I now have nine sessions left with K. Nine weeks today I will have said goodbye to her for at least a year and maybe forever. Nine weeks today – how will I be? How will I ever hold myself and all the parts through that? We have 13 and a half hours with her to take in enough of her love and warmth and safety to last a lifetime. This doesn’t even feel real. How can it be that after all this time, all the hundreds of hours with her, we are now so close to the end of our time together? I honestly can’t bear it. And yet I have to.
Mostly I am coping. Mostly I am moving forward. Mostly I am able to think ahead to next year and see I will be okay, I will manage, I will carry on healing. Mostly, but not tonight. Tonight the pain of losing her hurts so much I don’t know what to do with myself. I am not ready for this. We have done such good work lately and I do not feel ready to leave therapy or her and be out in the world, living without her. Life feels so hard lately, and even though I keep trudging on I am acutely aware nearly all the time that every step forwards is a step towards the ending.
This past week I’ve barely slept. Like literally hardly been able to sleep at all, a few hours a night tops. It has been completely horrific keeping going, with work and parenting and living. My therapy session this evening passed in a blur really, it was so hard because my head is a fuggy, disorientated, sleep-deprived mess. For half the session we were water colour painting – K is teaching the young parts how to do this and we started a picture last week that we will now finish next week. It is a painting of something that has been a huge part of healing, in therapy and out, and it is going to be wonderful to have something so special to keep for always. Last week it was so soothing and healing to be making something so special with her. We felt so safe and contained and like we really belonged, as we sat at her kitchen table being taught something by a special grown up. Young parts were chatting away to her and she is so unphased, seamlessly shifting from talking to grown up me to younger parts. She knows all of us, all of me, and everyone feels safe with her now – what amazing progress that even the most resistant, suspicious, defended parts feel safe with her now. At the start of therapy when we did craft stuff young parts were so scared to come out and we always left feeling so ashamed and exposed. It is not like that at all now, there is no shame when they come out with K at all, it just feels healing and lovely and also hugely sad because soon they will have no one to talk to who sees them at all. And so despite all that we have with her we still have to say goodbye and each live our lives without the other.
I know she is sad too, I could really feel it today. She read the parts book and Miffy (5) had written how awful it is that K is going away because we needed her for all our life and only just got her. And K said how we will always hold each other in mind. I said it wasn’t the same, and she agreed, and she seemed sad, like the reality is starting to really make itself known to her too. And it is just not fair that we have to give her up and let her go. I cannot imagine my life without her and I don’t want to. I don’t want to have to live without her and what we are together. It hurts so much. I know these tears are magnified by all the loss I had already experienced long before I met her, but these feelings and this pain is still so real and present and current in my body.
At the end of the session last week our heart felt so full of love and warmth and gratitude, bursting with it, but also bursting with pain and grief and loss at the same time. Our connection is so strong and that is so healing, but inevitably it brings so much pain. It has always brought pain, the therapeutic relationship, but now even more so because as well as triggering the original wound it is creating it’s very own wound – the loss of someone so special and someone so needed in my life. After the session and all the next day we felt ‘filled up of nice things’ and that was so nice because therapy hasn’t felt like that much lately. Today felt different, even though the painting was as lovely, and now I am left with overwhelming pain and my dissociated brain is unable to find anything tangible about her to hold on to. The extreme tiredness didn’t help as we felt far away and unreachable in the session, but also there was just so much sadness – sadness because we don’t belong to K and we never will. She said today how it’s never too late to find a tribe of people who are like family, but it doesn’t change the fact that she is not ours, not mine, and never will be. Soon we will have memories of our time together but no future left. She will not know what happens to me next year and I will not know how she is. It is like a great big, gaping hole lies ahead of me – one I can see but cannot avoid, cannot escape, cannot stop myself falling into.
This evening I feel exhausted and defeated, overpowered by this enormous grief and pain and loss inside me. I am so tired and so scared (not helpful, but the fear is there of course) I won’t sleep again because I have a really big day at work tomorrow. K reminded me tonight how well I am doing with self-care this week despite the lack of sleep, how this is so different from before, when she first met me and all kinds of chaotic craziness would have been happening. I know she is right, I know we can both see the progress, but I am so tired of having to work so hard to keep going. And I just don’t want her to go away. I want to belong to her so that I can go with her when she goes away.