Jump then fall

I’ve just had my session. I am leaning towards a break. I don’t know how long I would take a break for. K said a month last week, but I don’t see the point of that. Either I can do this work remotely or I can’t, and if I can’t that won’t change. So I would need to take a break until K resumes in-person work. That is a daunting prospect. It could be January, it could be a little sooner, it could be a lot longer, it could be never.

She says the other option is for us to do less work during this time, so that we keep the connection and I still get support with what I need in terms of parenting and the pandemic, but don’t lean in to the work. I don’t think I can do that. It feels like the worst of both worlds. I can’t just switch off the attachment stuff and work on more practical things, so the attachment stuff would still be activated but with longer to manage between sessions and less chance of re-connecting in them.

We talked about my mum and the original wounding. I cried at how unfair it is that I have to face losing K because of the damage my mum did to me, because it makes me not able to tolerate being in relationship with her without being in physical proximity. I have lost so many people because of the way my mum totally fucked me up. K would be just another in a long line.

Maybe I don’t need therapy anymore. Maybe I don’t need it right now. Maybe it is making things worse. Maybe the time would pass quicker. Maybe January would be here before I knew it, if I had less investment in the passing of the time. Maybe it is time to let K go. I never would have imagined it would be like this, our ending, sudden and unexpected, but maybe it is the way it is meant to be. Maybe trying to do the work is part of me not accepting how much everything has changed.

K said today she wants me to reach a place where I deeply know that this work isn’t right for me at the moment, that I can’t take it in, that it is not good for me. She said it’s been nearly three months of me not being able to take in therapy, not getting anything from it. Maybe she is right but it feels like I am being pushed away, punished for not being able to take in that she is still here, rejected because of the depth of my fucking attachment wound.

I know this work is hard for her right now. She said today my sessions have been very hard to hold since we’ve not been meeting. I don’t want to put her through that, drive her away, make her feel tired and disenchanted at a time when she has so much to deal with in her own life. I wish I could take it in and not push her away. Before my session I want to connect and I can think of a million things I want to tell her, but as soon as we are working all my defences rise and I feel lost in my room and ashamed to tell her how I am. I hate knowing that part of her wants me to take a break because this is too hard for her to hold. It brings up so much.

Next week I am going to see if Nina can go to my dad’s on Monday afternoon until Tuesday evening (she’s been going on Fridays) so that I am home alone for my session and have some space afterwards. I will try two sessions to see if that changes anything and if it doesn’t I will take a break after the 29th June. I cannot fucking bear the thought of taking a break, but even without one it is fucking unbearable because I cannot feel that she is here. She may as well not be.

Taking a break doesn’t feel right either. Of course it doesn’t. So many of us have been flung into a life we never could have imagined even 3 months ago. Nothing about any of this feels right. It could feel really painful to not have K in my life for more than six months, with the world falling apart and no guarantee that we will be able to work together again in future. It will still be really painful though, to be working but not be with her. This is not the way my therapy is supposed to be.

It is just two utterly shit options and I have to choose the least shit, the one that will hurt less. I guess the benefit of taking a break is that I am not paying to feel like this.

If we could guarantee we could start weekly sessions again in January I think I would take a break. As it stands I’m scared that won’t be the case, that it will be longer or worse she will decide not to work in-person again whilst we are in pandemic or will stop being a therapist completely. I don’t know how likely that is. But then if you’d told me at the start of the year I wouldn’t be able to get to K’s for at least 10 months because of the Coronavirus I wouldn’t have believed you, so who knows what is likely anymore.

17 thoughts on “Jump then fall”

  1. Oh God. That sounds absolutely agonizing. I honestly don’t know which of the two options sound worse at the moment. It doesn’t sound like she wants to quit altogether, so that’s a bit promising. Do you think it’s worse because you just aren’t able to get any alone time? I hope you and K can find a way to make it work. T is always telling me that we don’t need to always focus on the bad stuff but honestly it feels like that’s all there is most of the time. It’s so fucking unfair. Sending big hugs to you…xx

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you xx It is so unfair. I’m honestly raging that I’m so damaged through failed attachment that I am losing her. Ultimately here it is my attachment wounding being too great for us to work together safely anymore. I honestly don’t know what is best, or which option is the least worst! And I think I’m also trying to figure out which option makes me less likely to lose her in the longer term, as if I can somehow control that… I do wonder if I’ll be able to work more effectively without Nina in the house and with some space afterwards, so I’ll see if that’s an option and if it helps, but right now I’m just chucking money away and my sessions are making things worse. And yeah, it’s not like I can switch off this stuff and just talk to her about parenting and how I’m coping, if only it worked like that! I hope you’re doing a bit better today. Big hugs to you xx

