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?

Advertisements

What have I done? 

Sorry for the overload of posts from me today but I am feeling rather desperate as I write this one.

I was walking home tonight playing that new song I found earlier in the week which makes me think of my T.  I was smiling to myself, listening to the words very carefully.  I thought to myself how weird the client/therapist relationship is because I think about T so much lately.  So much that I’ve related this wonderful song to her and I highly doubt that people do that for their mothers (which is how I think I view her).

This made me think, could the way I feel about T right now be similar to that of falling in love? You know that initial honeymoon phase where you are elated and excited and they are just wonderful.  Where you can’t see anything you don’t want to see.  When you want to be wtih them all of the time and you are totally preocupied by them.  I know I’ve been guilty in the past of being so hopelessly in love (so I thought) that I’ve managed to relate all sorts of mushy music to the way I was feeling about the boy .  Yes uber cringe, I know. And I am now doing the same with T.

I was thinking about some of the words in the song which were “Once I was younger, now I am older” and I thought that this will be how I feel when I’ve finished my therapy in that I will have emotionally developed and grown – aged in that way (as well as aged in years obviously).

Somehow this thought conjured up an image in my head of the day I passed my driving test and how excited I was to tell her.  That image was quickly replaced by another, which was T coming out of her office to look at the car I had brought. My first car.  I had never seen T outside of that room so it felt a bit awkward, but good too.  Thinking of this event now seemed so lovely, particularly when I then remembered the contrast between the way T responded and the way my mother responded. My mother “joked” that I had only passed my driving test because the instructor knew I worked in the City and so wouldn’t be on the road much.  She also said that my car was a heap and turned her nose up at it.  [It is a heap, but it is MY heap and that hurt].

As I had these thoughts and images and as the song played, I felt a lump in my throat. I didn’t cry, but I could have done very easily.  I already knew how much I thought of her, but all of a sudden she was just vital to my existence in a bit of an excessive way.  I don’t want to use the word obsession, but I’m so preoccupied by her.

What a lovely story … yeah.. until this.

So I did what any nutcase would do. I went home, sat on the toilet for a wee and decided to Google her.

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?????????????????

I Googled her and I found her on the BACP page – I found her full name (which I had pretty much guessed anyway) and her address, which I already knew because her office is attached to her house.  No harm done.

I then decided to click on the address which then told me who else lived there….. the names of a man (wahhh!!) and 2 girls – clearly her daughters (*sobs*).

My heart dropped when I saw that and I don’t know why because I already assumed she had 2 daughters.  I guess there is a difference between thinking something and knowing it. The tiny shred of hope – gone.

My crazy time wasn’t up. I then went onto Facebook to look for her and for both of the girls. I found pages for them all instantly. I even had mutual friends with one of them which tells me we’re very possibly the same age.  My T had commented on one of the girl’s profile photos and that made me feel shit. The comment said the photo was lovely and natural and had two kisses. I’ve never had kisses on her emails – I know, obviously.   Also my T has changed her Facebook name to her first name and middle name, I assume so that she is harder to find in case one of her unhinged patients feels the need to stalk her online!

I didn’t stop here even though I felt like my heart had stopped.  I was clearly distressed at this stage, why didn’t I stop?

I then found links to her husband’s Facebook page! Luckily for me his account is very private. Oh and also I saw T’s front room in one of the pictures.

What the hell is wrong with me? I feel awful. I feel guilty for snooping on T. Not only T, I may be able to reason that away, but for snooping on her children, on her husband and her private space. Eugh Jesus.  I have done similar things in the past with boyfriend’s and their exes. I have done it enough to know it is a VERY BAD IDEA.

How did this escalate so quickly? From a nice song, to memories of T being wonderful to me being a spy.

What was I looking for? What did I want to find? Would it have made any difference if she had been single or had only one daughter… or maybe if she had a son as well or instead? I don’t know.

I guess if I am brutally honest then her having a son or sons would possibly be easier for me to stomach because it wouldn’t be so easy for me to compare and relate to the fact that I am one of two daughters. That I could have been one of her’s instead?

