Wow I haven’t really blogged much in a while. I’m not sure what happened, I just kinda got out of the habit I suppose which is weird after all these years. Still, in a way I take it as a sign that I have less on my mind these days that I am trying to process, so that’s quite reassuring.
My lack of blogging also seems to fit in quite well with my feeling of no longer needing my second session. When I look back, I used to be preoccupied by all things therapy/childhood/mother 24-7. Some days I spent hours googling things about narcissism or about trauma or about childhood neglect or abuse. Some days I blogged constantly just to try to rid my brain of some of the many, many thoughts and feelings I was having over things. That is no longer the case.
With regards to therapy, I have felt the shift for quite a while now. Therapy isn’t like it used to be anymore. There are rarely any tears. My mother only features briefly and our conversations tend to be about current day things – mainly non-important things like work or the new house or, recently, my marriage/husband.
I feel differently with T, too. I feel relaxed with her in a way I never used to. I am not planning sessions in advance. I don’t think much about therapy between sessions, if at all. I think about T sometimes, like the other day when I bought myself a new Mason Cash mixing bowl because I bought T one last Christmas. On the whole though, she doesn’t take up barely any of my mind other than a comforting presence in the background somehow if that makes sense.
I’m not sure when or why or how it happened but I don’t feel I have any strong feelings left whatsoever in relation to my mother. In fairness I haven’t seen her since July… so that could be a reason I suppose, but christmas is looming and I am not experiencing any anxiety with regards to telling her I won’t see her at Xmas (at this stage that’s obvious). I no longer worry about upsetting or angering her because we seem to have come to some sort of (non-verbalised) agreement that’s we only see each other once every few months for an hour in a public place. She hasn’t tried to get me to her house or to see her husband in a long time. She doesn’t ask any questions about my husband or the children and I’ve stopped caring about that.
It sounds cruel but basically the lack of contact between us has seriously reduced my constant preoccupation and anxiety. I feel I spent (literally) YEARS crying out the hurt and pain and guilt and everything else and now…. there’s just this lightness and it’s kind of gone.
T said the other day how sad it was that me and my mother don’t even see each other over Xmas or even seem to care about what gift we will get one another (she sends me a list!!) and I said to her that whilst I know it is sad, I just don’t feel that anymore like I used to. T said that’s because I’ve moved into acceptance and that’s exactly how I feel. It isn’t that none of it matters anymore but in a way, I feel like I’ve done the hurting over her and my past and now I’ve just sort of accepted it, grieved it and I’m moving on.
I spent many years thinking that the acceptance stage would be sudden and I also thought acceptance meant forgiveness. For me it doesn’t look like that. I feel in my soul that I’ve reached the acceptance stage and I don’t wish my mother harm – I just don’t really think much about her anymore at all. Looking back 5 years to when I first started seeing T, I couldn’t ever imagine saying that. God how fused I was with her.
I look back to sessions with T over the years when I cried over my jealousy towards her children or my thinking she has a partner. I remember writing pages about how I wished she was my mum, about wishing I could curl up on her sofa in her house and be looked after. I remember her buying me Frank as a transitional object. Me borrowing her books just to feel some closeness. Me reading up about therapy so I could try to be like her or at least impress her with my knowledge. I remember all of these things clearly, in a way I can remember the pain I felt at the time – but not in a way that hurts me anymore. The memories make me sad for the little girl in me, but the adult me has taken over and I no longer feel any of these things at all.
It feels like I went to T with the most gaping hole where a mother’s love should have been and T filled it as best she could to the point where nowadays I feel lightness and happiness in a way that I genuinely never, ever thought I would.
None of this is to say I’m suddenly done with therapy or that I don’t need T or I’m done or anything, I can’t actually imagine not seeing T ever – that would be so bloody sad, but, my dependence on her has certainly lessened. My dependence on therapy has lessened. These days my sessions are helpful and I kind of offload and chat to her and I enjoy seeing her, but there are no huge emotions to process, never any crying as I leave, I don’t miss her between sessions like I used to.
Last October I used to feel a really, deeply painful longing between sessions, now I genuinely can’t imagine that feeling. It’s really quite amazing.
I still have my triggers of course. In fact me and T “arguing” (my take, not her’s) on my quitting my second session is one of them. We discussed this only yesterday again now that I am calm enough to listen. There’s some transference going on in these discussions where what I hear/feel from T is “I know you better than you know yourself and you will regret this”. As soon as I told her this yesterday I realised I recognised those words… “I know you better than you know yourself”. Goodness me – she still gets in huh??
It was interesting and we spoke about this in some detail. T said I get so triggered by that fear and that I become very defensive and angry and she said she can feel that I feel attacked by her even though she isn’t actually attacking at all.
It’s amazing to see that play out and it’s true. I asked her yesterday, plainly “do you have any concerns over me dropping my second session?” And she said she did not, not at all and that she knew I would be perfectly fine. She just said she would have liked for me to have the luxury of the stability two sessions offered as long as possible but that she did understand and that we could always talk about how it feels when the time comes etc. She just said she didn’t want anything done in a hurry because she felt because of my childhood, I was good at being able to just sever things and walk away without many feelings and so she wanted to make sure this was handled differently. That makes sense and I agree. I told her (again) that I never meant that I wanted to drop my second session instantly, I do know that one of my issues/weaknesses is recklessness or perhaps more appropriately, impulsiveness.
Anyway, I do think it’s what I want to do and I genuinely feel it’s the right time. I worry that I will miss it but I think that’s just fear of the unknown – I know I don’t “need” it anymore.
It’s progress anyway, it feels like progress to me – all of this.