Thursday, February 19, 2009

You have 3 choices

It was a warm day in June. I had spent the prior two weeks angry and overwhelmed with feelings of abandonment from my dear therapist. It started when she sent me an email that she was going to be away from her computer for the day so she would not be reading emails for the day, but she still had her phone, and if I needed her, I should call her. I emailed her back and told her that I was too much for her, and she responded by telling me that wasn’t true, that she was still here for me, that she did still care about me, and her availability had not changed. She validated my anger and said that she wanted to hear my anger and that I could call her and tell her how angry I was, on her voicemail.

Later that evening, I heard the familiar voices inside of my head, “You know she doesn’t care about you, don’t you? No one does – and for good reason too. It’s because you are bad, unwanted, and unlovable. No one will ever love you, or care about you. You feel shame because you should be ashamed. I hate you! Everyone hates you! You deserve nothing but pain!” Listening to the voices, I took a razor and I locked myself into the bathroom and I began to make long, deep cuts on my right wrist and forearm. Tears streamed down my face and a small, meek voice was begging, “please don’t do this, please don’t hurt me” – but soon her small voice was difficult to hear, a louder male voice, his voice, was yelling, “you deserve this! You are bad! You deserve to be hurt!” I could see the blood streaming down my arm and pooling onto the floor but I could not make the connection that it was ME that was being hurt. It didn’t hurt, I didn’t feel anything. It wasn’t really me…I was watching this woman hurting herself from above and I there was no connection between her and I.

At this point, I was no longer an adult, but had been taken over by the angry, frightened child inside of me. The child who felt abandoned, alone and scared – and she could not be consoled. And so the little girl sent DT a text message and told her she would leave her a voicemail, but if she called and DT answered the phone she would hang up! The message she left on DT’s voicemail was filled with anger and abandonment ~ promising that she would never return to therapy ~ not that DT cared anyway!

Late that Sunday night, the angry little girl became so overwhelmed emotionally, with memories and fear, that she sent several emails and text messages to DT, telling her that she couldn’t do it anymore – and the only way out was to just end it – for good. DT called back at 12:10am, and on my voicemail, she gave me three options:
1. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room – and call her to let her know I was there, or on my way there

2. Call DT back within 30 minutes and assure her that I could keep myself safe until she could see me the following day

3. If she did not hear from me within 30 minutes, then she would have no choice but to call 911 and send someone to my home to check on me

Her voicemail shocked the adult within me back in control and I called her back, I promised I wouldn’t kill myself that night, and we arranged a time for us to meet the next morning.
I was not present during the events of that night. I watched what was playing out, but I was not in charge, nor did I have the ability to take charge ~ it was as though I was watching a movie, I was playing the lead role, the star of the movie, and I knew the star was in trouble, but I could not help her. There was no way to pull myself back into that body, to take control of her, to stop her. It was not me. I was no longer there. And the girl who had taken over my body, felt alone, abandoned and hopeless. And that little girl wanted it to end ~ she did not want to live through the pain of abandonment again. She couldn't.

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