Dear Bea, I feel like you left me

Bea is on vacation, and my life is spiraling out of control. Bea always talks about how we need to walk on the edge of the cliff to do trauma work. If I’m functioning in that superficial, detached mode, then I’m too far from the cliff and I can’t really feel anything at all. Sometimes, that is needed. But now, I’ve gone over the cliff. Bea left. I know she is on vacation. I know she did not really leave. But I feel like she left me. I wrote her the longest email ever at like 2:00am this morning. I didn’t send it, I was afraid. So I wrote this email, instead, asking if I could send a long and messy email. It just came out. I haven’t sent this, either.

I think a part of me is hurt and angry with her for leaving. It does make me wonder if I’m angry with Bea, or if it’s the little girl me, who is angry at her mom for leaving when she was 9. I’m afraid, too. Because what I wrote means Bea is important, and I don’t want her to matter that much. It seems wrong, not allowed, or something, for my therapist to matter that much to me. I really need her to tell me that she didn’t leave me, that she cares, that she will come back and that I am safe. In needing that, I feel like a stupid little girl.

Dear Bea.

Everything feels so very screwed up and hard. I feel like the scared little girl and I really want to send this long, convoluted, insane and messy email to you but I’m afraid. I’m afraid it’s too long, I’m afraid I’m being too needy, I’m afraid that you’re going to get mad, that it’s not okay to send long crazy emails right now, and I’m afraid if i keep asking if you are mad or if you will get mad that that will make you mad. I’m pretty much just afraid that everyone in my life is mad at me for not being enough, not being able to handle everything, for falling apart and being up and down and I don’t even know. I think I’m afraid that everyone is leaving me. Hubby is here but he isn’t “here.” The rest of my people are all falling apart, in one way or another. And I can’t fix it all, and I really need everyone to be okay so that I can be okay.

And this is stupid and I am so embarrassed but I wish you were here, and that I was seeing you on Monday, because this all feels like too much and I really need you to be here, but you aren’t here. And I’m afraid you won’t come back, even though I rationally know you are coming back. And I don’t want to tell you this because I don’t want to be that needy, or that vulnerable, and I don’t want to tell you this because I am afraid you will be mad that I am upset you aren’t here….but I’m really afraid and so alone and I can’t make this go away. And I rationally understand that you are on vacation and that is okay and you are coming back. But I feel like you left me and I am alone with all this scary, too much stuff, and I can’t figure out what I did wrong, to make you leave, and I’m afraid you are not coming back because you are upset with me. And I know you have been emailing me and said you are still here, but it doesn’t feel like you are here, it feels like you just left me all alone. I hate that I am this needy, this attached, this….I don’t know the word. But it is nothing good. I’m an adult, I should not be feeling abandoned by my therapist, especially when you have made every effort to be here, even while on vacation. And I don’t want you to be that important to me. Really, I don’t want anyone to matter that much to me, that I can feel left by them. Because it hurts. I don’t know. I hate this.

Please come back soon. I can’t do this by myself

~Alice
PS. Please don’t hate me

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28 thoughts on “Dear Bea, I feel like you left me

  1. Oh, Alice, I’ve been there. I still go there. It’s so hard when my therapist goes on vacation, even though she actually responds to almost every email I send when she is away. She usually only sporadically replies to emails. I usually end up sending her several emails asking if she is still there and if she is still coming back. She hasn’t been angry yet. I hate how messy that attachment seems. I hope you send her some email saying something if the sort. I know it feels scary and needy, but I have learned that you get less needy when you actually express your needs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing that you often feel the same, Patty. It makes me feel less broken and crazy to know I’m not the only one who has these feelings of worry that the therapist is not coming back. I read the link you sent, and it does make a weird kind of sense. But it feels too hard and scary right now to admit those feelings.

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  2. I think that Bea understands the nature of attachment therapy and this is part of it. It might help if you think if it this way: if you trust her to be mature and professional enough to take your email on the context of her doing therapy with someone who is doing reparative attachment work, then you are paying her a compliment.

    I know that MB took it as a sign that a lot of hard work on both of our parts had born fruit when I was able to write and say, “I understand and respect why you need to be away right now, but the side of me that needs for you to be secure, steady, and available to me is angry that you are gone” while she was away waiting for her father to die. She made it clear that she could hear both that I cared about her and the hard time that she was going through and respected her need to care for herself and her family And I felt angry because she helps to keep me steady while going through a very difficult and painful process. My process didn’t stop just because she had to go out of town.

