Longing for the mother

I woke up this morning with a thumping headache, a bad mood and a bad back ache. The back ache has got gradually worse the last few days but today it hurt a lot.

As we are staying with my fiancé’s family at the moment and his kids also stay with us at weekends, it was all a bit too much for me this morning. My mood was getting worse and holding it all in was getting harder and harder.

I found myself thinking about my T. I have thought about her a lot the last few days since my session on Tuesday. The closest feeling I could relate my feeling to would be “missing”. It was like I was missing her but I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate.

I touched on this briefly the other day, but the words I come up with are words such as “longing” and “missing”. As one of my fellow bloggers pointed out, it’s the grieving of the mother wound. I’m in touch with feelings of loneliness and sadness. It’s feelings I experienced when I was young and stuck with an emotionally unavailable mother. Isolation and sadness, emptiness. I feel those things again today and it’s very hard.

I wrote a list of words that just felt relevant to me today, they included the following words:









Attachment pain?

Mother wound?






So I think perhaps the feelings of sadness, aloneness, missing and longing are old feelings and in the here and now, they make me want to seek comfort and nurturance, connection and warmth. I want the familiar and genuine connection T offers me. I guess what I’m craving is “a mother”. MY mother but not my actual mother – it’s back to that fantasy mother I guess.

T provides me with some of the things I feel I need today and so I guess it makes sense for me to long for her in some ways – even if it’s not really her I need, but MY mother. The hole where my good enough mother should have been/be, but isn’t.

Days like this, times like this, being around lots of people makes me go stir crazy. I really struggle with that. I need time alone, I crave space and quiet. I need to cry or read or write or drink tea in a blanket. I struggle being “stepmum” and looking after the kids because I guess I’m triggered to a child like place myself and if I’m totally honest I think I struggle to be affectionate or enjoy them because it taps into the lack I had/have. I know that’s not what I should say or how I should feel but the words just came out so I’m sure they must be true.

It makes me angry. Perhaps my anger is hiding my sadness? Either way I couldn’t cope this morning and so guess where I am as I type this on my phone? I’m in my car. My lovely new car. I decided to grab a flask of tea, my psychologies magazine, my “Dear Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother” book, my make up bag(?) and off I went. I have only driven to the local park where I’ve parked up with the heating on and I’ve put my make up on, I’m listening to the radio and the snow is gently falling. I feel so calm now. Nothing like 45 minutes ago where I could have exploded from all the various emotions I wrote about above.

There’s some guilt that I shouldn’t be hiding in my car on my own and that I should be with my fiancé and the kids but I need to look after myself too, right? And what good am I to any of them in the state I was in earlier?

I feel so mean saying this but this is my happy place right now. I’m so at peace right now. I’m warm, I have my tea, I’ve kicked off my Ugg boots and am sitting cross legged (I’m small!), sipping my tea and typing out all these feelings which gives me such a release. I could stay here for hours if I didn’t feel like I should be with them.

I’ve read many articles which say in order to heal you need to internalise the good enough mother (so T) and that you learn to mother yourself and you learn to soothe yourself. I wonder in times like this whether the longing for comfort and closeness will ever go – right now it feels unlikely. I know I’ve been able to calm myself a bit, I’ve been able to give myself a little bit of space and I do understand that is progress… but I would still just like to be looked after if I’m honest. What I would like is for a really tight hug from a caring and kind mother. I would like to be a little girl for the day and not the adult. I hate that I’ve missed that chance and that I’ll never get that again.

I’m grieving that chance I suppose and I’m craving closeness and connection to make that pain more bearable when perhaps I just need to learn to tolerate it and let it pass?


Safe enough to “act out”

I’ve been thinking of my phone session with T ever since we got off the phone yesterday. I’m pretty sure I was processing it overnight and it was the second thing on my mind when I woke up this morning (second only to the fact we have to find a new house to live in!).

One of the things that I remembered since writing last night was T saying that it was actually a sign of feeling safe that I was able to cancel my session the other week.

Don’t get me wrong, she very quickly tried to encourage me to always go to my sessions no matter how hard it was or how angry or upset I was feeling, in fact she said “even if you have to get here crawling on your hands and knees!!” So I just want to make it clear that she wasn’t rewarding me for it so to speak.

She said that I must have felt some sense of safety that I could be angry and cancel a session knowing it could, possibly, hopefully be repaired and made to feel better again… eventually.

She asked me whether I was scared she would retaliate or attack back or punish me for my anger and I told her that actually, I had been able to hold on to the fact that in the past she has never done that and that I did know she would allow me to have and tell her my feelings without embarrassing me. I did manage to hold that fact (this is progress, right?).

I’ve thought about this a few times since and it may sound a bit weird but I think it does show a sense of safety doesn’t it?

I used to always strive to be TWBTC (the worlds best therapy client) and obviously perfect therapy clients do not cancel sessions and do not experience any anger towards their T’s do they? Yet alone TELL them about it! So yes, I do think it shows some kind of ability to hold on that all will not be lost, all will not be ruined and destroyed forever.

This made me think about what would happen with my birth mother (note the negative tone). I genuinely don’t remember a single time that I’ve sat my mother down, told her that she has upset me or annoyed me somehow and had her say she understands how I feel and apologise OR say she understands how I feel even if she has her reasons. Isn’t that saying something? I have NEVER had that experience with her. Not once.

What I have had is her belittle me, tell me I am pathetic and childish or need to grow up or attack me back with things I have done that upset or hurt her somehow. She had often told me how ungrateful I am and remind me of “all the things she’s done for me” but the difference in the two experiences is huge.

T reminded me yesterday that my mother’s inability to show me love and affection and the fact I didn’t FEEL loved, was about her and not me. She said quite strongly that I AM loveable, that it was her issue and not mine. She also said that mothers who absolutely smother their babies and are draped all over them is about their needs (the mother’s) and not the baby’s. She said it’s similar in therapy, the baby shows it’s mother what it needs and so does the client. There is no need for a mother or for a therapist to smother. It doesn’t allow the baby/client to breathe and think for itself.

Anyway, the point of this blog was meant to be that although not advisable or encouraged, it may well be progress that I’ve been able to get angry and “act out” probably safe in the knowledge somewhere deep down that she will still be there.

Trying to recover from the rupture

As 4pm drew closer today I began to feel more and more nervous. At ten to 4 I had to rush to the toilet where I got stuck for the entire 10 minutes (sorry for TMI)!. I watched my phone hit 4pm exactly and felt sick… I found T in my call list and pressed dial.

The phone rang just once or twice and then T picked up. I didn’t know what to say to her.  We said hello and then she asked me how I was currently feeling  had felt since I had sent her my email the other day.  In all honestly I wasn’t sure how I felt so I actually had to think about the answer to that question. I told her that her reply to my email had helped to lift a lot of the anger and pain and that knowing I would be talking to her today had also helped although I admitted that I was nervous and scared that it may end up making me feel more pain.

