Final session before Easter Break

Firstly, I want to start this post off by saying that I’m sure therapists (mine anyway) have more “breaks” than anyone else I know. That or I’ve got this whole work/play thing really wrong. I mean my T takes 2 weeks at Easter, 2 weeks in the summer, 2 at Christmas and every weekend (obviously) she also doesn’t work all 5 days of the week…. actually that doesn’t sound quite as bad as it feels in my brain… but still. I’m lucky if I have a two week holiday from work, ever.

Anyway. Today was my final session before her Easter break and that means I now have 19 sleeps until I am back there. That feels like absolutely forrrrreevvvvverrrrrrr.

Christ.

On the plus side at the very end of the session T asked me “would you like to take some eggs?” – she keeps chickens and we’ve often spoken about how my husband wants some eggs from them (don’t ask she read into that like only a shrink can do!! Associating his want for an egg to a “little womb” and wanting some mothering and nurturance from her). She went off and came back with a big box of freshly laid eggs, and I know they are only eggs but it feels so lovely. So, so lovely. Like… can eggs be a transitional object lol?

Going back to the start. Sorry – jumping all over the place here.

So when I woke up this morning my first thought before I had even opened my eyes was “last session today”. I didn’t have any real feeling attached to that thought, it kind of just was. I was then really busy at work until I left for my session so didn’t have any real conscious feelings … that is until I got home to pick up my car. I went inside my house and felt it instantly… I knew I was going to cry and boy did I cry. I sobbed for a good 20 minutes as I changed the beds and put away washing and picked things up from the floor etc. I was cleaning in a frenzied way which is always a sure sign that I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed or something.

I cried hard and then I looked at the time and realised I had to go. I chucked some foundation over my bright red face and left.

Naturally T’s first question after asking how I was, was “how does the break feel?”. Eugh. I hate that question so much. There’s no right answer to it is there? You say you’re cool about the break and feeling strong – you’re in denial, you’re not in touch with the feelings… what about the child part etc etc. You say you are worried about it and then you cry and feel embarrassed and that’s really not much fun either, is it.

For me one of the things I find hard with this conversation is that I don’t *want* to feel like this. It’s embarrassing to me to feel so needy and dependent upon her. I often think to myself I’m nearly 31 for God’s sake. I mean, say I had a nice relationship with a good enough mum, surely I wouldn’t cry and panic when she was going away – would I? I don’t think so.

I don’t know about anyone else but it’s hard because you don’t tend to have any contact with them whilst they are away and so unlike friends or family going away you don’t get sent photos of their hotel or their sea view etc. It’s hard not being able to visualise her anywhere other than in that room.. and you know that she won’t be there. At least consciously anyway.

I decided to take the plunge and tell T that actually I was feeling okay about it but now it…. “well, it’s not great”. Eloquent as ever me!

I told T that we hadn’t discussed it yet (because I decided to cause a mini-rupture instead) but Mother’s Day…. she nodded and said she knew and we looked at each other as if to acknowledge the reason why we had not discussed that lol. I went on to tell her that after I saw my mum the day before Mother’s Day I had come away and cried a lot that afternoon. I explained that I felt really stupid but… and she interrupted me and told me off for “doing that” to myself. I said it again without meaning to and she jumped on it again which totally made me lose track of what I was trying to say.

Eventually I managed to explain that despite all the knowledge I have gained, I felt the huge distance between me and my mum and that it felt overwhelmingly sad. I said it had made me wish she had just wanted to spend a bit more time with me, that she always seems in such a rush to leave and that hurt that day. I said that I had come away feeling such a yearning and craving for my mum… perhaps a mum.

I realised that I hadn’t told T any of this and I know deep down that is because I didn’t want to. Because I feel ashamed and stupid for having these thoughts despite it all. T was really kind and understanding and reassured me that it was the child in me who felt these things and also said that it is programmed in us to want to attach to our mothers. I knew that but weirdly didn’t apply that to myself so it was helpful to hear her say that.

I told T that my mum and sister spoke about things they had done together recently and were laughing about things and that I felt left out. I also said that as all 3 of us had our cars there, I got in my car and the two of them were standing outside still talking and my fantasy was that they were waiting for me to leave and then they were going somewhere else together, or perhaps my sister was going to my mother’s house for a while.

T was really good about this and said how I felt excluded. She then said I probably felt excluded all of my childhood because my mother didn’t involve me in anything. I didn’t get to go places with her or she didn’t bring me to see her friends or work colleagues or say she couldn’t do something because of “my little daughter”. I nodded and agreed. She then likened this feeling of exclusion to the break and asked if I felt excluded?

I said that the word “excluded” didn’t really ring true, no. I meant that honestly though I’m not sure she really believed me. However I said that when I was crying earlier I realised that the feelings I had after that Mother’s Day lunch and today were very similar. She nodded and said it’s the same thing really. Being abandoned.

Yup.

I didn’t say this and I don’t think I really needed to, but it does hurt in those moments and it feels like my mum didn’t want to spend time with me (still doesn’t) and now T is buggering off without me and won’t contact me or think of me because she’s on a break. A break from work and work, sadly, is me.

I know it’s not that cut and dry. I know it’s not that simple. T said that she will be thinking of me and that I will be “very much held in mind” and I want to believe her, I really want to believe her. But I don’t think I do. I’ve told her that in the past and she laughs kindly and asks me “do you really think I just forget about you?” And I’ve cried and nodded… yes, I do.

Gulp.

Weirdly I’m typing this without any tears right now (it seems the eggs have helped a lot!) but I’m sure there will be times over the next 18 days that I don’t feel so good.

T spoke a lot about how it’s okay for me to be angry with her. She told me (again) that it might actually help me to get some of the anger out and aim it at her. She said it was okay to think badly about her and want to call her names. We both smiled and laughed. I think that’s very unlikely. It’s never happened before. T said that even if I’m not in touch with it I may wake up one morning and just be triggered really easily and be angry at silly things. She used the example that I could stub my toe and want to murder someone. Lol she knows me so well.