I get that searching for your T tends to be about seeking a connectio,  but honestly, how much more bloody connecting do I need? I’ve seen her twice this week where it’s been all about me. I’ve had to email her a few times and one of those times was only this morning. Clearly looking at her children is about comparing myself to them.

We have spoken many times before about how I feel I dissapeer if others are involved. My mum didn’t see me because of all of the men she surrounded herself with. My Dad remarried and had 3 children and then lost contact with me and I have ended up with a man that has an ex-wife and 3 children.  We have spoken about how I do not feel “held in mind” when I am not physically with people and so I think the proof of the husband and daughters feels so painful for the same reason. Third parties equals no TT.

This is one blog that I absolutely will not show or tell T about. I would rather die from the shame, guilt and embarassment first.

It’s like I’m never satisfied. I am so greedy.

Why have I done this to myself?

The Fairytale Ending: Amended/Revised

For anyone that read the fairytale ending, this is pretty much the same post but I have expanded on it and sent it to T ahead of tomorrow’s session. Don’t ask me where I found the courage to do that……….. aghhhhghgh.

 

Matilda and Miss Honey

The child in me has been waiting for an adult to come and save her. She has been waiting to be rescued for approximately 29 years. She wants someone to come and take the pain away. Someone to fix everything bad that has happened – to magic it away forever.

Matilda got her happy ending with Miss Honey and she wants hers.

I used to hope that adults, mainly teachers, would see that I was a good girl and would adopt me. Friends’ parents would joke that I was their adopted daughter – it was a joke to them about how regularly I spent time at their houses, but to me it was the potential beginning of my fairytale ending.

Enter T

So I find T one day many years later. At this time I am an adult in age, and in physicality, but emotionally a child. Emotionally stunted at about 6 years old. Still unknowingly craving love, affection, understanding, acceptance and warmth.  Still so desperate for that bond.  That unconditional love. I had a yearning for something but I didn’t know what it was, or how to get it. I tried to get it by moving from boyfriend to boyfriend, even at a young age. I don’t like that about myself but I understand that I just copied what my mother did – that was all I was taught to do. Clearly it didn’t work. But I didn’t need a man, I needed a mother.

I guess I picked a female T for this reason. It wouldn’t have been so easy to find my new mum in a man would it? My fantasy about therapy wasn’t only to “fix myself” but I guess I had this feeling that I could potentially find a kind adult to care for me. Someone who would listen to all of the pain and have genuine compassion… someone who, like I used to hope my teachers would, would see I needed rescuing and would rescue me. I guess in a way it was hoping someone would take pity on me.

Looking back I felt (feel?) some similarities between T and my mum in that I saw them both as powerful, authoritive and strong. I guess therefore potentially dangerous. I felt a similar unconscious sense that I had to be good, well behaved, polite, well-mannered. The alternative? Punishment.  But of what kind? I am not really sure. Abandonment and rejection perhaps.

I liked and respected T for the first two years that I saw her, but now it is more than that in ways I am not sure I have the words to explain. Just thinking about it makes me well up with tears. I’m not entirely sure why, I think I am scared sometimes by the depth of feelings I have for her and how painful the loss would be if she went away. Is it worse to lose something wonderful or to have never had it?

T has shown me and given me things that I had never seen or felt before. Patience, understanding and non-judgment – but I think the thing that sticks out most for me is attunement. I don’t even think I knew what that word meant a while ago and now it is the word I use most regularly in all of my diary entries and blogs. Attunement is key. It is so important on such a deep level. I don’t think I ever felt my mother attuned to me and what’s more, you can’t fake attunement apparently so it truly is precious.

“being or bringing into harmony; a feeling of being “at one” with another being”

I’ve written a lot about all of the ways T is amazing and how I love her – or what she gives me or represents. What I still childishly fantasise her being one day – effectively my Miss Honey.

But…. on the less lovely side of things. T’s attunement to me, her patience and everything else, have suddenly shone a beacon of light on the loss. The loss of my childhood, my innocence and my birth-right to have been loved by my “good enough” mother. A childhood that felt full instead of starved and warm instead of cold. Safe instead of dangerous,. Loved instead of hated.