T told me that she had done some writing that she wanted to read to me to try to explain why she spoke differently to me and to other people. I was quite shocked at this, I’m not sure why but I think it’s something about the fact she had been thinking about it a lot and had clearly put a lot of thought in prior to this call.  Writing that now sounds obvious really doesn’t it? I guess of course she did.  Anyway, she begun to read to me and I can’t quite remember what she said but I do remember that I started to cry pretty quickly because what I “heard” at first was something that meant “some people need more love than others – than you do” and I cried because I thought my worst fears had come true. There really wasn’t anything she was going to say that was going to fix this rupture and there really was nothing she could say that was going to make me feel better, to enable me to trust her enough to be vulnerable with her again – to do the work with her anymore.

She said something about how she didn’t want to force herself and her love on me (as I heard this I thought to myself “it isn’t forcing when I want it”.) She said something about how my mother was an overbearing narcissist, that she didn’t want to repeat that for me and that she trusted me to show her what I needed.  She also said some things about how she worked using her intuition and that she truly believed that she was a good enough mother figure to me, and to all of her clients.  Now I got what she meant about my mother being an overbearing narcissist in one sense, but in another I was confused because my mother DIDN’T show me any love or affection so surely that isn’t the same? Surely that IS exactly what I need? There was so much being said and so many thoughts and feelings going on at once that it is hard to remember it all now.

She then explained how everyone she sees has different needs and said to me to think about my 3 stepchildren and how I would treat them all differently, but love them all the same amount.  She said you could have two children and one need a lot of reassurance and the other not need that so much. She said she worked using her intuition and was guided by me.  At this stage I was feeling pretty confused because, as I’ve already said, I understood what she was getting at, but I just kept thinking… yes, but I NEED you to show me love and affection so why won’t you do that??? If we all have different needs and I’m yelling at you because I want something (for my needs) then why aren’t you doing it?

I cried pretty constantly the whole time she was saying these things and then she asked me if I understood what she had said.  I told her I kind of did but kind of didn’t and she said it was okay if I didn’t fully get it at this moment in time, that perhaps I would in the future and that perhaps it would take more than just this one hour (someone had said this to me in a comment the other day and I am thankful they did as otherwise my expectations would have been too high – thank you).  I still felt rather disappointed and a bit deflated at this stage.  I could hear she was trying to make me feel better but it just felt a bit like what she was saying to me and what she was expecting me to feel weren’t tallying up somehow.  Like, was I missing something here?

She said that there was no denying it “was a monumental way to cock up“.  She actually admitted to me that when she realised what had happened, she had to phone a therapist friend of hers to cry to them! I felt instantly very guilty and sorry for her when she said this and said “oh nooo did you?” and before I could finish saying it she snapped quite abruptly “No! You do not feel guilty for that, I am not telling you that for you to feel bad about, but simply so that you understand that I did and do care very much“.  She said she knew instantly how deep this would have hit me and then said that the only reason she didn’t pry into how it had made me feel instantly and by text was because I was meant to be in session with her only a few hours later – until I cancelled.  She also added that being a therapist was a vocation to her and not just a job.  She said she really does get it and does deeply care, it wasn’t somethign she did simply to pay the bills.

I eventually said to her outright “I get that everyone has different needs and that you treat us all differently, just as I do my stepchildren, I get that.. but, I feel like I am always fighting to get someone to show me love and they never do and that IS what I want!” T said that it might feel to me like what I need is for her to show me lots of “gushing love” but that often what we think we need, isn’t actually that helpful for us.  She said that if she is working with someone who has had no love and affection from a mother and who has suffered childhood trauma and cruelty, that gushing them with love would be extremely damaging and painful for them.  My ears pricked up…  I questioned why and she said in the most extreme case, showering someone who has been loved deprived with affection COULD lead them to commit suicide. At this point I was listening intently but still confused and then she said this:

“Imagine a baby that is starving, literally starving and nearing death, extremely malnourished and very sick.  What you might think you need to do is to take the baby and feed it and feed it and feed it to make it better, to save it? But actually that would kill the baby!  What the baby would need is to be drip fed tiny bit by tiny bit until it built up a tolerance and could slowly adjust to having more food”…

Something about this image clicked in my head and really made sense… okay… okay, this was helpful – I told T this image was very helpful. She continued explaining and said that in my head I think I know what I need but that a lot of that was fantasy and built up using the fantasy that she is the perfect mother and that the perfect mother would and could never hurt me.  But that the fantasy was wrong.

I told T that it was so painful for me because so many times over the years I have got upset and complained to my mother that she never hugged me or told me she loved me or showed me any affection and my mother would shame me and tell me to grow up and tell me that I wasn’t a child and that I was pathetic.  I said it felt like the same thing was happening all over again – not the shaming so to speak, but like T was saying that she wouldn’t show me any affection even though she could have.  I told T that my mother was always very gushing with her men – just not me and the feelings were triggered by the text she sent me.

She said something again about being led by me and I said something like “but I have told you before that I sometimes find your emails lacking warmth and a bit cold and clinical!” and she said it was quite a while ago and said “lets not get too carried away, it is only an email sign-off, you do FEEL my love in many other ways – I know you do and I know that you have the capacity and capability to feel that love. Some people cannot feel it and need me to speak to them in different ways, in ways that might help it to get through to them. You feel my love here”.

Hmm…something about what she said made me feel ashamed. It felt as though she was saying “Jesus Christ, it’s a bloody sign off on an email!” and so I said that I understood that it was stupid and I was being irrational but she butted in and said she doesn’t think that for a single second, she said how much she understood the pain was very deep. She said every therapist’s favourite line… twice “This IS the work” with extra emphasis on the IS. I had to try not to chuckle.  She then spoke about “the frame” which I took to be a reference to the therapeutic frame, as in the guidelines or something? She said that it is expected and normal for me to want to bash the frame about and hit it and try to change it and it is her job to hold steady whilst I did that.  This gave me an image of a toddler who wants things it can’t have and kick and screams for them all the while the mother is calmly saying “no” but not shaming the child and, perhaps, validating the child’s pain? I don’t know, I could have this entirely wrong. I need to do some reading about the frame to fully grasp this I think.

[What I need to write next may offend/upset/annoy or possibly trigger those who have D.I.D or parts – I am not sure but I want to be cautious so consider this a warning if you want to continue reading].

T said that the person who the text was actually for was much more dissociated than I am and she said that sometimes she “doesn’t even bloody know I am here at all! I have to fight to get through to her to know I am there for her!”.  She then said I wasn’t that split and dissociative and that I did know she was there – that she only had to say something gently and I knew it, but that the other girl didn’t.  She said that working with parts was an entirely different way of working but that I wasn’t that split-off. She said that I was integrated.  (I questioned how true that was as she said it..).  She later said that the work I was doing was entirely different and that we were “nowhere near each other” whatever that meant.

I told T that I always secretly hoped I was her youngest client and that it made me special to her somehow.  She told me that it didn’t matter whether I was the youngest, oldest, prettiest or whatever.. that I was special to her just for being me.  She said that I didn’t need to “jump through hoops” for her.  I cried as she said this even though it felt a bit of a cliché you know like “you are special just the way you are”… but I think I believe her….. I think.  She said that I was working “beautifully” and was doing very well and that she admired me said I had plenty of courage even if I didn’t feel I did at times.  She said something along the lines of how the other client was in a very difficult place and that therapy was very difficult and unpredictable for her but for me, I may be struggling but i am progressing along very well.  I have mixed thoughts about this.

