is the realisation that you don’t need an all-good mother figure therapist to idealise. You’ll realise she is ‘good enough’ and be able to tolerate that ambivalence. And then be able to turn that onto lots of things – yourself (yep, you don’t have to be perfect and the alternative isn’t that you’re awful!), other relationships, situations, the universe…

    Sorry, I know I don’t really comment your blog, I don’t come on here often anymore, but I just saw your post and that really leapt out at me, because the collapse of the all-good therapist seems to come for everyone doing this attachment work. And when it does, I think amazing things can happen if you understand what it is and stick with it.

    I think you’re doing great. X

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey Amber! Thank you so much for commenting on this. Of all the blogs for you to comment on, this one was deffo the most important!

      Wow thank you – you’ve helped to make me feel less mental. The disintegration of the all good/all bad splitting is exactly how it feels to me. I do feel like she’s not the saviour I’ve always thought she was.

      I can see that in a way it’s positive… I can see that it’s a more realistic view to have and that can only be good.

      Did this happen to you? I’ve never read about this happening to anyone before and I can’t find a single thing on the internet either which certainly wasn’t helping!

      If amazing things can happen due to this collapse then I’ll be VERY relieved.

      Thank you so much again x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think of the turbulence you’re going through as bit like when a flight takes off… it’s terrifying and feels so unstable and there’s a huge amount of pressure and noise and your heart leaps into your mouth and then all of a sudden you’re in the air looking down on it all and it’s blue skies and easy cruising…

        I think it happens and unhappens to me, and I grow every time. I’m really into object relations theory and psychoanalysis stuff, probably because my T is a psychoanalyst, can link you to a few interesting bits if you’re interested. As simply as possible, when a baby is tiny he (am using he so I can use she for the mum) sees his mother as 2 separate people, good mummy and bad mummy. As he gets older and with enough good experiences, he realises his mum is all one person – the mum he felt rage towards for not meeting his needs is the same mum who he felt love towards for meeting his needs. The baby becomes scared of destroying the mum he loves with the rage he feels towards the mum he hates. This spurs the development of his capacity for ambivalence, and resolves splitting, which in turn allows the bubba to develop capacities for self soothing etc. He integrates the mum and therefore integrates himself and the world, realising that most things are mostly good, sometimes a bit bad but the good wins overall.

        BUT – if you have a shitty mum like we all did, you don’t get enough good experiences to be able to integrate them with the bad ones. So the baby maintains splitting as a defence because it doesn’t want to lose the good altogether by drowning it in the sea of bad. Usually it ends up using what Fairbairn called ‘the moral defence’ – projecting the good out into your parents (idealising them though they abuse you) and keeping the bad inside yourself because as F said, better to be a sinner in a good world then be good in an evil world (if YOU are the problem, you can change, after all! Just like you said, you’re trying to be perfect so T will adopt you – perfect doesn’t exist and never did.) This is why we have low self esteem and it takes forever for us to realise what absolute shitbags our parents were.

        So if you carry this into later life it usually occurs in other relationships and especially the therapy relationship. But what it sounds like you’re going thru now is having had enough GOOD experiences with T (and we need a lot more after all the damage our parents did…) to be able to integrate her at last. And see that she is not idealised and magical, she is a normal mostly good person and a ‘good enough’ mother for the purposes of a therapeutic reparenting. It sucks to lose the illusion of perfection but it happens to everyone, just most people get this done in their toddler years and we have the good fortune of doing it in our 20s, 30s etc…

        Sorry for the essay, hope that makes some sense, I think it can be really reassuring to know stuff like this because even if it’s just one approach it still makes you feel less crazy. I know I’m not a therapist or anything but in my mind what you’re experiencing is huge progress. Tom describes it as ‘giving birth to the as yet unlived life in the client…’ and hey, I hear labour is painful! X

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Wowzaaaaassssssssss okay so firstly please don’t ever apologise for the essay, I LOVE reading your comments and I LOVE reading all of what you’ve said.

        I’m going to read it again properly as I was interrupted and was excited as I read so I want to take it in more but it’s certainly very reassuring.

        I can’t believe there could be some progress from what felt like my worst session ever. That’s so helpful (and hopeful).

        I’ve not heard about the moral defence so I’m going to google that in a minute but I absolutely understand about why we would maintain splitting as a defence now, that makes perfect sense.

