With or without you

I’ve made a decision over what to do at the end of the month. The limbo is difficult and I’ll be glad when the decision is reached and communicated and agreed upon between the two of us. I am going to email in a couple of weeks and ask for a sense of K’s thoughts around returning to in-person work and whether she’s waiting till after she’s had both vaccine doses or will be opening up to some clients after the first one has taken effect. I’m going to assume she is planning to return to in-person work once she’s vaccinated and leave it to her to tell me if she is planning to keep working remotely until distancing is no longer needed or we know if people can still get serious illness from the SA variant or some other known uncertainty. I will also ask if she’s planning to offer outdoor work once the weather is better, or whether she’d consider that for me as we’ve worked outdoors before. I expect her answer to that will be no, for various reasons I’ve written about before, but who knows? I’ve learnt that anything is possible and nothing can be counted on this year!

Once I have some more information from her I will make a decision, but I expect I’ll be extending the break until at least the end of May (when she’ll be protected after vaccine dose 1) or September (if she’s waiting till she’s had the second or to see what happens longer term around serious illness and transmission and the vaccines). I suspect she will say it is still too early for her to know how much longer remote work will be for, or that she thinks it might be next year. In which case I will ask to extend the break either until autumn or until she starts in-person work if it ends up being sooner. I *think* I want to return to therapy, even if it is online, in autumn. Summer does not feel like the right time to re-commence therapy unless it is in-person. By July I also will have paid back the huge debt I’ve owed my dad for a long time, and so I’d be able to “see” K without completely giving up in-person work with R. I don’t really want to do next winter without her and regular therapy. And a break of more than a year feels way too long.

It feels really tough to think about extending the break beyond 6 months but I also know it is the right thing to do. This year has gone so slowly so far it is unreal – I cannot believe it is only 12th February – but the first 4 or 5 months of the break went fast and 6 months away from K doesn’t actually feel that long, and so extending for another 6 months if needed feels okay. Sometimes. We will soon have longer and lighter days and life will be fuller again and I hope that means time generally will not drag so much.

Spending time with R has really confirmed, once again, that I cannot go back to remote therapy, particularly not over the summer. The summer is my time for expansion and integration and growth and remote therapy cannot support that. I cannot get what I need without being in the same room as someone. And I can’t give up weekly cuddles with R to see K on a screen. Reconnecting with R has also renewed my faith that K and I’s relationship will endure, however long this time apart ends up being. I didn’t see him for 18 months, had no contact at all for almost a year, and yet he was there and we were there, solid as ever. Stronger even. More open and loving with each other. K and I have something rare and sacred and it will be there even if the break ends up being many, many more months. I am sure of that. We have spent so much time together and she knows me better than anyone apart from myself. If R hadn’t forgotten me and my journey, there is no way she will have done either.

I do miss her. A lot. The missing has really set in this past few weeks. R holds me and cuddles me and it heals at the same time as it sets off an ache for K that nothing can settle. I hope that in getting some clarity from her and agreeing to extend the break for another set amount of time my system will settle again, as it did for the first months of the break. I hope it will enable me to lean into the work I am doing with R and the love and safety and stability he gives me. I hope it will allow me to uncurl into the sun and longer days and light that is approaching and feel less like I am in some strange limbo land. Half alive.

And I hope we find her on the other side of this. I hope I am right that our bond is unbreakable. I hope she feels it too. I hope she notices my absence sometimes and wonders how I am doing. I hope she is looking forward to connecting again. I cannot wait to share my growth with her, but I think it is going to be a while till I can do that, especially as sharing ‘good’ things last year via video call was so deeply triggering and shame-provoking. I hope we will be back in the room this summer, I really do, but I am prepared that this won’t be the case and I will be okay once I know what is happening over the coming months.

10 thoughts on “With or without you”

  1. I really really hope that you can get back to K and face to face soon. You’ve really done brilliantly over this break. I hope if you can’t get back soon that you at least can get a more concrete idea of what the time frames might be. Thinking of you xx

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    1. Thanks lovely. I’ve been thinking of you too. I think I’ll feel better once I have another set amount of time without her – everything has been quite activated lately in the build up to emailing her and I’ve been nostalgic and maudlin and reading old journals and listening back to our sessions 🙈😢 such a strange time! Xx

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  2. Oh CB, I am totally standing with you in this one, hoping so strongly that you get to be with K in person before the summer. You’d really hope with the R rate being back to where it was last July, and with being vaccinated, there’d be more confidence to meet face to face. You have been amazing over all of this and I’m really glad you were able to pick up where you left off-and even better- with R. But I know it’s K you’re really after and so I’m really hoping with you on that one.

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    1. Thanks so much LS. It does feel like I’ve been so patient and made the best of it by using it as a growth opportunity, but I’m so ready to be back in therapy with her now! To be honest if I get to see her in-person THIS YEAR I’ll be happy as there have been times when the news has made that seem impossible based on her circumstances. I’ll be glad when I know more about how much longer it might be!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I saw today’s news they’re talking about, with all the vaccine and drew treatments, us living with covid like we live with flu, and accept a certain amount of deaths with flu. They ‘just’ have to decide what the lucky number with be! They should change peoples view on coming out of lockdown, you’d hope? Trying to cling onto any hope here..:

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      2. It’s hard to know isn’t it. The news is an emotional rollercoaster this past year!! I think if there was a lateral flow test that was over 90% accurate that would really help too, because then my GP could give me a load and I could test every week before I saw her. I think that might come and be possible, one day… I’m just prepared for the uncertainty to last a little longer and I think it will be nice to know when it’s another 3/6 months without her so I can settle again. What a mad year!

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  3. This sounds really great, CB. I know the absence is hard, and that writing the email/sending/waiting around is going to activate the attachment system. But you’ve opened the potential for enacting a deep, long relationship with K that is so rife with the possibility of a long, sustained connection..and one that works on your terms as well as hers. That’s so huge! I read this as being really responsive to what you both need, rather than you reacting to what she is able to provide. I hope the ask goes really well! ❤

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    1. Thanks SG, this is really helpful and insightful! I think you’re right. It’s like the attachment is still hugely important to me, but not the most important thing as it was for so many years – my own needs are the most important thing now and I will put those first. I was journalling earlier and I realised I expect to have a relationship wit K for a really long time to come because who she’s been to us and the work we’ve done is as formational to who we are now and who we will become as my parents have been. And so if I can hold that and try and trust that we will find each other again on the other side of the pandemic then it makes it easier to put what I need centre-stage. Man, I’m so nervous about sending the email and getting hugely triggered by her response though!! xx

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You are just so brave. I really admire you for knowing what will and won’t help you and sticking to that boundary even when it feels painful. I hope that K will return to face to face soon so you can see her, but I think that after everything you guys have been through together, she’s not really going anywhere. She will be there when you see her again, and she will still know you on that deep level.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Alice. I really hope you’re right – it’s very hard to hang on to what we had and trust that she’s not going to say we need to end because she can’t say when she’ll go back to in-person. I do trust we’ll find each other again in the room, but I’m scared we’ll never get there to find out 😦

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