She told me that there was a space inside her that was just mine and that nobody else could ever take or come near because it was just for me and then said that she wondered if it felt a bit like finding out you were going to have a sibling when you were a child – others – someone else to share mum’s love and being really angry about it.  She said she wondered if it reminded me of when my sister was born?  I admitted when my sister was born I was terribly upset and jealous, having been an only child for 7 years, I was used to that and when I already had no love or affection another child surely meant I would have even less?! I’m not sure how accurate that fear was because it made not difference to the lack of love I got but it did result in lots of other feelings of insecurity and being forgotten or left-out.  It set me (and my sister) up for years of competing for her attention. The ultimate power-trip I guess. MEH.

She told me she had a lot of love and care for me and she said if I wanted her to sign her emails off “with love” from now on, that she would. I felt immature but thought to myself that it really isn’t the same when you ask someone is it? LOL and then she said …. I try to match your style in your emails to me… and I interrupted her and said, I had thought this only today.. when I re-read my emails to her, I always signed them off “Thanks, TT” and admitted that was rather formal, especially for me! I said I had done that because I was copying her style and she said she was following my lead!!! I did laugh at this.

I guess the main things I took from the call were that she thinks lots of affectionate words and gushing love is NOT what I need, even if I think I do… that she thinks I have the capacity to feel her love in many other ways and that some clients do not and that because I am in a constant state of hypervigilance, looking for perceived proof of being rejected or abandoned, that is why this hurt so much.  It did tap in to some very deep wounds of mine, mainly being unloved/unloveable and not special.  She said once or twice that I did not get to experience the good enough mother and that I was not taught that was allowed to feel angry and resolve something with her and that her love did not change for me if I did have those angry feelings.

Right now I have lots of words and thoughts and reactions to sit with and work through but I do already feel heaps better.  She reminded me that each rupture we get through is helpful and will build a deeper level of trust.  She said with each rupture that we successfully repair, I will gradually remember that things can be survived no matter how hard they get between us. I understood what she meant as she said this because the other day it seemed insurmountable and now it doesn’t.

Right now, believe it or not… whether she signs an email “with love” or just her name feels wholly insignificant… isn’t that funny? Or perhaps makes me a little crazy! Perhaps her reassurance has helped me to come out of my triggered place and back into a more rational and adult place? I’m not sure.  I feel hopeful but yet the remains of some sadness lurk below the surface, a bit like when you’ve got back together with an old boyfriend and you are glad but you feel a little fragile and kinda nervous and careful? on guard perhaps?? I dunno, it’s hard to explain.
































































































Mirroring Feelings of Disappointment and Sadness.

Happy Boxing Day everyone. I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas Day and enjoy today whatever it brings for you.

This is the first time I’ve been able to sit down with my laptop and write and I feel like I need the release so much. I feel like I have so many different thoughts and feelings floating around in me and that once I’ve managed to write them out, I will feel a bit lighter for it. Here’s hoping.

So the things on my mind are: My mother and her Christmas Day text – the confusion and conflict that brought me, my decision and the end result.  My Dad and his texts over the last few days and the feelings that has brought up in me and my T and my feelings over her and the general feeling of Christmas having not seen anyone in “my family” (meaning my family of origin rather than my family of choice).  I apologise that some of this will be duplication from yesterday’s short typed-on-my-phone posts and some of it may already be written in comments but I am going to write it all out in full here for my own benefit really.

My Mother & Christmas so far

My mother sent me that I love you text about 3/4 weeks ago and I ignored that.  The guilty feelings over that passed pretty quickly, much quicker than I thought they would actually.  Then came the Christmas card last week.  That triggered yet more guilty feelings in me but I did ignore it because .. well, what was the point of it? Perhaps if she had written something other than our names and theirs… but she didn’t and so it made me feel as though it was more about keeping up appearances or being able to tell people she had sent us a card which would make her look like the good mother. Moving on, Xmas Eve I said to my fiancé that I knew she would text me and I knew it would be early in the morning. She has always got up very early Christmas Day to cook so I made the decision to turn my phone off when I went to bed. That is unheard of for me, my phone normally just goes on silent but I didn’t want to look at my phone when I woke up (which I always do) and for that to be the first thing I saw. So off it went and I waited until me and my fiancé had got up, had a cup of tea and opened our presents before turning it on. Sure enough there was a text, sent early which read “Have a lovely Christmas. Love you lots xx”.

From then and for the majority of the rest of the day, I was distracted with thoughts about that text. I didn’t know whether to reply or not. I toyed with what would happen if I ignored it and what would happen if I replied.  Neither option felt good to me, both felt like a no-win situation.  I tried leaving it to just percolate in my head as I showered and things but could feel my mood plummeting. I didn’t want to feel that sadness on Christmas Day and so I guess in hindsight what I wanted to do was whatever stopped me feeling shit, sad, guilty and ease my conscience a bit.  Equally I kept asking myself “what do you WANT to do?”.  I tried hard to distinguish between what I wanted to do and what I felt I SHOULD do and that was trickier then you might think.  What I WANTED to do was to open a text full of sorry’s and messages asking for my forgiveness but clearly that wasn’t going to happen and obviously I had no control over her actions anyway, so what did I WANT to do myself? I still don’t really know the answer to that.  I acknowledged I had heaps of guilty feelings going on in my body, guilt that she would be sitting there sad on Christmas Day because I hadn’t messaged her back and that I wouldn’t be seeing her. Those fantasies (however inaccurate) made me feel terrible.  I told my fiancé that was what my imagination was drawing up and he asked me whether I thought my mother felt wracked with guilt when she left me home alone on Christmas Day when I was younger or if she was full of guilt now at the ways she has treated me etc.  Obviously the answer was no. I could tell from his tone that he was a bit agitated at my guilt. I can understand that from his point of view to be honest, it must be hard when he loves me and he sees and hears about all the hurt she has caused me and then sees me beating myself up for being guilty.

We then arrived at my fiancé’s parents’ house and so from that point onwards I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity to talk about it again. I was now on my own with it. We had a lovely day with them, they are such lovely and kind people. We had a lovely dinner, some drinks, a toast, some photos and played board games – all the normal things families do that I always craved growing up. It gave me the warm fuzzies in one sense, because it was what I had always wanted but it also made me feel something else…. some kind of missing. Missing having my own family to do that with – missing “them” even though “them” are dysfunctional and toxic and even though I would never have been doing those same things with “them”.  It’s hard to put in words what I mean, but it’s something about not having my own blood to feel those things with/for/about. I don’t know if anyone will understand that feeling?

Anyway, I’m not sure what happened but all of a sudden I went onto my WhatsApp and actually opened her message, before I had only previewed it.  When I did, it said she was online and something about seeing her online did something to me and instantly I typed a reply “You Too x” and I hit send before I thought about it any further. I then stupidly watched until the message got two blue ticks which took about 4 or 5 minutes and then she disappeared offline again.

