I don’t see this being fixable

I emailed Bea, and told her I was not wanting to bring Kat to therapy. I didn’t want to have to go see her, and feel her being so far away, and have to try to act like things are okay so that Kat doesn’t know things aren’t okay, and then end up feeling worse. She wrote me back, and said that she was okay, and back to normal, and to rest assured that she would be there for both Kat and I today. 

I wasn’t sure about it, but I got Kat ready, and we piled into the car, and drove to Bea’s. We some how arrive early, and so we sit in the car for about 10 minutes. I sit, looking at Bea’s building, and feel tears in my eyes. Shutting down my feelings, I tell Kat we can head inside.

Bea says hello to both of us, and I can’t look at her. I try, but I can’t. I feel myself shutting down, and freaking out. I tell Kat that mom is going to go hang in the waiting room because I have some emails to write. Kat immediately whines that she doesn’t want me to go, and climbs onto my lap, clinging to me. I finally look at Bea, wanting her to tell me what to do, to help me leave. I can’t be here. 

We somehow convince Kat that mom will stay and help her and Bea do a craft, and then mom is going to go write her emails. The three of us sit on the floor, and start crafting a turtle out of a sock. I can’t look at Bea, and I feel stiff and uncomfortable. She says something to me about being okay now, being back to herself, assuring me she is really here for me and Kat. I smile a small smile, but I can’t respond. Maybe she is back to herself. I don’t know. I’m too shut down to be able to feel anything. I’m hurt. I’m confused. Why couldn’t she be what I needed? I want to move past this, but how? I was already in this state of not being able to trust anything, feeling floaty, anchorless, and alone. I needed Bea to be extra here, to be really open, to be very here, to be a very strong secure base. It’s not fair, but after everything that has happened with Kay, I needed Bea to prove to me that she won’t leave and that she will not judge me for anything, or be disgusted with me or mad at me. And she did the opposite. She left. I realize her vacation was planned prior to to the mess my life turned into, but she promised to be there via email, and she didn’t feel like she was there. She promised she would come back, but she didn’t really come back.  How can I ever trust that she is really here now? I can’t lift the bubble, I can’t risk the vulnerability, if I do and Bea still feels shut down, I won’t survive that. This relationship won’t survive that. And if the relationship doesn’t make it, I really won’t be okay. Without Bea and without Kay, I can’t do this; I can’t work to heal, I can’t be me. The me I am learning to be won’t survive. Miss Perfect will come back and take over, the bubble will be permanent and everything will be shoved down. I won’t be okay. 

 
As soon as the turtle is crafted, I practically run out of her office. I can hear Kat protesting, and Bea distracting her by asking her how they will decorate turtle. 

I sit on the floor in the waiting room, pull my knees to my chest, bury my face in my knees, and cry. I cry for maybe 20 minutes and then I force myself to shut it down. I end up just sitting there, dissociated and hurting and sad. I want Bea to be herself. This hurts. Seeing her, and feeling things are so wrong, hurts. 

When Kat’s session is over, I ask if they need help cleaning up. Bea smiles, and says they got everything cleaned up already. I help Kat gather her things, and she tells Bea bye. I don’t say anything, just follow Kat down the stairs. Normally, I stand at the top of the stairs, chatting with Bea while she makes tea, or straightens up. I hear her saying something, but it’s muffled. I call goodbye up the stairs, and she makes a surprised noise, and says goodbye. 

Things aren’t right, they aren’t okay. And I don’t see how this can be fixed. 

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12 thoughts on “I don’t see this being fixable

  1. I sort of said this in my last comment on your last post, but I believe this is fixable and will feel better in your next session when you see her and hear her voice again. I know that you are having a hard time believing that, and that is totally okay, but wanted to offer my outside perspective that this can be fixed and I really think it will be soon. Not all at once, but over time and in time.