        Right off to re-read. Thank you again, loads and loads xx

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yep, it’s pretty fucked isn’t it! I always think that too… why couldn’t my parents have not just… ya know… loved me and let me grow into a normal human… but that path usually leads to despair. And we are the ones breaking generational cycles by choosing to change to grow to develop in ways our parents also most likely never did. And ya know, that’s a pretty cool exciting thing and I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who undertakes that journey. Sending peace for you to feel a bit calmer today. X

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Absolutely, it’s really good to know what’s going on, as I say even if it’s just one theory it still makes sense. I dunno how far you wanna go down the rabbit hole but if you ever want any book recs please just ask. They come across so dusty and old-fashioned at first, but then you’re like HOLY FUCK ITS ME! YOU KNOW MY SOUL! And it’s some ancient tome from decades ago. Which is fun. So glad you’re feeling calmer. X

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Amber, I find these very interesting. Thank you for explaining here. My problem is I never thought my parents were bad. I don’t remember ever thinking my parents were bad parents or shitty… They had some issues of course like all parents, but I didn’t grow up thinking I had bad parents. Then I find it hard to find myself in these things, even though my T used to hint to the explantation you made here. Maybe when there’s not obvious abuse it becomes harder to pinpoint that your upbringing wasn’t ideal?


      1. Hi Vera. obviously I am no expert. What I would say is I have a close friend who has pretty similar symptoms to me/ all of us. Overall she had a very good nice upbringing. Her parents may have flaws but they are good loving people and all the other sisters in the family are quite well adjusted. She sees herself as naturally extremely sensitive to the moments of invalidation and injustice and misattunement that occur in all childhoods, and believes her overall good parenting saved her from having full disintegration of self or schizophrenic symptoms. Maybe that resonates with you.


      2. Also, saying you didn’t grow up thinking you had bad parents isn’t the same as saying they weren’t bad. My dad was overtly abusive but I had no concept that my mum was an awful parent until I got older.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks Amber 🙂 I obviously have all symptoms and my parents have been pretty bad to me now that I am a grown up. I guess I always just acted like the good girl to get their approval, which never allowed me to see them as bad parents. I guess more work to be done. Hope all is well with you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I get what you’re saying about suddenly feeling like your T is a real person and how that feels confusing, and quite honestly, scary too. I went through that with Dr L. It changes the way you work with them and that can be really really difficult even though it’s probably healthy in the long run. Sorry, I’m not doing a good job of explaining what I mean. But offering sympathy for how you feel.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes and no. When I stopped thinking of him as “a doctor who would fix me” (because he is a psychiatrist as well as a therapist), which also went along with changing the way I saw my problems – from being an illness that “just happened” (depression) to being the result of negative life experiences, I realised I’d need to take a more active role in the whole process of getting better.

        It was also when it hit me that he was an actual person that all the messy attachment stuff started to really surface in therapy, along with the realisation that he could hurt me in a “real” as opposed to just a transferential way. Previously I had just taken it for granted that he’d always be there and then I started worrying about him getting sick or dying or moving away or something. And I was petrified of becoming closer in case that resulted in having sexual feelings because it would not only be horrendously embarrassing but what if he took advantage of that. That is tied in with my own past traumas and for you there would be different fears. I don’t know how it turns out in the long run because I kind of ran away from that second part by going to see a female therapist instead, and I still feel like I’m only just getting to know and bond with Cat.

        T seems very steady and supportive and I’m sure you’ll be able to work through all of this constructively with her because I can see clearly how much progress you’ve made with her help already, but it’s probably still going to be slow and painful.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Oh goodness DV I can so understand so many of the fears you faced! They sound brutal and so scary. I haven’t read about Cat yet. I so hope she helps you and I can see how a female therapist would be less scary for you given the sexual element – it’s imperative that you feel safe!

        Can you? Thanks DV – I wish I could see my progress but it’s hard when you feel like you’re completely “in it” all the time! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ve only been working with Cat for about 6 months, although we’ve already gotten through one major rupture already where I quit and came back 😖 and although she feels safer than Dr L in some ways she also doesn’t feel as much of a presence or someone I *know* will be there when I need them, and part of me desperately wants to go back to Dr L when I’m struggling and not coping because he’s always been able to get me through that. I do wonder whether I might have to go back and work with him some more after I’ve done the “mother” work with Cat, to get past the “men are scary” thing.