The effect that had on me was that in one sense the guilt eased up immensely and in another, I felt weirdly disappointed that she read my response and then went offline. Gone again. Just like that.

I know that sounds completely ridiculous. I said myself that one of the reasons I was worried to reply at all was that I didn’t want messages back and forth… so I got what I wanted didn’t I? You’d think so.. but for some reason, it felt strangely sad to me that nothing further was said. I totally appreciate that there isn’t much you can say to “You Too”, it is hardly a conversation starter is it? What exactly was I hoping for? I guess if I am totally honest I was hoping for something along the lines of “I miss you not being here today” or perhaps “Christmas isn’t the same without you”… I don’t know. Having said that, I DIDN’T want to have to reply to tell her that our argument was still unresolved so what did I want? Total contradictions and complete conflict. I know none of that makes sense. Feelings don’t always make sense I guess.

Nothing has happened since then. I told my fiancé when we went to bed at his parents’ house last night. He thought I was joking until I told him I really wasn’t. He seemed disappointed and shocked that I had sent a reply. I know he doesn’t want me to know he really would rather I didn’t speak to her again because he doesn’t want to control how I feel or think, but it is clear to see. He hates her for the things she has done to me and the way she has made/makes me feel.  He said the other day he just wishes she would fight for me – show a bit of effort for once. I am sure I would feel the same if I were in his shoes.   Today I am just left feeling a bit….. a little bit empty I guess.  I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but I do. I just feel Christmas isn’t quite right. I feel a bit lacking of something. Some familiar family time or something.. I don’t know.

Anyway, that’s that. Moving on, my Dad.

My Dad

Things have improved with my Dad recently. We have spoken via text more than we ever have before. I am not sure if that is because we are both making a conscious effort, whether it has something to do with me not speaking to my mother (from both of our point’s of view) or whether it is something else but it is good.  On Xmas Eve he sent me a text which said “Happy Christmas Eve my darling xx” and it nearly made me cry. It touched my heart instantly. I was actually mopping the bathroom floor at the time and I felt so much warmth come into my body when I read that. I replied a few minutes later and said what a lovely message it was and said the same back. It was lovely.

Christmas Day he sent another message this time he said “Happy Christmas my daughter” and again, it felt lovely. Really lovely. Such simple things that meant so much. We then had numerous texts over the course of the day, some in the morning and some in the evening.  Then today he sent another!!! Happy Boxing Day and “two more sleeps” meaning until we saw each other. Later in some messages I told him it is my last Christmas with our surname as I will take my fiancé’s name next year and he said he wasn’t sure he liked that and that he hadn’t thought of that. It felt strangely nice that he felt he didn’t want me to lose our surname – our bit of connection I guess? The messages made me feel young I suppose.

I later told my fiancé about these messages and he said how he was really glad and that he wasn’t a total write-off after all (as we had both said many times over the years). I was shocked but I said to him “It just makes me feel a bit sad…” my voice cracked and my eyes welled up instantly. I had to try really hard to choke back the tears. As that happened his car alarm went off and he had to go and sort it out and that conversation never continued but I realised that the messages were and are nice.. and his effort is wonderful but the thing that makes me sad is that I am nearly 30 now.  I needed this so badly before now…. I don’t say that in an ungrateful way. I’m not saying it is too late, clearly it isn’t, but it taps me into some more loss. Loss of being a child that received messages like that from her daddy. I needed that so much then.  It also taps me into some sadness over how my mother (unconsciously I am sure) ruined any chance of that for me and him.  For whatever reasons, her narcissism, her jealousy, her insecurity, control? whatever, she put a big wedge between us. She made me doubt him a lot, she told me lies about him and constantly told me how he didn’t care about me and I was a child who naturally believed her mother.  When the whole false-self thing kicked in and I morphed into her when I was a late teen, he had no hope. WE had no hope.  And so, it is better late than never of course, it truly is… but it makes me feel another sense of loss and missing.


And lastly, T.

I am very aware at the moment that I have such a strong desire to stay away from T.  I am very glad that there is no therapy tonight and I am still very glad that I didn’t go to my session last week either.  I don’t feel in touch with any real sadness of not feeling a happy and warm connection with her although I guess it must be in me somewhere.  I just feel a real need to stay the hell away from her. That stupid message hurt so much and I feel so childish and immature and pathetic for feeling that way. It’s based entirely on jealousy and insecurity isn’t it, I can see that… and I can see that I am doing the whole black and white splitting thing again which isn’t healthy or very adult and I don’t WANT to feel how I do.. but .. I do.

I feel silly for writing this but it’s like it has ruined everything. It feels it has taken away something so big. It has changed how I see her entirely.  The fantasy has been ruined and what is left is the truth that T feels differently about me than she does about that other person.  That other person whose name I will never forget. Why do I have to feel so extreme about this? I can see it shouldn’t make me feel this way. It shouldn’t change anything and yet it does. It has.

It sounds ludicrous I know, but all I want to do is run away and never have to see her again. I don’t want to talk to her about this. 1 because – well, CRINGE and 2 because – what is the point??? She can’t say anything that will make this feel any better for me. Perhaps she will empathise and say she can imagine how painful it is and that makes it worse. I don’t want her pity.

The other thing about that bloody text is that the therapisty bit in there was so generic. It is the same words and phrases that she uses with me. Of course it is! But seeing it for yourself in black and white makes you feel so… so insignificant and so…. just so nothing.

I can see that the facts haven’t changed. That she has been sending other people messages like that for the entire time I have known her, I just didn’t know.  I can see that it doesn’t change the fact that we have done lots of good work together and that I have benefited hugely from our sessions but I can’t get the reality and the mature outlook to tally up right now. All I am left with is this feeling that everything has changed and will never be the same. Some kind of disappointment and sadness.  Much like I am left feeling right now about my mother and my Dad.

I’m sorry to anyone that has read this far that this is such a negative and bleak blog for Christmas, for Boxing Day. I just needed to write this out and try to get it off of my mind a bit.  In a few hours the children will be back with us and I have to get myself back into adult me.. until then I plan to snuggle under my new super soft blanket and hide away from the world.

Twink x














































































I have no more fight left today

This is a warning that I am having some kind of melt down right now and this post is likely to be full of anger and rage and sadness and Christ knows what else. Maybe stop reading now if you are feeling delicate yourself.

I don’t know what’s happening but I am having a really horrible body reaction to how overwhelmed with anxiety, stress and anger I am feeling. I’ve never felt anything like it. My heart is beating out of my chest, my body is tingling and feels weak, I feel sick, my stomach is going crazy and I feel kind of dizzy and spaced out.  A minute ago I felt like if I took a sip of the very large glass of wine I have poured, I might be sick.  My entire body is triggered or something. It feels AWFUL.

If you have been reading lately, you will know the background around the shit storm that is happening at work.  Yesterday I was offered a new position within the company and I felt such intense relief that I could get out of that department and away from those two girls making me feel so shit. At 8pm last night, I got a call from a woman in HR to tell me that she couldn’t agree to me leaving until a replacement had been found and that it would take at least a month.  I totally broke down on the phone to her. I sobbed. I was unable to speak. I totally lost it.  She obviously needed me to tell her what has been going on and so I did, I didn’t have much choice by that stage and so I was honest. I told her how those two girls had been making me feel and that I couldn’t do that for another month and that actually, I seriously would have to leave the firm if that was the case. That wasn’t meant as blackmail – I really would have left.

