I hit a nerve with Therapist this evening, one I didn’t even really know was there. It’s left me reeling. It’s a long time since I cried on the bus home after a session, and even longer since I cried reading my kids a story.

Really, not the most moving piece of writing

I actually hadn’t been scheduled to see her until Wednesday, we had agreed to try pushing out the gap between appointments. But, the excitement of Friday night seems to have left me a bit flat, and by Saturday afternoon I was edgy. I eventually caved last night and mailed looking to bring the appointment forward, which she had agreed we could do if the gap proved too challenging. It was the right thing to do, but I’m disappointed, and taken aback at how overwhelmed I’ve been since seeing her.

I’ve long been aware that I have Therapist on a pedestal, she knows it too and we’ve talked about it ad nauseum. It’s wearing me down. It’s the problem I punched through the other night, because I know it’s no longer helpful. I needed her to be perfect for a while there, for some reason it was the only way I felt I could rely on her – if she was human, sometimes tired, sometimes needed to cry, then there was no way I could be open with her. I think. (I realise this makes very little sense, and I’m only starting to work it out myself. I think it’s something to do with a preference for being the questioner rather than the questionee – do you know what I mean??) But now this perfection has become a problem, partly because it’s become a standard to set myself against, and partly because it’s a complete fabrication. She keeps trying to tell me this – we’re the same, no better, no worse than each other, just two people trying to muddle through. The problem is, when I try and see her like this, I just can’t, and at the same time, it leaves me feeling overwhelmingly lonely and empty. This is what we hit on this evening, this is the newly exposed nerve that has me crying at the drop of a hat. 
I know the two things are connected, I just don’t know how, and I realise it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Therapist has worked with borderline people before, and they’ve mentioned this loneliness, this void. She was filling the emptiness for me when I couldn’t do it for myself, but this is what needs to change. This is what DBT will help me to do, and this is what I came up against this evening. I’ve reached a point where I’m well enough to challenge myself again – by pushing out appointments, and by starting to do for myself what I’ve long relied on Therapist for. Today, that’s pretty overwhelming. Hopefully tomorrow it will look easier. 

This article has 4 Comments

  1. Well, they say a change is as good as a rest. This is certainly different from "I need to stop seeing Therapist NOW", so hopefully progress.
    Well done for Friday and glad to see you seem to be enjoying your summer of being a Mam, it seems to be doing you the world of good.

    1. Doing me so much good R, it's just wonderful. It almost feels like I'm getting the chance to make up for time I've missed in the past. Just loving that we've been able to slow down so much and reconnect. (Missing my blog time though!!)

  2. I think it only makes sense for this to be overwhelming. You're talking about a significant shift in your relationship with Therapist – a relationship that has probably been your lifeline for a long time now. I can imagine that it would be terrifying to think of how that will change and what that will mean for you going forward.

    I'm trying to understand your point about the loneliness that comes with recognizing that she is human, too. Here are some random thoughts about that… You've been leaning on Therapist so heavily and she has gotten you through some awful, awful times. Maybe you had to see her as perfect and superhuman because you knew that you needed so much from her – and you couldn't handle the idea of taking so much from someone if you thought she also had her own needs and human frailties. Does that make sense? So she needed to be up on this pedestal in order for you to feel like you could spill it all and lean on her as much as you needed to. But now that you're starting to realize that she's an honest-to-goodness human, maybe you feel some sadness and loneliness that in your head, you feel like you can't rely on her in the same way.

    The other thing is that maybe the loneliness is kind of grieving the relationship you've had with her, because that relationship is morphing into something new. Hopefully it will be a good fit for what you need going forward, so it will still be a positive thing for you – but it's a change nonetheless. And change can mean having to grieve a bit for what used to be, and then gather up courage for what new things lie ahead.

    I don't know if any of that makes sense. It's a hodge podge of thoughts but maybe you'll find something helpful in there somewhere. 🙂

    1. Yes!! You get it 🙂 I find it very hard to admit to a bad day when I know someone else is going through a hard time, or even just day to day life to be honest, so if I see even a glimpse of reality in her, it'll make me hold back. That said, I'm intensely curious about her and want to know, so there's a real conflict there.
      Relationship is definitely changing – we're trying to push out the gap between sessions and I'm starting to be able to see that I might just be able to do without her at some point, but yes, it is scary, and sad in a way. Mostly just very, very confusing! x

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