It’s 4am in the UK and I am still wide awake. Racing heart and a sense of panic and huge disturbance internally. I need to be up in 3 hours and tomorrow is a big day at work, the biggest of the big, for reasons I can’t go into but I am so frustrated that I’m not going to be on good form for it.
Earlier this evening K told me her circumstances have changed and that she won’t be taking time off at the end of the year. She still needs surgery but she isn’t able to take a year off (for legitimate and unforeseen reasons by the way, she hasn’t been messing me around) . She may take extended time off of around a month, but mostly she will be working. So if I want to I can work, perhaps fortnightly for financial reasons and because I don’t really need to be in therapy so intensely at the moment, but we can also carry on working towards an ending if I want. She says I can take a break if I want to, of however long I want, especially as I am moving house. It is all up to me and she wants me to let it settle and make decisions in my adult about what I want and need, without being dictated to by the parts.
This should be good news, right? And in many ways it is of course. But also, what the fuck??? I have spent the best part of 5 months preparing for this ending and taking in the fact it could be forever. And now we won’t be ending, not if I don’t want to. I don’t even know what I think or feel.
When she told me I think I went in to shock – shaking and panicking and I nearly threw up in the room. I dissociated and lost my legs and was crying and completely overwhelmed and had no idea why or what was happening for me. Before I left she said if I need we can book in a half hour phone session this week as she could see it was a lot for me to take in and there was a lot of panic going on. I asked why this was happening and she said how any transition for a child is huge. I love how she can see who this panic is coming from and validates it instead of making me feel ashamed and ridiculous, or silly for not being happy that I got what I wished for.
I have so many thoughts and feelings. Of course relief. To not have to say goodbye to my attachment figure right before Christmas is huge. And knowing she will be there during the period of change next year is very nice. But…
I really can’t afford therapy next year with the house move. And I am tired of working so hard and still having to be so careful with money because of therapy. My credit card debt is mounting. I was counting on a break from January to get things sorted. By August next year my pay will have increased quite a lot and I may even have some left over from selling my house once I’ve paid fees and deposit on my next house. I was slowly getting my head around it all and now everything has changed and it has shaken me. It is hard having so much uncertainty and so many unknowns, decisions to make and variables that I cannot yet know – mine and K’s. I don’t want to take a break and then it end up running into K taking time off, which is silly really because it is still better than a year and potentially forever. Of course I am happy because basically it seems I can now come and go from working with her for the foreseeable future, until I move away from where I live now I guess, which is unlikely to be for another 7 years. No painful ending, no whole year and maybe forever, no uncertainty over being able to work together in 2020. It is still scary though – she could change her mind again. Who knows what will happen? Everything feels up in the air and, after abandonment, uncertainty is the thing me and the parts all hate the most.
I can probably afford to work fortnightly from January and, let’s face it, there’s no way I’m going to take the whole year off. Maybe I will take a month or 6 weeks off when I do the actual house move. I can feel how I don’t need the intensity of therapy anymore. I think I could manage 90 minutes fortnightly instead of every week. And I’m sure she would still be there if I needed an extra session one week or to work by phone. In some ways it hurts that I don’t need her in the same way anymore. I don’t pine for her between sessions anymore. I know this is good but it means letting her go a little too.
Partly it hurts tonight because it is still not enough. She is not going away and yet it is not enough to take away this pain in me or to fill this gaping hole inside me. She can remain my attachment figure and I can continue internalising a sense of safety from her through attunement and being seen and heard, but ultimately this attachment hole will keep aching and I will have to learn to live my life around it. So whether she stays or goes this pain is in me. This is something I really realised back in the summer and, whilst all that pain now seems pointless, I can see it wasn’t – it really forced me to face and feel my attachment wound and all the pain that is in me and always has been. But now… my life will still be hard. I will always struggle enormously in relationship with abandonment and attachment. I think partly I can see I’ve done the bulk of ‘the work’ now because I am accepting of that. I’m not expecting one day to wake up and magically be healed. I believe I will heal more than this, especially as I move into a new phase of my life where I am expanding and meeting new people and moving out of the city and building a new life away from my mum, but that profound wounding will always shape me. I accept that now and that does bring some relief. K says she sees therapy now as being something I need to support me and enable me to stay steady, but the intense childhood work and battling with the transferential relationship is done. Now it’s about supporting me to live. But it’s hard knowing at the same time the therapy relationship will continue to trigger and unsettle me. I was dreading next year, but at the same time kind of looking forward to someone else having less power and impact upon me. I wish I could have K every week and not do therapy for a bit. I want a break from therapy, but not her. Only it doesn’t work like that. I cannot not do therapy with her because she is my attachment figure and things will come up with her. And if I do t want that I can’t have her.
The wonderful thing is that I can have support and guidance next year from someone who knows me, the parts, our past and how it impacts us all now, but we don’t always have to go there with that dark and painful stuff. If I’d ended up needing therapy next year I’d have had to go into all that stuff again to give them a sense of why I find aspects of life so hard and triggering, and the parts would have ended up coming out and it would likely have got messy. And not many Ts know how to work with people who have little people inside them. I can see I am lucky but I feel so much confusion and turmoil beyond this. It is now 4.50 and my alarm will go off in 2 hours, ugh! What an unexpected turn of events.