Not an ending

Wow. The past 24 hours have been a rollercoaster. K replied this morning to my email from yesterday asking if this was now an ending even though in August we’d said it definitely wasn’t the end, just a break. I’d said in it I had thought of returning to weekly online therapy in the autumn if she wasn’t back to in-person by then, and that I thought this would be helpful for various reasons which I’m too exhausted to write about now. I was so scared she was going to come back with a firm refusal to ever work remotely with me again and would say it was time for me to move on. She didn’t.

She thinks my idea of possibly returning to online work in the autumn is a good one and she says to keep her updated on my thoughts over the coming months. (By then I will actually be debt-free at last, and I’ll be able to see her weekly for an hour (bloody fifty minute hour ffs!) as well as see R fortnightly in-person, if that is what I choose, so it feels less of an investment and means therapy could be something I can just add in to my support network rather than it consuming me emotionally and financially as it once did). I don’t know what I will do in September or how my life will be by then, but at least it is my decision now – she has handed me the power back and I know she will agree to work with me online again in the autumn based on what I’ve told her about the work I’d like (need!) to do, and why I can see it working remotely at that time of year.

This whole thing still feels pretty dire, and there is still so much loss to process because so much of the work that we did over the first 5 years is over – those close, intimate, connected years of gentle work with young parts where she held me so close and so tightly and was so invested in our work is over. That time of films and stories and making things together and spending time outside, alongside all the horrible trauma work of course, is over and I need to process that loss, that grief, that end that came last March without either of us knowing it was the end of so much that we had shared.

I think also that my suspicions all along have been right. I knew really looking at the news last week she wouldn’t be going back to in-person once she’s vaccinated. It’s not game over then. Far from it. I know she is not saying she’ll never return to in-person work, she is just saying that right now she cannot foresee a time when she will do face-to-face again, but I have to be okay with remote work indefinitely if I choose to go back. So that is the decision I have to make. But not now. For now I just need to breathe and remember who I am without her.

There is so much to say, so much pain and loss and grief to metabolise. I will write but for now I want to just settle. I am seeing R tomorrow and he will hold me and I will cry again, more tears for K. More tears for the loss of someone who has been and always will be such a huge part of me, but who was never really mine to lose.

21 thoughts on “Not an ending”

  1. Oh CB, she WAS yours to lose because she is your therapist and you loved her.
    I am so sorry this has taken the turn it has, I respect your amazing intuition for seeing this coming, even though you hoped against hope that it might not. I hoped with you, and I still do, I know not everyone thinks life with everyone be normal again but I think it will, once Covid is no longer the threat it used to be. It will just take time for people to rebuild their confidence and therapists have taken a pandemic hit just as much as anyone else, though absolutely not devalidating anything you are experiencing. It’s awful. I’m glad you’ve got R on your journey too, and I know whatever you decide, will be the right choice for you. So far you’ve been absolutely spot on. But I’m sorry for your pain of the loss like that. Even when you see a thing coming, the hit still hurts. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks LS. I really did know it was coming. I also think this is easier in lots of ways – no waiting, wondering about vaccines and variants again, over the coming months. I can breathe and let things unfold and see where I am in the summer holidays. When I first heard about masks being needed again in winter I just knew she’d be waiting until at least next year and her practice is so small now – her life really isn’t about work anymore, not like it used to be. I do think things will change again but I also knew that for her it will be a long time and it is good to be clear on that and know that when I return I have to fully embrace what therapy with her can give me online (holding around my Dad and Nina’s adolescence is what I am most in need of and I think she is in agreement we can do this online) or not do it at all. I fully intend to return to remote work with her in September and at least I won’t be wondering about in-person starting up again in the meantime as it’s a fucking rollercoaster. And I know what I need might change again, but I feel kind of settled, or able to settle once the triggering has settled. Thanks for joining me on the wild ride this past year has been! So much loss and grief still to process, I can feel it because I guess now is the start of accepting we won’t ever return to how things were in our work pre-pandemic 😦

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I wonder if you will have a strong sense of direction once September sessions begin. Either it will be a huge relief or it won’t be enough, but it sounds like you’ve made so much progress that it might be just about enough for your current needs, I really hope it’s more than you dared expect. And grieving the loss of face to face, even if there’s a vague hope that one day it could change, is massive. I’m really sorry for the pain you must be feeling over this.

