I’m too upset to be thoughtful or analytical or eloquent – I just need to write out what happened today.
It was my first session back after the whole overdose-rejection by hospital crisis-Skype failure-maternity leave misunderstanding debacle, and I was feeling more unsettled and uncomfortable than usual; when she came out to get me I was even stammering, which I rarely do.
There was this distance and disconnection right from the start. We were both being super cheerful and ‘friendly’ on the surface but there was an undercurrent of restrained tension that kept on building.
She started talking about strategies again and how I’ve been resistant so she’s been hesitant to suggest any, and I agreed. I am resistant. I have lists of skills coming out my ass, I have DBT group, and Nikki telling me to go for a walk or take a cold shower doesn’t add any benefit for me; it just upsets me that she’s trying to superficially problem-solve something that’s so much more complicated. Which prompted:
“What’s the point in coming here, then, if you can do it all yourself?”
“How was I supposed to know that?” [that I swim regularly]
“I’m not saying you should stop coming; if you want to keep coming it’s completely up to you.”
“If we can get to the stage where I can say to you ‘Rea, you’re being a dick, and if I was your mate I’d be really pissed off with you right now’, and if you can trust me enough that you can not think that that’s the end of the world, and I can trust you to not go away and think that it’s the end of the world – are you not getting it? Do you not get what I’m talking about? I think it’s an important piece of the picture.”
That’s going to be playing on repeat in my head for a long time.
The hurt and rejection boiled over at the end of the session, when she asked what had prompted the crisis two weeks ago, and I said I didn’t know; that it feels like it just happens.
“I wonder if that’s an important thing to know, because you seem to get it in your head that around anniversaries things get bad, and I wonder whether it actually is the anniversary or whether it’s just getting it stuck in your head. And so does that not give you some evidence that it’s not necessarily about anniversaries, it’s just about getting stuff stuck in your head, so actually taking the potency away from anniversaries?”
I lost all control at that point; I took a couple of gasps of air, tears came to my eyes and I tucked my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them, without any conscious intent to move.
“That’s the most stupid fucking thing. What the fuck.”
The confusion and betrayal are so intense; every time, for every anniversary, I’ve told her that I know it’s all in my head, that it’s so frustrating to feel compelled to harm myself when I know it’s completely arbitrary and meaningless. Where was she? If I could just change my thinking about it then I would; if I could just stop having obsessive-compulsive thoughts then I would. What the fuck.
It got her back up.
“I’m not saying I’m going to come up with pearls of wisdom all the time!”
I made her leave the room. I couldn’t sit there with her.
When she came back in, she asked “You okay?”, in a flat, almost irritated voice, and I blocked her out, calling for Leia so that I could put her in the bag and leave. Nikki wasn’t safe, at all.
She knelt down so that she was at my eye level, and asked again, calmer this time: “You okay?”
I didn’t respond.
“I’ve just had a thought; you said you didn’t want to come on Tuesdays [today] while you were on the DBT group, but I haven’t deleted them from the calendar.”
“That’s probably because I didn’t say that.”
Back before I started DBT, Nikki said that maybe two sessions a week would be too much while I was also doing group once a week, and I told her I’d have to wait and see how it went; I felt pressured to drop back to one and like I was being too needy if I said I wanted to keep two, so I equivocated. She apparently took that as a solid decision.
She’s so misattuned. The last time I did DBT I had much, much more intensive support (two psychologists and a kinesiologist) but Anna still built in extra support when I started DBT because it was so triggering for me. And Nikki just doesn’t hear me at all.