      Liked by 3 people

  2. You really are getting stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s a matter of what will do less damage I suppose, and I hope you can come to an answer for that. What would life look like if you were no longer in therapy and what supports would replace it? I think it’s important to consider whether the level of intervention now, while certainly not enough, may be better than nothing. But obviously, this is all up to you and I’m so sorry you’re tasked with trying to figure it out.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for your support, it must seem strange for you that I am this upset because I’m sure you would give anything to have this choice right now, so I really appreciate your validation despite what is going on for you. You’re right about thinking through what life would look like without her. And there is basically no other support in my life right now – friends are at capacity, there is no one to sit with or be with, and K knows me better than anyone. I think if I could get to a place where it wasn’t enough but wasn’t causing so much pain it would be okay, but I’m not sure I can get to that point…

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Ugh, CB, this is exactly where I was at the beginning of the pandemic when my T went online. I keep highlighting bits of text to quote but the first half resonates so strongly with me! This is what I could have written word for word:

    “She says the other option is for us to do less work during this time, so that we keep the connection and I still get support with what I need in terms of parenting and the pandemic, but don’t lean in to the work. I don’t think I can do that. It feels like the worst of both worlds. I can’t just switch off the attachment stuff and work on more practical things, so the attachment stuff would still be activated but with longer to manage between sessions and less chance of re-connecting in them.”

    When I let go of doing attachment work, I didn’t want my T for anything else — so I suspended sessions with her indefinitely. I am contemplating check in soon if things work out see each other in person.

    My big issue with online was also childcare — Nina at your dad’s might make that bit feel better, you can relax more into the time with K if you have some time and space around it. Maybe try that for a week to see?

    But also: what even are these shit choices? Stay, but know it hurst? Go, but risk losing everything with her? It’s so rough, there is no good answer. ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It is genuinely an impossible choice. I am really in awe of how you suspended sessions trusting she would be there to return to… I just don’t have that level of trust (maybe this would help me develop it, but if my trust is misplaced it would be pretty dire). You’re right also – if I go I do actually risk losing everything with her, and it would still hurt (but just save a lot of money!) because what if we take a break and then in 6 months time I get an email telling me she is not working again or carrying on working remotely due to the pandemic? Then I’ll never get an ending.

      The problem is that it feels as though it is wearing her out and causing her pain too , so even if I choose to keep going and sit with the pain it might still not be good. She says she wants me to do what is right for me, but part of me is trying to work out which will stop me losing her. I don’t want to get to the point where she says she can’t work with me because it’s too hard.!

      I do think Nina at my dad’s might help, so I will try that. It would make my sessions bigger, if that makes sense, because of the time to transition in and out of them. At the moment my time with her ends as soon as we hang up and that makes it even harder to hold on to her.

      Have therapists and things opened up where you are now?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I really do trust that my relationship will be there — but it is a bit agonizing to imagine that it might not, or that it might take a lot of work to re-attune. Still, for me, it was the right choice.

        But also, in my case, this was very much a choice I made without too many extenuating factors — psych services have reopened and my T’s new office will likely be open soon (she is renovating following a move, so could meet in person already but has nowhere to meet), and also she does not have extenuating personal factors that would keep her from meeting clients in person. So I feel like I had WAYYYYYY more agency in making a choice to stop things for a bit, because I can go back at any time.

        That’s what feels so rough – you’re having to navigate all of these factors that have nothing to do with you, or your therapy, and that are super triggering!

        I feel like having the space around therapy before and after will help A LOT — it will feel bigger, longer, spacious with more room to move into and then out of the session, which hopefully can help you relax into your attachment with K. You just need to find each other online! That will be so much easier when you know Nina is safe, taken care of, and far away. I found that even though my spouse took my kids out of the house. but i was still hassled in the run-up and then distracted in the aftermath, and I just couldn’t get what I needed from the sessions if I had to dip and out of mumming before and after. I can imagine that, as a single mum, your mum-brain never really stops being tuned in to here. That is a lot to be managing while you’re trying to connect with K to do parts work. How can you let the parts out when your adult self needs to be considering what’s up with your kid? its too much.

        Also, I don’t think K will ever say she can’t work with your because it’s too hard. Not feeling therapeutic under these circumstances is NOT ‘too hard’. it’s so hard to trust in her care and love for you, but it is there. ❤

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Yeah, it’s the hassle in the run up I find particularly difficult. Yesterday I felt so jangled. And it is just crap to have someone in the house immediately after, especially someone who has been on their own all day already because of working full-time. Most secondary school students here are highly unlikely to return even part-time in September now, so I need to do something about this if there’s any chance of continuing therapy over the next 6-12 months…

        I really hear what you are saying about having more agency, because you’ve known you CAN (why doesn’t WP allow italics??) go back and I think all along you’ve had a sense of when things would open up where you are. Our government has made, and continues to make, an utter mess, so tbh I don’t think January is hugely likely for her to return face-to-face – it would be right in the middle of any second winter peak. It’s why I was hoping to return to in-person over the summer, because I don’t think face-to-face will be possible over the winter based on what I’ve read and what our government is doing. And you’re right, so much of it feels out of my control with her health and her son’s illness and UKCP guidelines, and yet my therapy depends upon it.