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      2. I think you’re right – if I go back in September I will know fairly soon if it’s just not enough or if it is going to be helpful. If it’s the former then I guess we take our time and come to a proper ending. Things feel clearer now than they have for a long time and that is a relief. The pain is immense and at times when it really hits me doesn’t feel survivable, but I think I can do a lot of grieving for the loss of my time with her (in a physical sense, in terms of loss of face-to-face, but also the loss of the time when we were so close and she was very much my system’s whole world) and so that might make going back to online therapy bearable and not tainted by such huge grief and rage as to be unworkable. I have come so far and I don’t need therapy in the way I used to, but honestly knowing we may never be in the same room again, or not for a really, really long time is heart-breaking, especially when we had got to such a good place after all the years of struggle together 😦

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Everything you say here is articulated with such clarity and balance. I have such respect and admiration for your ability to speak this way over it all 🤗
        Your courage and strength really shows.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This last line just feels so sad. I think she was yours to lose— you guys had a very deep relationship for many, many years. When relationships like that change drastically (and so suddenly) it’s a huge loss. Bea told me once that therapists feel the loss of clients too (although maybe not as intensely as we do) because it is a real relationship. That loss, that change has to be grieved and processed. I’ve been seeing Bea online this whole time, but there has still been some big feelings and grief over it not being the same and missing her. I think it’s natural to feel tremendous grief right now and I hope that R can provide some holding and comfort around that. I’m hopeful for you that K wrote back and this is not the end. The work might change, and how the work is done might be different, and there is grief in that but also growth, I think. Maybe it is like when our kids start to grow up. I see it in Kat, she wants to do so many things for herself now, and spends more time talking to friends in her room instead of asking me for help and advice. She likes to be in her room more often, doing her own thing. But I see her struggling to sort out these feelings of growing up, and there’s times it seems she is really sad that things aren’t how they were between us when she was littler. The cool thing is though, we get a chance to relate to each other in new ways. It’s different between us as Kat grows but we are both still here and our bond is still there. I don’t know if that makes sense— it does in my head but these sorts of feelings/thoughts/ideas don’t always translate well to paper. Be kind to yourself right now and know it’s okay to grieve. Hugs. 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do completely understand what you are saying about Kat. I think the same with Nina. It’s beautiful to watch them grow but there is loss every day too, as they keep more and more to themselves and struggle with things that they don’t feel able to share or articulate.

      I think you are right about there being growth in this grief. I know I’ve grown so much this past year. It is just so painful still how suddenly it all ended – I left there on 16th March and neither of us had any idea our work would never be like that again. It was ending, that part of our work, and neither of us had any idea. I think it’s this that breaks my heart the most. Thank you so much for your care and support, it honestly means so much xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry for your pain, it’s horrible. I wish things could be different, and I’m always fearing every week that my T is going to say she’s moving on for some reason, and I’ve only known her 8 weeks! I can only imagine how bad it feels for you, having known yours for so long. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kindness. It is a special kind of agony for sure. I know all too well that feeling of dread that they will go away. It took a long time for that constant fear to subside for me, but it did and I was able to take in all I got for a while, instead of always worrying it would get taken away. That was transformational for me and despite this pain it was worth going through xx

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  4. I was heartbroken for you when I read your last post, but this one fills me with hope – I’m so glad K got back to you and put you in the drivers seat so that you have time to decide how you want to move forward.
    I feel she is absolutely yours to lose, the grief is very valid and very real because your relationship with her was so deep.
    I fear losing our psychiatrist so much because she knows me, she knows Us, better than anyone in the real world ever has. Many ((Hugs)) to you xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, it has helped so much how many people have said that she WAS ours to lose 💔 and yes, it’s such a deep knowing isn’t it? I know no one will ever know me as intimately as K does and it so hard to acclimatise to the loss of that in my daily life. Whatever shape things take from September it will never be how it was 😢

      Liked by 2 people

  5. FUCK, CB, just OMG FUCK. I saw your post yesterday and so wanted to reach out but also wanted to give you space. What a fucking rollercoaster of emotions this has been — the arousal of things that had lain dormant as you’ve crafted the email in your head and in draft, the build up around sending it, the crush of the reply, the evening out of a plan going forward. It’s so much! There is a cycle here that feels so familiar. I wish it had all been easier — and made a bit easier on and for you — but I think this is a great outcome: a chance to figure out where K fits as you grow into your life beyond trauma therapy. She has a place, that is confirmed now — you knew, you doubted it, there was confusion but now it’s real. She is absolutely yours to lose — and to one day, if it feels right, to part from. But still: the grief of having to process the end of the way you did things, the big place she’s had, the shift to something more sustainable in the ‘what’s next’ when the deep work has come to an end. It’s a lot. But also: there is time for it all. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OMFG SG I KNOW!!! WTF HAS THIS WEEK BEEN?? I agree with everything you’ve written. It is a better outcome than I could have expected in many ways, but still such an enormous loss that I literally can’t breathe through the waves sometimes. R is being amazing and validating and letting me talk about her endlessly, which is so helpful when so few people truly understand, or even seek to understand, the emotional intimacy we shared and depths we travelled to together. It’s like losing a part of myself. As you say, there is time to process this loss and then gather together the threads of our work and weave them into something coherent before deciding if I can manage the ‘what’s next’ she can offer. And if I can’t, if I decide my depth process isn’t done, then we can have a proper ending at least before I find someone else.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve not many words at the moment, but wanted to let you know I’m here and reading along and sending warm thoughts and hugs (if wanted) your way x

    Liked by 2 people

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