It feels so unnecessary to be missing you when I saw you 5 days ago and it is only 9 days until I see you again, but I miss you in a way that I usually don’t because I’m scared that really you’ve gone away and won’t be back, that things will never be the same again. I am scared this change will take you away from me forever and you only tell me you are not going away because you don’t know you’ve already gone. Things change all the time and so often something is already lost before we are even aware that a shift has begun. Things that we thought were permanent show themselves to be as transient as the colours of autumn leaves, and temporary changes etch themselves into the fabric of our lives until they become simply the way things are, erasing all that came before. This is a change I cannot put into words because nothing tangible is different from how it was last week, but it feels as though everything is upside down and torn apart and that you will never again be there in the way you have been.
I love you for letting me know how you are so we don’t worry, for reassuring me you are still here and not going away, for fitting me back in for the session I had cancelled next week so I don’t have to manage three whole weeks without a hug when I thought it would be only two. And I am angry with you for catching Covid, for not being careful and getting too close, for being vulnerable to something I thought you were too tough to succumb to. I am angry with you for being sick and in pain and just not here. I need you to be steady and stable and always the same. I need you to be invincible, infallible, indestructible, unbreakable. You have shown yourself not to be these things and I am scared because I know that one day you will not be here and that when real sickness and destruction come knocking on your door you will batten down the hatches and take cover with only those you are supposed to love. At this time I will cease to exist for you and this knowledge breaks me.
I am scared I will get sick too and will have to inhabit a world stripped of your love and warmth for even longer because I am unable to hold onto you like I usually can. Your absence has been thick in the air around me the past few days. I cannot escape it. I am losing myself through the spell my mind has cast over us; obliviate. You will go away and forget you ever knew me and even though I will forget you too, the forgetting will hurt me because I will have another empty space where you used to be. When you go away you will not notice you’ve left me behind.
You reassured me again recently that I’ve got you for the duration, always, that you don’t want to ever go away. I don’t know what always means though or where it exists. You say there is no separation, no distance between us, because we are connected on a heart level, our roots intertwined, and time and space don’t exist in this place. But I feel this separation between us today and I don’t want to be connected to you only inside of myself, or in some ethereal realm I cannot see or touch. I want to know that you will always make time to sit next to me and listen to who I am. Always isn’t enough if I cannot ever be with you.
I am scared you won’t get better and that when you return to work you will need to keep me more tightly in my box so that I don’t overspill and drain all your energy through the effort it takes to contain me. K sometimes said we made her tired. My mum said I was going to kill her with my needs. I am scared I wore you out and made you ill too. I am scared you haven’t yet realised this is my fault but then when you do you will tell me I have to go away. Today I wanted to message and tell you I can’t see you anymore because it hurts too much being connected to you. I want to go away before you tell me you are leaving me behind, but I am not strong enough to cut myself away from you and so I sit and wait for you to break it to me that I was only ever living on borrowed time.
I don’t know what has changed but for me it feels like everything is different. You will think everything is the same and that you are just ill, that you’ll be back next week, and all will be well between us. For me it is a painful reminder of who I am to you though. And who I am is an irrelevance. I am nothing to you. Just a client, a patient, an outcast, an untouchable. An outsider who snuck in and claimed a place inside your heart but who you now need to evict so that your warmth can be poured only on those whose stone-cold existence won’t extinguish your light.
It is you who is in isolation and yet it is me who is all alone. Time stands still and the 9 days until I see you are endless. The hours are not passing slowly, they are not passing at all. It is always the present moment, past and future no longer exist. Stuck in a perpetual present I tell myself this is trauma taking away my ability to sense the passing of time, but my words provide little comfort and I am scared that I get so lost still and that being away from you when I wasn’t expecting to be is so agonising. It makes me scared for the future and leaves me wondering if I’ll ever be free of this attachment curse. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, the pain of being attached to someone who is not mine in the way my mother should have been circles above me, a constant, looming threat. Your words and your arms around me soothe the ache but they are never enough to break this curse. Attachment and pain are wired together at the centre of my being and I am unable to tolerate the human connection I need to untangle it all and start again.