We spoke a lot today about my sister but I’m going to write about that in a separate post because it’s long and will totally sidetrack me from this post.

T asked me how I felt I was going to feel after the session and I told her that after my sessions on a Thursday I tend to feel really happy and calm and content but that could make it worse today because I’ll then think how I won’t have that for the next 18 days. T likened the feeling to that of having been fed (as a baby). I liked that analogy because that is exactly how it feels for me.

I don’t like the thought that I won’t feel this inner calm and sort of happy/secure feeling for the next 18 days. I know it fades and it faded way faster than I would like it to, way faster than I would like to admit to.

The adult me knows I don’t need another adult to feel alright for a couple of weeks. But the child and needy part of me feels like it’s an impossible ask to cope alone. Adult me resents this part.

Anyway. This is long and my fingers are aching so I’m going to leave this here. I may write some more tomorrow.

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.

I Haven’t Sat On Her Lap For Long Enough Yet.

When I left my session this afternoon I walked to my car and felt like I had a heavy weight inside my chest. It was heavy and strong. I knew that meant  that I was upset, that I needed to cry.   I got in the car, started the engine and put my seatbelt on and then I just sat there for a moment to see what was going on.

My eyes filled up with tears but it didn’t feel like I could get in touch with these feelings sat outside T’s house and so I drove off.  A few more tears rolled down my face a few minutes later. I tried to figure out what the tears were about  and a fleeting ‘voice’ in my head said it was because I was driving away from T’s. I quickly rejected that thought, nah, it couldn’t be that.

I drove to the gym despite the fact I really couldn’t be bothered to go. I thought that perhaps I could run it out. Usually it helps to release some tension but it didn’t because I couldn’t catch a thought long enough to use it fuel me.

I left the gym and drove home. On the way home my road rage found its way out again, I found myself screaming “fucking go then!!!!! IDIOT!!” and could feel how wound up and tense I was.  I questioned myself – am I angry?

That didn’t feel right either (although the road rage clearly is an anger release). I WAS angry but I was also other things. Anger was too simple.

I got home and went and had a shower and then I sat on the bed and burst into tears. Ah thank God. That release was sooo needed. I remembered to be nice to myself and I tried to talk to my inner child (in my head) asking what was upsetting her , asking what she needed?

Some fleeting thoughts came and went and they seem to be a mixture of  a reaction of the material I spoke about in therapy and leaving therapy today.

Why am I upset about leaving my session though? I haven’t worked this through properly in my head yet but the thoughts unfiltered are something like this: She only just came back and now I have to leave her again. I want her to stay for longer. I wish I could have stayed for longer. I haven’t had enough yet, it doesn’t feel like I should have to go away again yet …… [insert floods of tears here – hang on….].

Okay.. that got me.

I shouldn’t have to go away again yet/already – SHE shouldn’t be gone away again/already….

I know logically of course that she is now back from her break. That we are back to normal sessions but something about leaving my session has set me off. I don’t know why.

If I try to liken the situation to a real-life past event I can think that my mother regularly went away on holiday and then when she came back I would see her for a day or two before being shipped back off to someone else as she went out clubbing etc. Is that what I am remembering/feeling? Perhaps somewhere inside it feels as though I’ve seen her a little bit (but not enough) and now I am going to be away from her for another 5 days. 5 days feeling like forever right now when in fact it isn’t a long time and factually speaking it’s 4 days as I see her on the evening of the 5th…

I just feel I haven’t had enough yet. I don’t feel like I’ve made the most of her – I haven’t absorbed her enough yet. Her face and voice feel a bit faded at the moment.  It isn’t quite strong enough yet. She doesn’t seem “here” enough yet.

I haven’t sat on her lap for long enought yet to be able to go off and play happily. I still want to sit there and I want to cuddle her and smell her perfume and take her in for a bit longer before I have to leave her again. (Metaphorically speaking.)

I’ve had tears running down my face the whole time I’ve been typing this – they haven’t eased off yet.

I feel I have not had enough yet. I shouldn’t be back on my own again yet. It isn’t fair. She is too far away already and again and it hurts right now. It really, really hurts like hell.

Reaching Out Or Self-Soothing? 

Would reaching out to T actually help? 

I’m torn. Do I try and handle this by myself and prove to myself. and to T, that I am able to regulate myself and hold it in her absence? Will she be proud of me if I do? 

I want to give her a break – that’s what she needs. It’s why she’s taken time off. 

Yet at the same time I’m thinking that she’s always encouraged me to reach out when I need to and encouraged that I don’t go into self-sufficient mode as I always did as a child. 

I think she would rather help to regulate me than hear later that I struggled with it alone. Wouldn’t she? I don’t know. 

I don’t want to isolate myself through shame. I’m trying to fight that pattern. 

I’m okay. I’m surviving it. Like it’s painful and I’m sad and I was thrown into an emotional flashback for sure, BUT I’ve made sense of it now and I’m allowing the sad feelings to come. I’m allowing myself to cry and listen to the child part talking. I’m not falling apart. 

What could she say that would help? She would probably validate my feelings but I’ve already done that for myself (and so have some kind readers) so I don’t think I need that. 
Then there’s the issue that as I don’t know where she is, she may not read or reply to me for hours and hours and that could potentially throw me into abandonment stuff which I don’t need right now. 

She may even reply kindly but it may set off the feeling it’s “not enough” again and so perhaps I’m safer staying at a distance and handling it myself? 

Things have gone south: Emotional Flashback 

Things have gone south. 

I went to the quiz night last night with my boyfriend and his parents. The evening was pleasant until… 

3 women walk towards our table and as I look up, it’s my mother and two of her friends. 