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    • Thanks Rachel. The outside perspective is useful. It helps to hear that I will feel better when I see her and can talk to her. I’m really anxious about Monday’s session. I don’t know how to act. I’d like to give her my long letter– the one I wrote all week last week. But I’m scared. I don’t know. I’d also like to just go sit and not speak and pout. Ugh. 😕

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  2. That sounds so rough Alice. And then needing to see her for Kat but not being able to address what’s wrong must have been agonizing.

    I’ve been debating with myself whether to comment and give you my opinion or not. I want to be helpful, and not just blab my opinion for my own sake. Hmm…….

    I kind of think both of you contributed to the rupture here. Bea by not being able to validate your feelings about the school…and then not challenging ‘Miss Perfect’ who showed up to therapy. And you, though I realize these are your issues that you’re there to work through. Nevertheless. You didn’t seem to voice your feelings about Bea’s responses to you about the school, instead you changed the subject. And then, Miss Perfect – well. I don’t want to overstep, but do you think you have any responsibility in getting her out of the way so other hurting parts can speak? I realize it would be hard with how badly the school discussion went, but nevertheless. Theoretically – could you have allowed any of the hurt/angry stuff to be made verbal, even a little bit? Sometimes people need help to see how we are really doing.

    I don’t mean to make you feel bad. As someone with parts myself, I know what it feels like when a ‘managing’ part is out front, but other hurt parts are there also, but not allowed to speak. It’s not always a choice, but there is an element of choice.

    I think also, because you are strongly seeing your mother in this interaction, you might want to be aware of transference – some of your feelings may be coming from there, making this problem with Bea seem insurmountable. The issue with your mother likely was, but with Bea, not so much.

    This is all to say that I think this is very reparable, and is actually the stuff of therapy. Therapists are not our fairy godmothers after all – therapy is this tiring fraught journey. Therapists can appear as our best friends, our enemies, totally clueless – that’s part of this process IMO.

    Anyhoo. The thing about Bea that I find odd is this penchant for chit chat. But since I think you kind of like that, then different strokes for different folks.

    My two cents. If it doesn’t help, then you can ignore.

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    • I’m glad to have your opinion— different perspectives can help me make sense of things, you know?

      You are right…I often choose to let miss perfect keep running things, and don’t push her out of the way. Because it’s easier, because it feels safer. But part of therapy is to challenge those things….

      And, yes, there might be some transference because of my mom and not really have to do with Bea. But the whole transference thing has its own set of triggers…I don’t know why or how to explain it. But I probably do need to talk about it, be aware if it…but Kay would be the person I called to discuss it, and she’s not here anymore. I’m just really lost. I don’t know. Transference talk feels very shrinky…I don’t know.

      It feels good, safe to hear the idea that this is part of the process, that this is the stuff of therapy.

      The chit chat is okay. I think it’s more my thing than hers. Lol. I need to chit chat and just talk about normal surface stuff to feel safe, to settle into therapy and then to be able to leave therapy. It’s probably my upbringing, I was taught to make polite conversation with anyone, and I chit chat with everyone. Think how Emily from Gilmore girls would expect Lorilei to be able to talk politely to anyone.

      Thanks for your 2 cents.

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      • I don’t like the “transference” either for the same reason. However, it’s through it that our therapists are able to see our issues and help us explore and understand them. I like “projection” better. 😊

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      • I’m not sure how I feel about projection, either. I think it has to do with feeling like saying it’s just transference or projection means the way I feel isn’t real or doesn’t matter or something, and it turns from me needing support and validation for the feelings into this very clinical thing. Ugh. And to complicate it further, I don’t feel that way when one of my blog friends suggest that, or in discussing it with Kay, it’s just when my therapist discusses it. Ugh. It sounds crazy when I try to explain it.

