After my session with Anna this morning, I sat in the garage at work and cried for 10 minutes, until I pulled myself together enough to go in and go to my meeting.
So far, my plans have been to quit therapy, quit my job, move out of the city, go on disability, cut off contact with everyone I know and find somewhere quiet and dark where I can just curl up with my cat and sleep forever. I’m not sure which part was triggered today but I suspect it wasn’t the Healthy Adult.
I’d thought that today we would talk about my trip home to see my cousin and her kids. It’s been two weeks and I haven’t spoken to anyone about it yet – after our last very connected session when I cried over the inner conflict and grief I’m feeling about my relationship with my cousin, I wanted to save it to share with her.
But she had her own agenda: to tell me how this isn’t working.
“We’re not shifting anything. Nothing’s changing. The things I’m suggesting don’t seem to be the right way to do it for you. I can’t even go near working with your activation because it’s too much, it’s too big. Everything’s really big.”
Anna knows that I’ve been self-harming because Jen sent an email to all of my team with the (very vulnerable) text message I sent her that night asking if she could call me (which she didn’t do, and yesterday told me is no longer okay), and telling them that I’d come to see her at the clinic last week. I feel so humiliated and exposed.
I want to curl into myself and withdraw from everyone; Anna, Aisha, Jen, my GP – all of them. I feel unfixable. I can’t manage my emotions. They’re too big for me. And they’re too big for Anna too. Why am I putting myself through the pain and the constant triggers of therapy when she doesn’t know how to help me?
“What do you want out of me? Because I’m at a bit of a loss about how to support you. Have a think about it and let me know.”
It was hard to stop myself crying when she said this the first time, and the second time, and the third. She could tell I was upset, but misinterpreted the reason, and told me it isn’t because she doesn’t want to help. I wasn’t feeling rejected or abandoned, though – just very, very alone. Things are hard right now. I’m struggling to get up, to get myself to work, to push through the fog and the heaviness enough to get through the day. This feels like too much. I don’t know how she can support me. I don’t know how to fix this.
It still would have been hard, but I think it might have been okay if she’d tried to help me with it. If she’d said “Okay, these are the things we’ve tried so far – let’s talk about each of them and why they were unhelpful and see if we can figure out something different“. Or if she’d said “Here are some other things we could try; what do you think about this one?”. But I feel like all I got was “Go away and work this out by yourself“.
I know that a lot of this pain belongs to the fifteen year old alone in her bedroom trying to decide what to do about the blood coming out of her eyes, and the sixteen year old with third-degree burns who took herself to appointments with a surgeon to decide whether or not to have the operation they recommended, who had a mother who cared but wasn’t capable of offering support. She’s tired and sad, and she can’t carry any more burdens by herself.
But I don’t know who to give the burden to. I can’t carry it either.