Broken

The amount of support I’ve had from people I’ve met through WP in the past few weeks has been something else. Thank to you everyone who’s reached out or written such lovely, wise, thoughtful comments on my posts. It honestly means so much and really helps to be able to process and think this situation through, so I can work out is the right thing for me to do going forwards. I really, really appreciate this place.

I am also editing to add this in: I’ve not emailed K again and probably won’t, for reasons I will explain in another post, but in large part because I have a full on 3 weeks at work coming up and I can’t risk this dragging on and getting further destabilised again. I’ll see how things go…

K said what we have cannot be broken. No matter what. So many times she said we would be doing this work ‘no matter what’ and that when the world turned to shit because of climate and ecological breakdown (which, ultimately, is what has happened) she would be here because we would need her even more than ever. She said if we couldn’t get to each other we would meet halfway and I would come by bike and she would come by pony. She told me that the house she now lives in, that she moved to in September 2019, would be the house she died in. She never put an end date on our work, knowing how important it was for me to have someone who knows ‘all my stuff’ across the years. I thought our work would soften into something else and that one day we would go from meeting every week to meeting every other week and then once a month and then to not really ever at all, but that I could go back if needed.

She told us she was fostering us, giving us some of what our parents couldn’t. She poured so much of herself into all of us. She went above and beyond and helped me reclaim parts of myself that were buried and split off long ago. Scattered shards. She loved all those parts, I’m sure she did. But she has left them behind and I don’t know how to reach them now.

It is a year tomorrow since I last saw her in-person. I got home and late that night the news said people with asthma would soon be asked to stay home for at least 12 weeks. I lay awake all night having panic attacks, knowing in my heart it would be 3 months till we could see K again. We spoke by phone the next day and K told me how committed she was to our work, to me, to us, and making sure we could continue working during this time. We arranged to split my double session across Monday and Friday, move my Friday email to Wednesday, and have text contact on Tuesday and Thursday. She understood that we needed her all the time when everything hit and she did her absolute best to be there and support us. She never shamed us for how much we needed her. Not then or ever. She found out about a local crisis service. She sent photos and videos of lambs playing in the field behind her garden and the dogs and our Miffy in her garden. She posted us a homemade Easter card and a birthday present.

I don’t know when things changed.

I don’t know when she started to want me to take a break because it was too hard to hold my process remotely.

I don’t know when we broke and if we were broken before I knew that’s what had happened.

It feels broken now though, and that is probably the hardest part of all. Perhaps I could have got ready to leave her if we were still intact. But we are broken and I don’t know how to rebuild my life away from her without the foundations we spent 5 years laying.

I am shattered. Scattered. Fragmented. Disintegrated. Dissolved.

She was my internal sense of safety and now there is just an empty space.

At night my only comfort, the only way I can get into bed, is knowing that I can cut to soothe myself and bring sleep. It feels almost cosy to be able to do that and know I will fall asleep comforted by endorphin release and the stinging that distracts from the aching pain inside me. I feel so ashamed that this is how I’m looking after myself, but it is the only thing that helps me stay okay and functioning enough to work.

While I know I will rebuild myself, and probably in days rather than weeks now, I’m not sure what foundations to use because her emails have pulled the floor from under me and left me wondering what was ever real.

It doesn’t even feel sad that she is gone. It only feels unreal that she was ever here at all. I wonder if I made it up. I wonder if she was playing pretend. I look at all the things we made together and that she gave us all, scattered around my home, and I wonder why they are here. I don’t feel as though I ever knew her and she can’t have known me or she wouldn’t have done this. She would have broken the news gently and offered to speak with me to make a plan if she knew who I was. So we never knew each other really and that feels like the saddest thing of all.

17 thoughts on “Broken”

    1. I feel like a broken record over this. But I was doing so well with the break and perfectly prepared to extend it till autumn if she wasn’t retuning to face to face work this year, and she has just wrecked that.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I just went through and read your last 5-6 posts so I could be caught up. And just…wow. This reminds me of J’s impersonal text when she told me she wasn’t coming back, but even her words had more warmth than what K said. It just really breaks my heart for you that she could say those words knowing how much it would affect you. I hate when therapists do things for them and not for you. Not like having their own lives, that’s fine. It’s when they make a choice that suits their comfort over your attachment and basic care needs that bothers me. She could have easily, like you’ve said, spoken in a much more connecting tone that emphasized the importance of your relationship.

    I’m so so so sorry you’re going through this. Please don’t be afraid to reach out if you need anything.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It seems really clear that you know you best, so you will know if it is ever right to send that email before the autumn -eg. if not sending it becomes more turbulent than the moments after sending it may. I think there is so much that you and K have shared that matters, is real, is important; even in this turmoil it’s clear that there was so much good and heartfelt between you. It’s of course devastating that she wrote what she did and how she did, (so sad, so thoughtless) but i hope there is a way you can find a thread to the work you’ve done, and unravel and hold all the positives.
    Maybe there is a way back together yet, who knows? Hope you can find a safer space within whilst you’re holding onto all the confusion you’ve been left with. (please take good care of the wounds in the meantime) From all that you’ve written here, this post, and over the years, I don’t think it can have been “pretend”, I don’t think anyone can have done the work you’ve done together without being connected and feeling it, – even if it means different things to her. (Which makes her cold email all the more bizarre) Hold on in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really like this, about finding a thread to unravel to find my way back to the positives. Hopefully I will catch an end of it at some point and be able to follow it back to catch cold of how things were. It’s like I know it must have been real, but can’t feel it at all.

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    1. Thank you for your support. It does all feel very painful and hugely confusing. I think I will find a way through though and find some deeper healing from it x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have had to go back and read and catch up a bit, as I’ve been on WP so little recently. I am so sad and upset and angry on your behalf. I mean, yes, K is just a human being like the rest of us, and yes, the pandemic has been hellishly difficult. But I don’t see how that justifies the coldness after years of intentionally providing as much warmth and security as possible. It doesn’t seem professionally responsible.

    I am *so* sorry you are going through this. I am having a lot of attachment pain in my relationship with E, and it is simply terrible. It’s so all-consuming. It’s hard to set it aside to be present for any other part of daily life. It’s a combination of hope and despair in every moment, some parts hoping and yearning for a reconciliation, other parts enraged and wanting to lash out, and then some parts just melting into a puddle of grief and hopelessness. Could it be more confusing?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Q. Yeah, I really don’t understand how she could have been so cold and dismissive. It’s so hard after all those years, as you say, of her intentionally and carefully and consistently providing as much warmth, safety and connection as she could. It’s not like we had a once a week of therapy kind of a connection. I’m really sorry you have so much attachment pain with E. I know how all-consuming it can become. And it is so confusing! Overall with K I just feel confused and so it has taken away from me – on a cognitive level – the beauty of our connection, but I have to admit there have been huge parts of not being in weekly therapy I’ve enjoyed (though I definitely wouldn’t have chosen to do it as long as this or lose in-person work forever!). Sending love xx

      Liked by 1 person

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