All of a sudden I am feeling the stark contrast of what T offers me and what I have/had and it hurts. Like it hurts my entire being.  My soul. Everything. It hurts me in a way I don’t think can be explained.

As I write this I have this strange energy coursing through my body, like adrenaline. Maybe it’s anger. It’s mixed with sadness and prickly tears. But the tears aren’t flowing, they are forming a barrier behind my eyelids almost refusing to come out. Like they are trying to stand strong. Like a line of soldiers making a human fence.

Everything that I (very cleverly) defended myself from knowing, seeing and feeling suddenly staring me in the face with a (not so) welcome home banner. I’ve reached the truth, my truth and it makes me want to debate for a moment if I want to keep walking towards “truth” or run backwards to denial and just pretend none of it is real.  Although that isn’t possible now. I sometimes question what was harder: blaming myself for everything, for the things I didn’t have; or knowing it wasn’t my fault and knowing who’s “fault” it was… what is worse? Which is the lesser of the two evils?

Verbal Diarrhoea

The adult part of me knows this is necessary for my healing. That this “is the work” as T would say. I guess that is what enables me to stick it out and not run away. (That and the fantasy of Miss Honey of course) but child me is in pain and shock and so I guess that explains why now I am craving the fairytale more than ever. I feel so regressed so regularly in therapy and sometimes in-between sessions and the craving for T is more intense than ever before. I think that the reason I enjoy writing my blog about therapy, enjoy reading other people’s, reading therapy books, re-reading my old blogs and the comments on them, is all part of this – trying to “feel” the connection that I am craving when I am not physically there with her.. and then sometimes when I am there, the sessions go way too quickly and the loss is right there again sitting in my chest hard to ignore. So I talk fast. “Verbal diarrhoea” as my mother would say, because I have so much to say, so much to share, so much to be soothed and so little time.  And then I leave and feel so ashamed of how much I’ve talked. I should not be the centre of attention – that is for my mother and not for me. I do not deserve that. I will be punished for that – and so I punish myself.

Tuesdays/Thursday Sessions

Thursday sessions sometimes seem like they don’t give me the same feeling that Tuesday sessions do and that is annoying because it is my “ last chance” at connection until the following Tuesday and that feels like a lifetime.  I keep wondering why it is that Thursday sessions feel so different and it feels as though I go into that session more (too) adult. It feels as though I go to Tuesday night sessions way more in touch with the child me, the regressed me, the sensitive me that wants to bare her soul and be soothed – whereas Thursdays I am an adult who wants T to see how competent I am. How grown up I am and I am so bloody fed up with trying to be the grown up so why do I do that? Perhaps I don’t want T to think I am a complete lost-cause. I don’t want her to think I am pathetic and childish and immature. I want her to think to herself just sometimes when I leave that she can have a normal “adult” chat with me about normal life things and not have to feel as though she is babysitting me or teaching me how to be a normal person…. And yet even that is completely contradicted by having a childish need to be rescued so none of it makes sense. It’s like the child in me has a tantrum when I leave on Thursdays and is shouting

“Hello? What about me? Now I have ages to wait just so you could be all grown up”

I wonder whether T sees a difference between Tuesday me and Thursday me or whether this is purely internal?

 

Therapy Breaks

And then you have therapy breaks. I mean, the adult gets this – of course she does, but the child wants to shout:

“What about me? You can’t just leave me here on my own. I will die without you looking after me”

It thinks it very cruel that it is expected to fight against everything it knows to “let someone in” and to learn to trust, to learn to take down the barriers and try to stop the competent (fake) adult taking over. So it does, slowly, very slowly it does this and then it is left alone?!  WTF is that about.  You wouldn’t leave a 6 year old child at home on their own for an entire week because it would die. Unable to eat or wash or anything and it feels almost the same, but emotionally speaking. Mixed messages – confusing. “Trust me, I won’t leave you” – oh, I’ve gone away. Then there is inner-dialogue between adult and child

“T deserves a break, she needs a break to look after you properly. It is only a week [or two weeks], she will be back before you know it”

“She hates me. She wants to leave me. I’ve worn her out. She is fed up of me. She won’t think about me, she will forget me. She won’t ever come back! I don’t need her anyway. I am fine. I am grown up and mature. Watch me cope all by myself. I don’t even think I need therapy anymore”

To the people that created this therapy. Freud etc: you missed something here!