        Also, I just realised when you said you hadn’t read about Cat yet that maybe you’re not seeing my posts because my blog is now private. Let me know if you want me to send another invite to access it.


  3. I think the ‘pivotal moment’ I had back in the summer that I just referred to on my blog was similar to this. I think it’s huge progress for you even though it hurts so much. I know for me shattering the illusion about K protecting me from all the pain of not having been mothered has propelled me forward in my healing tremendously and enabled me to have a much more balanced view of what therapy is and isn’t. She is still HUGELY important to me, and there are still parts of me who 100% idealise her for sure, but for adult me my psychic survival doesn’t depend on her in the same way as it used to. There is a loss involved in that, it is hugely sad realising I need her less now and can manage a lot of my negative and painful feelings without her now, but it is healing too.

    Hope this helps a little my sweet xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m hoping this helps me in the same way it helped you so much. It was awful watching this projected image slide away.

      I can completely understand what you mean about it being hugely sad when you realise you need her less. I guess that is all part of normal development that we didn’t get to do with our own mothers at the normal age?

      Thank you for being there with me through all of this, as always xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey 😊

    When I read this, it sounds like you are doing the work. The acceptance you’re experiencing regarding T and the limitations in the relationship remind me of those same points of realisation you’ve hit with your mum – wanting your mum to be something more than what she has been, not to be perfect but to be checking more of the standard mum behaviour check boxes. Mum and T are very different, but the end result is the same? No one is being mum?

    Sorry this all feels so horrid.

    Hugs ❤️


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well hello stranger? How are you? It’s been forever!!!

      Haha “the work” gahhhhhh! 🤮

      Yeah you’re so right there. It’s a real realisation of the loss of “mum”. I’ve definitely projected all my mother hopes onto T and now it’s becoming glaringly obvious that she can’t be who I need and want her to be – because she’s my therapist and not my mother or family.

      It’s so tough x


  5. gah, twink, i soon feel this (and your other post too). so, this is the beginning of dealing with the transference — and for sensitive children of narcissistic mothers, the transference is the heart of our therapy experience. i have had a few sessions like this — where i am triggered and dissociated, and in which my therapist can’t connect to me or I to her. for me, this has been the rupture — not getting angry, but letting myself sit in the shame and terror of the disconnect. repairing has been about resolving it with her. it took a whole year to admit the extent of the transference I was experiencing with my T, but we’ve been working through it for months now and it’s completely transformed our relationship and my life. my T is my age (or actually a teeny bit younger) and so it’s a bit different because I don’t project maternal stuff on to her, but I do feel the loss of it being a professional, and not a personal, relationship in different ways. In any case, to echo the others, this is the work and you are doing it! I’m sorry this part is hard — but the other side of is beautiful, and you can get there! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hey also, i want to add this: i got to this place, the one you seem to be in, when i sort of had to accept the in the end it’s just me: i grieved the loss of never having a capital-M mother while accepting the limitations of my very-present, real-life mother, and then kind of had to come to terms with the fact that this big gaping hole that a healthy attachment should full was mine to carry alone. Since then, and at my T’s prodding, we’ve been working with the notion of inner-boding and self-love (Dr. MArgaret Paul’s work). Like Amber, I am way more into psychoanalytic takes, but my T pushed me to think about cultivating myself as motherly attachment, reparenting myself and learning to tend to the attachment wound myself. it’s been hard work but also wonderful, and its making me a better wife and parent too. i hope you find new strategies to adopt when this period of hard grieving starts to ebb. love to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey slantgirl!

      Is this transference then? I wondered but I can’t really understand how?

      Is it re-experiencing the disconnect? Is that what it’s about?

      I agree and my T only said on Tuesday that rupture doesn’t have to be an argument, rupture is anything that shakes our inner world – so like missatunement etc…

      I’m just struggling to understand how this helps haha xx


      1. Jumping in here! My understanding is it is the start of the end of the very intense transference. Although it is painful it has meant for me I can really take in therapy and what I DO get instead of wishing it was something more/something else. It has propelled me forwards in healing and caring for myself. And K is still very much there as my secure base and attachment figure, that hasn’t changed, but I think the intense longings have. And in some ways that actually feels safer xx

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Ooohhhhhh okay, see I’m struggling to work out how it’s transference so maybe this makes sense to me – being the end of the transference rather than the beginning of it….