        I think K just feels unable to hold me and the work remotely – I think the fact it’s so hard for her indicates it’s not working for me and then she feels it’s unethical. I have to be honest that it’s really not working for me at the moment, and perhaps I have to be brave and take the plunge and ask for a break… And I guess if the break is worse then I just go back to working remotely… Ugh.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope next week brings you more clarity. No option is the right one. Both are horrendous and painful. The question is which is more painful…
    I don’t think anything you do will push K away…
    Thinking of you and sending good thoughts…

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Oh CB, I didn’t want to read this. I’ve been hoping you’ll somehow have something change so you feel safe and secure again, and I hate to see you feel so at sea like this.
    You speak a lot of how it is for K, as well as for yourself, and I wonder if that would be worth discussing when you next meet? You say she might push to have a break but surely if she’s an attachment specialist she’ll know that would feel like a type of abandonment? Or maybe that’s just me.

    I think it’s such a good idea to give it to the end of the month to see how you feel then. I just did a Skype session with Guy and the boys in the house, and I didn’t feel as free to talk at all. I’m hoping with Nina at her dad’s that might somehow help in some way.
    I’m also really hoping this is the darkest hour before the dawn. I wondering when pubs and restaurants reopen and it goes okay 🤞 then more relaxing of restrictions could come out way more rapidly. It would at least feel a tiny bit more normal.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I really hope this is the darkest hour, for all of us! I’m sorry you didn’t feel so free to talk in your session. I am hopeful that if Nina was with my Dad it would help so I will give that a try for a week or two (if he agrees!). I don’t think I’d even mind so much having a hugely painful session if it felt like we were doing the work, but at the moment it is just not connected and I am flooded. She says I have to feel safe and heard to do this work, and that it doesn’t seem I can be via a screen. Ugh!

      The reason I think she would push for a break if I can’t resolve this is that it’s not therapeutic. Best case scenario she continues to take my money and get nothing from therapy, worst case is that it makes me worse and I keep lurching from crisis to crisis because of it.

      My fear of being ‘too much’ for her is separate from this I think. It would be for me that she insisted on a break if therapy still wasn’t helping in a few weeks, but I do know it is tiring and frustrating and sad for her 😦

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Maybe is sometimes doing the work about going deeper but other times treading water because that’s all you can do to stay afloat for a period of time? I honestly don’t know; I’m a bit of a newb to all of this.
        Would it help to have more frequent email contact, maybe bullet point some daily stuff that comes up for you, even if it’s like Groundhog Day and all about missing face to face and how despairing it all makes you feel? I dunno, I’m just talking out loud really. I just wonder if it might help to use K as a bit of a ‘dear diary’ for a bit to see if that helps, even if you’re still numb and don’t have much to write about. Sometimes I find if you give me a pen or a keyboard I can write something, and occasionally it can help somehow. Just a thought.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Thank you 🙂 we’re actually doing a text check in on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, a longer email check-in on Fridays, plus sessions on Monday and Wednesday! That feels like a lot already. We also have a parts’ book that everyone writes in during the week and then she reads it (since lockdown we’ve been taking photos of the book and emailing them before the session). Because of her health we are ending the Friday email at the end of June, because she doesn’t work that day and is needing more rest.

        And I see what you mean about the deep work vs holding, therapists have been told not to do depth work during the pandemic, but as K said last night – the deep work is in the space now, it’s coming up all the time and I don’t seem able to hold it back. I’d thought it would be 12 weeks of holding things and we’d back to face-to-face, but now it’s so many months it seems a lot of money and effort to spend on something that is not helping…

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Okay that sounds like a nice lot of contact – I’m wondering how we can get your therapist to talk to mine on that one! – so it looks like you’ve got that angle covered already.

        Bloodyhell, they’ve been told not to do deep work? I can kind of see how it needs to be face to face but these things don’t just vanish any faster than coronavirus lockdown has done! Yet. I’m still hoping on the coronavirus one. But I mean if this goes on much longer surely they’ll need to revise that advice? People just won’t be able to hold it down for all that much longer will they? Once it begins to spill out there’s no shutting the lid back on it.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. It sounds so difficult for you, so sorry. You may not feel in a place to intellectualise any of it, but I found bits from various videos in the “Confer -The Coronavirus Series” helpful…aimed at therapists but useful tools/actions to try between client and therapist doing video or phone calls https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=95aM3XKD628 Anderson, Fisher, etc etc. Useful snippets in amongst perhaps not so useful…but everyone’s different and you may like some of the suggestions, if you’ve not already tried them all with your T. Maybe your T would be able to watch the bits that resonate with you and try stuff out too?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Izzie, thanks so much for your comment and for taking the time to suggest those video resources for me and K. I’m going to watch some of them over the weekend and then talk about them in my session on Monday xx

      Liked by 1 person

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