I survived! I went to my session last night and I live to tell the tale! Thank God.
As the day went on yesterday and it got closer to my session time, I got more and more nervous. I arrived about ten minutes before and sat in the car. I felt sick. My heart was beating very fast and I genuinely felt so scared.
T opened the door as usual and as soon as I saw her and realised there really was no backing out now, I had arrived, my nerves got worse, by this stage I was a bit of a mess. I grabbed a cushion and cuddled it into my lap. I hadn’t really made any eye-contact at this point. To me the air felt charged with my fear, I wasn’t sure if T had noticed anything or not though. T said “are you scared?”.
I was relieved that she had noticed because I was fearing that she would just be cheery and ask how I was which would make me having to tell her everything ten times worse. I replied and said “can you tell?”. T seemed concerned and asked me why I was scared. I told her that a lot had happened that I needed to tell her and that I was feeling scared and nervous about telling her. She told me to take my time and said that she wouldn’t punish me for anything. I let off a “ha” in a sarcastic kinda “wait and see” way.
I couldn’t believe how hard it was to tell her. My voice went, I cried within seconds, I couldn’t look at her, in short it truly wasn’t easy. BUT, eventually I did manage to tell her everything. Including the Googling.
Her email on Friday
I started by telling her that for some reason her email reply to me on Friday morning just hadn’t had any effect on me. I told her that I felt bad for saying that because there was nothing she hadn’t said that I wished she had, but that it just hadn’t touched me. I told her that I had shown my boyfriend who had thought it was a really lovely email and so that made me feel like I was being stupid. T told me not to do that to myself. T said that her email obviously wasn’t enough and that it was okay. She said sometimes an email just isn’t enough of a connection and clearly in that situation, I needed more. I agreed.
The car memories
I then told her about the memories I had of her and how they had made me happy, she smiled. I said that unfortunately those memories triggered me to remember my mother’s reaction. T then quoted my mother’s cruel words. There was something that felt nice about the fact that she had remembered; that my stuff stayed with her and wasn’t forgotten. I said that the contrast was painful and that I had nearly cried in the street, so I rushed home.
Then I told her about my detective skills… LOL. I had barely explained what I did but as soon as I said I had typed her name into Google she said “of course you did!” she seemed totally un-phased by this which gave me instant relief. I cried again I think out of embarrassment. We discussed what I had seen and how it had made me feel. I told her I had found her on this site which listed her name, address and names of the others who lived with her. She nodded and said “did it say I had a husband”? I told her that it didn’t expressly say that, but it had a man’s name and his age and so I had put two and two together. She said how hard that must have been for me because of my mother – we have previously discussed how hard it is for me when there are “others” around and how I feel I vanish (can’t be held in mind) and that it all stems from my mother’s preoccupation with her boyfriends. I told her that yes, it had upset me. She asked what else I found out and I said it had listed two girls’ names and their ages and so I gathered she had two daughters.
T really seemed to understand how this had all felt for me and she didn’t seem at all angry, dissapointed or shocked. I cried as I told her that I had felt so guilty and ashamed of myself and how I felt I had totally violated her privacy – that if she had wanted me to know these things, she would have told me herself! She reassured me that I had nothing to feel guilty about and that what I had done was not bad. That she absolutely wasn’t angry and was not going to punish me.
I told her that as she didn’t wear a wedding ring (but also because of my wishful thinking) I had told myself previously that she wasn’t married. T said that she didn’t wear rings generally and I said I had wondered if it was just to keep a “blank screen” or whatever. She then told me that she wasn’t in fact married…………….. hold the phone!! Sorry, what now??
She told me that she had been married years ago, that they were still friends but that he did not live there and hadn’t done for many years. She told me this was an example of why I shouldn’t worry or read too much into things I see on the internet – because it was inaccurate and out of date.
I feel awful admitting this but I was so happy about this! I know that sounds very nasty and childish, but I understand my reasons for this and so I am not beating myself up over it. Obviously that doesn’t mean she doesn’t live with someone now, but I didn’t want or need to ask.
T said that she would tell me these things as they had come up because of my Googling but that she doesn’t tell me things about her because she is trying to protect me and not, as I think, because she doesn’t care about me or want to share anything. She also said that I knew more about her than I thought I did. I smiled. She said “just last session I told you lots of things about my animals and other things” and I smiled and said that I had noticed that she had and wondered if she had done that on purpose because the session before (where I read her my rescue fantasy blog) I had said I felt I didn’t know anything. She said she hadn’t done it on purpose, but that perhaps I was just more aware now than I used to be.
