Returning to therapy in the autumn (I hope)

I decided I need to go back to online therapy with K in the autumn, for all sorts of reasons and also only one; it would be beyond damaging for all different parts of me to not go back and to have left things hanging on a break as we did. It will be different and weird and perhaps unsatisfactory in some ways, but it will be K and me and we will find each other again. She holds my story, she knows me better than anyone else in the world, and she is probably the only person whose perspective on attachment trauma and narcissistic parenting and chronic pain and a million over things chimes so closely with my own. I feel as though she really understands my past and my present because she has lived my experiences with me, both in real time and also the past we shared with her and built a narrative around together. I find talking to anyone else, even R, grating at times and triggering at others, because I get so easily invalidated by people seeming to imply that ‘everyone is a mess’ and ‘everyone has trauma’ (even though this is not what R means to do at all). So I just want to sink back into the ease I had with K at the end, an ease that was bloody hard won after years of triggering and crises, and that I never got to reap the benefits of before the pandemic set in.

I am not sure how it will work on screen and with 50 minute sessions but I am committed to trying and to taking what I can from it while accepting what it is not (and also what I do not need therapy to be anymore). As my post on letting go explained, I am in the process of leaving the first phase of our work in the past and moving forward without her in the place beside me that she once had. I still want her in my life in some way again though, and I know that her input and guidance and support will be very valuable for me over the autumn and winter and maybe even beyond. I miss her and the perspective she brought to things. I miss her way of always putting my wellbeing centremost and her unwavering support and belief in me. I miss sharing progress and good news with her. It is not a crazy, intense missing, but when I think of her I think of how nice it will be too see her, even on a screen. And the thought of never seeing her again is really too much for young parts to cope with when things were left with such certainty and clarity that this was just a break, not an ending.

I am also painfully aware that if I really can’t manage therapy via a screen, and all kinds of dissociated hell breaks lose, that we will need to work towards an ending, which would be heartbreaking to do online I think, but also necessary if it just wasn’t working. I am hoping I’m in enough of a different place that it won’t come to this, but with parts and attachment trauma there is never any guarantee of this!

I just hope she doesn’t say no. I have decided to send the email below later this week and not go into any detail on why I think it will work online and what I need and so on. I just hope she trusts me still and knows I’ve not made this decision lightly. I hope she trusts that I am intending to re-enter online therapy and make it work, even if it is still painful at times. I can see she might be worried that it will be a mess again, so I guess I am prepared for her saying no. At least I will know then.

Dear K,

I hope you are well. I am emailing as discussed to confirm that I definitely wish to return to psychotherapy in the autumn. I would like to start back soon after 13th September. I understand you can’t hold a space open for me if one comes available before then but I still thought it would help for you to have a date in mind from my end.

I could write an essay about all the reasons why I want and need to do this but I am trusting that you know me well enough to understand that I’ve thought this through properly and that it is the right thing for me to do. If you want me to explain in more detail I’m happy to though, just let me know.

It is likely I will be working from home every Monday and most Tuesdays next term and so could do therapy one of those days (my SL was postponed until next January, so I will be working at home every day from mid-December as well). Wednesdays would be trickier but not completely out of the question. I know you don’t work Thursday and Fridays anymore.

I look forward to hearing from you with what you think is the best way forward.

With warm wishes,

CB

And then will come the painful time when I have to give up weekly hugs with R to see K on a screen, but I am trying not to let my mind go there yet…