        So do I tell my T that she’s no longer all powerful in my head lol? X

        Liked by 1 person

      3. She’ll be delighted to hear it! As was K this week when I told her that for the past few months therapy has been less central and she’s barely been on my mind between sessions (compared with before anyway!!). She wants you to heal and grow. Plus, as you said a minute ago, she already knows she’s only human haha 😂

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Also, to echo what slantgirl said above about how we have to accept that in the end it’s just us – this big gaping hole that a healthy attachment should fill is ours alone to carry. Although that is painful, accepting this has actually been transformative for me – I soothe myself and the young parts better and can pull myself out of the darkness and it’s not all about K. It’s helped me reach out and connect with others and think about what I want and need in my life xxx

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Ooh lovely to wake up to this convo (I’m in North America!). Yes, this sounds like the last phase of transference – the moment when you can start working with it consciously. The way it might work is this: for awhile, you’ve been unconsciously relating to your T as a maternal figure. This has been great because it’s let you do the work of thinking through attachment while safely attached to someone safe and trustworthy. But now you’re through the other side – and you are, twins, since your wedding the openness and difficult times and personal transformation is so evident to all of us who read your blog. You’re really grieving the mother wound, and understanding how it work, and moving to accept it. Part of that is letting go of the ways you’ve asked T to play surrogate mother – aka letting go of *transferred* dynamic you were using in therapy to work out your issues with attachment. T already knows she’s just human and not magical – and I think what she’s doing when she’s trying to push rupture/repair is to let you know that even though she’s not your mum, she is still safe and on your side, and you willing to hold all of the disappointment and fear that accompanies this moment you’re in when the picture becomes clear and you start taking the shoes towards healing that attachment wound yourself. Does that make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh good morning then haha! It’s 11am here and I’m at work so I’m jealous of your sleep 😂

      I love your writing here, it’s so relatable and easy to understand and validating. Thank you for taking your time to comment back to me, it really is helpful and I appreciate it so much.

      I get it – I get I used her as my maternal figure to feel safe enough to attach to. I get that now I’m ready to face the harsh reality and know that no matter how horrific it feels, she will be there to help and she won’t leave me with the pain.

      Wow is it? I am genuinely surprised by that. I just feel like since my wedding I’ve become a miserable bitch hahaha!!! But I agree I’m grieving more than ever before.

      That’s true, of course T already knows she’s only human (haha that’s funny I said that I needed to tell her!!).

      Me willing to hold the disappointment and fear … yes that’s it isn’t it. I am willing to try and hold it now. Even though it’s hideous.

      Wow !


      Liked by 1 person

      1. glad this helps! i love your blog because it’s so relatable and you’re so honest about your process. i’ve hit so many of the same stumbling blocks in my therapy, and in trying to navigate a relationship with my mother. you are much braver than me in being really honest with yourself, and also in depending on your T. I struggle with holding things back from her – a lot of my stuff coalesces from a fear or rejection – and it’s holding up the process for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How long have you been in therapy for? It took me quite a long time to get to the stage where I felt safe enough to be honest. It took me about two years to be able to cry and only recently have I been able to relate a memory to a feeling. I’ve been going for 4.5 years – 5 if you include the times that I quit and went back and quit again…..

        I find I can be honest on these blogs because I feel like it’s my diary, it doesn’t really matter what I say in it koz none of my family or t can see it haha!


      3. I’ve been going for 18 months… and am gradually accepting that it’s going to be long term. I hope I get there! I feel like I can’t imagine what we’ll still have to talk about in 6 months time, but I’m sure stuff will come up. 🙂 what has your evolution through therapy looked like?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha you’ll wish you had never asked!

        I started therapy when I was about 23 I think, living on my one and dating an idiot who was one in a very long line of idiots…. I went to see T, then got a new idiot, sorry, boyfriend and told her I didn’t need to come anymore (by text). She tried to get me to stay but I ran away. I even refused to see her for a last apt. That happened a few times. Then someone at work was murdered and I went back – she told me I had to commit to the long time and I couldn’t so I quit again……

        Then I met my now husband and he basically told me that my insecurity and stuff was a problem and that he didn’t think I’d be able to handle his ex wife and children the way I was. I knew he was right koz everything was such hard work and I was soooooooooo jealous and insecure. So I went back and this time I’m still there 4 years later.

