This is why we can’t have nice things

This situation is heart-breaking. I keep getting hit with waves of grief and loss this evening. How can K and I both be in the same place as we were in March and have to stop our work because we can’t see each other? How can everything be the same and yet so completely different? I feel like I’ve been fighting against this place I’m now in for months. I know it is right but it feels so wrong, maybe because it is only right because everything in the world is so wrong. I never would have chosen this or needed this.

K has been such a huge source of support for 5 years now. I can count on my fingers the number of weeks we haven’t worked in that time. She has been there, solid and predictable and safe, the same week in week out until finally I could see and feel who she was and that she was different from all the people who’ve hurt me. I’ve spent so much time freaking out that I would lose her and now I am and I know it’s meant to be temporary but it doesn’t feel that way. It really doesn’t.

I know I’ll survive this but I can’t believe I have to. And I don’t know how to trust that she will be there when I can go back. Will she want to see me? Will she remember me, the parts, our story? Will she remember us, who we’ve been together? Will it be the same? Will she think of me? Will what we had slip away? Has it already gone? Maybe I can trust she will be there but not that we, her and I, will be the same. How can it be, when so much time will have passed?

I feel like this is my fault, like if I’d been able to hold onto her and feel she was still there none of this would be happening. She is still here, she has been here all along, but I couldn’t reach her when she wasn’t close by. It was me it all slipped away from. Yesterday she said she feels she knows me just as well, that nothing has changed for her, that without the pandemic we’d have kept working because everything was working so well. Everything has changed for me. Nearly every single part had written in our parts’ journal during the break how much they hate remote work. It was fucking devastating returning from a break to K’s flat image on a screen. We tried so hard to make it work like this with lists of things to talk about and work on and ideas and suggestions, but without her close by it didn’t feel safe to share anything vulnerable – positive or negative. She said our journal was painful for her to read, that it was clearer than ever following the break that this isn’t working for any of us – my whole system is hating it and getting nothing from it. We hate knowing that she has tried so hard to keep the connection, that she was so committed to continuing our work during this time, and yet because we are broken we couldn’t feel it and now it has to be taken away.

I know I will miss her and think of her everyday, for as long as this takes. Everywhere I look in my home there are things that remind me of her, of how I felt when I was with her. None of us even knew what safe was until we felt it with K and now there is safety around us so much of the time because so many things implicitly remind us of her. There was and is so much still to do though, so much more of her we wanted to soak in. It feels so unfair that we had finally reached a place of stability and relative calm in our work and now it has to go on hold, for who knows how long.

I can’t believe that in 13 days we will say goodbye not knowing when we will speak again. I can’t hold on to the feeling that we will meet again, when the whole world is falling into ruins. What if there is no going back? I’m so scared that the other side we need to reach doesn’t exist and never will. What if everything has changed even more by the time she returns to in-person work? What if she never does? What if there isn’t a time we can meet because all her end of day sessions are taken and I can’t fit it in around work? Part of me wants to keep going just so I don’t lose my time. But I know I can’t do that. More than any of this I’m scared of pushing us to a place we can’t come back from, with my rage and resentment and disappointment and disconnect.

I’m so scared I’ve already broken us and we’ll never get back what we had. I can’t even take this pause feeling safe and connected like I would if we were in the same room, it feels like it’s already something I made up and now I have to head into this unknown place without her support. It’s just too hard.

Dissociated

I don’t want to be here. In part this is a wish that I didn’t exist, but it is also a wish to just not be here, at this point in my life, about to end with my therapist and with a life that I struggle so hard to live.

I went to bed last night feeling okay and have woken up feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. Yesterday was a really full on day at work and it was draining, but it was good – I felt motivated and reassured about the contribution I am making to the world and the things I believe in through my work. I managed to sleep on Tuesday and Wednesday nights so that helped a lot, and even though I felt tired still, I was beginning to feel more human. I slept last night too, but tumultuous dreams disturbed me and I got woken up by the four year old next door screaming at 6.30. And today I just feel heavy and overwhelmed by an unbearable sadness hiding under the surface that I cannot even reach so I am hugely dissociated and work is impossible. I am scared to let the sadness out because it is so big and it will engulf me. It is about K and not about her. As always. I get that. I get this is a pain bigger than her and I and from a time before we met, but it is also so much about losing her.  She is who she is to me because I didn’t have a mother who could see or love me for who I was, I know that, but she is still who she is to me.

I want to ask K for a phone call, either ten minutes instead of our Friday email (which is what we always used to do) or a paid half hour. We’ve not spoken on the phone since April, and I just really need to hear her voice today to ground me and steady me. I have typed the message asking for this on my phone, but I’ve not sent it. I am scared she will say no. Scared of what that will do to me. Maybe I need to get triggered though, to let some of these tears out. I don’t want to spend the day feeling like this but I don’t know how to pull myself out of it. I wish I could cry and return to the present but that feels too unsafe.

I don’t want to be this person, struggling so much with the end of the therapeutic relationship. I am though. I am struggling. It is always there these days, a heavy presence, an uneasy sense that however okay things are they are not really okay. Ahead of me is the biggest and saddest goodbye I’ve ever had to say. There is nothing about my relationship with K I wish was different or I will be better off without (well, apart from the paid element of course). When I’ve said goodbye to others I’ve been able to see that my life will be better without them, but with K it is not like that. And when a friend moves away there are other ways to stay in touch. With K there is none of that. On December 17th I will walk away and fall through time and space away from her, maybe for the rest of my life.

I am not ready to lose her. It hurts too much. I still need her and want her. I want her to take me with her but I don’t belong to her. The same words over and over because nothing about this changes.

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