Oh My God. 

I felt a weird panic. Shock, fear, awkwardness. I couldn’t believe she was here. This was my local and she knew I drank here sometimes and that we did this quiz with my boyfriends’s parents…. what was she doing here? And on a Wednesday night? She had never been here before my birthday. Childish I’m like “this is my place. Not your’s”. 

Everyone said hello to one another but the awkwardness was really obvious. My mother put her fake posh look and voice on and said “we came for supper”… supper??? Sorry who are you? Before I knew it, I was saying “Supper? Since when do you use that word?”. Looking back I guess that was a bit aggressive but the words had flown out of my mouth before I had processed them. She was trying to put on an act of some sort of poshness because she thinks my boyfriend’s parents are posh. 

The difference between my boyfriend’s parents and her (and her friends) was so obvious. I really wasn’t enjoying this one bit. I wasn’t prepared for it.

There were a few moments of small talk and then she and her friends left. Nothing more was said. I felt so weird… so uncomfortable…. and I’m not sure if everyone did, or if it was just me, but suddenly it felt as though there was an elephant in the room. Things weren’t being said that were being thought – I wonder if I’m wrong? 

I panicked because I’m scared (or the little me) is that she will tell them I’ve been bad – that I AM bad. Because that’s what she did to me when I was young. She always made stories up to my grandparents and told them in front of me so that they disapproved. She would phone them or my aunty or my sister’s dad or get her latest fling to tell me off. I think that young fear is still there. 

I’m a different person with her to with them. Please don’t ruin this for me…. please don’t tell them I’m bad!!  She always won the crowd – the audience, whoever was watching. How ashamed I was. 

Anyway we got on with our evening and she wasn’t mentioned again. Me and my boyfriend came home and I went straight to bed as it was late and as my head hit the pillows and I grabbed Frank, I cried. 

I didn’t know then what I was crying for and I’m not entirely sure now but I woke up for work this morning and (sorry for tmi) had a very upset tummy. I called in sick and am now in bed with a thumping headache. 

I know not everyone believes in the mind and body link, but I do and so I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this happened, that I cried and that I’m feeling crap. But I can’t put my finger on what upset me so much. 

I’ve had my mind and body book out and looked up my symptoms to see if that helped, diarrhoea mainly pointing towards not being able to hold on to something anymore, being scared shitless or feeling as though you’ve been hit in the guts. The headache points to too much time in the head and repressed feelings. 

The thing is I’ve been aware that I’ve been really overeating. I feel constantly hungry at the moment and I’ve not been caring what I’m eating or how much. And I haven’t been to the gym like I usually do. This is a huge change from previous months where I’ve been eating a certain amount of calories and exercising a lot. I put this down to the break but now I’m not so sure. It’s no surprise my stomach is chucking it all out, there’s too much!! It’s also made me think back to a time when I used to starve myself and hide my food in my bedroom bin and then get told off… no I’m doing the opposite. 

My boyfriend had to go to work and I really wanted him to stay and cuddle me. Problem is he’s scared of getting ill and so won’t come near me when I’m sick. 

I’m really in touch with this needy feeling of needing to be looked after. As I write this tears are dripping down my face. 

I wish I could expand on that a bit, but I don’t think I can. I just have this craving to be looked after and made better. I wish someone was here to give me a cuddle, let me cry on them, maybe cook me soup at lunch and make me feel loved. I need love.

I’m crying because I need love. I want love and affection and to feel looked after. Instead I’m eating food and that’s making me ill as my stomach tries to tell me “no, that’s not helping!”. Apparently the hole can’t be filled with food.

Maybe I’m a bit regressed and I’m feeling like a child that needs her mummy.

I had a dream earlier this morning that I had made my hamster a new cage up as he had wrecked his. His tube had broken and he was seconds away from escaping and his fur was matted. I bathed him, held him and fixed his cage and tubes. I mothered him. 

That’s why I’m crying isn’t it? This sucks so bad. I feel heartbroken. 

And today and I would normally see T but she’s gone and that makes it hurt even more. 

I need a mummy and she’s gone. Both in the sense that the mummy I wanted never was mine and my therapy mummy is away. I’m feeling alone and in need of being looked after like a child. That mother hole constantly getting bigger. 

I’ve just cried a whole river. Snotty, noisey crying. Wow that was horrible. 

Damn it. 

Sudden Bad Mood

I wrote this yesterday but didn’t have time to type it up, for the sake of keeping track of my feelings and my journey to heal in general, I am posting it now and will then post today’s entry, which follows on from this. 

 

Saturday 16th July 

I’d like to curl up on the sofa and write with a blanket and a cup of tea but the kids are here and naturally noisy and nosy and so I can’t do that. So consider yourself being “spoken to” from the loo! Don’t worry, no toileting is going on, but it’s the only room with a lock!

I am writing because I’m trying to catch my mood. Very quickly I’ve gone from relaxed and happy to moody. The change was so fast and I want to see if I can figure out what has happened.

As I came out of the shower my boyfriend said “I know you hate it when I ask this, but how long will you be?” Aggh. I DO hate that. Like ffs, it’s literally my only little bit of peace of the weekend so maybe that is a tiny bit of it, but no, it isn’t that…

I went to my room to get dressed and chucked on a pair of jeans. I then hunted for a top. I found one and put it on, it reminded me of mother’s day. I wore it that day when I saw her. I’m seeing her tonight. Would she approve of that top? She said she liked it that day (which amused me because she actually gave me that top years ago and had forgotten so effectively she approved of herself!) LOL.

I decided it was too creased and then went a found a different top, a pink one. I went and ironed that (I know right??) and as I ironed it I realised it was the top I had brought to wear the day we went on holiday. The same location my dad and his family have just returned from yesterday. The holiday I wasn’t able to go on because of him saying they were no longer going and telling me to book my own… and then booking it. AGH.

