Dear Bea (an email I’ll never actually send)

Dear Bea,

I feel like I’m doing that thing where I make myself crazy. I’m part scared and anxious, part angry and part just done; I give up.

I feel like I’ve spent this whole year trusting you in fits and starts, small steps and big steps. I’ve been as honest as I could allow myself to be, but of course there were always things I held back, too afraid to say. But now it feels like we reached a point in our relationship where I’m not afraid to say things to you, and I don’t have as much fear that your reaction will be to hate me, be angry with me, leave me.

We’ve spent the year working towards me losing the facade, working towards me being more open and honest with hubby. And I finally got there; I talked to him about things I never dreamed I would have been able to when we were first married. I’ve never felt safer and more trusting of him.

Only now….it seems that the extra trust I gave, being authentic and real with you and hubby has backfired. You left. I emailed you 3 days ago. And you never responded, not even to acknowledge you got it but wanted to talk about it in person. Hubby is so uncomfortable with things being not perfect that he has detached from the situation and I can feel that disconnect he has created. I opened myself up, and I’m alone. He left, you left.

I feel small and frightened and alone. I’m not strong enough to do this on my own. I don’t know what to do now. The teenager is yelling at me; “I told you so, you are so dumb, what were you thinking?! All people ever do is hurt you, disappoint you. You need too much. You want too much from them. No one is ever going to care enough to be what you need. You don’t matter. And you didn’t listen, and now everything is a mess. It’s out of control, everything is ruined. You’re all alone. You can’t do anything right. Let me fix this.” And fixing it means finding the bubble, fighting to be perfect and not paying attention to anything but cleaning, organizing, planning, eating– not eating– whatever I can use to distract, to be perfect. I feel so helpless and lost and all alone, I’m ready to do what the teenager says, whatever it takes to make this feeling go away.

I know you have other clients, and a life. I know things happen. Rationally, logically, I know that you not answering an email doesn’t mean anything. But in my head is a drama of you being angry over something i wrote, you trying to figure out how to send me to another shrink because you are so fed up, you being just done with me and leaving because I’m just too needy and whiny and I don’t work hard enough to get over things and I’m just a drama queen and cry baby. I know those are all feelings, and feelings aren’t fact. But I can’t stop myself from freaking out. And I can’t help feeling a little angry, too. You know, you have to know, how fragile my trust is. You have to know that stepping out of my comfort zone to trust more only makes it more fragile. And you didn’t even bother responding. Even a simple, “I got you email, and want to respond but don’t have time right now. I’ll try to get to it this weekend, or we can talk on Tuesday.”

I know hubby cares, I know if I brought up anything I wanted to talk about he would talk to me. I know if I woke him up when I had a nightmare he would comfort me. But in my head, I feel like he is disgusted with me. Like he doesn’t want me anymore, like I’m damaged and tainted and he can’t stand the sight of me. I feel like he would leave if he could, but he’s too good a person to leave his broken wife.

This is what I get for reaching out and trusting more. It’s the backlash of it all, me freaking out and reading between the lines and finding things that aren’t really there at all. I don’t know. It’s crazy making. So…that’s where I am. In a place where I only want to hide because I can’t deal with these feelings of everyone I trusted hating me. In a place where I’m having flashbacks and nightmares and obsessing over “not my choice”. In a place that doesn’t feel rooted in the present, or very safe. In a place that is on the edge of where the bubble begins, and so ready to jump right back into that bubble of okayness, because I don’t know what else to do.

I have no idea what I’m going to do. If I’m going to email you again, and tell you some of this. If I should just wait and show up on Tuesday. If I should just fall into the bubble of okayness; prove I don’t need anyone, that I can be just fine without trusting you or hubby. If I should not show up at all; that would send a clear message that I’m hurt and mad and don’t need you. I don’t know. I’m lost. The little girl, the teenager and the grown up all want to go different ways. There’s too much in my head, I can’t sort anything out.

~Alice

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17 thoughts on “Dear Bea (an email I’ll never actually send)

  1. Ugh. I’ve been in this place also, where my T has not responded to an email, and I’ve freaked out. It’s such a rough place to be. Especially when you’ve been taking risks and being more open.