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  3. Everything you are feeling makes sense and is understandable given your (our) history. I experienced the same feelings of rejection, betrayal and abandonment from my therapist many times until I finally was able to absorb what she always said; “This may feel the same, however, it IS different. This time someone is owning their mistake, apologizing for it, willing to make changes so that it doesn’t happen again, accepting all your emotions and not judging you for any of them.” Bea is no different. You want her to be perfect, yet no one is. However, she’s perfect in ways no one you’ve cared about has ever been. The people we love and care about the most will at times hurt us, it’s inevitable. How they respond to our hurt, our expression of emotions is how we learn who is worthy of our story and trust and who isn’t. Our therapists are there to teach us what we deserve in others so that we can better choose our friends outside of the therapy bubble. Bea is that person. You can trust her.

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    • I don’t believe projection means nothing you feel is real and I know our therapists don’t believe that either. Therapists are not perfect, however, our inner child needs perfect because as children we have magical thinking and believe it to exist and we believe our grown ups are “perfect.” Yet, they weren’t and there was nothing we could do about it. We stuffed our disappointment and disillusionment. Now, here’s a therapist that is human first, giving us the unconditional positive regard we craved and didn’t get and, at times, getting it is more painful than the rejection. So, we push it away because we can’t trust it; we think “they’ll disappoint like everyone else has.” When our therapists disappoint, our disappointmeant is real and valid. Shutting down, being angry, thinking it can never be fixed, thinking how dare they not be what we thought they were is bringing every disappointment to this one dissappointment. We’re fighting against ourselves ( our scared inner child v adult us) and it gets in the way of us having real, authentic connections. Until we face our inner child’s hurts, we will continue to be hurt in all our relations. Our therapists are at times the triggers to pains they didn’t cause – they know that and expect it and hope for it so they can offer a corrective experience. After each rupture and healthy repair with our therapist we feel safer expressing our emotions because they never will reject us, judge us or throw us away. of course not all therapists are great, however yours is!

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      • I get this, I do. I think it just triggers the feelings of “Bea only likes me because it is her job. She would really be judging me if it wasn’t for her job is to not judge.” And I don’t want Bea to matter enough that she can that she can be a trigger to pains she didn’t cause. I don’t know. I just can’t handle therapy being this clinical thing. I like and trust(ed?) Bea because she is real, doesn’t talk shrinky, behaves in a way that makes it seem like she trusts the grown up me and views the grown up as an equal, yet somehow is able to talk to the little girl and comfort her without acting like I’m being silly and childish, she is transparent and warm, and it feels like she does care. I don’t even really understand why this idea of projection triggers all this sadness and fears and pain. And I’m afraid to bring it up or talk about it with Bea. Maybe I don’t want to know why it triggers all this crap. And I feel a lot of shame for how I feel about it all.

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      • If I’m talking too much, don’t hesitate to tell me to bug off. I just really understand all you’re feeling and all you’re struggling with and want you to know it does get better. But then again, if someone told me even 3 months ago that it would get better, I probably wouldn’t believe them and their advice probably wouldn’t have helped. That’s me, hopefully you’re different😊 I can truly empathize with all you’re feeling and with all the second guessing. It’s part of the process. There is no escaping it, however, it’s not forever. I am now coming out of it and able to empathize with my little girl and feel the pain, hurt and sadness she lived. I am now at a place where I no longer blame her or hold her responsible for anything she did to survive. The push/pull has lessened and so has the shame I carried. You will work through it too. I encourage you to talk to Bea about it. She will see it as growth and progress -not shameful. Believe me, she understands the push -pull you are feeling. She knows and respects adult Alice and knows she’s a high functioning, intelligent, responsible woman and amazing mother. She also understands that adult Alice is in an arm wrestle with little Alice and teenage Alice and that sometimes they win. She gets it. She cares about you and her caring is real. Yes, it’s her job, however, that doesn’t diminish her feelings for you and it doesn’t stop her from having real respect, compassion and empathy for you and wanting to help you live the life you always deserved. She’s in your corner and all in to walk this journey along side you.

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