She mentioned something about Google again and said “I don’t care whether you found the names of my children and typed them into social media!” [OMG THE WOMAN IS PSYCHIC LOL!!] I just listened but acted as though I hadn’t – come on, I had been soooo honest until this point, let me off?? 😉
I told her that the reason I put her name into Google was initially to find a photo and so she said if I needed a photo, that I could have one. She said I could take one there and then and I cringed and said no, that was too weird.
We spoke about boundaries. T said that I am constantly putting in my own rules and then worrying that if I break them I will be punished. I told her that I knew this and had been thinking about it. I said that I really just needed some boundaries so that I could relax a little more because at the moment, I was constantly fearful of overstepping them.
T said that she thought I confused rules and boundaries and said “you think that a boundary is a rule that if broken, results in punishment”. I nodded and said yes I did. She told me that was incorrect and that there was a difference between the two. She said that my mother had put in a hell of a lot of rules and regulations and therefore a lot of punishment, but that boundaries in therapy were not rules and that she knows I would like a long list of rules and regulations (I laughed and nodded), but that she absolutely wouldn’t do that. She told me that part of the process was for us to find things out as we went and discuss what is working and what isn’t – that there wouldn’t be punishment at all. She said that it was me that decided how my therapy went and that she was simply there to make sure I was safe and to guide me. I laughed at the thought of this and said something sarcastic.
I told T that if it were completely up to me how much I contacted her, I might end up emailing twice a week or could end up texting her every single day!! To my surprise she said, and that would be okay, we would talk about that. She said that the only problem with texting her every day would be that I would be up against “life” and that she wouldn’t always be able to respond quickly and that it might hurt me. She didn’t say I couldn’t though which shocked me. I told her that my biggest fear was becoming too much for her. I said I didn’t want to become a chore to her – I didn’t want to exhaust her and I didn’t want her to roll her eyes with frustration whenever my name popped up. She assured me I wasn’t a chore at all and that she didn’t feel like that. She said that she didn’t work too much, that she took breaks and looked after herself. She said that there was “room” there for me and that I was wanted. She told me she enjoyed working with me. I cried again. She questioned whether I believed her or not and I said no. I said “it isn’t that I think you are lying, just it doesn’t seem real – like I want to believe it, but it just doesn’t seem possible”.
We spoke some more about contact and she said that sometimes my psyche may “distort” what she has said to enable me to get in touch with my anger or sadness or any number of things. She said that I will use her and therapy in whichever way I need to in order to do what I need to do. I smiled and said that I had wondered whether sometimes when I’ve emailed her lengthy emails and her response hasn’t “done the job” that it wasn’t a response to that subject that I needed, but just contact. She reminded me that she has said to me before that it is perfectly okay for me to text or email her just to check-in, just to ask her “are you there” . I told her that she had said this to me back in April when she was going on a break and that it had annoyed me then because it just made no sense to me. Why would I want to check she was “there” when I didn’t even know where “there” was?? She asked if it made more sense to me now and I said yes, it did. It felt less scary to just ask for some connection.
Falling in Love/Fixation
I spoke to her about how I had been listening to a song and was thinking of her – she asked what the song was and I cringily told her it was called “unchanging love”. I said that I felt like a huge creep but that I associated it with her. She told me not to call myself names again. I said that I was confused by this because children don’t think about their mothers in songs like this and replay them over and over. She said that children didn’t need to do that exactly but that there are completely preoccupied with their mother when young. She said that our first love affair in life should be with our mothers, but that I hadn’t been allowed the chance to do that because my mother was always pushing me away and that is why this was all so painful. She said that she had to become my mother and that I needed to be able to do all of these things in order to heal. I cried again…
I said that I knew it sounded weird, but that it felt like falling in love. She very quickly said “yes, it completely does!” and I was once again totally relieved because I had been so scared she would think I was weird. I said that I could liken it to the way I have felt about boys in the past. T asked if this scared me because I was having feelings about her that would normally be towards men? I said yes. I was so glad she was following! I told her that the fixation of her over the weekend, the song playing, the google searching – the present buying (will get to that), it all made me feel as though I was going crazy. She told me I absolutely wasn’t going crazy but she knew that is how it felt. She told me I was doing exactly what I needed to, that there was nothing wrong with any of these feelings. She asked if I could perhaps try to enjoy it? I told her I couldn’t get any enjoyment from it, because it was too scary. I told her that I understood erotic transference and had read a lot about it, but that wasn’t what was happening because there was no sexual thoughts at all. T said that it was okay if there were and that maybe that will happen, maybe it wouldn’t but regardless it was all okay and none of it would cause any punishment or ruin our connection.