    Tuesday seems a long way away when you’re feeling like this. How would you feel just sending a short email to Bea, saying you’re very worried because she didn’t respond to your last, and could she respond now? Or something like that? I don’t think she’d purposely hurt you. At any rate, I’ve found that helped me.

    Or maybe send this one, if it’s not too scary for you. It is open and honest.

    She clearly does care, but who knows what happens with Ts sometimes, when they are not responsive. Maybe life gets chaotic for them too.

    Take care.

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    • Thank you for getting this, although I’m sorry you have been here. I don’t think Bea would purposefully hurt me. Sending a short email, especially becasue it could make it easier to show up on Tuesday seems like a good idea. Theres just a fight inside me about this idea; part of me doesn’t want to be needy and beleives emailing a second time is being too needy and too clingy….and that is just so scary. It’s like part me doesn’t want her to know I need her.

      Sending this one….it is open and honest and tells it all. But yikes! That I can not do. I’m sure life gets chaotic and things come up for Ts, too. It’s just the little girl part of me needs Bea to be super attuned and there. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anxious Mom says:

    I hope the next day and a half passes quickly for you so you can get some answers from Bea on why she didn’t respond. And that in the future, she is able to send a quick message if it’s something she wants to address in person, that way you aren’t left hanging to go through all this.

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    • Thanks, E. Only 30 hours to go. Ugh. The weirdest thing is she always responds, even if its just to say “lets talk about this in session.” I think that’s why this is so hard and anxiety provoking.

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      • Me, too. I’m still wrestling with the idea of sending another email. 😕 This all shouldn’t be so hard. It’s not even that I expect an answer, but this is so not normal..she has always responded. Ugh. I’m sorry, I’m still just whiny and making myself crazy.

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      • Anxious Mom says:

        Maybe if you just made it sound like you’re checking in on her since you didn’t hear back, concerned for her well being? Because if she usually does respond back with something, that is certainly a legitimate concern. Don’t apologize, anxiety is a b****. No off switch, unfortunately.

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  3. I can really relate to how fragile trust feels, and how a non-response can shatter it. It is a gut-wrenching, terrible feeling. I hope you are able to find some relief as soon as possible.

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  4. I would imagine her emails got mixed up somehow and yours got lost or inadvertently deleted.

    Of course opening one up during this intense therapeutic work makes one extremely vulnerable, exposed and raw. Wounds exposed that haven’t healed make connections with those we are closest too especially sensitive, Bea, Hubby. I know it’s hard, I’m still working at the negative voices, but being you’re a list maker, take that paragraph above and counter every negative statement into positives. The ones really the loudest, capitalize and/or read aloud repeatedly but with the positive change. Even after today when she explains the mix-up, those negatives keep pounding and need work to counter-act. Sometimes I just can’t do it. But sometimes I can! You can too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it makes perfect sense that something got mixed up. Rationally, i know this.

      I love the way you put words to my feelings and explain it– “wounds that havent healed make connections that havent healed with those we are closest too especially sesnative.” This is just it, exactly.

      I can make a list, thank you for the suggestion. Those negative voices are so very loud sometimes. I’m sorry you know them, too.

      Thank you for all your support. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. S.G says:

    This type of thing is exactly why I gave up with emailing and texting, I made too many assumptions based on words typed on a screen. I read things through my own skewed filter and read meaning into things in her reply or lack of reply and the anxiety was huge. Yet I needed it for the connection, just to connect to her and sometimes getting what I needed was worth the times her replies didn’t meet a need or induced anxiety. With my new therapist, she hasn’t ruled out outside communication but I have that boundary in for myself that there is to be no contact outside of sessions.
    I am not suggesting this for you, it seems to work for you and your therapist to have this connection outside of sessions. I am just thinking out loud in response to your post. 🙂

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    • I totally get why you gave it up. This has never happened before, but if it were to be a common thing, I would be a wreck, and I’m not sure it would be helpful. I don’t know. For now, though, email is the best way I can communicate things I can’t or won’t say. I’m impressed you were able to give it up. Xx

      Like

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