Luckily once she witnessed the state I was in on the phone, she agreed I could leave my current team this Friday for the Xmas break and start my new department on 2 January.  I came off of that call utterly broken, but relieved.

Today I went into work, which believe me is not easy at the moment.  The 2 girls didn’t speak to me, nothing new there, but I felt more awkward than ever because I knew they probably knew. Later I was called into the head of the department’s office. He is a cold man at the best of times and he wasn’t very supportive. He asked me what was going on, I told him in brief detail that the department wasn’t for me and that it wasn’t working out.  He said “you seemed happy enough at the xmas meal last week” which REALLY pissed me off. What was he implying? That I am lying? Making the whole thing up? I snapped back at him “That was two weeks ago and last week was awful”.  He was blank-faced and even when tears began to fall down my face and I couldn’t get my words out, he just glared at me.  I felt like dying.

When the “meeting” was over, I left his office and the 2 girls were directly outside the room (which by the way is glass so they would have seen me and probably heard me which is just great..).  I walked to the bathroom where I, yet again, collapsed into tears.  I didn’t ever want to come out.

I then got a text message from my ‘aunty’.  She isn’t my blood aunty, but has been in my life since literally the day I was born. She was like a second mother to be growing up. I used to stay at her house all the time with her two boys who I refer to as my cousins.  My mother used to go off gallivanting with her latest bloke and I would stay there for weeks at a time. She was always so loving to me, I’ve always, always loved her.  Anyway, she said she needed to speak to me.  I knew instantly this had to be about my mother because she doesn’t often text me and she never says she “needs” to speak to me. Initially I thought she was going to be a flying monkey and was going to tell me my mum was upset or something and my back was up.  I was wrong.

I spoke to her on the phone at lunch time and what she had to tell me was that she has fallen out with my mother on a HUGE scale because my mother told her she is not to speak to me anymore. I can’t even believe I am typing this.

My aunt was very honest, she admitted that initially when this happened, which was apparently about 6 weeks ago, she said she rarely spoke to me and my mother said to her “If you speak to TT, please tell me” and she admitted that she agreed with that.  Well, you may remember it was this aunt’s birthday party a few weeks after me and my mother fell out and I knew I couldn’t go unless I wanted to see my mother, so I text her to say I couldn’t make it because of what had happened to the kids, and because I had fallen out with my mother and that we weren’t speaking.  She replied at the time to say she was shocked to hear we weren’t speaking and that she was sorry I couldn’t make it.  Well, she also admitted, she sent those messages to my mother when she next requested evidence of our communications.

Apparently my mother then rang her Friday night just gone to ask her if she had spoken to me and she told her that she had text me recently to say she was sick with the flu, but would send me some dates that we could get together as soon as she was better (this was because I asked when I could see her as I couldn’t make her party).  Apparently with this, my mother went APE SHIT at her and they ended up having a really horrible argument on the phone where my mother told her she should be loyal to her and not to me and that she does not expect her to speak to me at all.  I don’t know exactly what else was said but my aunty said that she told my mother she had done nothing wrong and that my mother wasn’t having any of it.

My aunt said she slept on this argument and then Sunday sent my mother a very long message which said………. wait for this…. that she thinks she needs to learn about sexual abuse and the implications it can have because she thinks this is where all the issues started.  That the fact my mother couldn’t and didn’t handle me telling her what happened to me is the start of our problems and said to my mum, that the same thing happened with her and her mother when she spoke out about her own sexual abuse. GOBSMACKED.

She said the message wasn’t aggressive or nasty or blaming, but that she said in it, she thinks if my mum were able to help me deal with it in a better way, we would be closer and that she thinks my mum’s reaction to me telling her what had happened has caused the anger and resentment in me which has led to this huge fall out between us.  I interjected here and said that our problems go way further back than that abuse.  I was 14 when that happened, she had been hurting me since the day I was born.

She then told me she doesn’t know why exactly we fell out. I laughed – literally. Funny that! So I told her the truth. The argument began by me confronting her about what she has been saying to my aunt and to my sister about me and my fiancé, which my mother furiously denied and called my aunt a liar.  She told me if I believed her over my own mother, I could get out of her house. I told her she then went on to tell me I was brainwashed and needed sectioning and all of the rest of it.  My aunt, understandably was gobsmacked.

Anyway, the very long story short is that we realised (well, she did) that my mother wanted to keep us apart so that aunt didn’t find out that the row was about the fact my mother had been caught out.

Apparently my mother never replied to my aunt’s text on Sunday. I’m genuinely very surprised at that because my mother ALWAYS has to have the last word. She told me she doesn’t think they will ever speak again now. I told her I think she might be right.  That’s two people in the last few months that have called my mother out on being a fuck up of a mother. Me and now my aunt. She will be steaming angry.

My aunt said that she does believe my mother is extremely upset that we aren’t speaking and that she will miss my wedding. I told her, well, if she would rather not speak to me again or come to my wedding than take a look in the mirror and admit her mistakes and apologise for them – then whose fault is that? She agreed.

My aunt also told me that a mutual friend of hers and my mother’s had been to see her since this and also said she should stop seeing me for my mother’s sake and that she had said to her she absolutely wouldn’t do that. This mutual friend apparently said to her, “She was a really terrible mother though, I know”.  She apparently said that repeatedly in front of my aunt, and her husband. Shame she doesn’t tell my mother that too.

I told my aunt that my mother was acting like a fucking dictator. Who does she think she is telling her who she can and can’t talk to? EUGH. Thank God she didn’t just comply with my mother. No wonder my mother hasn’t replied to her, she will have cut her off now as she is no longer compliant and enabling.

It’s a shame that not everyone stands up to my mother. My sister won’t see me now either and I know why.  She’s been promoted to golden child and is loving the attention she is getting. Little does she know she’s just been recruited as another rescuer. Someone to give my mother all the narcissistic fix she needs. To tell her how nothing is her fault and that me (and my aunt now) are horrible abusers who she is best off without.  It is only a matter of time before I get a message to tell me she wants nothing more to do with me “because of the way I am treating mum”.  I will link to this page when that happens.

I feel bad for my aunt. She will be feeling so shit right now. She won’t want to lose my mother’s friendship. She has been discarded now she is no use to my mother. It’s actually a GREAT thing but she won’t feel like it is right now, of course.  She’s put up with so much from my mother over the years, I did ask her why she is still in her life anyway. She then told me she would have to “return the lovely bracelet”…. what bracelet? Apparently a few weeks ago my mother gave my aunt an engraved bracelet which said “friends forever”….. clearly it should have said “friends forever.. as long as you do what I say”.

I brought my sister a present this morning. A necklace with an elephant on that symbolises love and a special gift box and gift bag which had stars on it which reminded me of our favourite bedding we had as kids at her dad’s house.  Now I’m not sure whether to send it to her or not, I mean… she clearly doesn’t want to be in my life now anyway. Will it be seen as emotional blackmail? Will it be sent back to me? Ignored? I don’t know what to do.

