I’ve been thinking a lot about…well, what I’ve been trying to avoid thinking about for the past few weeks.
It’s been in my head again today, and I did a pretty good job managing it – keeping it out. I ate outside, I stopped by at work and hung out there with the excuse “my phone needs to charge”, I did some grocery shopping even though I didn’t need anything. Then I went home and played God of War for six hours straight. (Sidenote: it was precisely the kind of violent video game I’ve been looking for for weeks.) I then took my medication and prepared for bed, thinking, “I did a pretty good job (of handling myself) today.” It sucks, having to live like that, keeping yourself busy throughout the day like you’re some kind of baby who might end up hurting themselves. But it’s the reality I’m living with right now.
It’s supposed to make me drowsy, those meds.
But I just cannot sleep.
My mind wanders back and I start to sniffle. Good, maybe tears will make me drowsy. I certainly cried myself to sleep often enough to know that.
I feel silly.
I can’t go back. Of course I can’t go back. It just wouldn’t be the same without all the people I’ve met there. There’s no scenario I can think of where it would be the same. So why do I keep thinking back to that time? Am I idealizing it? Maybe, probably.
Like a stubborn child my mind drags me further back to when I said my goodbyes. Specifically, to when I said goodbye to A. I’ve never had a therapist hug me before. I start to cry harder and that’s when I realize what it is that I’m feeling. I’m feeling lonely.
That realization comes paired with a barrage of other thoughts. Guilt, for always so blatantly feeling weighed down by how I said goodbye to my therapists. Did I not care for my group mates at all? Cynical curiosity, because it is not often I think of a therapist and it’s not T, first and foremost. (Okay, writing her name down just now was harder than writing down A’s, so point for her. I hate how things become a lot more real when I add real names.)
Oh, but don’t you forget my dear old friend, shame.
Shame wears me out like it’s permanently shackled to my feet as I walk across therapy property, whispering “fool” in my ear with every step I take. Fool, fool, fool, fool.
You started caring, that’s what a fool would do. You opened up about it, that’s what a fool would do. You constantly made it important, that’s what a fool would do. And now you’re discharged, and they’re gone, and you’re left with NOTHING. What does that make you? A DAMN FOOL. They don’t care about you, they never cared about you. You’re just another patient. You’re SICK. If anything, they feel sorry for you once and then forget about you the next second. You’re an incompetent human being who isn’t worth anyone’s time, not even in someone’s mind. All these months, you made a complete and utter fool out of yourself by talking about how much you started to get attached to the people who are now gone. You tried it, wearing your heart on your sleeve. But it left you empty handed!
Throughout the day I tried telling myself that they weren’t shit. Shame wraps itself around me, it would choke me if it could, as I chant in my head that she means nothing to me. I think about A finding another job and living the rest of her life out without me, and I tell myself it doesn’t mean shit. I think about T’s pregnancy and how she’s gonna start her own family and I think to myself that it doesn’t mean shit. I have to resort to telling myself that quite often, and I’ve started to avoid looking at things that make my mind go in that direction, because every time I do, I feel disgusting. I see a commercial with a baby in it and I change the channel, and I’ll feel disgusted at myself. (Cool. I already thought myself to be physically ugly, now I found another way I find myself hideous.) In my daily life I try to compensate by working or cleaning up or eating or smoking or drinking.
All of this constant fighting to avoid falling into this train of thought makes me tired and angry.
It’s guilt and shame and loneliness and confusion and abandonment and self-loathing all nicely wrapped together to form an irritated shell of a human being who lives to work and nothing else in live is worth living for.
Oh, also my therapist told me last session that she is taking a two week holiday in May. That’s just rubbish. I hate therapy breaks. She always takes her main holiday around this time of year. I always refuse to know where she is going… I don’t know if this time I should see how it feels to know. I’m not quite sure why I hate knowing so much. And I don’t know whether knowing and being ok with it would be progress in some way, or whether it’s actually quite irrelevant.