I laughed in my head that I’d reminded myself of this all from a top. Perhaps I had chosen it because of this. I’m not too sure.

And now I’m in the loo in a mood… I guess there is a few reasons there.

Last night one of my brother’s text me, quite late saying “Hi sis, what are you up to this weekend?“.  I wasn’t particularly pleased that he had text me because I was hoping to delay the “how great was your family holiday” chat that I inevitably had to suffer…. so now I was forced into it.  So I asked as I had to and he said how amazing it was and listed out everything they all did…. (the photos all over social media helped this too).  He then said maybe next year we could all go together. …..

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGGGHHHHH ANGER, ANGER, ANGER, RAGE………..

BREATHE… BREATHE… BREATHEEEEEEE 

Yep, that would be good. I was gutted that i couldn’t come this time. I felt left behind :o(

Well we did offer

MORE ANGER, MORE ANGER, MORE ANGER…………………… AGGHHHHHHHHHH. BREATHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. 

Well Dad said you wasn’t going anymore when I asked whether we should hold off, or book a holiday for ourselves, so we booked our’s and then you all booked”.

Yeah, it took us a while to get dates for everyone sorted”

Anyway, never mind. I’m glad you had fun” 

SO ANGRY.

Angry that it’s coming from him and not my dad. Angry that my dad still hasn’t acknowledged anything at all – that he hasn’t mentioned the holiday stuff AT ALL.  Wondering why brother felt the need to text me the same day they’ve got back (when he doesn’t ever text me).  Angry because I always feel like the bad guy. The “troublemaker” the one that kicks off all the time if I feel rejected or left out – which happens A LOT. It is always ME with the problem – not them.

Their a close unit and I imagine they all chat about me, about how they offered for me to come but that I didn’t want to (not true) and so what right did I have to feel left out….  I am always the fucking ugly ducking. The black swan. It was the same last month when they all went out for my brother’s birthday meal and didn’t invite me. Again.

I know I’m jealous. I get that. I know it’s my dad’s issue and that it’s never been any different – that perhaps I should be used to it or over it. But nope. Apparently it still hurts despite this and all the ways I try not to let it get to me, it still does.

***

I’m going to my mum’s tonight – that won’t be helping matters. I’ll be worried (consciously or not) about how I look. Fat? Bad clothes? Bad hair? Ugly? I’ll be worried about seeing “that face”, the look she pulls of “god this is boring”… hearing/seeing her fake laugh, of hearing her say “how’s work?” to my boyfriend who she “secretly” hates and thinks we don’t know……..

I worry about conversation drying up – of having nothing to say….

Then there’s the whole debacle of staying over or not. If we stay then nine out of ten times I get left alone with her because my boyfriend and her husband take themselves off to bed earlier. This is when she decides to tell me stuff that she shouldn’t. Stuff like the fact she hasn’t had sex with her husband for weeks and how he wants it a lot and she doesn’t anymore… that she is having an affair… or it’s where she tries to pick holes in my life, attack my boyfriend and ask why I am not pregnant or engaged yet.

If we don’t stay, my boyfriend calls the shots because he hates being there and he will want to leave before I do and I feel like I have no control over anything…

It’s all wank. (sorry).

 

 

 

 

 

The fairytale ending 

The child in me has been waiting for an adult to come and save me. 

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 – or possibly magic it away forever. 

Matilda (film/book) got her happy ending with Miss Honey and I wanted mine. 

I would hope that adults, mainly teachers, would see that I was a good girl and would adopt me. Friend’s 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 a fairytale ending. 

Enter T

So I find T one day many years later. At this stage I am an adult in age and in physicality but emotionally a child. Emotionally stunted at about 6 years old. Still craving love, affection, understanding, acceptance and warmth. Still so desperate for that bond. That unconditional love. 

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? 

I guess I felt similarities between T and my mum in that I saw them both as powerful, authorities and strong. I guess therefore potentially dangerous. 

I liked and respected T for the first two years, but now it is more than that in ways I am not sure I have the words to explain. 

T has showed me things that I had never seen. 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. 

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 childlishly fantasise her being one day – Miss Honey. 

But.. on the less lovely side of things. T’s attunement to me, her patience and everything else have suddenly become a beacon of light on the loss. The loss of my childhood, my innocence and my birth right to have been loved by my mother. 

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. 

As I write this I have this strange energy coursing through my body, like adrenaline. Maybe anger. It’s mixed with sadness and prickly tears. 

Everything that in(very cleverly) defended myself from knowing, seeing and feeling suddenly staring me in the face with a (not so) welcome home banner. 

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. 

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 won’t wave her magic wand and I will be 6 again but her daughter and non 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. 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 was 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. 

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

Session re “An Hour Is Never Enough” Blog

Hi everyone,

Thank you to everyone that commented on my post last night ahead of going back to T’s, I really appreciated the thoughts, comments and birthday wishes. You are all lovely!

All went well last night. Obviously.  I mean I knew it would because it always does and because T is lovely but yet there is always that trepidation nonetheless.

T opened the door, smiley and kind faced as always.  I sat down and made small talk about the weather, how hot it is, she asked whether I had got my air-con re-gassed in my car yet and we laughed about the fact that I hadn’t (we’ve had this conversation SO many times). I told her about my holiday and we compared notes because T had been there in the past.

T asked me how I felt since our last session where I was very upset. She had my blog in front of her and asked if I was happy for us to go through it. I agreed.  I told her that I felt absolutely fine during the break and my holiday and that actually, I felt okay only a few hours after I wrote the blog which I sent to her.