        T told me early on that my mother had narcissistic personality disorder and I had no idea what that meant. I spent a weekend on the internet looking it up and felt over the moon with relief that there was actually something wrong.

        It started there really. I couldn’t access my emotions at all and t used to tell me repeatedly to stop intellectualising but I didn’t know I was… I was obsessed with reading about therapy and therapy books and anything about narcissism…

        I couldn’t cry… took me about two years

        I didn’t want her to be important to me… I hated the idea she could be important to me.

        Then she became important to me and it was weird! I read more ….

        Then we started to have some ruptures… then I had to tell her I had internet stalked her and made myself sooooo upset…. then I had to tell her about the fantasy mother (I blogged that letter)

        Soon the tears arrived….

        Bout of depression…. off work for two weeks in June 2017

        Me and my mum fell out on a HUGE scale last November – blogs on here about that too…..

        Then since it’s been basically one huge struggle through all the grief and abandonment pain and attachment wound etc….

        Now it seems I’m having emotional flashbacks and stuff….


        Liked by 2 people

      5. thanks for sharing, Twink! I guess the takeaway is to just stick with it… When I started, I thought I’d go for a few months.. oh well!


  7. This is where I am, fear and disappointment. Off work sitting on the sofa in the mourning phase. Sometimes the pain of being shut out is annihilating. I just keep talking to T about it (and in my head when alone) so that I can hopefully internalise a sense of comfort with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well hopefully it will help you to know that you’re not alone and me (and evidently many people who have commented!!) understand the feelings. You’re not going crazy, I understand and I’m here if you need a chat xx


  8. Hi
    It’s too difficult to read all the comments, so I don´t know if this is really something new to you. Like I’ve said before, I really enjoy reading about your progress and many times it feels like your words could be mine, and that is helping me making some sense of all that shit I bring home from therapy. It’s a little weird, because I’m old enough to be your mother, and we both have almost 5 years of therapy, so maybe the healing process is the same to everyone and it doesn’t matter how old you are, you still have to deal with all that shit?
    These are just some random thoughts.
    About this process therapist/fantasy mum, just want to share how it works with me. When this needness to be cared and held as a child comes along in session, my T. tells me (over and over and over again) that she is so sorry that I didn’t have it, she would love to do it but it´s not possible. Because that´s something that can only be lived as a child, even if I could became “her daughter” that needness would still be there, because I´m not a child anymore. As a child we are 100% dependent of our mother, and we need to feel safe, wanted and loved by her. If not, we grow up in surviving mode because it´s really a matter of life or death.
    This needness for a mother will always be with me, and the challenge is learning to live with it. I’m learning to identify when this needness apears in other relations, to acknowledge the sadness and loneliness that comes along and cry with that little girl, and to ask and accept the caring and love the people in my life can give me as an adult.
    It hurts to hear “I can´t be your mum”. But it feels great to hear “I´m not like your mother! I will be with you all the way, won’t leave you until you are safe.”
    And I guess she’s saying both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Fatima, thank you so much for your lovely comment. I’m so pleased that you can relate to my writing as it makes me feel less alone and less mental!

      I don’t think it really matters how old we are if we have attachment wounds/attachment trauma. I think in effect we stay feeling like unloved little girls (or boys) until we do this work and learn to integrate etc you know?

      God it’s horrible. I’ve told my T similar things. I’ve dreamt about being at her house and being in her car etc. I totally get what you’re saying though, even if she did actually adopt you, you’re an adult now and they/nobody could give us all of what we need to fill that gaping mother wound.

      I had always hoped that the neediness for a loving mother would end when therapy did, but I think I’m in agreement with you that it’s just about learning to handle it. Learning to love and comfort our inner child, getting out the grief and anger and reframing all the wrong internalised messages about how it was ever our fault etc.

      I think my T meant to say “I won’t hurt you like your mum did” but what I hear is “I don’t love you” and the pain feels absolutely awful doesn’t it.



