I have very high levels of physical anxiety today. In part I know this is caused by trapped negative emotional energy alerting my fight/flight system into thinking something is wrong. It is also caused by high levels of worry around selling my house and the fact that I’ve needed to borrow money this weekend to get a new (to me!) car because mine has totally packed up and, at 17 years old, just isn’t worth getting repaired again. Paying off the £3000 I’ve borrowed for this is contingent on selling my house as I was planning to upgrade my car with the money left over, so it is worrying that I’ve just got in to more debt in case no one wants to buy my house. We’ve had plenty of viewings, including a second viewing on Saturday who sound like they are about to put an offer in, and another second viewing from a first time buyer tomorrow, but we’ve also seen a house we really want and so I just want things to hurry up so I can put an offer in on that one and secure it. All in all there is just way too much uncertainty for me and it is making me, and little controlling parts, very worried.
There is also torrential rain here today which makes young parts anxious that we won’t get to K’s later because the lane will be flooded (this happened once before and there was basically a fucking massive and impassable puddle between us and her house which was hugely distressing and ended up with a lot of dysregulated screaming and wailing in the car as young parts took over). I hate that she lives so far away and in a place that does get cut off quite regularly. And I hate that it matters so much – as an introvert, basically any other engagement in my diary would invoke relief if it was cancelled at the last minute, but therapy is another story isn’t it! And I hate it. I hate that the thought of not getting there floods me with anxiety. Weirdly (or perhaps not so weirdly actually), the fact we are not about to end has made young parts more active and open in their attachment to her again. I guess this is unsurprising, but it is frustrating to be plunged back in to all the worry about not getting to see her and how long she’ll take off at Christmas and how often we will see her. Which brings me to my next point really.
I think by far and away the thing that is worrying me the most is that K will change her mind and still take a year off at some point starting in the next year. How will I ever know this isn’t about to happen? What if things change for her again? How long do we have left with her before she really does go away? The uncertainty around this is huge. How do I know we won’t get to February or March or whenever and she won’t suddenly say ‘right, I’m taking that year off now’. How do I know the year off thing has gone away? Will it ever go away? Has it gone away? And yes, I can see that I survived those months in the summer and it put me in touch with some very big stuff I needed to see and feel, and I know that now she is definitely less central in our lives than she was and that I can see that really my struggles aren’t anything to do with her, but how do I know we won’t all react like that again if she tells us she is going away? It really worries me. It worries everyone. Part of me knows K wouldn’t have said what she did 2 weeks ago if she wasn’t sure, but she was sure before and things changed. And I do know we will be okay. When the panic rises about how much we will actually see her (she said something about doing ‘chunks’ of work next year – what does that even mean?!) I remind everyone that although we were sad about the ending and saying goodbye, we were feeling okay (a lot of the time at least) about next year and not seeing her and not being in therapy and that this hasn’t really changed. And if she said she was taking a year off I think I am more able to be open with her now and say I want to take it as a planned break rather than a forever ending. I think it helps that the intense need for her has dissipated in recent months and so it is easier to tell her, from an adult perspective, why I want to keep our therapeutic relationship for as long as possible. It is much easier to be open about adult feelings than the crazed attachment needs of a huddle of traumatised children for sure!
And I must admit I was kind of looking forward to next year in some ways because of not having the actions and life of someone whose whole life is ‘not about me’ be so central to my wellbeing. I was kind of looking forward to not getting worried about being ill in case I had to miss a session, or being worried about snow or flooding in case I couldn’t get to therapy. I was looking forward to having a break from my relationship with a professional impacting me so much and becoming more central in my own life. Of course there was a lot I was not looking forward to as well, but the anticipation of having my weeks less disrupted by the absent presence of someone else was definitely something that I was pleased about. And in the past few months I’ve turned to K less (internally and externally) when things have been tough and she has not been in my thoughts so much. I’ve been more accepting of the fact that I often (nearly always) feel shit and dissociated and disconnected and struggle with huge emotional waves and I’ve noticed myself wanting to turn to her less often. I don’t want to go back to how things were. I don’t want to be on edge constantly waiting for her to tell me she is taking a break. I know I could choose to take a break still, but I do think it will be helpful to have support whilst I am moving house and trying to meet new people, and thinking about dating (argh!!!). I want therapy and I want it to be how it has been since September (i.e. in the background of my life more) even though now she is not going away now. I really hope that it is possible.
I’m just scared she will change her mind and has forgotten the huge impact it would have on my and my system if she did this. In many ways it was easier when I knew what I was dealing with and it was known pain I could anticipate flooding me in December and slowly dissipating throughout next year. Now I have no idea what I am dealing with or what will come and hit us all when. It is uncomfortable and I know it is another good opportunity to sit with uncertainty and breathe through it, but uncertainty is hard enough when it relates to concrete, material things – when it is uncertainty around if and when I will be abandoned by my attachment figure it just feels too much.