Therapy Forecast: Rupture

Dear A

I often discuss quitting with you in session. I haven’t actually had the balls to do it yet. But that’s changing.

I don’t think continuing our relationship is the best for me right now. I don’t need another person in my life who pretends to care about me only to dismiss me when it’s convenient for them. I don’t need somebody who thinks that this is fun. That me trying to let go of terrible memories – of desperately crying – of needing hand holding… I don’t need someone who thinks of that as fun. I don’t need another fucking defective parent figure.

I don’t want anything to do with you right now and in the name of honoring those feelings I am cancelling until you’re back from your vacation (another one that you dropped like a no big deal bomb at the end of session. Oh yea, I’m not here this week – casually said as if it doesn’t make the floor drop out from under me each time. And you’ll say “well why haven’t you talked to me about it” and I will say “because you never give me time to. And you never ask how I feel. And you act like it should be no big deal so I follow suit.”) I don’t want to be here and I don’t want to talk to you.

That’s one of three angry letters I’ve drafted to A. Earlier this weekend I wrote an email to someone and was like “fuck A”. And the response was really thought provoking – this (super smart) person was like “why? Why are you angry with her?”

A while ago, at our last session before Christmas, I thanked A for everything and she thanked me back. She said she looked forward to our sessions, they were fun for her. And now, rationally, I know she didn’t mean that they way I heard it. But I’m apparently hung up on it. It isn’t fun for me to be sitting there tearing out parts of my pain for her to examine week after week.

And then on Thursday I found out she was going on a week long vacation as we were scheduling. She doesn’t tell me. And maybe she feels like she doesn’t have to, but I like to know I can reach out if I’m desperate. 

So ya, I’m angry at her. Part of it is me being hung up on her using the word fun. Part of it is her never telling me when she will be on vacation in a way that is helpful. And part of it is the dreams I’m having – last night she abandoned me mid session with my husband and mom and told us to work it out ourselves because she was bored. And when she was there she was on my Mom’s side. She drops vacation bombs at the end of session while we’re scheduling like – “k, one next week, two the week after, and then I’m on vacation, and then the week after that lets schedule”. Like it’s no big deal. Is it so hard to be like “I have a vacation coming up. It’s a short one, do you need to talk about it?” at a time that gives us a chance to address it? Even if it’s one week if it affects my session pattern it affects me. If I can’t reach out and receive extra help in the form of a session or a phone call then I need time and I need to process that. I will say no the first time she asks if I want to discuss if out of shame and then need to talk about it. As soon as I know she’s going away I shut down and don’t want to talk.

I also keep getting the sense lately that this is a game for her. She hasn’t really done anything but I can’t help feeling like I’m some sort of fucked up experiment. I am missing that attunement of her identifying with me. I feel like she’s having fun because I’m the client she finally gets to try this cool stuff with and she looks forward to working together when I’m over here hurting. I’m finally attaching to her and finally letting my guard down and it feels like it’s all a big joke to her. I go home and think about it for days and she just gets to go home and not bother with me. And that’s the limitations of reparenting through therapy… and that’s not her fault. But I’m also angry about that. And sometimes she laughs at something I say (never in a malicious way but in an incredulous way or a spontaneous way) and that is frustrating too. I don’t want to share this serious stuff and these memories with her if she doesn’t deserve it. I don’t want to share this stuff with her if she’s going to think of it as fun or like something cool she gets to do. I especially don’t want to share with her if she is going to laugh. Telling these stories affects me for days after and I can’t reach for her. I don’t want to share with her if she’s going to make fun of me. I really want to be hand held through this memory that is giving me flashbacks. I am so tired. I miss the literal and metaphorical hand holding. Of walking me through feeling step by step. Of her being close. 

I guess part of me is wondering if it’s all been ‘fun’ for her from day one and if I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life in trusting someone again. I don’t feel like she’s on my side right now and I definitely don’t want to talk to her. And while what she said made sense and she even disclaimed it with the idea that she doesn’t want me to feel this way – I feel like if I share any of this I am a child throwing a temper tantrum and my legitimate feelings won’t be taken seriously like they haven’t been my whole life. So this is just like then. And she is just like them. 

I won’t let myself cancel but I’m seriously questioning what I’m doing even trying to trust someone again. I can cope on my own. I’ve done it before. I can do it again, and she can have her ‘fun’ psychological experiment time with someone else.

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34 thoughts on “Therapy Forecast: Rupture

  1. Fully in support of being unfiltered – the vacation/scheduling trigger is completely real and legitimate. It is very hard to know they are gone, regardless of how it affects session schedules. It is very important to receive reassurance that she is coming back (no matter how ridiculous that can feel to us as adults). It doesn’t matter if it seems silly, it isn’t. It is very important.
    And feeling hurt over a word choice – also very important for her to hear it hurt you, and for her express care for the impact. She doesn’t have to take it back or grovel, but part of therapy is the therapist being that parent who DOES and WILL express care for pain inflicted. Your parents didn’t seem to ever seen how they hurt you, and something so powerful about therapists (with hopefully robust egos) is they don’t get defensive and see the young-feeling and meet the need for validation.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I vote for word vomit, therapists love word vomit. 😀
    On a serious note, I hear your hurt and uncertainty . The word “fun” was a really bad choice of words. And not giving you as much notice as possible for breaks is bullshit, how can she contemplate doing attachment work whilst simultaneously disappearing with a weeks notice? I hope you send her or talk to her about the word vomit I think it would be a really worthwhile exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s technically three weeks notice, but since we don’t have out of session contact maybe she thinks it doesn’t affect me?? I need to be more open about the fact that it does, and I need time to process her being away, or my schedule shifting. My guess is she’s never run into this before with me.