    I agree with Patty that there is something very healing about expressing your needs, especially powerful needs that don’t seem “reasonable” and having them be accepted as OK. Bea can’t always satisfy them, but she can be accepting and respectful that you have them and show you that those sorts of needs aren’t going to send her running for the hills or make her shame you.

    Much support… This sounds like such a rough time.

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  3. She probbaly does understand. She centers so much around attachment and the circle of security. This is the part of the “work” that i am not so good at. I mean, im not so good at talking about stuff but this other layer, the relationship part…..ugh.

    It does help to know that you have felt angry with MB and she was not upset, and that she understood your feelings. MB sounds a lot like Bea so often, that she probably will respond the way MB did. And i like how you say your process doesn’t stop just becasue she is out of town.

    I don’t feel ready to express these unreasonable, not okay (in my book) needs and feelings. I don’t know. I am afraid. Thank you for all your support. Xx

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  4. I hated it when Raymond left. I thought of him all the time while he was gone. During such deep therapy, he was only person I connected to on a level other than superficial. I even thought once I didn’t need anyone else in the world expect him. Not on a romantic level, but that basic need each of has of connecting to another being on a level that matters and sustains, almost as greatly as the need for food and water.
    Have you ever watched ‘Castaway’? Tom Hanks survived in part because he had someone to talk to, his ball, Wilson.
    Would it help to know I am here, along with your many blogging friends?

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  5. Sirena says:

    You’re not alone with these feelings. I feel the same way when my therapist takes holidays. And I feel the shame of needing someone in such a deep and visceral way. I hate the childlike need when I am so clearly an adult now, it just doesn’t seem right. It’s not quite as bad as it used to be, so it does get easier. But it’s a slow process. You’re not alone, you have all of us on wordpress who know exactly what it’s like to deal with attachment stuff. There’s no shame here, just support. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that (no shame, just support). I like that. Why do so many of us feel ashamed for needing in that child like way? I don’t really understand why excactly it seems wrong and shameful and scary. It just does. Xx

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      • Sirena says:

        I suppose it’s because society tells us that we leave childhood behind and being an adult means we should act and feel certain things. But it’s all bullshit. We are all scared little kids inside. There’s no such thing as “adulthood ” except in medical terms to describe physical maturation in my opinion.

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  6. I think the email you drafted is beautiful and honest. I don’t think any of it is particularly difficult for Bea, especially because she is so attuned to you and your particular attachment needs. This is so natural when a therapist goes on vacation. I know I will be feeling similarly in a week when the therapist goes on her vacation. I actually can already feel the underlying fears and abandonment rising to the surface and there’s a week left until she leaves. I think reaching out to Bea is a great idea because the reassurance would help soothe you. And you deserve that xo

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    • Thank you for saying the email is beautiful. I’m still afraid of sending it, but i am thinking of sending something. I really need to know she is still there. And i am so very sorry that you are feeling those same fears and bad feelings. It stinks. I hope you can talk to the therapist about it before she goes. Xx

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      • I just sent her a short email.

        “This feels incredibly silly, (and a million other mean words I can think of) but I’m sending this just to make sure you are still there (or here. I don’t know which is the right word). Rationally, I know you are still here, that you are on vacation and I will see you on Thursday. But rational isn’t really running the ship right now, I think over emotional and anxious are running things. I don’t know. I just need to know you are here. ”

        Now I am feeling dumb and childish and afraid she is going to think i am childish and needy and so manh awful fhings and jusf laugh at how insanely ridicoulous i am, what a drama queen i am and then go away. Ugh. 😥

        Liked by 1 person

      • I know you’re scared and worried. I would be, too. Try to remember that Bea cares about you and encouraged you to reach out to her. Your email was absolutely perfect ❤️

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  7. Andi is correct! Your email was perfect and Bea will support you. She really cares, and understands your feelings aren’t bad or too much at all. You are so strong for sending the email and caring for your little girl.

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  8. I also think there is truth in that we become less needy as we express our needs despite how silly we may feel. I think many of of intellectualize ourselves to death and push and push away our feelings that don’t fit with what we believe we should feel or need. Maybe we think we should feel all healed by now, as if we could handle things on our own and needing no one. We deny that possibly we could still feel hurt and afraid by our past or at least that we should be over it. Our adult self knows it’s just a one week vacation but our little girls are far less certain and it’s okay to reassure them.

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    • Thank you for saying this. The little girl is glad to know it’s okay to be less certain and to need people. Bea is back in town today, and even though I won’t see her until tomorrow, there is just something about knowing she is back that feels a little bit better.

      Liked by 1 person

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