I thought I was over my Therapist moment from yesterday, but apparently I’m not. As I was driving home earlier, I had a sudden and vivid memory of her telling me three things, repeatedly, over the course of the six years we worked together. They were, in no particular order of priority;

  • I’m not going anywhere
  • I’m here for as long as you need me
  • We will always find a way to make this work

Typically these comments came in response to my worrying that we weren’t going to be able to keep working together for some reason, or thinking ahead to the time when I would inevitably have to finish with her (oh the glorious irony!!). I get the intention behind each of these statements, I really do, and although I possibly should be, I can’t be angry with her for saying them yet ultimately not following through. We had no way of knowing that things were going to get so impossibly complicated. But today, the memory of those comments was utterly heartbreaking. I never really believed her, and now it seems I was right not to. I realise I have to be really, really careful with how I frame this, because the bpd/Bitchface combo is dying to turn this into something that it’s not.

Yesterday, I began to realise that she’s gone for good. But as quickly as I allowed myself to start thinking on that, I put the lid back on. Not very firmly though if today is anything to go by. I don’t know what prompted me to think of those comments, but I could hear her voice so clearly and for a good half hour there, it felt like the ultimate betrayal. She lied to me.  Over and over again I played those conversations back in my head, and over and over again the sense of rejection was like a punch to the gut. Thankfully I was in the car so I got to have my meltdown in private.

But did she lie to me? Really? It occurs to me now that these are phrases I didn’t hear a whole lot in our last few months together, or if I did, I don’t remember them. I think we both knew for quite some time that we had reached the end of the road, but I guess I had to come to that realisation myself. Even then, I needed her to agree with that realisation before I could see it through. Now, with distance, I don’t doubt that she meant every word of those three statements at the times that she said them. But I wonder with hindsight, knowing exactly how things were going to play out, would she still have said them? Another question I won’t get to ask.

I’m ok now, I think the storm has passed for today at least. These intense bursts of emotion are exhausting, and always take me by surprise. I would love to know when they will finally end, for good. There are things that I know – I’m managing ok, I don’t need Therapist, all of these episodes will pass – but at times what I know and what I feel are at such completely polar opposite ends of the scale they’re irreconcilable. Today’s ‘need’ for Therapist is a perfect example. So now, once again, I dig in, hang on, and ride it out.

 

 

This article has 4 Comments

  1. I am so with you. Two years ago my T session was cancelled as she was sick. Devastating enough, but a week later I was told it was probably long term and I would get to see someone else in due course. No one could tell me anything, which I could understand but didn’t stop me thinking the worst of all possible scenarios, including that it was all my fault ( bpd brain of course).
    I still think of her everyday. I have seen her once from a distance so I know she’s alive but I am still struggling with the ‘rejection’.
    Love reading you, and I’m with you on the spider too. Best wishes. C

    1. Ah yes, rejection. I see it EVERYWHERE, in everything, and when I get the thought into my head that someone is pushing me away I literally feel sick with anxiety (even just writing that has my stomach in knots). I’m so sorry that happened to you, I hope you got to see someone else and at least work through all the angst that came with such an abrupt ending.
      Thanks for reading, and yes, spiders are my nemesis 😉

  2. I was diagnosed with bpd when I was about 20yrs old (firstly diagnosed with anxiety/clinical depression prior to bpd). My attachments to some of my therapists during the past decade or so sound similar to what you experienced with your therapist. It was an incredibly difficult thing to do to allow myself to be fully vulnerable and honest with my therapists because the thing I most dreaded and feared was being judged, rejected and subsequently abandoned if I showed them the ‘real’ me; chaotic, needy, scared, desperate… I was fortunate that I had some amazing therapists who helped me work through a lot of painful stuff and left the judgement of the diagnosis at the door. It has taken time to progress and heal from the fear of everything that I felt tormented by for such a long time but I promise you it does get so much better slowly but surely. Im still a work in progress, as we all are, but im better then I have ever been and living a full, fun and mostly what feels like a Normal life with all its normal ups and downs. If you are generally or regualarly feeling overwhelmed by circumstances, thoughts or feelings I would definitely recommend seeking out a new therapist. You really dont need to struggle through those feelings alone just to prove to yourself that you’re doing better. I used to think that way and then I would slowly or quickly start to go downhill again as a result of, well, almost anything depending on how bad my anxiety/depression was. Im not saying that will happen to you, im just saying its good to have an external support system in place while you continue to work through things. The nature of bpd is that it is turbulent and minor stressors can send it and us over the edge. As a final note, I think it was ethically wrong (despite the good intention) that your old therapist promised those 3 things. Yes, they’re lovely and comforting to hear for a client BUT ultimately they set certain expectations from the client’s perspective that the therapeutic relationship is unconditional and unbreakable and it is most definitely neither of these things in my personal experience. If the relationship has to end, for unforseen circumstances, the client is left feeling even more abandoned then ever because of these broken promises. I wish you well on your journey to wellness. It is one tough shitty journey at times but keep pushing because in time it will get better for you as it has for me. Best, A.

    1. Thank you, for all of that. I was diagnosed with depression and being treated (unsuccessfully) for it for years before bpd was finally recognised. I would love to be able to engage with another therapist, but as I’m currently waiting to start dbt I’ve been advised not to – I’ve been told I need time to grieve for Therapist, and also that working with someone else could confuse issues further. They reckon one of two things would happen – either the new Therapist would go straight up on a pedestal and I’d transfer all the attachment issues to them, or else I wouldn’t give them a chance at all, believing they’d never measure up to her. I suspect the second is more likely, at least at this point in time.
      Anyway, right now it’s not an option for me so I need to just keep plugging ahead on my own. I’m mostly taking it a day at a time and talking to those I trust when I feel able. Yes, I’m regularly overwhelmed and it can be terrifying, but so far I’ve managed to keep myself intact. I’m reasonably confident I can continue to do so.
      I’m also really encouraged to hear that things are so much better for you now, hoping it will turn out the same for me.

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