 

Adult vs Child

Adult me knows that I am an adult now and that I cannot now get all that I missed and long for. That it is too late. Adult me knows therapy will help me to accept this and move on. Adult me knows T isn’t going to become mum and make it all vanish – that she doesn’t have a magic wand and that she can’t wave it so that I am 6 again, but her daughter, and none of it would have happened. Adult me gets that in therapy T will help give me some of the things that I didn’t get that will help me. Things like a kinder internalised voice – she had already done that to an extent and she is helping me not to feel so ashamed for having needs, to feel loveable. But child me… she hasn’t quite given up the hope of being rescued yet.  I know the happy ending will still be far nicer than the story ever was…. That in comparison the ending will be nicer than it could have been…. but I have a way to go to be okay with this. Today I feel robbed and angry. Like I have a hole in my heart that is exposed to the elements and it feels like no amount of plasters or stitches or even filler can make it better. Horrible image, but it feels like it is left open and it is being chewed on by insects.

That poor little girl was and is so desperate to be loved by a mummy that she didn’t get. It makes me sick.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for what I do have – that I have found T, that I can get so much from her that I have never had – but I guess like a child it wants more of what it likes and it can’t really have much more and that seems so unfair. Knowing that T is a mum seems to make that harder because it makes me jealous that her children get her as a mum so when she has said the words “my children” I have to try hard to keep my face neutral in case she can see anything in me change. Poker face.  Luckily she can’t feel the movement inside my chest.  Plus anyway, it is obviously a one-way relationship where I can’t ask her things that I want to know and so it isn’t really the same is it? Because what I “love” is the feeling I get because you can’t love someone you don’t even know. The whole thing is so confusing.

Dream

I had a dream on Saturday night that two boys I had been intimate with in my life (not both physically) told me that I had an infection on my bottom – I looked in the mirror and it was disgusting, all scabby and disgusting. The word in the dream that jumped out was “bacterial”. I hadn’t seen it because it was behind me, on my bum and so out of my view and I felt hugely humiliated and dirty. I felt so ashamed that they had both seen it and knew it was there and that I didn’t.  I have thought about this dream a lot since and I think it is representative of the fact that people that knew me well enough “saw” I had issues, problems, gaps… but that I didn’t and how ashamed I am about that and now the “scars” of it all seem to be obvious – like the scabby rash thing in my dream.

“A hidden or invisible attack that may weaken or even destroy you” – “Feelings of inadequacy or a sense of uncleanness”

 

One thing that amazes me is quite how relentless my inner child is at not giving up that hope. I am not sure if that makes her determined or stupid but there we have it. She isn’t ready to drop that fantasy yet. Saying that, I do admire the fact that she has continued to fight and has never totally given up. I wouldn’t have blamed her.

My adult wants to make it all better for the child. To cuddle and love her better and yet the child is saying “No! not you!! – someone else!!

The thought that I can make this better for myself seems ridiculous because although half of me wants to be grown up, the other half wants to stay young because if I stay young then Miss Honey will come and if I don’t – she won’t.

 

I do not want to have to be my own mother. I don’t want to grow up (even though I already have).

Back To Therapy (Session 1 after the break)

Hey guys.

So I went back to therapy last night! It was.. what was it? It was lots of things.

This is a (lengthy) post about how it went. I’m not sure it will be of much interest or use to anyone else but I want to post it because it helps me to process the session and it is good for me to be able to look back on it.

I was very nervous about going back last night. The anxiety had really set in as I pulled up outside her house. I didn’t know what to say to her, what she would ask me or how I would feel. I kept trying to decide what things I would tell her and in what order – trying to plan the structure of the session I guess. I had printed off my blogs during the break and thought I would take them in with me.

First of all, I decided to make myself tell her the two things I wrote about at the very beginning of the break.

Challenge 1: Tell her that I have a blog and that I hadn’t felt I could tell her before the break.

