A trip to hospital and no therapy AGAIN

***Trigger warning for those with emetophobia and any other difficulties around pain and illness***

Just a brief post as I’m feeling pretty wobbly and whacked out on pain relief still. I (inevitably) caught my daughter’s sickness bug. Woke up vomiting at 5am yesterday and then the virus seemed to trigger a huge flare-up of fibromyalgia pain, which I so rarely get these days and have not had at that intensity for 10 years or more. I tried taking some pain killers but they came straight back up again and, having overdosed on paracetamol and codeine, among other things, in my 20s, this was really flashbacky and awful. By 10.30 I was in a pretty bad state and my daughter was, understandably, panicking as she didn’t know what to do. My Dad is in France till this afternoon so she called to get one of my friends to come round. My friend called 111 and they sent a paramedic round who gave me an injection of an anti-emetic and a prescription for codeine. Except the anti-emetic didn’t work so I threw the codeine up and the pain kept getting worse – I was literally screaming it was the worst pain I’ve experienced, including childbirth! Another call to 111 and, eventually, after hours of waiting and call-backs and me screaming that I needed help (on and off the phone), they said I needed to go to A&E and that they would send a car. Another friend came to take my daughter to stay with them. The car came except it was a fucking taxi and was just going to drop me outside the doors of A&E to fend for myself again. Luckily my friend was there as I was absolutely losing it at this point. So I sit in the taxi with a sick bucket wailing “I’m going to die” over and over again – poor taxi driver (and also totally unfair he might catch the bug – even though obviously it was the fibromyalgia causing the major problems, it’s still not nice for him to be subjected to the risk of such a horrible bug because the NHS no longer have their own cars to send).

At A&E I had to give my details and explain the problem for the dozenth time, and then ended up sitting on the floor in agony as the waiting room was packed and I couldn’t handle being near all those people with that level of pain and wearing my pyjamas whilst clutching a sick bucket! I’ve never known anything like it, off the chart pain. I had a constant really severe headache for more than 10 years from when I was 20 and that used to get so bad I would have to go to hospital for injections of painkillers. I was told then that the level of pain I get from that is the equivalent of having a limb accidentally amputated. I can well believe that. Getting seen in triage took ages, but at that point I was prioritised for a cubicle and after a few more minutes on the floor of the waiting room, wailing with the pain and wanting my Mum and vomiting more, I was taken through. It was so busy in there and took ages to get a canula fitted and some more anti-emetics in me. They tried IV paracetamol and then eventually hit me with the morphine which brought the pain down to a manageable level and I was allowed to come home around 7 (so they met their target of getting me out within 4 hours!). Phew!

My friend stayed overnight as I was feeling really distressed after such a scary day and also freaking out the pain would get really bad again. I slept through with some codeine and a sleeping tablet and though I’m feeling wiped out today and quite achy still the pain is nothing like what it was like yesterday. I was literally begging to be killed it was so bad. I’m taking today and tomorrow off work to recover at home and my Dad is coming round at 5pm to help out tonight.

So, needless to say – no therapy again today! I emailed K yesterday and we are meeting for an hour on Wednesday afternoon. I’m glad she can fit me in as we are not meeting for our double session next week either (I can’t do Monday so we are just doing an hour on Tuesday). I think an hour this week may be better as talking about the rupture will be intense, but it will be hard to have had only 2 proper hours of therapy (not counting the shit-show of a session on May 21st) in 4 weeks by the time we get back to ‘normal’ (if we do). I hope all will return to normal with the double sessions on June 18th, and that this isn’t the start of her saying we can’t do double sessions anymore… I do have the other T, L, lined up to start on July 3rd if things don’t resolve with K. I’ve said I’ll let her know, but I’m thinking I might go for a one-off session that day anyway, to check out how we would do parts work and how we would manage out-of-session contact and crisis support, and to see whether moving to her ever would be an option. I think it would reduce some of my anxiety around K going away, getting sick, me becoming too much for her, etc. to know there is someone else we could work with. L said she would be happy to do a double session each week and gave me her holiday dates till the end of the year, so I can see she understands how important a regular slot without too many breaks is for me. I will see how the next week goes with the two one-hour sessions, and what K says with regards the rupture and her phone call and stuff, but every time I freak out I remind myself I can see L on 3rd July and that really helps.

Right, enough from me as I only meant this as a brief update and have written loads and I am going to try and have a little sleep before my daughter gets home from school. I’m feeling quite traumatised and unsettled. Yesterday was also a painful reminder that I am motherless. I wanted my Mum so much. And I know if I had called her, despite everything, she would have come to be with me because I needed her. Knowing that this wasn’t an option and would just end up hurting us both helped me to restrain myself from calling her, but it was so painful and there was a huge outpouring of grief about that on top of everything else yesterday.

 

Different day, different me

I’m not entirely sure where the attachment pain has gone, but for now that gaping hole seems to be full of something, or at least it’s edges and depths are not burning and gnawing and causing intolerable pain.

Today started badly, dissociated and heavy and weepy and unsure how I would get through it and get done what I needed to at home. I lost my shit via text at my acupuncturist (who was my main attachment person for many, many years before I started work with K nearly 3 years ago) about how not everyone feels this fucking bad nearly all the time, had a bath, still felt rubbish, but encouraged (aka forced) myself to get moving getting stuff sorted at home. Overwhelm began to set in (how come there is always so much to do with running a house and organising a child?!) but I managed to reassure young parts, who freak out about things being out of control and there being too much to do and getting in trouble, that all was in hand. As the house began to get back to some semblance of order I felt my energy and mood lift. I do have aspects of OCPD, not the full diagnosis, and definitely a tidy and under control house is a must if I don’t want emotional flashbacks and overwhelm to set in. Today was a good reminder of that. Instead of fighting it, it is caring for myself and all the traumatised parts to try and keep stuff under control more-or-less so there isn’t suddenly too much to do all in one go.