Hold On Tight
T said that I needed to hold on tight for a while because it had all really started to move (I assume she meant my therapy, the transference, the replay of things etc). She asked me whether I understood why I felt so fixated on her or on boys in the past and I said I thought I did, that it was attachment based. She said yes, you were/are desperately seeking what you didn’t get when you were a baby. I said that explains why I become so nervous and preoccupied – because i want to cling on with every bit of me so it doesn’t slip away.. again. She smiled in a really caring way. I told T that this all felt a bit cruel, having to feel these things because if I have been through it once then why do I have to go through it twice? She told me that when these things happened when I was a baby/child, I didn’t go through it exactly because I couldn’t and so it was all put away – now I am dealing with it.
I told her about my struggle on Sunday with buying her a gift. She asked if I had it with me and I told her that I did but that I was scared because I didn’t know if she was allowed/would accept the gift and I was worried the rejection would cause me even more pain. T said we could talk about gifts and that the only problem with gifts was that she didn’t want me spending lots of money on her. I told her the gift only cost £4! She said that was okay. She told me that I really needed to understand and hear her when she says this, that I do not need to buy her anything. That I already pay for my sessions and that is enough. I told her I was frightened she would think I was trying to “buy her love” and that I absolutely wasn’t, I just saw it and thought of her and wanted to get it for her.
I gave her the book and she seemed pleased. She smiled instantly and said how lovely it was. She thanked me. She said that she could understand it was a nice way to connect. I told her that it worked two ways because obviously it was nice for me to think of her and get it for her, but that equally I knew that when she looked at it, she would think of me and I liked that too. She said she most definitely would. Big grin as I type this.
We re-capped a bit on all of the above and I said to T that only last week she had told me that although I thought I wanted to know more about her, that I wouldn’t be able to handle it.. she laughed and said “the psyche really is a bitch!!!” and we both laughed a lot. She said that perhaps I needed to test it out or check. She said that I may have ideas and if she doesn’t think it is a good idea that she will say something like “I’m not sure that is wise” or something along those lines, but that regardless, I will probably go ahead and do it anyway and we will deal with it. She said it is just like a child, that I have to test the boundaries to find out. She reiterated again, boundaries are not rules – that there would be no punishment but I will find the boundaries because of the pain I may experience (like the Googling).
T asked whether perhaps there was a part of me that wanted her to punish me for these things? I said that there wasn’t consciously, no… but that I guess perhaps I would have felt I had been proved right if she had. T nodded. I said that I would have been hugely dissapointed if she had of punished me, obviously.
I then said that in the shower this morning, I had realised that I hadn’t; thought about my mother for a long while. I don’t know how long it has actually been, but it felt like weeks and weeks. T said that was what I needed to do. I said I felt as though I was cheating on her, that I had replaced her with T because T was nicer to me. She said to trust in my process. I said that it did’t seem normal for someone to not think about their own mother for such a long period of time and that I wondered if that is how it was for my mother about me. T said she thought that my mother thought of me, just in dysfunctional ways – for her own needs. I agreed.
She asked me how I felt now that I had told her all of this and I told her that I felt huge relief. That I felt a weight off. T told me that she really hoped I could get some rest now and some sleep. She said it was important for me to rest in the quieter times because I will need that energy for these tougher times. I agreed and said it was all so shit. She agreed it was.
Just as my session time ended, she reminded me that we only have next week before her break (like I had forgotten!!). I said that the timing couldn’t be worse and she said that my psyche might actually be getting this out of the way before the break, whilst it was safer. I said I hoped so but that I was dreading this break more than ever. T said perhaps next session we could discuss ways to get me through and I said that I had hoped we could because I had some ideas.
On that note, I wonder what people think of these ideas. I had thought of suggesting that if I gave T some money, she buy me a teddy. One that I could sit on my bed and see every day that would remind me of her. I like the thought of this but feel the critical part of me saying I am too old… the other idea I had, was to take my teddy in (that I’ve had since I was about 8) and then perhaps I would associate it with her a bit? I also thought that something handwritten would be nice, some sort of card or note but I don’t think that would work as well. She has offered me a rock/stone out of a collection in the therapy room, but that just doesn’t do it for me for some reason.
To sum all of that up (sorry it is long!!), it is 1.30pm the following day and I feel totally happy. I feel that I have been understood, soothed, held, seen, heard – everything you could possibly want really. The relief is huge and I love her even more now.. and so to celebrate… I treated my inner child to a……….
HAMSTER!!!!!!! PAHAHAHAH. Yep, I drove to the pet shop this morning and I have come home with a new furry little friend. I am so excited about him I feel about 10 years old. I decided that my little Twink deserved it.
Let’s hope I don’t get into the habit of buying a pet every time there is a “rupture and repair”!!