And then there’s the absolute fuck up with T.

After that wonderful phone call I went back to work and saw T had sent me a text. The text wasn’t for me. It was for Sonia. WHO THE FUCK IS SONIA? Now, accidents happen, mistakes happen – especially when using technology but the problem is, that the way T speaks to Sonia is NOT how she speaks to me.

Firstly “Dearest Sonia”….. then normal therapist shit and then… “Much Love”. OUCH OUCH OWWWW OWWW OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

Two tiny and simple words that somehow sliced through my heart.

Well this triggered me instantly of course. Why does she like, sorry LOVE, Sonia and not me? Why is she so warm to her and not to me? Why doesn’t she say things like that to me? How old is she? Why does that even matter? I don’t know.

I know this is totally illogical and irrational and totally immature, but I always hoped it was ME that she liked best. Maybe loved… I always hoped it was ME she had a soft spot for and that I was the only client. For some reason I want to be the only young client – mother/daughter fantasy I guess?

Anyway it fucking hurt and I text her to tell her she had sent it to me by mistake and she replied so casually saying oh yes it did, sorry, see you tonight.. and I thought PFFTTT no you won’t.

And so I cancelled my session.

I have NEVER cancelled a session. Ever. Not once in 3 years, not even for genuine illness.

In fact, my session should start in exactly 5 minutes and I have absolutely no fucks spare to give.

On top of the shit with work, the stuff with my mother and aunty, my sister and everything else, this really was the final nail in the coffin. I just can’t take any more today.  I know that sounds very victim like and poor me and I hate that but… that’s the absolute truth. I feel like if I let myself, I would have some sort of breakdown. I’m not sure I would be able to pick myself up from it very quickly.

I know T sent the text by accident. I know that. (Please God if you comment, don’t say that, I know it I promise) but it has made me feel like she is fake and she doesn’t like or love me in the way I had tricked myself into believing she did. Certainly not like she loves Sonia.

Maybe my attachment system has been activated and I’ve gone into flight mode by not having my session, I can see that at some point in the future, days or weeks, I will be over this enough to talk to her about calmly, but today is not that day and today’s session shouldn’t have been about that and it would have had to be. Not going isn’t about punishing her, it’s about trying to protect ME.

I’ve had enough of fighting this week. I feel mentally exhausted.

On that note, it’s dead on my session time. I bet she thinks I will still be there. I bet she doesn’t believe I won’t go. I pray she doesn’t phone me because I just can’t speak to her. There is no more fight in me.












































































































I smell a rat

I’m not sure what I am thinking or feeling right now. I am hoping that just sitting down to write will help me tap into my unconscious and help me to figure it out.

As per my post last night, written in a hurried and frenzied state, my mother finally broke the silence and sent me a message. She sent it at twenty to eleven on a Friday night which would mean she would have been drinking for several hours by that point. I know this because my mother spends EVERY Friday and Saturday night drinking. Before I wised up, I used to go there every Friday and drink with her as she verbally tore me apart or told me what to do about my latest life drama. I was totally enmeshed and felt I needed her for my very survival. Probably still stuck in the child feelings I guess? I wasn’t being my true self, I wasn’t being ME, I was using a fake persona, I had tried to be more like her. I didn’t realise at the time that is what I was doing, but hey, hindsight and all.

I read her message by accident. I was already talking on WhatsApp to someone else when her message came through and I clicked on it without even realising until I read the words and then my heart fell. I panicked. I freaked out big time. I burst into tears, my head hurt, I felt a surge of sadness, anger and guilt all at once and felt like my head could explode. I’m not even exaggerating. The tears oddly stopped rather quickly and I felt numb. I tried to work out how I was feeling and numb was all I could tap into.

The thoughts and observations that ran through my mind were things like – She said she loves me! She said she misses me! Then, still no accountability or apology… She’s probably drunk and playing the victim crying to her enabling husband… If I don’t reply now she’s seen I’ve read it, I’ll look bad and give her more to play on. Eugh. Why now? I don’t want to deal with this.

Something else I couldn’t help but think about was that I finally made the decision to spend Xmas Day with my fiancé’s parents – a decision I’ve written about recently that I’ve been putting off and off for the entire 6 weeks me and my mother didn’t speak. I had to fight a lot of guilt and fear to get to that stage and the very day I make the choice, she texts. Total coincidence I know, but feels like she has a camera on me or something. That isn’t the first time I’ve said, felt or written that either.  It’s scary. It’s like they can sense when we move a bit further away or something and they know when their contact will make the most significant impact.

I put my phone on the floor, on some clothes so it didn’t vibrate and wake me up should she text again and fell asleep.  I had a dream and I can only remember the main thing in it was a rat. I seem to remember I was sat on a bench with my youngest stepson and I could hear a noise but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. I looked down and there was a rat nibbling away at something and I freaked out!! Later in the dream I was somewhere else and paranoid and looking out for possible rats. I am a big believer in hidden messages in dreams, I do think if you pay attention to them, you can see what your less conscious thoughts are, so I looked up the meaning of dreaming about rats and the general consensus is about a person’s character being sneaky or betraying you somehow.

The first thing to think about is whether you or someone you know is behaving unethically in a situation in your life,” suggests O’Connor. “You often hear the expression that someone is a ‘rat,’ meaning he is untrustworthy or has betrayed someone.

What do rats represent to me? Well, I am scared of them – just like my mother.

I was paranoid there would be rats around me – Possibly a symbol of my fear of seeing my mother around.

I wasn’t aware of the rat being there until I heard it and spotted it – a bit like how I felt last night when that text came through totally unexpectedly.

Anyway, moving on from my dream. How do I feel about it today? I genuinely don’t know. I haven’t had much time to think about it all as the kids are here but I feel better than I thought I would. I feel better than I think I would have done a few weeks ago. The instant reaction was that I was triggered instantly into wanting to believe her words.  Her saying she loved and missed me being things I’ve spent forever wanting to hear, feel and believe. The other instant trigger was guilt. Guilt that she was upset, guilt that she would know I had read her message and ignored it… guilt knowing that would upset her further.

Then more rational thinking kicked in where I was annoyed that the message only spoke about her. “I” miss you and “I” love you.  I wished there had been some accountability and an apology but I do know logically that is never going to happen.  I guess there is still a part of me that can’t quite let that go.

There was a bit of anger that this is what she does. No matter how big the row, or how severe the topic, it is always swept under the rug and never dealt with. Okay, so the love you, miss you thing is a new tactic, but it doesn’t deal with the reason we aren’t speaking does it. It doesn’t offer some kind of resolution or attempt at apologising… it feels to me like it’s undertone is “Just so you know, it is you that is creating the silence and distance, I am still here for you and still love and miss you”…… I don’t know if she realises that or whether it is unconscious but that is how it feels. It’s clever because I did instantly think to myself “So she wasn’t not talking to me…. it was just me not speaking to her was it?” but I know that isn’t true.