My daughter is feeling better, but in that nice (for me) ill stage of just wanting to lay in bed watching Taylor Swift on YouTube. Given how ill she was yesterday I let her do this today without guilt. I took myself out for a short bike ride by the canal and had a coffee. I began to feel part of the world again. I’ve eaten like a normal-ish person today (a healthy normal person). After tea I went for another bike ride – hilly this time and out in the countryside and I was so aware that the world was 3D again and in technicolour and just so fucking beautiful and alive. I felt so different from yesterday – strong, energised and alive too – part of the world, not horribly cut off and disconnected like I have been since Tuesday. I don’t feel like this nearly enough, especially since starting therapy and starting to really go there with what’s inside, but when it happens it makes all my hard work feel worthwhile. When afternoons like this happen it feels like maybe one day I will get to a better place – like where I was before my friend died just over 3 years ago only better, because I won’t be hiding all the shadows of myself and reacting and behaving in ways that make no sense.

I am still very apprehensive about seeing K and what will happen on Monday, but I have faith that our relationship is strong enough to sort this. And she has had plenty of time to think through her reaction and work out how to repair it too. It is not all on me.

The gaping hole in me

Attachment pain is at its worst this evening. There is just this gaping hole in my core that nothing will ever fill. I feel so completely alone in the world. I want K but she is not mine to want, to need. There is nothing that will ever fill this hole in me. I am empty. I was never given what I needed to live a full life. I get snatches of it now and then, but I am left holding myself, and not doing a very good job of it. There are no words to describe the fucking gut-wrenching agony when this hits. Even if K were here, it is too fucking late. This hole is one I must learn to live with. I cannot think of anything more unfair than that, having to carry this for eternity because my parents didn’t have it in them to love me. I see so many going through the same and it is just not fucking fair.

This evening I want to die. Again. The past two weeks have been more than I can cope with. Yesterday I had an incredibly triggering 3 hours with a young person who disclosed incest and multiple rapes to me. This is not in my capacity to deal with, not meant to be in my role at all. I was with her for 3 hours, till 8pm. My heart was racing the whole time she was there. She was dissociating so much, zoning out for minutes at a time and I just knew she was completely gone, no awareness of me at all –  on top of the other stuff it was also so triggering being on the receiving end of that. Genuinely do not know how K works with me! Any other week I would have reached out to K after something like that.

I was activated all night and then so dissociated today. I spoke with my line manager and he told me to take the day off. I fought with myself over whether to contact K, to ask for a phone session to help me deal with this. I didn’t. We usually have an email check-in Fridays but with the rupture I just didn’t want to contact her. I did in the end, at 5pm, but it was such an internal battle with all the parts wanting different things. She was validating and said the right things, about me being in shock and needing to get into water, but it just wasn’t enough. It left me feeling completely empty and more alone than ever. She can never be enough to fill this hole in me. Like she said back in February, learning to be with this pain, this annihilation, is my life’s work. Well I’m fucking done with the hard work and never seeming to get anywhere. Why does this pain never get any easier?

And K’s virus from Monday, as I had suspected/feared, is a flare up of her autoimmune disease (hashimoto’s) so she’s been in hospital having scans and bloods taken today. Cue fucking meltdown because one day she will not be here. And because she may get tired of me, she may tell me on Monday she can’t work with me/needs to reduce our session length/needs to take extended leave/is taking early retirement next year. None of these things are beyond the realm of possibility, none of them are my overactive imagination around things going wrong. She has told me working with me is ‘a lot’, and I get that, but what if it is now ‘too much’ because of her flare up?

And it HURTS. Being me, all alone really fucking hurts. It hurts that she is not mine, that her health will come first (as it should). I am not her daughter, not someone whose interests are on a par with her own. And if she stops work I won’t see her anymore. I will be left trying to piece myself back together with someone else, trying to recover from the loss of her with someone new, someone the parts don’t know, someone who is just not K. I’ve always felt so fucking lucky to have her, aside from this rupture and the few times she has not reacted well to criticism, our alliance is so fucking strong and the way we work is everything I/we need. But I don’t have her, not really, she is not mine.

And it hurts that someone else has this much power in my life and can take themselves away from me if they need to without me having any say in it at all. I work so hard to build good things for myself and my daughter, to see friends and do new things, to take care of myself, to make new connections, to fill myself. But the truth is I can’t. And sometimes only K will do, only her words will soothe, only her presence can settle things internally, only her hope can hold me, only her responses reach me. In large part I started therapy because I wanted to get well in time to have a ‘proper’ family – a husband/wife and a baby, a step-parent and sibling for my daughter. I don’t want more children now, having realised the extent of the emotional health problems I will always live with in some form, but I do want a partner. So I persevere in therapy in the hopes it takes me someplace better, enables me to live and love and be loved. But it means depending on someone who is not mine to depend on and feeling their absence so fucking strongly at times that I cannot bear it.

I don’t know how we will mend things on Monday. I don’t know how I will be honest knowing that she is exhausted and run down with the hashimoto’s. I don’t know how I will ever tell her how bad the last 2 weeks have been for me because what if she gets scared of how important she is to me and goes away? And now my daughter has a horrendous sickness bug so what are the chances I get it and can’t go on Monday? Another week of this is not something I can even bear to think about. I just want to see her and find our way back to each other. I don’t even care if she doesn’t apologise. I just want her to be okay and for us to be okay.

Being apart from her tonight is horrendous. I cannot live in this pain. Attachment agony. Every fucking minute is like an eternity when this hits.

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