T said it was very courageous of me that I sent my writing to her because it really helped her to understand.  She said that my writing was beautiful (eek!) and that the image I had chosen (from Google Images) was beautiful too. She pointed to a piece of artwork that she has on her wall and told me that it symbolised the same thing. I didn’t know that and so was surprised. I told her that I had often wondered what it was/represented but that I hadn’t known. She told me that perhaps my subconscious had known which was what had drawn me to the image I selected. .. maybe!

mother

She asked me how it felt that I sent it and whether her response had helped.  I told her that the one saving grace I have is that when I am “really in it” meaning really upset and feeling the feelings, that any embarrassment seems to go away for a short while and my neediness takes over. I needed to write that blog and get it all out and make some sense of things – and I needed her to read it too.  The embarrassment and shame that I always feel follow shortly after.

T told me that I had absolutely nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed of. She told me how absolutely normal these feelings were and that I really didn’t need to be embarrassed.  She said that she hoped in time I would feel less embarrassment. I said that this had got better so hopefully it would continue to.  For example, in the past, knowing I was going back after a break to discuss that blog would have filled me with dread all day and probably made me feel rather unwell where I would have been very nervous – whereas yesterday it didn’t feel half that bad. There is definite improvement.

T read some of my words back to me, pausing at certain parts to either look at me or for me to comment on.  I told T at one part that when I was crying before I had written down any of my feelings, my stepdaughter came into my head – the fact that she had wanted a night at home with her mother before coming to us following a school trip.  I said to T that all of a sudden I understood that. I FELT that, in my heart like a physical pain. As I said this, my voice broke and I cried a little.  T looked at me as though she completely understood what I meant and she understood quite how painful that was. I said that the realisation had been very hard. T said that she needed a “top up of mum” before going back off to her Dad’s (and mine) for the weekend and I said that I understood that now, but I never had before. I said a little bit of me was angry with her for this (read: jealous) because she had something that I had never had.  Obviously I don’t really feel that way, it was just a fleeting jealous thought.

T read some more of my words and told me that everything I had described about my wishes for things I could do with her such as drinking tea, putting my feet up, having a blanket: some of them could be met.  She said I was welcome to put my feet up on the sofa, I was welcome to use the blanket which was on the back of the sofa, we could have a cup of tea if that was something I really wanted etc.  I told her that in a way I knew I could use the blanket but it wasn’t quite the same. It wasn’t really what I meant. She seemed to know that already anyway but said that some of the things I missed out on, the things that I crave, could be met now if I wanted.

I told her that I was a bit confused because I had read such conflicting things online about how therapy works. I told her that I had read the whole point of this type of therapy was to re-parent me, make me stronger and more emotionally mature, then I would detach and become more complete and adult. More whole. Yet I had also read that T could not be a replacement for my mother because I am now an adult and that was impossible and it was unhealthy if I was allowed to think of her that way.  T said that clearly she couldn’t say to me “I will be your mummy now” because that was not practical and was not fair. She said that would be harmful to me.  She said that as hard as it was for me to hear, she couldn’t be my mother but that she could help me to internalise the things that I missed out on that would help me.  For example, internalising her kind voice. Making me feel that I was special and important. Making me feel validated, feel that my feelings are important and okay – that anger and sadness were allowed and all of those very important things. She said that the therapy could help to re-parent me in some ways.  I said that I understood that I just wasn’t really sure what I could hope for from her and what I couldn’t.

I somehow plucked up the guts and told her that on my birthday I had hoped she would text me.  I said that my boyfriend had told me that she wouldn’t and that she was not “my friend” and that it felt weird to me that we couldn’t consider one another friends because I feel so close to her (even though I obviously understand I am a patient in therapy really).  T said that firstly if she had text me happy birthday that would not necessarily mean we were “friends” but that we did have a close connection and she understood why I would like to have had a birthday text.  She asked me if I wished she had of text me and I said that although I do in a way, yes, perhaps it would have brought up other things so maybe it was best she didn’t.  T said that it didn’t matter if it brought up anything – that we would talk about it and that I didn’t ever have to worry that things couldn’t be handled between us. That nothing would ruin anything and all thoughts and feelings were allowed here with her. That we would work with anything that came up.  She then explained that the reason she hadn’t text me was because I had previously told her that her texting me might be hard for me because she might text on some occasions and not others – that I might feel misunderstood.  Ultimately, that it could end up hurting me somehow.  I said that although I did feel that way, I felt that my birthday was different.  She said that she just had to be very careful not to hurt me in any way and that as we had previously agreed she would not contact me at any time, at least I knew where I stood – consistency. I said I understood that.

T said that much like my step-daughter needed “topping up” by her mother, I could “pop in” but just not in the physical sense. She said that is why she tries to encourage me to contact her if I need to. I guess that is why she has said to me before that I could “check in with her” if I needed to.  That made more sense to me now. I used to wonder how that was beneficial to me.

She said that although I might think I would like to be able to pop in and see her whenever I wanted to, as often as I liked and at whatever time, that the reality would actually be very messy and not be what I thought it would.  I am not sure I totally got this but I agreed anyhow.

She read the sentence about me only having her on “paid, restricted kinda borrowed time” and said that I really should try not to think of it this way because it was “horribly punitive”.  She said that I pay for her to be there with me, doing that job but that all of her care and affection is completely free. She said those things couldn’t be brought: that it does not work that way.  She said to try not to think of it like that but that she understood the pain of the restricted time – that sometimes it just doesn’t feel enough.

I got teary again at this point and told her (through tears and snot) that I think this feeling reminds me of the fact that my mother told me so often growing up that raising me was a chore, that she hated being a parent, that I was a horrible child, an even worse teenager, that she thought kids were disgusting – basically that she was only there because it was “her job” and that it is horrible to think at times like this, when regressed, that she is only there for me because it is her job too.  That I just wanted someone to be there for me because they wanted to – not because it was their job.  I had never said or written these words before, they just came out. They were really raw. Very deep feelings that hurt to say out loud. I was emotional and I really felt a need for her to properly “see” me and understand this in that moment.

