Should I start the 2 day countdown to the appointment I made for Tuesday with the therapist?
A couple of years ago I used to continually deal with an internal struggle that went much like this: After Therapy I would walk out of the therapist’s office reluctant to leave because her office represented safety for me, the world is unsafe, her office was safe. I knew I wouldn’t be hurt there – she wouldn’t hurt me, nor would she allow anyone else to hurt me within the confines of her office – it was safe. I was sad that I had to leave. I wanted a pocket version of the therapist to take with me and I could take her out of my pocket when I was afraid. The next day or two, fear would take over which would then turn into anger and some sort of acting out behavior and then by the next week, I was embarrassed and afraid to go back to her office. But she was the *same* then…all accepting and ‘therapisty’ – not mad at me like I would expect. And I would feel safe again. Take the above paragraph and rinse, lather, repeat week after week after week. (Keep in mind this was before she turned into a marsha pod woman, and before the buckets).
Now I don’t want to go back to her office. I am afraid to go back. I can keep her at a distance right now…even though she still has followed through on her ‘commitment’ and has emailed me each Sun-Wed- Fri…she is not ‘real’ to me right now because I have not seen her, or talked to her…she is not real.
I am not real to her either. Aside from the Veruca Salt call and the scared little baby calling her on Friday night, I have not talked to her or left her any messages, so she does not know of any of the internal fighting/struggling I have going on right now – and because I have not been emailing her or calling her she does not know the extent of the distress I find myself in most nights…even though I have not cut myself since I stopped having to listen to her “marsha” talk. Not one time!
Essentially I think I am doing sort of the same thing – I bottle everything up and take care of all of my responsibilities, hide behind the mask of familiarity, accomplishing what I need too during each day. And at night there is a volcanic eruption of sadness and fear and childlike needing…but I deal with it. I speak about this to no one ‘in real life’, with the exception of Lynn, and I only allow myself to come here to express what I truly feel.
Is that helpful in a way of ‘working through’ any of it? Is this helpful to not talk about anything at all with the therapist, not process any of it? Can I continue to put on a mask and live my day to day life as someone I am not, or do I need to really find a balance of accepting ‘her’ and also being ‘me’ at the same time?
Each night I am begging for all of it to just stop! It doesn’t – but it isn’t different for me now than it was when I was seeing the therapist…the nights. The only difference is now I just stopped reaching out for the therapist, just as I stopped reaching out for the host body when I was a child. As the therapist once said to me, "In those moments of tempting the face of expected rejection/abandonment...make a different choice." She said this in response to my complaining about her not being available after 10pm anymore when I need her. I no longer expect her to reject/abandon me because I no longer reach for her. I know how to do that - be self-reliant - I stopped reaching for my mother when I was about 3 because I knew she had abandoned me and rejected me. Why bother facing that again. Better to just "deal with it." So I have.
My logical mind is simply not capable of comforting the young, frightened, emotional part of me. Not then and not now. I just do the best that I can in this painful place without her support.
The big question that remains is how can I return to the therapist’s office on Tuesday and try to connect with her again when all I feel is pain and confusion about her taking control of me and forcing DBT and buckets down my throat making my self-destructive behavior worse, not better. She left a long time ago – and as much as I desperately want the safety of her presence, I don’t know if that even exists anymore.
I am capable of ‘surviving’ – I learned that a long time ago, how to shut up and never allowing myself to feel anything at all- I don’t need her or anyone else’s help with that. I can survive. But at night when I feel lost and alone and so scared and small…I wanted the therapist to comfort me – which even just writing makes me want to vomit. I have never before want anyone to comfort me! Ever! I have never allowed it because if I am vulnerable and ask for comfort – that gives them the power card, and I won’t do that. That is precisely why I would never cry in front of anyone else (other than the therapist). I wait until everyone else is in bed before I allow myself to cry, even if that means I do math problems inside my head. And on the few occasions where that has not worked, I lock myself in the bathroom so no one sees me or hears me.
I allowed myself to feel comforted by the therapist, I allowed myself to trust her and be vulnerable and cry in front of her. I allowed her to see parts of me I would never, ever allow anyone else to see – and I was told it was ugly and disruptive and I should throw it all in a bucket and shut up and behave. I embarrassed her – and I embarrassed myself. I disappointed her and I think I even scared her.
This is better, this hiding away any true feelings/thoughts from the therapist, and everyone else in my real life…safer for everyone involved. Safer that she does not know what I really feel, how hard it still is every night…no one can care or love the parts of me that I showed her. And that’s not a whoa is me/pity party statement – it just is.
I was designed more for public than for private. And that is why I don’t want to go back to her office on Tuesday. I miss her, but it was too much for her.
Keep or cancel? Stay and face it – or run and hide? I am stuck in the middle…