A year break isn’t a break. It’s an ending. I can try and change my perspective to stop it being so heart-breaking, but the reality is neither K nor I know where we will be in January 2020. It is a really, really long time, and all the things that could happen within that time just make it naive to think we can take the year as a ‘break’. However I look at it, the reality is that in a few months’ time she will not be part of my life for the foreseeable future, and maybe she never will be again. I feel as if the ground has shifted again. I don’t even know what happened this afternoon. I feel like I’m on shifting sand and I don’t know if it’s what I’m standing on that’s shifting, or if the shifting sand is in me. I can’t work out if what K said was different from what we agreed last week, or if I’ve just been so dissociated all week that it felt okay when really it isn’t. I think actually that what we agreed and what she said today are the same – that we would meet face-to-face after the year and discuss properly whether it was right to work together again. It is my internal reality that has shifted – recognising this and that she hasn’t “backtracked” (which is how it felt at the time) is my sole thread of hope and is stopping me spiralling into all-consuming and destructive anger at her for changing things, when really she hasn’t changed anything at all. Maybe last week I was filled with huge levels of relief that it wasn’t 100% the forever ending I was expecting and fearing, and then today the reality has hit me again – whether it is a clear and definite break or only a “definite possibility” of working together again, the reality is the same – she is going away. She is leaving me. She said today how hard it was going to be for me to be in my adult and hold all the parts for a whole year, and yet that is what she is leaving me to do. And it may not be entirely her choice to leave me, but it is definitely more her choice than it is mine.
Things have felt so much better this past week. The young and teen parts felt more settled. Everyone was in agreement that a break, rather than a forever ending, was the right thing to do. I was able to practice yoga and meditate every day and laugh with my daughter again. It felt hopeful to be able to stretch our wings and explore the world and then return to K to share how we had gotten on. I’d blocked out the fact that this may not be possible, that we might not end up being able to work together again, that something might go wrong, or it might just not be right to work together again. I’d ignored the fact that I might not cope without therapy and might end up needing A or someone else, even if I didn’t leave K in December with that intention. Right now I have no idea what is real. I feel utterly insane and like I am losing my grip on reality. I don’t know what is dissociation and what was adult me being genuinely okay with taking a break and seeing where I am in 2020 and whether it feels right to be back in therapy. This morning I couldn’t understand how things had felt so bad just over a week ago, for a really long time, and now this morning and being okay feels like a distant dream – it is incomprehensible that I felt okay about taking a year out of therapy and sitting with the possibility that K and I would work together again after that time. Is this real, what is happening now, or has this past week been real and now I am back here because the abandonment tidal wave has hit again?
I am shocked and dumb-founded that I am back here again, bleeding all over the place because that is the only way I could calm myself enough to be alone, unable to sleep and wanting to run away from therapy because I cannot put myself through this every week. I cannot feel the reality of being abandoned by K, and the original pain behind what she triggers in me, every single week. And yet I don’t feel able to walk away from her, not when there is the possibility that if I choose to stay as long as I can with her now then I won’t lose forever what we have. I feel stuck. How can I walk away from her and not know if I’m coming back or not? How can I walk away from her and not know if I will ever see her again? I need to know I will see her at the end of her year away. I need that to be the intention we both hold. I need to leave her and know I will see her again, even if that’s just a few meetings to tell her how I’ve been and what I’ve done, and to reach the conclusion that being back in therapy isn’t right for me at that time. The definite possibility that we will do this, the fact she is open to this, hasn’t changed at all today, but the weight put on it has. I want her to tell me we will definitely work together again, that this will be our plan, and then if I don’t want her by then it will be because I’m stronger and have grown and don’t need her. It will be my choice, and it won’t matter to me then that our original plan changed because I will be okay without her. It won’t feel like a loss. It won’t be a loss – I will have just grown and taken a path that leads me away from her but that is right for me. At the moment not seeing her or being in therapy with her is just loss, the worst pain imaginable multiplied by a million. She is not my mum, she is giving me up, and in doing that she is putting me in touch with the deepest, most all-consuming, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching pain that lives within me. I would do anything not to feel this pain but I don’t know how to avoid it and going through it alone and not with her by my side feels intolerable.