T did seem to get what I was saying and repeated that her care was free and that she did truly care for me – that I was not a chore to her.  She said that she missed me (actual words) whilst I was away, particularly at my normal session times. That she did think of me on my birthday and wondered whether I had a nice holiday.  She looked at me and I half-smiled and she said “but you don’t believe that, do you?” and I laughed and said no.  I told her it isn’t that I don’t believe her as such, but that it just doesn’t really feel true.

She asked what my fantasy was about what happens to me when I am not around and I said that although the adult part of me knows I don’t stop existing to her – to others when I am not around, the other part of me, perhaps the more childish part DID feel that way. That I would be forgotten.  T explained that this was because unfortunately I did disappear to my mother when not around and that I wasn’t taught to feel that I was special.  T also said that she wasn’t in it for the money. She told me that if something happened and I could no longer pay her, that she wouldn’t just stop me coming. That she would never do that.

T read these parts to me “It’s probably also a bit of the inner child in me mourning the loss of the mother I would have loved to have”

and

“I guess it is the sadness of knowing I won’t see her for a while mixed with the sadness that I can only have her on paid, restricted kinda borrowed time.. mixed with the slap in the face blatant comparison of her and my mother.  Of what I could have… and what I do actually have.”

I told her that the comparison was just suddenly so obvious, so intense and painful.  That it felt so hugely unfair.  She seemed to get this immediately and said that she understood how painful this was.  I told her that the things I said I would have liked to do with her like drink tea and chat on unlimited time sounded silly but that they were small examples of the things I would like. T said they didn’t sound silly at all because it was more about what those things represented such as nurturing, warmth, understanding, comfort, home, safety.  I was teary and said yes.  She said that I wrote the words “emotionally fed” and she hoped she could help to offer me that feeling to a degree. I said she did, that I always left feeling happier and better. I said that although clearly I can’t remember being a baby and being held to my mother’s breast and fed – I just know it didn’t happen how it should have. That I can just FEEL it in my whole body. That wasn’t there, it was missing, the love and attachment was absent.  T seemed to know exactly what I meant and she said of course I did. She said you don’t have to remember a time and date of an event to remember something and that she knew exactly what I meant.

I said where I had written the words “It just hit me like a steam train” that it really did feel that way. Sudden and brutal.

T said that she wanted me to know that she truly really respected the attachment that I have towards her and that she would never do anything to intentionally hurt me. She said she knew how scary it was for me to feel this way – which it sure is.

I told T what I had written in my blog “Transference” and she agreed with me that it was some sort of repeat – that it had triggered off some old feelings and said well done for being able to see that.

T then read the last few sentences about my angry song and said she was very pleased there was a bit of anger there.  She asked how it would be possible for me to NOT feel angry. That there was so very much to be angry about. All of the things I should have had that I didn’t, the fact that I was now having to spend so much time, effort and money in therapy to fix something that shouldn’t have needed fixing.

I asked her if she had listened to the song and she said she had not because she thought we should listen to it together. I warned her the song wasn’t particularly “nice” and she said that “nice and angry don’t tend to go together”.  We played it – I felt a little awkward and didn’t know where to look as it played but at the end she said she could totally understand why I related to it so much and that she thought the song was powerful and the words very deep too.  I told her that I played it very loudly when driving and it always made me feel better.  I said the line “with her hand in my head” was very relevant to me because that is how it always felt with my mother – she controlled me so much. She may as well of had her hand in my head physically as well pulling at my thoughts.

We spoke a little about music and the power of expressing yourself with music. I told T that when I was young I spent all of my time in my room playing music and so I often felt very strongly for certain songs and could almost always link a song to a place or a time or a memory.  T asked me if I knew a particular song, I didn’t so she played it and we sat together and listened to it. The song was about someone accepting every part of you and not leaving. Someone who saw the “dark” side of you as well as the light and loved you just as much.  The song made me emotional and I did get teary. T said she thought I would like it and I liked it even more just knowing that she knew me enough to know what I may like.. does that make sense? If anyone is interested the song is “Everything” by Alanis Morissette –

I did mention the whole step-kids not mentioning my birthday thing to her and said that I had noted how it had annoyed me and that I did know that I probably shouldn’t feel that way: but that I did.  I said that perhaps it was because of the way my mother made me look after her feelings and the way I was always forced to make a big deal out of her and her boyfriends’ birthdays (the things I wrote in my blog yesterday basically) and she did agree.  She said that it wouldn’t have been personal. That yes, that could be encouraged along but that also the kids may have felt a little left out that they weren’t around for my birthday (or indeed for our holiday).

T said she was conscious that we only had a few minutes left and said that she wanted to see how I thought I was going to feel when I left. I told her that I thought I would feel fine, good, better but that sometimes I surprised myself.  I told her that knowing I couldn’t/wouldn’t see her for a week or something was somehow instantly hard for me but I knew I would be back on Thursday and that the time went by so quickly so I thought I would be okay.

And I am, Other than having a chest infection and cold today I feel okay.  No therapy hangover or left over sadness.  Perhaps I am just glad that I am back there with T and feeling as though someone completely “gets” me.

An hour is never enough

Soooo… I just got home from T’s and have to write because something odd happened.

As I pulled out of her road, I felt my eyes water a bit.. I was quite surprised.  I drove home not really thinking much and then as soon as I got into my house, I bawled my eyes out like a baby.

Today was my last session until Tuesday 20th June.. not that long really is it? AND it’s because I am going away on holiday for a week. It’s not even like she’s going anywhere.

I thought I was okay about it. She even asked me at the end of my session how I was feeling about the break and I said “well it will be weird not coming here, twice“… and she said “yes, and you will be missed“.  I’ve since thought about those words, “you will be missed” – they aren’t quite the same as “I will miss you” are they? Am I being petulant? Obviously it was nice that she said something.. and hey, who knows, perhaps that is just the way she says things? Plus if she had of said “I will miss you” I think I would have burst into tears… so probably best eh?

