I was due to see Therapist 2.0 this morning, and just as I was on my way out the door I got a call cancelling the session. My reaction to that cancellation is helping me to see just how much things are changing.
In the six years that I was working with Therapist 1.0, I think she only ever cancelled on me once (which is pretty impressive in its own right). It was probably sometime within the first year, long before we knew how complicated things were going to get and how I would likely react. The timing wasn’t fantastic – it was the week after I told her something that I’d never really spoken about before, and I’d badly needed the session that day to keep going with it. I was also very depressed at the time and not exactly functioning all that well. I was gutted. At the time, there was such a jumble of emotion at getting that cancellation call that I couldn’t begin to identify what I was feeling, other than massively overwhelmed.
Now? Now I know what it was. I felt abandoned, rejected, unimportant, and as if what I had told her had no significance at all. I was angry, I was upset, I remember sitting on my bedroom floor sobbing because I just couldn’t figure out how to pick myself up and get on with my day. It felt like the most crushing disappointment.
Even as I write that I can feel it. I can also see just how many of my borderline traits were at play there. The next time I saw her, I felt so guilty for pushing for an earlier appointment that I couldn’t speak to her at all. I needed her to bring up our previous session, and she didn’t, so I left it alone, and it’s something that’s largely been left alone ever since.
But this morning? Yes, I was frustrated. I was all set to go, I’d started thinking about what we’d cover in the session, and as a bonus aside, I was going to have my post therapy tea in town treat to look forward to. Instead, I was going to be home. I don’t like when plans change at the last minute, but I don’t think I’m alone in that, especially when it’s something important. That said, my reaction wasn’t disproportionate. I was irritated for a few minutes, had half a notion to go into town anyway (although for what I’m not sure), but then realised that the session being cancelled gave me an unexpected free morning. I was already up, washed and dressed, and I’d straightened the kitchen out before dropping the kids because another of my bug bears is coming home to crumby counters. It was only 9am, and I was far more alert and ready to get moving than I usually am.
I didn’t go to town. I got my ass in gear and hoovered up the carpet of dog hair that the pooches had kindly created for me. I sorted some washing, I did some yoga, and now I’m writing. When I’m finished, I’m going to call in to a friend for tea. I don’t feel abandoned, or rejected, or let down in any way. I don’t feel like my world is about to come crashing to an end. And what’s really important, is that I don’t feel that I’m completely dependent on Therapist 2.0. She’s kind, she’s helping me, but that’s it. I don’t want to be her friend, I don’t want to know everything there is to know about her. I want to get to the bottom of my crazy and move on. She’ll help me do that, and then I won’t need her anymore. The cancellation? A passing irritation. Nothing more.