I didn’t end up asking K yesterday about her plans for returning to face-to-face work and if there is a timescale, despite sending the email I mentioned in my last post asking her to let me know on Monday. It didn’t really come up. She didn’t mention it and I didn’t want to bring it up – it felt a little like ‘sticking my head in the lion’s mouth’ as LS said on Saturday! Asking her about it could push her and provoke an ill-thought through response that triggers me. And I’m pretty sure she will want to work in-person as soon as she can, not least because of the income loss due to many people taking breaks because of not liking Skype. Besides this, it felt less important. The disorganised attachment internal mayhem had subsided – I can do this for a little longer. She seemed tired yesterday, and I was able to remind myself that for her, getting well again is the most important thing. I am sad for her that she is finding the pandemic so hard and experiencing a flare of her thyroid disease. It is her first Spring in her beautiful new home and I want her to be able to enjoy it. And I want her to get well, of course I do, for her sake but also my own. I don’t want to lose her or for her capacity to change.
It was a strange session. We started off trying to work by Skype but my screen kept freezing and it meant K was just staring blankly and not responding to me because she couldn’t see me. Then I tried sending her a Zoom link but then my video wouldn’t work and when I restarted Zoom I couldn’t access my own meeting. So we ended up working by phone. She feels closer, more here, by phone, and she says the same, but it is really just so far removed from what I need and am used to. It’s fine as an ‘extra’ but not on an ongoing basis. Or maybe it is. Maybe it has to be.
She was amazed by how well I had done to regain my balance since Friday. She talked about how it showed how far I have come in terms of affect regulation, that storms used to last a lot longer than that. I can see where she was coming from, and of course it is important to recognise my strengths and capacities and competencies, but it did seem as though she wasn’t taking in just how much pain I was in on Friday and Saturday. I woke up on Saturday morning after a really poor sleep and it was physically impossible to lay still because of the emotional pain and shame burning through me. It was agony and it took all my strength and determination to move through it and get to a better place.
She keeps talking about the pandemic having it’s tentacles everywhere, how it is affecting everything. I hate it when she does that, even though I know she is trying to provide a context for all that is going on and why I’m struggling, and to help me to integrate it – in the sunshine and peace where we are both living it is hard sometimes to remember why this is happening. I hate it because when she talks about it feels too real. I want her to say it is not that bad, that everything will be okay and things will go back to normal. I want her to say that we are the same despite it, but I’m not sure if we are or will be. Everything is changing and I don’t know how it will be if and when we are working in-person again. I hate not knowing when that will be. I’ve lost where government advice is now on everything, what we are allowed and advised to do when, what the plans are for re-opening society. It’s all vague and confusing and I am just trying to sit with the not knowing and remind myself K is not doing it to punish me or push me away, but because we don’t yet know when we can meet. It would seem bonkers if non-essential shops re-opened on 15th June and we still couldn’t work in-person with social distancing, but I can’t control what she does of course or how she assesses the risk to herself.
I just miss my sessions so much. I miss having those 4 hours in my week blocked out, the anticipation when I am driving there of some time and space for me. I miss knowing she will open the door and be the same, after years of panicking that I would get there and she wouldn’t be there or would send me away and close the door in my face, or have changed somehow. So much of our work wasn’t about talking, it was about just being together and all the unspoken communication that was settling me and healing me. Somebody in my system who is 9 told K a couple of weeks ago how many times we had driven to see her – it is 351! K said it was no wonder we are finding it so hard to suddenly not be able to come after all those times. I really just hope we find our way back to how things were. I feel so untethered working like this, without my sessions properly punctuating my week.
I am also fine and mostly coping with it better than I thought I would, overall…
This was quite a nothing post. Nothing has changed. I am aware that this stuff is so trivial when I still have K’s support and a home and a job and enough food and my health. I just can’t help feeling something has shifted, that K is pushing me away and preparing me for a possible ending because of the pandemic. I think she would take a break if she could. Yesterday it felt like she was having to try really hard to be there with me, and I imagined her having to brace herself for clients on a day when she just wanted and needed to rest and be by herself. It makes me want to hold back my needs right now, and maybe that is not a bad thing to do a little of when my struggles and fears are bound to be triggering K’s too.