Clearly I will miss her more than I admitted to her or to myself.  I am really painfully aware at the moment at the huge difference in the connection that I have with T compared to the… “connection” I have with my mother. Or more to the point, the connection that I haven’t had, don’t have and will never have with my mother. It just hit me like a steam train. I saw my mother at the weekend and it was suddenly so obvious.. it was empty.  It is nothingness.  I sensed a boredom from her like I used to before I became what she wanted me to be.  Now I’m not that person again and that is dull to her.

I thought to myself mid-tears, I wonder if this is what children feel like when they are going away and will miss their mothers/parents… I wonder whether adults still feel that way?  Probably not I imagine, not for a week’s holiday.  I thought how I was already looking forward to being reunited with T – and I haven’t even left yet!!! How mental is that? I also wondered whether this may have been how I felt as a child when my mother used to go away a lot without me.  Perhaps it is me remembering that feeling somehow.  It also made me think of my stepdaughter who is currently away on a school trip for a few nights and has asked if she can come to stay with us Saturday night instead of Friday night because she wanted a night at home between the trip and coming to us.  I didn’t really get that – I do now.  She wanted to spend a nice, homely evening at home with her mum first.  Ouch.

I thought that seeing her again seems so far away…  That I miss her already and it’s not even been a few hours yet. Clearly just knowing I wouldn’t be seeing her was enough.  Having said that, I had tears in my eyes last Tuesday when I left her’s and the only conscious thought had been that the hour went too fast – that it wasn’t enough. That I wished it wasn’t over yet.

I thought how nice it would be if I could see her next Friday, the day I return from my holiday and, coincidentally, my birthday. I would love to see T for my birthday.  Ha! How many people want to see their shrink for their birthday? LOL.

I thought to myself how nice it would be if our sessions weren’t time restricted. I know the reasons why they are, but ignoring all that, how nice it would be?  What if we could just chat and chat until there was a natural closing – perhaps I would talk so much that natural close wouldn’t come for hours… or at all!

How nice would it be if we could have a cup of tea together? I sometimes picture sitting on the usual sofa but with my feet up and a small blanket over me.  Perhaps wearing a really snugly, oversized cardigan.  It would be pouring with rain outside creating that lovely smug atmosphere when you are safe and warm.  We would laugh and chat and it wouldn’t be because I was paying for an hour of her time or because I was “in therapy”. We just did because we wanted to chat, we enjoyed it.  I would leave eventually feeling all warm inside and emotionally “fed”. I would fall asleep feeling happy.

Now that is obviously the fantasy and not the reality.  Unfortunately the reality is shit in comparison to that, but wonderful on its own accord – obviously.

I guess it is the sadness of knowing I won’t see her for a while mixed with the sadness that I can only have her on paid, restricted kinda borrowed time.. mixed with the slap in the face blatant comparison of her and my mother.  Of what I could have… and what I do actually have.

I drafted a text to her which tells her that I cried when I got home and admits that perhaps I’m not as fine as I first thought, but then I thought what’s the point? I mean, what can she say to make that feel any better? It’s just how it is.

It’s probably also a bit of the inner child in me mourning the loss of the mother I would have loved to have.  Just reading this back before publishing has me snotty-crying again.

I think I will go and blare out my new favourite angry song. I sing it (shout it) at times like this. It’s very much about my mother and appropriately entitled “Bloody Mother F****** Arsehole……. here’s a link if you fancy singing along in collective anger.

bus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The difference it makes seeing T

So, as you might have noticed, I wasn’t in the best of moods yesterday. I was very down and very miserable, that lasted all day long. I took myself off to see T as usual and was feeling a bit anxious about going in.  As it turned 7.30pm exactly I got out of the car and knocked on her door. It felt as though it took her longer than normal to open the door, I had a very quick panic that perhaps she wasn’t there – I had the wrong day – she was on holiday… totally irrational for what could have only been about 3 seconds.

T opened the door with her usual smile and “Hello Twink” – she never ever seems any different. I thought to myself then and again today, how hard that must be. How she can keep the same eye contact and smile, the same tone of voice day after day, week after week… that must be hard. I sure as hell do not keep the same voice, smile etc at work every day that’s for sure!

I walked in.. sat down and T asked “how does it feel coming tonight?” I said.. “usual” and kinda looked at her awkwardly and said “I feel nervous/awkward”. T seemed disappointed/sad that I felt this way. We started to discuss this but within literally seconds of me trying to explain how I felt, the lump in my throat appeared and I began crying.  I am still shocked at how quickly the tears seem to come sometimes. I had barely been in the room a minute! I got a bit embarrassed and T said not to feel embarrassed, that it was good I could bring it to her and said it must have been really tough “holding it all weekend”.  I said to her I hadn’t done very well “holding” it at all because I had cried a lot over the weekend.  She said exactly, you’ve held it on your own – without me. You needed to bring it here. I agreed.

I got upset telling T how I felt which is basically what I said yesterday. I get hit by this tidal wave of feeling/emotion – depression or grief or whatever it might be… I then feel as though I absolutely NEED to email T, like it isn’t a want but a real need and then I send an email to her and at some point afterwards, I am hit by the shame of being so needy and then the fear and panic that I will be punished or pushed away or told off by T.  I was very upset telling her this.

T said (for probably the millionth time) that she would not be punitive, that she would not punish me. I said I knew that logically but that what worried me was that she thought that I didn’t know what was “too much” and then would feel she had to (reasonably) tell me and that I didn’t think I would handle the rejection well – the boundary.  T said she did not think that at all.

