Both of us

My session was quite difficult again, though not as bad as it has been at other times during this fucking pandemic. We had issues with connectivity – on Zoom the sound was bad and buzzing so we tried Skype, which was a bit bette for a while but then after 20 minutes K couldn’t really hear me so she decided to go downstairs to see if the sound was better and she rang me back after that. It was better for her I think but then it started distorting so I couldn’t make out what she was saying. So after 45 minutes I phoned her. We did some work in the meantime but it was a bit disjointed. We connected better than we have for a while I think. Maybe. And I’ve had a really difficult time with Nina the past few days so it helped to talk through some of that with her. It was dissatisfying and she feels very far away, but it wasn’t pointless or hugely triggering. Just not enough and very scattered.

We felt really bereft at the end, I think because we were just starting to connect and then it was the end, but so far Nina not being here has been helpful – I’ve had a long bike ride and a shower and done some drawing and things definitely feel more settled. I’ll see how it goes. It is very hard to think of a break but also very painful to keep going. At the end of the session young parts started asking lots of questions about if we had a break, if we would definitely see her again and if things would be the same afterwards and K said it’s really important if there is a break that there’s a plan for the end of it and that it is a definite break so everyone knows what is happening. She agreed that we would never end like this, out of the blue and during a pandemic (unless it was unavoidable, obviously). She said I should write to all the parts in our book and reassure them as there has been a lot of worrying, so I will do that before I go to bed.

My sister, who is a counselling psychologist in the NHS, thinks I should try remote sessions for longer because K knows me so well and we have such a good relationship. It’s strange because I often get the sense she thinks I’m taking too long in therapy (the longest she sees DID clients is 2 and a half years, but with other complex trauma clients they are through much more quickly) and so it was nice that she wasn’t telling me that I should be done in therapy by now anyway and should build some resilience through a break. And she is right. K and I’s relationship is so strong. I do feel sure it will be there at the end of all this, definitely – I don’t think that has ever been in doubt which is a definite change from how things were at in the beginning, when I could never trust if K would be there and the same between sessions, let alone for all this time! Maybe I’m wrong and it hasn’t been like this all along this time, but it feels that way. I am scared about how long it could be or what might transpire to keep us apart, but not that we won’t find each other in the therapy space again because I know we will and we will resume where we left off in March.

A cuddly crocheted bunny that matches some toys K has in her therapy room arrived in the post last week – a gift from her to support us through these challenging times. And we found out today she didn’t just order it online for us, which is nice enough, she actually sent a photo of our bunnies to the woman who crochets them because the one on her Etsy page wasn’t quite right, and the woman made a bunny to look like my bunnies, with the right colour fur and white feet and nose. I can’t even get over how adorable that is that K would do that for us. And we will take the bunny to meet her when all this remote working shit is over, and she will meet the similar toys in the therapy room and our Little Miffy who is staying with K during the pandemic. And when that happens it will mean this really very bad time is over.

I am trying so hard to hold on to the sense that this will pass, and whether K and I take a break or not, this time next year we will be back to our weekly in-person sessions and reflecting on the time that this fucking pandemic kept us apart and how hard both of us worked to try and keep the connection alive.

 

21 thoughts on “Both of us”

  1. Im surprised to read there is such a short expectation of therapy time for DID. Guy told me full blown DID can take up to around 7 years of therapy!

    It sounds like you’re feeling it’s more helpful to have the place to yourself when you have your sessions, and that you feel you can keep the strong connection you guys have managed to forge between you, whatever you decide to do about a break.
    If you chose a break and then regretted it after a week, are you stuck or could you come straight back in a fortnight? That would very possibly make a huge difference to my decision-making process! I really hope the way forward becomes crystal clear, and that whatever decision you choose will be taken with a peaceful confidence.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, it’s 7-10 years for DID, the NHS are just shit!! And of course it depends what else you have in your life to talk about at the same time – loads of my therapy has also been about Nina!

      Thanks, I hope so too. I think we’d probably need to bear with it for a little while, because I’m likely to have quite a big attachment panic at the start, but I’m pretty sure if it was a disaster or something bad happened, we’d be able to work again. I’m also pretty sure I could do a one-off session if something specific needed support. I should probably check these things though because you’re right, it does make a difference.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh good, I’m glad you’ve heard the same of the 7ish years thing! When Guy said that I found it a strange mixture of comfort that he has an expectation of such a long term therapeutic relationship if that’s needed, but on the other hand I didn’t think he was saying I’ve got full blown DID even though I do dissociate quite a lot, so I’ve never dared ask him what his expectation for me might be (in case he says 12 weeks or something! 🙈😂)