I’ve questioned why has it taken 6 weeks for her to send that? I have believed for a while now that she didn’t think I would be able to stick to it for long and that I would “come running back”.  Maybe she thought it would be eating me alive not speaking to her and I would either apologise or try to sweep it all under the rug like she does – and I’ve done neither thing.  Perhaps it is in attempt at resolving things (ignoring things) as Xmas is closing in on us.

I guess that for her she doesn’t think she has done anything wrong, doesn’t think she needs to apologise for anything and so saying she loves and misses me is all she can do.  Perhaps it helps her to sleep at night thinking that it is ME that is choosing to ignore and hurt her. Choosing to reject her love.  I am being the bad, grudge-baring daughter who has been brainwashed my her fiancé and her therapist.. who has “so much bad feeling” towards her for no reason that there is nothing more she can do other than to send the occasional message of love so that I know she’s still there for me, when I’ve stopped this ridiculousness and woken up to the reality that she is in fact, perfect and a great mother.

I’ll admit that there is a bit of me today that is thinking, if I ignore this message, that will really upset her, yes, but it will shock her. I’ve NEVER been able to ignore a sign of love or affection from her. If I shock her enough, perhaps it will force her to look at herself harder or make her realise that I really am going to need an apology and that I really am not going to come running back apologising.  I hate myself for thinking like that because I know that narcissists cannot empathise and that they are unable to be accountable or genuinely apologise.  I mean, surely a normal mother would be able to look back and say, I should have done better, I have regrets and I am willing to do whatever I need to in order to make it up to my child? Or is that me living in a fantasy land? I never really know.

Imagining ignoring a message of love from my mother would have sent me spiralling a while ago. There is definite improvement in that I don’t feel full of fear today…. but I am not entirely comfortable with the fact I haven’t replied.

So, what happens next?

What do I want to do about it? As a few people said last night, I need to take my time with this and let things percolate a bit. I know that. My fiancé told me to do whatever I really want to do.  He said “I know it isn’t as simple as this, but if you want to text her, then text her and if you don’t? then don’t!”.  He then asked me outright, do you want to? and I said no.  So for now, not responding is my choice of action.  Who knows how I might feel in hours, days or weeks.

I’ve written it a million times already, but the only way I see the possibility of having a relationship with her is her admitting she fucked up and her apologising genuinely.  Being truly remorseful. So without that, there really isn’t any relationship left. Her not taking accountability or apologising and validating my lifetime of grief, pain and rejection leaves me stuck in anger with her. Anger that I can sometimes hide and sometimes attack her with.  It wouldn’t be an enjoyable or healthy relationship for either one of us.

This happened 3 years ago. It happened again 6 weeks ago. Next time I fear it would happen much, much quicker, days or weeks perhaps.  I am much less able to tolerate it than I was then. I’ve done a lot more healing than I had then.  I was stuck in a deeper level of fear then. Saying that, visualising being sat at her house with her and her twat of a husband makes me feel sick – so there’s a long way to go.

The thing I find confusing and surprising is that normally a resolution would fill me with joy and hope and I don’t feel either of those things with her. It sounds utterly selfish but if I got that validation, acceptance and apology, it wouldn’t make me happy that I could now rebuild a relationship with her, it would be for the child inside me. It feels like it would enable my healing process to speed up – I know that isn’t necessarily true – but since when were feelings ever logical hey?

If you’ve made it this far without wanting to shout and scream at me “You stupid girl! She will never do thatttttt!!” then I take my metaphorical hat off to you because I am sure I would have lost patience by now.  Thank you for reading and supporting me through this, it’s a relief to be able to write here and not be judged.

TT x











































































Trauma Bonding: Growing up with a narcissistic mother

Last night I sat up until 1am writing my draft letter to my mother about going no contact. Somehow I ended up reading about Stockholm Syndrome and how that relates to growing up with a narcissistic parent.

I already had an understanding of what Stockholm Syndrome was but had never really applied it to myself in any way. I then started reading about trauma bonding and realised that it was something T was trying to explain to me just the other day.

I had said to T the other day that I sometimes feel guilty that I am not in contact with my mother, that I haven’t tried to fix things with her and that I am planning to send a proper no contact letter soon. I told T that I didn’t know why I was feeling guilty because I knew that my reasons were very valid, but that I couldn’t help it.  T told me that years ago, she worked in a job where she would have to remove abused children from their mothers/parents and that the children although black and blue, or starved and malnourished or neglected, would kick and scream to stay with that abusive parent.  I was shocked as she told me this.  She explained to me that babies and children were automatically programmed to bond with the caregiver – it was natural and was in fact a case of life and death. I guess she explained trauma bonding to me but just didn’t us that exact phrase.

Reading about both trauma bonding and Stockholm Syndrome really helped me last night. It has played on my mind a lot since and has really helped me to understand the reasons why I find it hard to detach completely from my narcissistic mother.  It helps me to understand where the guilt, shame and panic come from.

When a baby is born they bond automatically with their caregiver.  They bond for safety and for survival.  I read today that it is basically a defense mechanism to prevent the baby being annihilated. They attach to stay alive.

These are the 4 conditions that need to be in play for a victim to experience Stockholm Syndrome:

1. That there is a perceived threat to the captive’s existence, and they fervently believe that the captor will carry out that threat.
2. That the captor experiences small kindnesses from their captor within a context of terror.
3. That the captor is isolated from any other perspectives other than those of their captor.
4. That the captive perceives they have an inability to escape.

Obviously these conditions can relate to many victims of many different types of abuse, but I refer to my experience and that of growing up a daughter of a narcissistic mother.  You will be able to see how all 4 conditions were active.

A child bonds with their abusive caregiver in order to survive. Literally. They do not know any different.  They get good bits every now and again, that eternal dangling carrot – which makes the child just try harder and harder to get the love and approval it so needs and desires.  A child clearly cannot escape.  The child learns to blame its mother’s shortcomings on itself.  If only it was smarter, better behaved, prettier, more fun. It teaches itself that it is not mother’s fault. Mother after all is a strong, competent and all-poweful protector.  The child therefore is faulty.

For a child, even when things appear to be going along nicely, the child is in no doubt that this will be short-lived and that at any moment, the narcissistic mother will snap back to her aggressive, cold, unhappy and angry ways.  The child therefore tries its hardest to keep her happy. It becomes hypervigilent to the highest degree. Keeping mum happy is the safest thing for it and so it complies in whatever way is necessary.  You see then that the child is living in constant fear. It has a constantly activated fight or flight system.

Imagine then, if the struggle is that hard for a child when things appear to be going nicely, how awful it is when things are NOT going nicely.  I can’t talk on behalf of other children of narcissists, but for me, it was an extremely scary time. You have the emotional pain of the cold, distant and unloving mother but you also have the raging mother, the mother who is pulling apart your character, taking away anything that you love or enjoy – including, for me, people I loved like stopping me from going to my nan’s.  Basically if mum wasn’t feeling good – nobody was. Those times were hellish.