I told T I worried she would say I could only email say, once and no more – that she needed to tell me what was okay and what was too much. That she would say X is okay, but Y is not. T said she absolutely wasn’t going to do that, she wasn’t going to put a limit on me like that. That felt so reassuring although I still think she might regret saying that lol…

She said it was like I had created rules in my head what was okay and what wasn’t – she said I really didn’t know were the boundaries were did I… I agreed. I said that last week I had seen her twice as usual but I had then emailed her TWICE before the dream thing and that the dream thing felt stupid because at the end of the day, it was only a dream!!!

T said that it wasn’t “only a dream” and said that the dream had clearly stirred up some very deep and painful feelings in me. I agreed. We then spoke through the dreams and T asked me what I thought they were about. I said I thought it was obvious and she said she wanted to hear my words/my view of them.  I said that the shower one I felt was about the fact that when I was young and my mother was (rarely if ever) single, she would be much nicer to me but that then as soon as she got a new bloke, I was dumped again and in the way.  I said that I guess the fear was that if there was a man around T, that I would lose her in the same way (despite how unrealistic that really is).  T agreed.  She said she felt both dreams were of a very similar nature but the second was much worse.

We spoke about the relevance of my stomach being split open – of my guts all falling out. T said how scary that must have been and that she felt the fact I was in so much pain and the guy on the phone wasn’t taking me seriously, wasn’t helping me was very symbolic of the pain I was in during my childhood and how nobody “saw” it and nobody helped me or took me seriously. I agreed completely.

We spoke about her “daughters” and her “son” the photos etc. T said, “you say you felt insanely jealous” that is a very painful feeling. I said yes. I said that the way she looked at her son with such fondness upset me so deeply because I knew nobody looked at me in that way and that hurt my chest.

T said how it all comes back to not feeling “held in mind” and that when other people are around I think I disappear. Me and T have been having this conversation for some years now so this isn’t new.  I agreed.  She said that I think when others are around, partners, kids (referring to the dreams), that rather than the love being replenished, it is taken away.  I agreed. We said how this is due to the fact that is how it was for me as a child, I really was forgotten when my mother’s latest love interest came along – or her new best friends who were often only a year or two older than me.  I hate her for that.

I told T that I was really struggling at the moment and that I felt so up and down. One day I was happy and the next I was furious or depressed. I said it was tough and it made me worry about how my boyfriend felt. I said it made me feel as though I was less stable than I used to be which can’t be true… T said it may well be true but only for now.  She said you have years and years of held in feelings and now they finally have a way out it is hard work.  She said to try and hold on to the fact that in the end, I will be so much more stable on a permanent basis.  I agreed.

I told T that I don’t understand this absolute dire need to reach out to her when I feel like that – I told her again that it really didn’t feel like I just might like to, it was like I absolutely HAD to – like I couldn’t cope on my own. T said that was okay, that is what I needed right now and that was fine.  I told her I worried she might feel like I treated her like a dumping ground for my bad stuff.  T said she did not feel like that at all. She said that it won’t always be like this, that you have to be flexible depending on what the client needs and what the client is going through.  She said that she does have her own boundaries and will only read/reply to emails when she can and that is HER boundary.  She said she won’t “bleed all over the client” because of her own stuff.  I said I worried that she saw my name ping in her inbox again and again and would roll her eyes and think “god, her again!”.  T said that right now, during those moments, I was regressed to a child state and I did NEED T and that was okay.  T said I was really scared of being vulnerable and I agreed yes I was. Very.

I wonder to myself today whether T or anyone really can truly understand the depth of that feeling – I don’t think they can because it is so hard to explain. I told T that it was weird I was suddenly so aware of this because it’s got harder/worse than it ever has been before, I didn’t even used to know I felt scared (even if she did). T said I was “right in the depths of the work now”.  She told me to just say to my boyfriend to hang on in there with me for now because it was a hard time.  I did say that to him when I got home and he said he knew already. I said “why, because I’ve been a miserable cow?” and he said “no, not miserable but…. up and down”.  I agreed.  He said he felt I was picking fights with him when I needed to cry. I disagreed with that but said perhaps I was being easily triggered by things.

I also told T that I had noticed the last week or so that when I returned home from anywhere, being home was making me miserable. T said “when you are alone?” and I said, whenever – alone or with others. I told her that Friday night I actually excused myself off to bed early because I felt so miserable and low that I just didn’t have the energy to be around everyone and try and act happier than I felt.  I told T my grandmother had shown me photos of me as a child that day and that I wondered if that had brought on a lot of feelings.  Seeing “little me” in front of me like that.. kinda makes it hard to deny what she (I) went through. I also told T that when I was younger, coming home from my nan’s was always horrible and I would be in tears very quickly.  I said perhaps that is part of the reason I felt the same when I came home Friday from my nan’s. T said it almost definitely would be.

T asked me how I thought I would feel when I left and I said I thought I would feel relieved because she hadn’t told me off for emailing or asked me to stop. I told her that I knew it sounded very extreme but I truly felt if she told me I couldn’t email her anymore, that I wouldn’t want to continue therapy, that is how scary it felt. I also told T that I felt very fat, ugly, spotty and just generally wrank. I said I hadn’t even done my hair for work today and I always did my hair.

I left feeling much lighter (as always) and I woke up today feeling happy. I spent some time when I got home last night preparing a healthy salad and fruit salad for work today, I got up and did my hair and I walked to the station instead of driving or getting the bus.  I also went out for a walk at lunch time to get my steps up.

Isn’t amazing what a difference seeing your T can make on not only your mood, but your clothes, your hair, your exercise.. everything. Is that just me? I was thinking this earlier and it triggered off a weird thought – every time I see my Dad (not often), I have brought a new outfit to wear………… that says a lot doesn’t it? Yet I will go to T’s in an old baggy top with my hair tied on the top of my head with black eyes from crying….. I really must be starting to feel more comfortable showing T who I “really am”. Clearly more so than my own parents. That is amazing isn’t’ it?