I don’t even know where to begin. I had my last session with Therapist yesterday, and it was probably one of the most honest, emotional, affirming and powerful sessions I have ever had with her.
As you know, I was dreading it, absolutely dreading it. I did well yesterday morning keeping myself distracted, work helped. But the walk into town………..by the time I was 5 minutes away from her office I felt like I was almost outside myself, watching what I was doing. Going up the stairs I wasn’t sure I could rely on my legs, and actually going through the door? I thought I was going to be sick. The tears came as soon as I sat down, and didn’t stop till a good three hours later.
But as always, she helped me find a way through. I said what I needed to say, what I really needed her to hear – what a profound impact she has had on my life, how much she has helped me, how different I am now to the person she met all those years ago. Typically when I say something like that she gives it straight back to me – I’m the one who did all the work. But it’s so important for me that she knows that I could not, in a million years, have done all that work without her. Time and again I wanted to run, to give up, and she kept me here, kept me grounded, helped me regain perspective. She listened at a time when no one else would, or could, because I was so locked into myself that I couldn’t talk to anyone. She supported me through the profound loneliness of postnatal depression, and gave me the courage to put myself out there, find the wonderful friends that I now have in my life.
We talked about our very first session. I don’t remember a whole lot about it, other than the fact that the room seemed ENORMOUS (it wasn’t). Apparently I made her work her ass off. I asked her if she’d known back then all she knows now, of just how complicated it would get, whether she would still have taken me on. She would.
Perhaps the most positive thing to come out of the massive, overwhelming sense of loss that went with yesterday’s session was the fact that I finally realised that she does care. Yesterday hurt like hell for me, but I know now that it also hurt for her. In a strange way, that makes it easier. My biggest fear all along has been that she just wanted shut of me, she was tired of working with someone so complicated. Borderline me was latching on to that, and the sense of rejection and abandonment that I’m so very familiar with, that has been plaguing me almost constantly since we agreed to finish, was reaching a whole new level of unbearable.
But it’s not true. If there was any possible way that we could continue working together, she would have made it happen. There just isn’t. I understand that now, and I understand why. I will miss her, so, so much, and she will miss me. 6 years is a long time to rely on someone, but it’s also a long time to help someone. Yesterday was never going to be easy, on either of us.
And yet today, I woke up feeling strangely at peace with the whole situation. There is nothing more I need to say to her. Sure, there’s always going to be plenty I could talk about, but for the first time in a very long time, I left her office without feeling regret over something I hadn’t said. And more importantly I also left knowing – really, actually, knowing – how she feels. She has faith in me, and this morning, I have faith in me. I also have an almighty lump in my throat, and suspect the tears are far from over. In the weeks and months to come, it will be so hard not to reach for the phone and contact her if things get tough. I’m not able to think about that just yet though.
Yesterday was about letting go, and saying goodbye. It’s going to take time to come to terms with that, although maybe not as long as I had thought. She gave me so much over the years. She gave me support, understanding, empathy, kindness, guidance but most importantly, she gave me myself. I have so much work ahead of me with dbt, but without her, I would never have gotten to this point. Yesterday was an ending, but in a lot of ways, also a beginning.