I told her that I had something to tell her and that I should have told her before the break, but that I hadn’t. She questioned whether I had wanted to tell her but hadn’t got to it and I said no, I hadn’t wanted to tell her at the time, but had since written about it and had decided that I should tell her.  She reacted well. She didn’t seem shocked or hurt and she reassured me that she would never go looking for my blog if I was worried about her invading my privacy.  I said it wasn’t that.

I told her that during the break I figured it was because whenever I started anything new or exciting, my mum would always ruin it and so I think I was trying to “keep it safe”.  I also told her about my little Freudian slip, but it seems that she hadn’t noticed anyway.  I also told her that when she asked if I write things in my “journal”, that I don’t tell her – I had lied when I said no.  She understood and said it is scary.  She also said that it must have been hard having to “hold” that all of that time.

Challenge 2: Tell her that she had upset me with her joke about the Easter Break.

This is the thing I was dreading the most.

I decided to force myself to tell her that her joke about not telling me her Easter holiday dates had upset me. She said it nicely and as a joke – I think to cheer me up! but it had played on my mind and upset me a bit.

She apologised (quite a few times actually) and she also said that she didn’t think she had meant it as a joke – that she genuinely was concerned that her Easter holiday would be coming up quickly and as this February holiday wasn’t one she normally took off, they would be very close together. Either way, it lead to a helpful discussion that we would, in her words, “need to be creative about the Easter break” and that we would need to “think about it carefully”.

I’m not entirely sure what she meant by this, but I perceived it to mean that we would need to discuss things to help during the break. Maybe contact or maybe a transitional object or something.  I don’t know.

It led to a discussion about transitional objects though, which I had secretly been thinking about for a while but never had the guts to ask for.  She said she thinks perhaps we should think about that and I agreed (I shocked myself!) and I asked her what she thought would help?  She said that she would be “guided” by me. I would rather I was guided by her, but I got the point.

transitional-object

She told me that when she was in therapy herself, her T used to “charge up” a scarf for her and then let her have it.  I love it when she tells me things from her own therapy.  I like to know things about her and I only get very small snippets now and again. She also explained to me that the reason she was telling me that was to normalise it for me a bit – I told her I found it very useful and it definitely helped to normalise the feelings.

So the two scary challenges were over. Breatheeeee.

I then told her I had printed all of my blogs and I read them all to her. Some parts of them were pretty cringe… some parts I didn’t like reading out at all, but the hardest bit was reading out Emotional Flashback? – Jesus that was tough.

I sobbed my way through it. I shocked myself how easily I got back in touch with those feelings. I cried a lot, my shoulders and back started to hurt which often happens when I am stressed. I was hot, my chest became very tight, I couldn’t breathe.. it really was very tough. It is hard to articulate.

She was great though and she sat with me through it all. I noticed that I couldn’t look at her because I felt very embarrassed.  She said things to calm and reassure me like how she was there with me, that she was there now – we were together now, that kind of thing.  It was probably the most vulnerable I’ve felt with her to date. The good thing is, nothing I said seemed to shock her. Nothing seemed to annoy her or upset her – she just seemed…. compassionate I suppose? She told me that my words had “moved” her.

At one point in the session, she told me that although there was a lot of replay being done and transference etc, that the feelings were still real. She told me that she does care for me (I can’t remember the words she used). I felt embarrassed by her words and couldn’t look at her. She has never told me she has any feelings for me before and despite hoping she did, hearing her say the words was lovely but oh so awkward! I felt a lump in my throat which luckily I managed to swallow down.

embarassed

After that was out of the way, I read Object Constancy which was pretty cringe-worthy as it did mention that when she’s gone, it feels like she is dead………. LOL!! But she didn’t seem particularly surprised, or hurt, so that was a relief.

The other blogs were a lot easier to read. We spoke them through and at the end she told me how I really had worked very hard. I really liked that she acknowledged this because I had worked hard.

The hour flew by, I hate how quickly a therapy hour goes, but I think I crammed everything in I needed – I would have hated to have finished having only got some of it out. I’m not sure how that would have felt.

time-too-fast
When I left, I wasn’t really sure how I felt. I drove home and felt tired – I think I felt emotionally drained, which I often do after crying like that.

