And I threw the whole trip, the whole idea that I will have to see the host-body – right into a bucket of its very own- and then I got the text message from the SIL – and out it all came…and not just the trip but all of the other ‘bad stuff’ that is still attached to seeing the host body…and really, just being ‘there’ in the same town where I grew up – I don’t really know that I can do it right now.
Nearly two years ago, we wandered down this road. I notified all my friends I was going to be in town, DS and DD were excited, even DH was excited about the trip. I bought airline tickets, rented a car, and close friend of mine even planned a BBQ/pool party at her house in celebration of the prodigal daughter’s return….50 people RSVP’d for the party. One day before our scheduled departure, I completely lost it! I mean, threatened to kill myself in an effort to avoid the trip – or at least some serious injury that would prevent my ability to travel. ..and I was serious!
I emailed the therapist to tell her this and she responded: I know you hurting and are scared. However, this is a statement I will take seriously, what are you telling me now, that you dont want to go to XXXX? Then make that decision. Trying to kill yourself in order to not go is obviously the wrong way to make the decision. If you are suicidal, then i will need to assess your suicide risk and take measures. .... You have choices right now regarding this weekend, etc.. If you don't think you are safe, then what do you need from me or others or yourself? I will be available by phone this morning, not email in a little bit. If you want a session today, then we will do this. I will not have conversations about suicidal threats via email Grace. It is not appropriate practice or care for you. Call me if you want or need to talk or schedule a session this morning.
By this point, I was sobbing and I called her. She was so awesome. She met me at her office in 20 minutes, literally! She loaned me a necklace of hers (yeah, big ole’ baby needs transitional object from the therapist). And I held onto that necklace the entire trip! I did not let it out of my sight!
I had a panic attack the day we got there, as we were driving in the car- and I emailed the therapist to please let me know if she was out there…she responded (honest) 1 minute later! And said, “I'm here. I haven't gone anywhere – it’s ok”
I emailed her that I was really panicky, sick, hot…couldn’t breathe…
She emailed me back and said, “Something about being in the car with DH on a Sunday morning might have triggered an old experience or fear and unsafety and you had no one to tell or come rescue you. You emailed me to see if I was available still, hadn't abandoned you and could tell you you are ok. Take some deep breaths, focus on something outside of the car window that is pleasant. Notice the wind blowing through the trees, notice the space around outside and all the people you can see and talk to if you wanted or needed to. Use your voice and be irritable if you need to be. Remember the recording that I made. Go for a walk if you get out of the car. Move your body, it’s yours...
Yeah...warm and fuzzy and cared for, I know...but - newsflash 5 year old - That was THEN and THIS is now! It won’t be the same this trip…there’s no necklace, no email~ there’s just me. And I guess that’s the reality of it, isn’t it? Just me. And I am the one who has to deal with me. No one else is obligated to help me. And as the therapist said to me in June, "In those moments of tempting the face of expected rejection/abandonment...make a different choice." I keep that email from the therapist close to me at all times, so I can constantly remind myself that no one can abandon me ever again if I never allow them into my world. It sux - but it's true.
Tonight, DH mentioned renting a condo at ****Lake- there are several lakes there, but he happened to mention the one where the step-father used to take us – I told him I couldn’t stay there – that’s where the SF took us ‘swimming’ – and I can’t go there. Treading on thin ice, he responded with: “We can’t have you melting down like last time.” (Unspoken words: Grace, you are a freak! Grow up! She can’t hurt you now – and he’s dead. Let it go!)
I can’t guarantee him that won’t happen again....
But then again, maybe I can find a way out of this trip...alone, by myself.