      The word fun really was a poor choice. I am going to word vomit at her this week possibly. I’m going to be like I’m not sleeping because of these flashbacks and I don’t feel like I can talk to you about it because you don’t feel safe right now for a few reasons. And that’s where I’m at.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think what you are planning to tell her is perfect. A will appreciate the word vomit– I’m very filtered in therapy but the times I just let the little girl spew out words, Bea is always happy for it.

        Flashbacks and nightmares messing with your sleep is so difficult. Have you tried sleeping in a different place– like maybe the couch or a chair? Sometimes that can help.

        And the word “fun” while meant to be kind is hurtful. You aren’t being a brat or difficult. It’s understandable. I think you’ve explained it well here, and A will get it.

        And vacations being brought up like no big deal? Ugh! Bea did that over Christmas and it crushed me. It is hurtful, and it’s okay that it hurts. I’m sorry she did that.

        I’m glad you are going to talk to her before just quitting. I think that is important.

        Sending restful, calm thoughts. I hope you get some sleep soon. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I would definitely ask A to elaborate on the ‘fun’ word. Vacation wise, it’s her life. It might have been a last minute decision but address it and the way it makes you feel. They can handle us being angry with them. I wouldn’t say these things to H because I fear that she will see me as too attached and refer me out.
    A really does care about you and I would imagine that the fear comes from expressing feelings that you weren’t allowed to in the past. You have also started to deal with the sibling abuse which will be incredibly hard.
    I’m glad that you’re willing to talk to A once again before quitting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always told her I’ll come talk before quitting. At this point I have too much respect for her to not. I think because she brought up attachment work last week and how attachment stuff works I feel OK being attached (although also like a small child which is annoying).

      I know she didn’t mean to hurt me with her choice of word, and it seems so trivial, but discussing things without addressing it wouldn’t help.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not trivial. If someone in business says something that you don’t understand you would ask them to elaborate so it’s the same. To me anyway. I think she is ok with you being attached so you’re in the right place. It’s just a really difficult one. It will all be sorted!

        Liked by 1 person

      • If it hurts you now, a month plus after the time she said it to you, then it isn’t trivial. What matters in the therapy relationship is not her intent (we all know she is a good and caring intent) but rather the impact on you. Your reaction to “fun” is not just a normal reaction to a poor choice of words on her part (though it is that). It is also insight into how you have felt in your family and how your family accepted your brother’s stated intent of “fun” as a reason to harm you. For all these reasons, it is not trivial. And it is not shameful, either, because we are not in therapy to show off how adult and mature we are, but rather to show those tender wounds in our psyches in a safe place so we can tend to them.

        (I realize as I write this that you may experience it as shameful, and I don’t mean to dismiss any feelings you have. I think what I mean to say is “I seriously doubt that A will find this shameful” and “I personally think it’s entirely valid for you to react this way about the word fun.”)

        P.S. E also sometimes says things a little playfully in or about therapy. At times, I can go with playful. But sometimes I just can’t, even though I know it means she enjoys working with me and feels comfortable around me.

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  4. You said that you’re finally attaching to her and letting your guard down… And I’m just wondering whether that closeness, and what you mentioned here, isn’t one of the factors driving your thoughts? That maybe underneath all that anger is the fear that you might be getting too close, which is something you’re not all that used to? Sorry if I’m way off the mark here though. *hugs* ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Rayne I don’t think you’re off the mark at all. I think maybe you just hit a bull’s-eye. I think a lot of this is driven by fear. Which is really confusing. Because I don’t know where to start with that..

      I think her not fighting me last week and just being there was unexpected. And now I’m overwhelmed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really can be confusing and bring up a lot of fear. These people (our therapists) offer us things that we might not have gotten growing up, and there’s always the fear that if we become too close, we’ll only be abandoned at some stage. What helps me (a little at least) is to admit that I’m terrified, but head straight into that fear anyway. Allow myself to feel it, while recognizing that I can’t control anyone’s actions. What I can do, is hold onto what I have now, in this moment… Which is a beautiful connection with my therapist. I’m sorry you’re feeling so overwhelmed. Hang in there. You can do this. 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Neither the ‘fun’ thing or the issue of vacations are too small to discuss. Could you say something to her along the lines of “The intensity of some of the things we are working on together is affecting my relationship with you. There are a few things lately which seem small but are very important to me to discuss because they are making me mistrust you and want to quit therapy with you. One of them is vacations – I find it very difficult when you go away and I need more notice and also time to discuss the feelings that your going away brings up. The other thing that upset me a lot was your use of the word fun to describe our sessions. It seems completely the wrong word to use and I want to talk to you about how that makes me feel and what you meant by your choice of words.” Don’t give up now!

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  6. “I go home and think about it for days and she just gets to go home and not bother with me.” – oh my goodness, that got me. I can so, so, so relate to that feeling.
    Okay so her using the word “fun” was a well-intentioned fuck-up. She was trying to communicate that she likes working with you; that she likes getting to know you (the inside you), that she likes you – and she said it in the most terrible way possible. UGH I am so sorry. I agree with Strong that this is definitely worth bringing up in session. Even though you know she cares, this is having an effect on the relationship and she needs to know so that she doesn’t do it again.
    From what you have written before, I think A would like to see the letter. I think she could handle it.
    As far as scheduling, it sucks. Therapists just don’t seem to get how much it affects us. A change can throw us off for weeks. The least they can do is address it in a caring and helpful way (which they never seem to be able to do).
    Sending love and hugs ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Are you considering giving her that letter? I think you addressed your feelings clearly in it. Bring up the “fun” thing, it’s understandably having an effect on you. I know it’s hard to see right now, but I truly think A really does care about you. This isn’t a game for her.

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