It Went Well (Oh My God, It Went Well!)

When Nikki’s voice gets gentle, it’s like being in a warm, dark cocoon. I could curl up and stay there forever.

I’m glad I asked for a phone call. It was awkward, and we talked over each other, and I got choked up and could barely speak, and Everest was in the background wailing for food, but I feel warmer towards her, now. Still distant, still uncomfortable, but warmer.

I asked whether it would be helpful to send her some of the stuff I’ve written, and she was enthusiastic (“That would be great!“) but when I asked for reassurance (“….Are you sure?“) she really showed up.

Oh, completely! Completely. That’s not a problem at all. That’s fantastic! I’d welcome any of that.

And she explained that she’s feeling a lot of pressure to get to know me quickly so she can start to help. I felt defensive, and a little ashamed, because pressure means demands and demands mean you think you’re worth demanding something, and I wanted to deny it, to say “That’s not me, I never rush into relationships with new people, never,” but the truth is I do want to skip all of this introductory stuff. I want a relationship like I had with Aisha and with Jen, and I don’t want to wait. I want someone I can confide in, somebody who can comfort me, and I want it now.

(Ew, ew, why does it feel so wrong and so weird to be putting pressure on our relationship? It just feels so completely opposite to who I am, but I don’t even really understand what it all means.)

I’m understanding more, now, that the thing I’m struggling with most is unpredictability. Sometimes Nikki is gentle, and caring, and sometimes she’s brisk, almost harsh, and I never know which she’s going to be.

So I was brave, and I wrote to her about the things she said that hurt, and ended in me walking out of session, and I sent her my list of coping strategies and my old crisis plan with Anna, and some blog posts. A lot of blog posts, actually. The long one I wrote about my relationship with Anna, and the list of things I want out of therapy (oh, god), and the one about the needs met by self harm (oh, fuck), and other ones about Aisha and oh, man, maybe this was a bad idea.

I tried not to censor anything, but I marked the things I’m not ready to talk about yet. The stuff about my issues with my body was marked ** Very, very off limits.  Guarded by a moat with dragons and crocodiles and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and also the moat is on fire. But maybe it’s worse, knowing that she knows and it just being an elephant in the room.

That was on Wednesday. It’s Sunday now, and she hasn’t replied. And I feel okay about it, but I feel terrified about my session on Tuesday.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Psychiatrist #10. She has fifteen pages of negative reviews online, and I’m nervous, but only a little. I almost want her to be bad, I think, so that I don’t have to decide between her and Nikki.

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It Went Well (Oh My God, It Went Well!)

14 thoughts on “It Went Well (Oh My God, It Went Well!)

  1. Ohh the gentle part – when A and I had our first rupture and I had basically vomited anger at her via email and we had a phone call while she was on vacation – I remember that feeling, just of being held by her gentle voice. Cocooned by it.

    I think sending her posts will help her understand you for sure. Starting over is tough. I hope you get what you need from psychiatrist #10 even if that’s for her to be awful 😉

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  2. The thing here that stood out the most for me is that you experience Nikki as inconsistent: sometimes gentle and sometimes less so. It would be really really scary, but I wonder if someday you could ask her for her perspective on that, and what might be going on her end?

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    1. It’s a hugely important realization for me – thank you so much for seeing it too. I actually came to it backwards, by realising that absolute consistency was what made me feel safe with the two past therapists that I still miss. Once I knew that, I could see it’s missing with Nikki. I really want to talk to her about it, but I’m ashamed of basically telling her that I like it when she’s nice to me and I wish she was nice to me all the time. I know she’s just going to tell me she has to push me sometimes. But it’s an important conversation to have and I hope I can, someday. Thanks, BP.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay! Go you on so many levels. So happy you are allowing yourself to want that relationship. It is icky but you do deserve and need it. When that gets hard to remember, think of your cute nephews and nieces cause they need you to be getting help.

    You are so amazing to send her stuff. Who are you? Oh I know. You are Rea and Rea is freaking awesomesauce! and I mean it

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  4. Rea, I have just spent the entire evening reading your whole blog, I love your writing style and you are amazing, you cope with so much.
    It is so very hard to be open with and trust people, especially after being spectacularly let down by so many “professionals”.
    I think sending your blog posts over is a good idea, it will allow her to get to know you more and realise how things are for you.

    Please keep up the blog 🙂 xx

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    1. I can’t believe it’s taken me three days to respond to this, but I was honestly just so surprised and honoured I didn’t know what to say. Thank you so much.

      Can I call you Eve (from ‘forever’)? Or is there another nickname you like? I am hoping we’re going to stay in touch, so it would be nice to have a name for you 🙂

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  5. Argh, I commented on this two days ago, and my comment didn’t show up! Sometimes that happens when I enter comments from my phone.
    Anyways, I can’t remember what I said now. But I know I said something brilliant (kidding).
    The inconsistency also stuck out to me, as well as the feeling like you are putting pressure on the relationship – mm, makes sense you would want to jump in. You’ve waited a long time for another support (after the others ended), and had the handful of disappointing psychiatrist appointments. And all of the pain surrounding breaking your wrist didn’t just go away when you broke your wrist, you know? All that hurt is still there, wanting some care and attention.

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    1. I was in the elevator on the way to therapy, feeling petrified, and I read your comment. And it reminded me of the line from The Grinch where he says “Solve world poverty….tell no-one!” and it just started cracking me up out of nowhere. So thank you for that stress relief!

      We slowed way down last session, just sat and talked about very light things. And I was feeling upset that it was a waste of time, but actually it was really important in helping me feel more comfortable with her, and more okay to be ‘difficult’ now that she’s also seen some of the more likeable side of me. That hurt does want some attention, it really really does, but no matter what Nikki offers it can’t be soothed yet because the relationship isn’t there enough yet. So I need to keep trying to have patience, for now.

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      1. You just made me laugh with the grinch line! 🙂 That is a smart tactic. We can’t “force” ourselves to be comforted or safe. And the safety part, that I think is needed in order to feel truly comforted, does take time. I hope that even the light(er) feeling session brought a little bit of comfort in having another person there with you.

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  6. Rea, I’m sorry I’m so late to this but I am so happy for you!! That Nikki was so receptive to the blog posts. That’s wonderful. 🙂 of course you don’t want to be 100% open with her yet… That will take time… But it sounds like you have made some progress, and I am so happy for you. Hugs!! xxx

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