Eventually the child learns to be grateful for any small mercies.  To try hard to keep mum happy. To protect mum from anything that may set her rage off.  For me this was entertaining my sister, feeding her, bathing her, helping her with her homework (to lessen poor mum’s load), cleaning the house and doing the washing (again, poor mum had enough on her plate), trying to predict anything and everything that she could need. Then, when the narcissistic mother showed some kind of remorse or kindness (if you can call it that) the child feels indebted to the mother and relates this feeling to both loving and being loved.  This feeling of being in love is what makes the child (perhaps an adult by now) viciously defend the mother from anyone that may question her.  You can see then, why children that grew up with such a distorted view of “love” can find themselves in abusive and dangerous relationships as adults. You can see how these children become codependant.  Their template for healthy relationships was unhealthy to say the least.

The same dynamic applies in physically violent relationships.  The same conditions apply and the same trauma bonding patterns play out.  The victim is triggered back to their childhood way of relating and the fear of annihilation is again, very real just as it was when the victim was a baby and needed to protect itself by bonding with its mother.  Again, this is where people-pleasing and hypervigilence come in.

I have been very lucky not to end up in a violent relationship, but I watched my mother being the victim of domestic abuse several times. I could never understand why she stayed, why anyone would stay, her reason that she loved him always infuriated me – I guess now I understand it a little better. After all, she grew up feeling the same way herself . Thank God I didn’t follow in her footsteps.

My T has told me this is also the reason I never found myself attracted to the “nice guys”.  I confused normal for boring and dysfunction and possibly abuse, for love.  Now when I hear young girls saying they fancy the “bad guys” it makes me shudder.


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Morning all,

So its Tuesday 24th October and its 9.40am.  I am at work but my team are in a meeting and so I have a few moments to myself to write.

I feel pretty good today. No particular reason that I can think of apart from the fact its therapy day and those days always feel good.  I made more of an effort with my hair, make up and picked a nicer outfit than I sometimes do (although I admit that is mainly because it was at the top of the ironing basket and didn’t actually need ironing – Win!).

I’m looking forward to seeing T tonight although acknowledge some nerves about talking to her face to face about my feelings after my last session.  The fact I was crying and feeling as though I missed her, which later turned into more of a grieving over what I had “missed” out on in my childhood. Feeling such polarities in the lovely warmth of the connection I felt with T mixed with the grief that I didn’t get that growing up and my “foreboding joy” habit kicking in as explained in Sunday night’s post.

I know that T will be kind and gentle, I know she will understand and I know she won’t mock or tease me, yet the nervous feelings are there and I think it is important that I acknowledge those feelings rather than trying to pretend they are not there.  This is growth, right?

I thought to myself last night (whist on the loo of all places!) that I hadn’t sent T my blog from Sunday night although a large part of me wanted to. I questioned why that was and the answer was that I had already emailed her on Friday and it felt too soon to be sending another email. This is something that has come up many, many times for me in therapy.  T always says that I put these rules in, not her and that she has never said that I can’t send emails or that I have a limit or anything like that. I know this is true but I am fighting against the internal fear that I will hit that invisible “limit” and be rejected and/or punished.  Just the image in my head of how that scenario would play out makes me feel sick.  The humiliation and rejection is just too much to bear and so I would rather not risk coming too close to that imagined boundary – just in case.

So what is neediness? According to Psychology Today neediness is:

“The feeling and behavior that corresponds with the frustration of having unmet needs.  It’s that feeling in the pit of your stomach that says that something is wrong in your life and you need someone or something to fix it”.

I relate to that feeling of needing someone to fix it. That is how I feel when I am having feelings or a struggle and I want to email T. I know realistically I could cope without emailing her, but the urge to contact her is too huge.  I feel in those moments that only she can help me reduce those intolerable feelings.  Sometimes just hitting send on my email takes the anguish away. That has always baffled me.

This lead me to think that if I did everything and anything I wanted to with regards to reaching out for T, having contact in-between sessions as much as I wanted etc, that I would become too much. Again, this is a familiar fear of mine and one I’ve written about before and also a fear that many other bloggers have written about so I know I am not alone here. I realised that the fear I have is of suffocating her and being far too clingy that she wouldn’t be able to cope. I thought to myself, if I contacted her whenever I wanted to, if I really, really had no limit whatsoever, I genuinely worry that I would push her away and that my needs would kill her or something. It would all get too much and she would combust.

Seeing those thoughts written down I can see that the fear goes back to growing up with my mother.

Being told you are “too needy” when you are a child would have that effect wouldn’t it?  And I think that witnessing my mother not being able to tolerate my “neediness” or my dependency on her has resulted in me assuming that nobody else could tolerate that either. That wasn’t helped when I reinforced this belief in my choice of men to date! My more open mind is questioning this belief and thinking:

What if T doesn’t react like your mum did? What if she CAN tolerate your dependency on her?”. 

This thought makes me laugh at the irony that only a couple of weeks ago I was freaking out at the thought that T was purposely trying to keep me weak and trying to keep me down so that I had to rely on her whilst she controlled and manipulated me to do what SHE wanted me to do….

So lets just summarise those thoughts:

I feel if I show my true neediness/dependency on T I would kill her off….. [My fear that I am too much and that it will lead to abandonment like it did when I was young].

Yet I also feared (no longer) that she was trying to keep me dependant so that she could control and manipulate me into doing things for her gain… [My fear that she is dangerous and trying to control me – is this a defence? Feeling anger instead of fear?]

How very confusing.

T regularly tells me it is okay to have needs. I hear her, I know she is right but there is still a part of me that just will not let go and relax completely into those feelings. They are still so scary to me. I think it comes back to allowing yourself to be vulnerable and relax into things, people, moments despite the fears that arise inside. I know that for me, the fear with T is so huge because it is as close as it can be to that mother/daughter relationship and so its like trying again isn’t it? I have learnt what pushed my mum further away and I don’t want to repeat that. So logic tells me T isn’t my mum and that she encourages me to reach out to her when I need to but emotionally that is just too frightening.

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?

Back to therapy tomorrow 

I’m back to therapy tomorrow night after 2 weeks and 3 days and I feel…. absolutely nada. In fact, I forgot until earlier today when I remembered and had absolutely no feelings about it at all. No relief and no anger or apprenhension…. nothing! 

I actually feel a little mean that I have so easily “forgotten” her and the good feelings I get when I’ve seen her. I have no doubt they will come flooding back tomorrow but it’s weird, like, where have they gone? It’s a bit unnerving that I can do easily do this. 

Tomorrow she will ask me how I’ve been and I will tell her I’ve been fine… she will laugh when I say fine and ask where my anger is.. if I am angry with her and when I say no, she won’t believe me. I will secretly get angry but I won’t say anything koz, well what’s the point? (Also that’s twisted isn’t it? I will then GET angry and she will think she’s right but she’s not). 

Then we will talk about my redundancy application, my new job and me dropping a session. My guilt around that and all that stuff. I should tell her that her reaction disappointed me, that actually everyone’s reaction has dissapointed me (apart from my fiancé and you guys)…. but I probably won’t and even if I do, she will probably explain and I’ll feel as though I’m being stupid.

The tone to this actually sounds a little aggressive doesn’t it? Which is odd koz I don’t feel it! Ha.. mental.