I hear a lot of people complain about therapy. They say it doesnt help, that its someone talking you in circles… listen. Therapy is amazing. Ten years after I started regularly going, I am immensely grateful. You’re not gonna like it at first, no one does. Therapists are people seperared from your life, they only know your side, they dont have the ability to gossip or out you (good therapists anyway - do your homework before getting a therapist). Therapy helped me get off pills, helped me come to conclusions myself, gave me an outlet - I think everyone could benefit from it.
It’s not about the thing I asked you anymore. Each time it comes up you talk specifically about the thing, like that is the issue, when it’s not.
The issue is I made a mistake. I misjudged the situation. I got something wrong. I was scared to ask you, but honestly I thought you’d say yes.
The problem isn’t that you said no. It’s that I thought you’d say yes. That I got it wrong. I made a mistake. The actual thing wasn’t that big a deal. It doesn’t bother me anymore that you said no. What bothers me is that I didn’t predict you were going to say no. My hyper vigilance, perfectionism, control etc failed me.
If I sensed you’d say no, I wouldn’t have asked or would have prepared myself better. But for some reason I didn’t really think you’d say no. I can see now why you did, now you’ve explained it it makes sense to me. It’s really not a problem.
The problem is I got it wrong. It feels like I lost control, like I didn’t keep myself safe. I risked rejection, disapproval, anger, criticism, because I wasn’t on guard enough, I wasn’t cautious enough, I judged the situation completely wrong. I made things awkward and difficult between us when I could have avoided it if I’d been more careful. If I’d been more ‘perfect’.
Now I’m scared to take a step outside the circle I’ve drawn around myself incase I get it wrong again. In case I make it not safe again.
Hiya! Anyone here tips on how to get less overwhelmed by the thought of ever having to leave my therapist? Idk how to describe it, but she's so important to me and ugh Ill cry about it. Also I was/am craving a hug, kinda, and I was having dreams about the whole 'leaving my therapist' thing, and last night I dreamed about it again and the 'I want to get hugged' thing got mixed up and I hugged my therapist in my dream and I'm so ashamed? Is this weird?
Firstly, there’s no need to be ashamed of a dream. Dreams are just your brain’s way of processing stuff that has happened/emotions so it’s perfectly normal that it would combine like that.
As for getting used to the idea of leaving your therapist, I think discussing it with them is probably a good idea. This is their job, after all.
Also, she seemed to say last week that I was angry and frustrated because I hadn’t got what I wanted and it was ok to feel like that. But that wasn’t why I was angry at all?! Does she really think I was angry because I didn’t get my own way?! If she really thinks that then it feels like she doesn’t see me or get me at all. It makes me feel misjudged, invalidated, unseen, alone, to think that she might think that. Especially after I thought I’d explained to her at length why I felt angry.
I felt defensive anger because I didn’t feel safe. Because I got something wrong, made a mistake. And when triggered in the moment it felt like she’d led me to believe something that wasn’t true, that she’d led me into a trap, encouraged me to do something, be vulnerable with her in a specific way and then when I was, rejected it, said it wasn’t ok. She didn’t feel safe. Like she was saying one thing and doing another. It felt confusing, unsettling, like I didn’t know where I stood and therefore didn’t know what to do to protect myself and keep myself safe. Now I’m not in that activated place I can see it was displaced anger and rejection/abandonment/attachment issues from the past. That she didn’t really mislead me. But it certainly wasn’t just a case of me being angry because I didn’t get what I wanted. The actual thing wasn’t even that big of a deal to me. Just the fall out seems to have triggered a whole series of reactions from various parts of me.
don’t work yourself to the point of a mental breakdown. give priority to your mental health. you are only a few steps away from completely losing your balance and breaking your mind. take one step back every time you take two steps forward. breathe. be mindful. see through life as it transpires moment by moment. learn when to rest. sleep is important. eating healthily is important. everything you do for the sake of your sanity is important. being kind to your mind is the best self-care there is. if there’s anything that’s lovely about you, it is your mind.