  9. So many comments and such an interesting beautiful encouraging discussion ❤

    The only thing I might add is that maybe you're not in touch with your true feelings, but rather thoughts? I used to think I don't feel that way, because I don't think that way, ie being angry. I don't think I am angry so must mean I am not angry, but that doesn't mean I didn't FEEL angry. It's just my thoughts and logic would get there before I got a chance to feel what I was feeling.

    Especially I thought this when I read this sentence "Am I angry at her for not being who I need and want her to be? No. Why should she be. I just feel like a total fucking idiot really". I don't know if you are angry or not. I think you might me. But your logic tells you that you SHOULDN'T. This doesn't mean that you aren't feeling angry.

    And I hate the splitting talk omg. I had to go through that many times. And every time I thought the same as you. But I don't SPLIT you I don't split anybody. I can see that you are nice and caring.

    Hope today is better ❤


  10. Gosh I could write pages right here but since I’m new around here I won’t!
    Loss is all around us…
    The wound we are mourning is so complicated.

    I’m going to throw something out there for thought…

    I actually wanted T to be just like my Mum, because as long as we could be enmeshed I didn’t have to feel the real pain of normal separation, just like everyone else, of which I didn’t have the tools to deal with, because my Mum colluded with me to obtain some non separate relationship. Vicious circle?

    Was it Freud who said a wish was a fear and vice versa?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I feel like I’ve halted the discussion – apologies if anyone has taken offence?
    I just wanted to share an insight that I had over the past few years that although I was enraged by my mother not letting me be separate, I came to see that I also wanted her to stay that way. Because the alternative was to have no one. We all face separation from our mothers but if they couldn’t hold us in our pain and fears and sadness (which narcissistic mothers can’t) then the alternative is to stay enmeshed.
    I hope no one thought I was implying we consciously choose these strategies. They are survival based x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think you’ve halted the discussion whatsoever lovely please don’t worry about that! Honestly people often forget about the convo or just reply to their own comment trail etc – sorry if I didn’t reply, it’s hard to remember which comments I have and haven’t replied to on my phone haha!

      I 1000000% understand what you meant and as the daughter of a narcissistic mother who neglected me until I was 18 and then completely engulfed me, I get it! I because enmeshed with her because the alternative was to be alone… and die basically! So I get it, I really, really get it!

      This is very interesting and it’s making me think a lot about my therapist too. Maybe this transference towards her was me trying to be enmeshed… perhaps that’s why when she mentioned her own mother or I found out she has children I went so mental?! I couldn’t bare people “getting in-between us”? Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I think when T falls from the pedestal it can be scary because it feels like the only way to stay alive is to get the ideal mother.
    When you say ‘she’s just a T, it’s just therapy, it’s not real’ etc I could hear my own T fighting back against that. This is the most real relationship you’ll have had yet. And although you pay for it, your T is not just her title, she is a human who cares and understands and can still offer what you need. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m deeply sorry for my uncalled for outburst. That was very uncharacteristic of me. (Not an excuse but I was terminated abruptly recently and the unbearable pain spilled out into your space, which was very wrong and unfair of me. I hope you will accept my apology)

      I’ve been a quiet supporter and reader for quite a while.
      I think you’re doing really great in therapy

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for that. I was quite taken aback but I could see that you were projecting your own pain. I am very sad for you if you’ve been terminated – especially abruptly – that must be so hard. I can see that posts about people’s therapists would trigger you. Maybe you should be careful what you select to read whilst you try and care for yourself in this place.

        Have you got someone helping you? X


  13. Yes, that is very good advice, thank you.

    I guess because he was a part of my life for over two years until now, I’m having to suddenly re-adjust to what I read. I have been following you, amongst others in this community, for at least as long as that and have never had issues with being triggered by what I read. It will be a shame to miss some posts for a while, but perhaps it is necessary for the time being. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

    I’m genuinely sorry that my first comment on your blog was neither supportive, nor helpful x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly don’t worry about it. You were triggered and felt angry – I’m sure many of us would feel the same in your situation! It will be hard to not read things you used to read but maybe just until you feel safer and less triggered – it doesn’t have to be forever.

      I hope in time you will continue to read my blog and comment as you would like, don’t feel you can’t do that anymore because of one small instance. Honestly I do mean that.

      I hope you can get another therapist to help you through this tough time. I’m sorry you’re in this awful place xx


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