        I can’t definitely see why you’d say that about the attachment side or things, it would well and truly throw me I think, although I realise you’re ahead of the game compared to me, so maybe when I reach your level I might feel more equipped to consider such a daring idea! It’s still bad enough getting from week to week, much less walking away for longer than that voluntarily. Though at the same time I can see why you’d have that dilemma because, truth be told, although I can see Guy once a week, it is weather permitting and this is England, and let’s face it, it’s not just weddings and BBQ’s that get rained off all the time is it? Sigh. Even IF the weather holds every Wednesday between now and September, there’s coming a day when autumn and winter sets in again and then I can’t bear the idea of video all the way again. I just can’t go there in my head. So I think I get some of where you’re coming from that way.
        Still hoping it all fizzles out…

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Yeah, I think what K and I have realised over the years is that any kind of change triggers me into an attachment crisis, so I sometimes I need support in the immediate aftermath of the change, even where in theory I am in agreement with the change being a good thing. For example when I chose to go down to one double session a week in March 2018 I had a huge attachment crisis and needed urgent GP support and calls to The Samaritans, but then it settled and one longer session a week (with an email check-in obviously!) worked fine. I think the same happened two weeks ago when I found out she won’t be working in-person any time soon. So if there was a break the same might happen even if it’s the right thing to do… Until the pandemic I definitely found the time between sessions manageable at last, so I really believe you will get there too. It was really when I leaned into that longing to be with K all the time and stopped telling myself I shouldn’t feel that way that I opened up space for it to become less intense.

        Yeah, it is stressful for you with the weather. I’m not sure I’d cope well with that at all! I really hope Guy can work in-person again before the autumn and winter set in. NHS therapy is still expected to resume in-person in October I think so fingers crossed private Ts can and will then.

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    1. I agree. My sister is used to an environment where they need to get results quicker because our NHS is underfunded and under-resourced, and she does see very good progress with her complex trauma clients after a couple of years. And her concern comes from a place of wanting me to feel better rather than a judgmental place I think – I feel like I’m healing more thoroughly than if my therapy were free on the NHS, but I can see why she’s worried that I still sometimes self harm and feel suicidal after all this work.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Sorry for the delay – only just saw this as I was away from WP. I don’t know – it would depend upon the service and model used and I don’t think it’s set in stone anyway (unless it is EMDR which I think tends to be more time-limited, although can be extended). I don’t think they would give you a set period of time – if you’ve been referred for long-term psychotherapy they know that can’t be rushed. My sister definitely isn’t rushing people through as fast as possible – I know she cares deeply for her clients and they make excellent progress and it is long-term work for sure, just not the 7-10 years I know is thought to be needed for DID, but people are in a much, much better place after they’ve worked with her (for the most part, obviously there are exceptions to this everywhere). I hope your screening goes well xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Been thinking of you too and wondering how you are. No pressure to comment on my ever, but thank you for reading and being here xx

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      1. Hugs ❤ I'm doing ok – good and bad, all at once, but I am really grateful my T can still see me and other high risk clients in person (because things are controlled in my country, and she and I are low risk and self-isolate a lot more than others)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How touching that she sent you such a beautiful gift…I could not imagine having a definite timeline ending in therapy deep attachment wounds need a lot of consistent reliable ingoing mirroring it would be so hard to sink into it fully knowing time was limited.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, it’s something that comes up a lot in my therapy – the way the NHS (and my sister) work/s, compared with what K and I are doing – I think it’s a way of me checking there’s no time limit on what we’re doing, though I know K is always mindful of the ethics around people spending money they can’t afford on therapy, and I know my attachment stuff will make it hard to leave her even it’s time and I’m done! But I definitely couldn’t have felt safe enough to do this work if I was always counting down to the time I lost her!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m glad you have this too. And I will be forever grateful that K has always given me such a reduced fee to reflect the long-term nature of our work xx

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    1. It’s so nice she did it and that it’s a custom-made bunny! I feel like I actually had therapy yesterday for the first time in 3 months, so I’m hopeful this new arrangement is going to work. Have you seen T yet? I was thinking this morning I’d not heard how things are with you for a while xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahhh so thoughtful of her! 🥰 That’s good. I hope it works out too.
        Yeah I saw T yesterday. I have been conscious of writing about it because of what is going on for others. Will hopefully post about the session later. It wasn’t a perfect session so I hopefully won’t seem like I’m boasting. 😬 Thank you for thinking of me xx

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I would never think that about you but I can see why you’d be worried it might come across that way. I look forward to reading it later. I’m hoping I can settle into the work more now and then I won’t get triggered as different people go back to in-person, because I’ll feel safe in my relationship with K being worth the extra wait. Something like that anyway… xx

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