I’m going to see Therapist after work this evening, and I’m really nervous. You all know the number of times I’ve thought that not continuing with her was a good plan, and it usually coincided with a low, meaning it was in fact a very bad plan. Up till now, it’s been one of my warning signs. But now? Now I’ve given it a whole lot of thought and I wonder if in fact continuing with her is preventing me from doing everything I can to keep myself well. No, preventing is the wrong word. Maybe it’s more that continuing with her is allowing me the luxury of not needing to do all that I can to stay well. Does that make sense? I’ll try and explain.

Last week was tough, really tough. Do you remember these images? I put them up on facebook a few weeks back.
Last week I was headed for the 5th, if not the 6th in the sequence. Not pretty. I’ve talked about this a lot with Hubby, especially in the context of not continuing with Therapist. There wasn’t a trigger, or not one that was noticeable anyway, and Hubby as usual saw it coming before I did. He reckons that once it gets to the point that I’ll actually talk to him about it, it’s already been going on for a while – he will already have noticed changes in my behaviour and the way I speak. 
So why do I think continuing with Therapist is a problem? Because when I get low, I see her as the only one, the absolute only one, who can help. I feel overwhelmed by a need to contact her, to the point where I can think of little else, and if I do give in to that need and she doesn’t respond, the sense of rejection that brings with it is like a punch to the stomach. I can’t keep doing this, I just can’t. Whenever something happens during the week, good or bad, the first thing I think of is telling her about it. I want her to be proud of me if I do something well, or validate if I’m feeling bad. She has been so kind to me, so accepting of everything about me, but now I think that acceptance is getting in the way. It’s like being a small child, and desperately wanted a mother’s attention – a kind word, a pat on the head, a hug – anything. I know it’s completely irrational, but I can’t express strongly enough just how all consuming this need is. It scares me. It doesn’t make sense. I’ve been told many, many times that this is all part of the process – it’s transference, it’s a sign of a good therapeutic relationship, it’s progress – but the worst part of it is that it leaves me tongue tied in her presence. So all of these things that I’ve just written, all of which I need to say to her, I can’t. Why? Because the rational, adult part of me knows that this doesn’t make sense, and is embarrassed and ashamed to feel like this. It’s that part of me that’s in the chair. The child, the one who’s so desperate for her attention, is too scared to come out when the opportunity finally presents itself. So, I feel like we’re at an impasse. I don’t know what to do. I’ll talk to her about it today because I have to, and when the time comes, if I’m not able to say it out loud, I can show her this. I’ll let you know what happens.

This article has 6 Comments

  1. I'm very curious what Therapist said… I she's really good she will help you becoming independent from her. It's not a crime to feel dependent on someone you trust your innermost thoughts with and who is safe ( as she is indeed the perfect listener as a therapist, and a non judgemental person who makes you look at yourself differently , gives you guidance without asking anything in return.
    Maybe stopping is not the best option as you will need someone else and that also takes time and effort and emotions.
    Talking about the dependency will help I guess, she should be able to guide you to more independence, by showing you you can get your praise and empathy and reassurance somewhere else as well ( friends, blog, hubby) and use Therapy as a sort of "guidebook" to recovery .

    In the beginning of my therapy I almost felt like she was my piece of driftwood and without her I would drown. Now I know that I can swim by myself and the driftwood is there for assurance, just in case ( and to show me in which direction the currents are going)
    I can fully relate though if you hear those stories about mad americans who have been in therapy for years and years and years, always thought that was nuts, but now…

    This partly what I wrote in my email, haven't had much more enlightening thoughts…
    Annemiek

    1. Thanks Annemiek, both for your mail and for sharing your thoughts here. It really helps to know that at least one other person has experienced what I'm talking about, it helps me feel less crazy. We had a very difficult, but very useful session, I plan on expanding on that in my next post!

  2. Hope it went ok, thinking of you. I always find the balancing in life hard, such as not doing too much or too little, when to soldier on and when to take a break, when to ask help and when to be independent, that kind of thing. Best wishes getting your balance right. I'm not really able to comment on therapisrs, out of my expwrience, but if it's worth anything I feel you should remember that it is ok to get help with something as tough as what you're going through, if you really had a black shadowey creature stalking you (as in picture 5) you'd surely want help (from Mulder and Scully maybe, or Dr Who), so why not for the one in your head? But I understand that you really seem to be having a hard time distinguishing the right path to head along to get you out of the maze you seem to be going around in circles in at the moment. Ok, better stop posting before I start spouting more of my signature dodgy metaphors.

    1. I love the dodgy metaphors!! They make sense, lots of it. And you're right, if I had something stalking me in real life I would get help asap. Yesterdays session was really useful, I've a lot to think about and a lot of work to do, but I'm hoping that finally, finally, the way out of the maze might be starting to come clear. Or at least clearer!

  3. Top Tip, leave a trail of white stones on your way out in case you get lost in there again. But not bread crumbs, bread crumbs have a really bad track record (or cake crumbs, although eating of cake is allowed on route).

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