I find with therapy, I want to feel in balance regarding what happens and my feelings about the therapist. There’s a centre point where I don’t obsess, but still feel things are OK, I’m moving forward, and that my relationship to Ron is pretty good, that he cares about me, and that if anything bad happens he would try to help me.
That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I haven’t been writing emails about problems, or about how upset I am about therapy, I’ve just been letting it all rest. Which was a good plan.
Then Monday night, I woke up in the middle of the night, afraid. Middle of the night, I am very prone to wanting to write Ron emails. I’ve found they help me sleep. And the younger parts are more insistent at that time, and they always want to write to Ron. And I remembered how he said so cutely, you can write to me any time you want.
Yeah, that’s true. I can write, but he won’t necessarily answer. We have an agreement that if I specifically request a response, he will respond.
So I wrote my four am email, listing my fears, and something about the darn group. And sent it off. And went back to sleep after a while.
Tuesday I checked my email all day long. No response. And no response today. At this point he will no longer respond, in my experience.
This situation used to make me wildly anxious, and I would send another email asking why he never replied to the first, and he’d reply to the second, and I’d feel calmer at least. I’m not expecting him to provide insights in his reply. Just any response so I know it was OK to write and he’s not angry.
This time, I’m more sad and deflated than anxious. I suspect he didn’t bother reading much of it, though it wasn’t that long, and didn’t read the part where I ask for a response at the end. It wasn’t a crisp and clear email.
I never know what to make of lack of response. Did something I said make him angry? Did he not bother reading? Is he fed up with me? Is he immersed in some crisis of his own?
I feel like, OK, Ron is pretty good in session. He helps me. He’s just not that available during the week. I’m disappointed, because he used to respond to emails. I wonder what’s changed. And for me, since the group, I no longer deeply trust him to have my back. It’s really sad, but I don’t. And the email situation just proves it for me.
Sometimes it’s preferable though to just feel sad rather than the huge anxiety of hope and despair.
To another topic, I wanted to finish up my session recap. I wonder what I can recall at this point. The last third of the session was the most intense, as usual.
We sat there, and I’d stopped talking. I was feeling internal pressures that I should be talking about other things, but didn’t know what.
E. Maybe I’ll have the kid talk now.
Ron looks a bit taken aback.
E. Well, maybe not.
R. Sure, go ahead.
E. Well….there’s kind of an angry voice.
R. What is that voice saying?
E. slipping into another part. I….I’m angry?
I’m seeing something out of the corner of my eye.
E. It’s like….there’s light coming in under the door? We had these bunk beds, me and my sister. But….you’re not supposed to jump on the mattress, because you could fall off, and you could break the bed….
I’m getting more and more upset. I’m seeing a scene out of the corner of my eye. It’s our darkened bedroom in BigTown, USA.
E. But….I didn’t mean to do it! I didn’t!
I am crying a lot, the way a child cries.
E. I feel like I completely hate myself. Like I am the most horrible person.
R. I think someone worked very hard to make you feel like that. That you were bad, not them.
E. Yeah? Maybe.
I cry some more. I feel complete self-loathing. It’s a very difficult feeling.
And that’s about it. Nothing else about this scene becomes any clearer. I see our time is pretty well up and I start trying to pull myself together so I can leave. I stamp my feet on the ground a bit, I look around Ron’s office, noting the book shelves, the pillows and the couch. I’m somewhat avoiding looking at Ron himself.
R. It’s OK. You can stay longer, if you’re sad.
Hearing this kindness, the kid replies and of course starts crying again. Ron hasn’t offered to give me a few extra minutes before, and I appreciate it. But, I’m used to closing things down, so I do, enough to leave only about a minute beyond time.
This scenario was what I had to work through on the weekend. I tried moving around despite the pain, with mixed success. I tend to end up switching completely out of it, in order to cope, and it ends up coming back then as symptoms. But on the other hand, it feels great to get things done and to be out in the world. I think some mixture of this is a good thing – continuing to do things, but also trying to process what happened (whatever that may be) as best I can.