I have a therapist, and for the purposes of this blog we’ll call her A.
My goal today was to discuss boundaries with her. I believe in her, and her ability to keep them but we’ve had a major disruption. She went on vacation. Such a dreaded word. A is my 7th therapist over the course of my life, and by far the best.
Therapists going on vacation is a hugely scary thing for me because my last therapist disappeared immediately after going on vacation. She was just visiting New York City for a week and then up and moved there without warning… well, one phone call. She upped and left me. For someone with attachment and abandonment issues — that was awful.
So, I’ve needed a lot of reassurance from A that she isn’t about to do the same thing. We had our own disruption with me feeling left unsupported and then she followed that up with a phone cal that likely changed the ENTIRE course of our therapeutic alliance – for the better.
This is how solid therapy works. Good boundaries enforce the space where you can do the work without worrying about what else is going to happen…
My last therapist, Em (who I may have made the choice to reach out to when A was away in a crisis) has some pretty crappy boundaries. We skype, we text, we would probably be friends if that wasn’t the one thing she was holding on to. It is not okay. It is actually probably harmful to me and my recovery but unfortunately we’ve gotten tangled up again and I’m going to have to figure a way out of that.
This relationship with A, that started in May, is the first one in a long time where I’ve felt like there may be a little bit of hope for all the parts of me to start moving past the trauma and abuse. I need to trust A, I need to trust her to be who I need her to be and that she is strong enough to continue to hold these boundaries for us because once we get into the thick of it I’m not going to have the strength to address them then.
It’s amazing how some days just walking into therapy takes all the energy I have.
Of course, we haven’t seen each other in a few weeks and I told her all about things that have been happening. I’ve lost time for the first time in years. I told her I didn’t feel present with my emotions and like some sort of fronting high achiever had taken over. My boss even asked me what was going on, because I was so high functioning but had no emotion.
We addressed the boundaries and I’ll lay them out for you another day but one thing that I told her was I was so afraid of disappointing her. That maybe this is the textbook perfect therapeutic alliance and there is some sort of magic healing that has briefly taken place but i’m so scared and terrified to be vulnerable.
She told me that there is so much to me, that I deserve a happy, hopeful life. That she is there on this journey and I can push back and refuse to let her in and fight this with all I have but that she so appreciates how I show up every day. That she sees me. That she wants to carry this burden and go on this journey with me.
Now I just have to convince all the parts of me to believe her.