So I’ve had a few hours to sit with the concept of De leaving the agency. I had cried about it (yup, actual tears spilling down my face. Not just tearing up, but real crying complete with gross boogers). I was somewhat able to “talk” to L about it. I have thought about it, and processed it, and moved past the anger (it was fleeting). I’m in a weird flat place right now. If I think too hard or too long about it, I will cry again (have I mentioned I hate crying?). So I’m concentrating on little things. I’m concentrating on typing my words correctly (I’m sure there will be many mistakes, and I suck at proof-reading, always have). I’m concentrating on keeping the dogs from going nuts because they are tired and want to get to bed. I am taking breaks to take them outside one by one so I can finally put the boys to sleep. I was concentrating on listening to my mom as she talked about how we may go about fixing the fridge. I’m concentrating on the decision-making process of whether or not to start into Game of Thrones again tonight, or go with something easier, like Orange is the New Black, or Grey’s Anatomy or Dexter. I’m concentrating on wanting to find a way to express myself either through art or writing, but certainly no more crying.
I’ve been able to formulate and articulate to L that this overwhelming loss I feel at the termination with De is really the compilation of losses that I have yet to deal with. It goes back decades. It’s disproportionate to the relationship because it is so much more than just this one relationship. It’s the loss of friends and family and memories and innocence. It’s the loss of supports and home-bases. It’s the loss of a sense of security. And it’s the premature loss of someone I had expected to lose, but managed to trust anyway. I am not good with loss. I never have been. Sure I can smile through changes, but the tears always glisten in my eyes. This time they broke free. I don’t know if was because of how worn-down I feel lately, the creeping depression, or the fact that De was the first (only) person to hear some really heavy stuff. I was prepared to walk away from this relationship at the time of my move. I was expecting it to help keep me balanced as my stress rose. Just last week I had asked her for more support. This week it’s all going away much faster than I had thought. It’s pointless to try to find another therapist for those last 6 weeks, so I guess I will have to just figure it out on my own (though I am toying with the idea of trying to get a referral to someone for those 6 weeks)… I know it will be ok, because it always is in the end, but right now it feels really shitty.
When she first told me, I couldn’t exactly speak. I was too busy trying to hold back the tears and the sobbing because I knew it was disproportionate to the situation. My tears didn’t listen to my insistence. They spilled down my cheeks anyway. When she asked me to articulate what was going through my head at the moment, all I could muster was a half-whispered “whatever” through clenched teeth. I was afraid that if I opened my mouth more than that to speak, I would either sob uncontrollably and loudly, or I would speak out of my fear-driven (and old) anger. She challenged my “whatever” by saying that she knew this was hard for me, and she knew it wasn’t “whatever”. All I could do was shake my head as more tears streamed down my face. I couldn’t look at her, so I looked everywhere else in the office and just repeated “whatever” one more time. We sat in silence for a bit longer as I looked everywhere but where she was sitting. More rogue tears. She asked if I could tell her what I was thinking, if self-harm urges came up. I realised then that my head was frantically backpedaling in an attempt to halt all thought (much like pedaling backward on a BMX bike to brake). There was a forced-stillness in my head. Conscious thoughts had stopped. All efforts were being diverted to stave off any melt-down beyond what had happened. It struck me as odd that there were no self-harm thoughts or suicidal thoughts. There just were no thoughts. She eased into a verbal safety contract, and was able to joke around it, which helped pull me back into the room and back to functioning. When I stumbled over concepts as I tried to agree to what she was asking, she helped out by saying “Whatever you need to agree to to get back here in one piece next week is what we are going to agree to”. In the past, she had always wanted specifics, but I don’t think I could have given those to her in the moment. I think I recognized a bit of freedom in that change (and I think I just now recognized how the weight was off her this session. It was familiar in that I had felt it after I had given notice at the group home, but still had to deal with the kids for 2 more weeks. I no longer cared about the strict rules of etiquette because I was leaving soon. I was able to be more genuine, and the girls had picked up on it with me. I think that’s what I felt from De today. It was a freedom from the pressure to be “perfect” in the role… It’s funny how some guidelines are in place to help us do our jobs better, but in the end we are burdened with the pressure to stay within the boundaries – we lose our genuineness…) but I digress. We chatted about other things for the remainder of the session. She had asked something about letting “us” know if I ever figured out a way to apply my knowledge-base in psych to myself. I think she was going to go somewhere else with that, but she stopped herself. I talked about my complete inability to have access to both my emotional and intellectual sides at the same moment. We talked about this blog, and how it had been born of the idea of being able to look at all of it over time (the more professional side of me when I am in a more emotional space, and the more emotional side of me when I am locked in professional mode). I told her about an early entry on the concept of “attention-seeking” and how it is not always as sinister-ly manipulative as the field makes it out to be… I kept a close eye on the clock because I had brought my Wreck This Journal with me to show her. With about 5 minutes left, I changed the topic to that. She always seems genuinely interested in what I bring in, but this time there was something else again. I showed her the piece with the prompt to “make a paper chain“. She seemed excited about it. It was weird because the excitement was different… I’m not sure how to describe it. She said something along the lines of wishing she could show it to other people because it conveyed so much more than just words could. The way she said it made me feel like she was trying to make a point to someone. I had wanted to tell her she could (I may have imagined it, but it looked like she was ready to get up and walk out of her office with the book. She scootched forward in her chair as she had said that about showing it to others), but I was caught off guard. The words “you could” spun around in circles in my brain, but never made it to my tongue… We moved on to scheduling after she looked a bit more at my book. She pondered the best way to fit in the second appointment. I put my vote in for Tuesday & Friday citing my “OCD-ish tendencies” for wanting to space out the days a bit more. She actually laughed and said she prefered that for the same reason (more genuine-ness). So I will be seeing her twice a week for the next few weeks until she leaves. We will be figuring out the content of our sessions as we go. She checked-in about the possibility of doing more Duckboy work on Tuesday, and would I be ok if she sprung it on me that day. I told her I was open to whatever, but that I needed her to lead if it was the Duckboy stuff because I feel totally lost on what to do with it. I think she was still deciding on how to approach Tuesday. There are a lot of days between now and Tuesday, so my opinion may change, but for now I’m ok with pushing the assault topics. I guess it depends on how far I get with this internal processing of her leaving instead of me leaving. I may decide by Tuesday tha I really need to talk to her about some of this stuff and whatever else it will bring up.