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.
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.
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.
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.