I had an interesting dream last night which is very clearly about her and the divide between her “therapy room” and her home.  I think this was because we had discussed whether it is better for me to know where she is/what she is doing when on a break or not.

I said I wasn’t sure because in one way it was easier knowing she was at home and not miles away: yet at the same time it was harder because she was close, but not available to me. [For context, she had time off to get some work done to her house and in the dream I went into her house and she asked me if I liked her new decorations. I said I did, but I was lying because I hadn’t turned the light on and so I couldn’t see!].

If you’ve made it this far, then thanks and well done!

TT x

 

 

 

Object Constancy – Are you still alive?

The definition of object constancy, according to one of my favourite sites for C-PTSD is “An inability to remember that people or objects are consistent, trustworthy and reliable, especially when they are out of your immediate field of vision

As I understand it, a lack of object constancy is a result of insecure attachments to caregivers when we are young. It means that those who suffer from a lack of object constancy are kinda stuck at that development stage, having never successfully managed to pass through it.  At that age (about 2 or 3), when your caregivers leave, you are naturally frightened, sad and worried that they will be gone forever, but with any luck, you have a decent caregiver who models to you time and time again, that they will return and so you manage to learn that you don’t need to worry – that said caregiver is still “there” somewhere and will return.  You learn to self-sooth and use your internalized image until they return to comfort you again. You gain “object constancy”.

Unfortunately when you don’t have a decent caregiver like moi, you don’t learn that and so when someone isn’t around, you still feel those infantile feelings of abandonment, panic, fear and/or anger and you begin to question whether that relationship even exists anymore. This is what causes the panic, the clinginess, the jealousy and can drive our partners crazy.  It is what makes us feel “needy” when we compare ourselves to others who don’t suffer from a lack of object constancy. Having a lack of object constancy makes us insecure – literally.  For example, if my boyfriend is out and doesn’t contact me all day – I won’t automatically think that he is just busy and will contact me later.  No, obviously he doesn’t love me anymore, is planning to leave me or worse – is dead!! Dramatic isn’t it?

Learning about this has really helped me because now when I get these feelings and thoughts, the adult part of me can (try to) calm myself down. Easier said than done I must say, just see Emotional Flashback? for proof that I can’t think my way out of the feelings, but it does help to understand that I’m not “crazy”. God how hard I used to try to be “casual” and “calm” in relationships – I tried so hard to be the laid back girlfriend that boys wanted but eventually my true colours would come glaring out – usually after a few vinos and that was not a pretty sight believe me!!   The worst thing about this is that when I eventually unleashed the crazy, it was the beginning of the end in my relationships and so my worst fears would then be realised – da daaaaaa!! It’s a wonder I’m in therapy isn’t it?laid-back-gf

Anyway, I’ve been thinking today about all this object constancy stuff in relation to this therapy break… I think this explains a lot for me. It explains why I felt so awful on Monday. She was gone physically so to me, having a lack of object constancy, she was gone forever. That brought all my feelings of panic, abandonment, terror and grief flooding back.  I’ve since calmed down because I can reasonably talk myself down to a degree, knowing that she will be back, just like she has every single time before.  The logical stuff can work to a degree, but poor Little Twink, she couldn’t rationalise that way could she?  She didn’t have a good role model like T showing her this stuff and she didn’t have a “good enough mother” either.

I guess that the fact I can’t “hold someone in mind” positively for very long is probably why I assume nobody can hold me in mind either?  That would make sense.  Clearly I am painting everyone with the same brush!! I did think this morning that Monday was particularly awful but since then I’ve been okay. I don’t know if I’ve just gone into “self-sufficient mode” because I’ve repressed any feelings since or whether I’ve genuinely been able to calm myself down enough with this logical thinking (or if that is even how it works?).  I also thought that although I’m okay, I am looking forward to next Tuesday and that I would absolutely hate it if I no longer had therapy with her anymore.  I also admit (cringing) that it does feel like she is no longer alive when she isn’t here… and that I will be anxious when I wake up on Tuesday – what I am nervous of I have absolutely no idea!!

This is another one of those things that I knew already – but know a bit more today.

T is re-parenting me by constantly showing me that she will return – like, I guess, most people will in this world. …..Just not my mother.

teddy-bear