I’m struggling to stay real, to not dissociate and to stay present. To not pretend everything is fine and okay. It’s the only defense I really have against the feelings, flashbacks, nightmares, fears and triggers that are shoving me further and further down the rabbit hole.
No therapy today. Bea is on vacation. This is the first appointment I’m missing that hasn’t been able to be rescheduled for the next day. I’ve been seeing Bea for almost a year now, so that’s probably pretty amazing. And she will be back for our Thursday appointment. So it’s one session. Just one. I’ll still see her once this week. She’s not really gone. I know this. Rationally, I know this.
So why then, do I feel like she left me? Last session, I was all broken and vulnerable and hurting and needy. I have the worst timing. I pick the week before she is going to be leaving for vacation to have a breakdown and to admit to myself and to her that I need her. I pick that week to be more open, to think about and really feel how not in control I was when I was a little girl. And everything has fallen apart even more, in my mind. Because now I let that awful feeling — the one of being helpless and alone and having no control and feeling scared and alone and dirty and bad and wishing for comfort and not being able to find it— in, and I can’t seem to get rid of it now, it’s just sitting there and Bea is supposed to be able to help me contain it, and be okay, and it’s supposed to be okay to need her, but she is gone. On vacation, gone, not here.
Part of me wants to use this as proof, to say, “See? You are too much, too needy, too everything. You exposed that part of yourself, and it’s so bad, Bea had to take a vacation after one week of you being needy. See? You are too much, and everyone leaves. No one can handle you, you drain people dry.” Rationally, I know that’s untrue. For some reason, it’s become impossible to grasp the idea that this feeling, this thought is false.
Bea told me she would be available by email or phone while she was gone. She gave me permission to reach out. I told her I wouldn’t call, and I won’t. I’ve thought about emailing, but what would I say?
This is really silly, but a part of me is freaking out about not having therapy today, and feeling like you went on vacation because I was too much, too needy, too broken– that exposing all of that last session just pushed you away. Rationally, I know you had this vacation planned when I was still in “perfect mode”, and that it has nothing to do with me or how messy and vulnerable and broken I am. But the feeling is still there. And it scares me, maybe because I’m afraid that in your head, you want to leave and not deal with me.
I just don’t think so. I’m afraid to reach out to her, that she will not respond, or that she will change her mind and be annoyed that I bothered her while she was on vacation, or that she will reject me in some way. I don’t know.
And I’m very afraid of doing anything that will make her turn shrinky on me. I hate talk about transference, and projection, and whatever else. I don’t want her to be my friend, or my mother, or anything else but my therapist. But, in order to do this work and be honest about my feelings and the things that happened, to be able to talk about and process the traumas, I have to be able to trust Bea, I almost have to be let myself need her and be vulnerable and exposed. There’s no other way. Wouldn’t that be true in any relationship that a person was going to share the worst parts of them self? Wouldn’t it be true, that in any relationship a person will bring old patterns and lessons with them? For example, my parents needed perfect, and I felt like I had to do everything right to earn their love. I took that lesson with me into every relationship I have ever had– my marriage, and my friendships. So why, in therapy, do things have to get all shrinky and analytical? Ugh. Just because those same feelings and patterns appear in the relationship a person has with their therapist doesn’t make those feelings any less real. I mean, that’s like saying the relationship between a person and their therapist isn’t real. If it’s all transference and counter transference and projections and whatever else, it’s just a fake relationship. Which would mean the idea that the shrink actually cares isn’t real– it’s just counter transference from one of their real relationships, the feelings are being put on the client for whatever reason, but the shrink doesn’t actually care about the client because it’s confer transference. And the feeling the client has that it’s safe to let down walls and be exposed and need the shrink isn’t real, either. And if that’s all true, then what is the point of being in therapy? If that’s true, why is Bea trying to help me find the real me? How can I find anything real, especially the real me, in a relationship that is not real? Ugh. I’m not sure this is making all that much sense. It makes sense in my head, though.
I’m not sure how I feel about Bea, or therapy right now. I can feel the fake, miss perfect, control freak taking over. I need to be okay. I’m no where near okay, but I need the world to see me as okay. I’m somewhere between thinking its a good idea to find a new bubble and get inside it quickly, and telling myself to sit with how I’m feeling, to deal with it, to not go backwards just because I hate feeling needy and vulnerable. I’m not sure which part will win this fight, and I am not really even sure why part of me is fighting to stay real. Because being real hurts. Ugh.