progress?

Last week was…well…I’m not sure how to put it accurately…hard…but maybe with a little of bit of progress mixed in. Well, I think that’s what happened, although I have a hard time determining if I’m making progress, not just in therapy, but in life in general.

So, I shared with T the letter I had written. I sent it to him late Monday. His version actually had more details than what I posted on my blog so I must admit that I had a bit of a freak-out once I sent it to him. The only thought going through my mind was to run away and hide in shame so on Tuesday morning I e-mailed to cancel my Wednesday session and while he said it was okay, I got the feeling he would have rather had me attend.

On Thursday, I messaged to make sure it was okay to still attend on Friday but he didn’t answer.

Now, for all the time I’ve been with T, you would think I would understand that there wasn’t really an issue and that it wouldn’t be a problem to attend, but that’s not what happened (it’s never what happens). I waited until almost 11pm and when he still hadn’t responded to my e-mail I sent him a text inquiring whether he was mad at me. He wrote back and told me he wasn’t but wanted to know why I would feel that way. So, I wrote him back and told him that he never answered me and after all this time, I still have a hard time knowing what that means. He didn’t answer until Friday morning with a ‘did I not answer something?’.

Cue the big sigh!

So, I wrote him back this, ‘sometimes when we don’t meet it feels like I need to make sure it’s okay to come the next time. So, I asked. But you didn’t answer. And I don’t know what that means–Is it not okay to come? Did you not get the message? Are you mad at me? It usually comes down to–I shouldn’t come because you didn’t say it was okay which feels like you are mad at me.

T wrote back (like 3 hours later), ‘it’s more than ok to attend today’s meeting. Perhaps we will be able to resolve the confusion we share’.

I didn’t feel confused, but obviously there was some confusion going on. :/

So, Friday afternoon I attended my session. We talked about the mix-up. He told me he found the e-mail and that he had just missed it and there was nothing else wrong. He also told me that it’s understandable that every time he doesn’t answer me I would automatically assume it was because there was something wrong with me or that I was bad and he was mad at me. There isn’t anything wrong with me and he’s never angry with me he said, but it’s just what happens because of my past.

Then we talked about some unimportant things which just felt like wasting time. Eventually he brought up the letter. He told me that he’d really like to talk about it sometime because he thought it was important. He wanted to know it it would be okay to talk about it at that time. I told him we could if he wanted to–like that was even a thought for consideration–and he whipped it out before I could change my mind.

Most of the time T will read what I wrote and then he’ll stop along the way and make comments. He tries to get me to read and sometimes I do, but sometimes I don’t really feel like I can. He thinks it’s better if I do it and this time he really wanted me to read, so I did. Well, most of it anyways. He stopped me where he thought it was important for him to clarify or answer any of my questions I had written to him.

I did really well I think, until I got the part where I told him that sometimes being abused wasn’t as bad as feeling unwanted because shitty and painful attention is better than no attention at all which led to the tears forming. By the time I got to the part where I talked about my Aunt moving away and how it felt like she was leaving me I couldn’t even read the words, so I put down the letter and told him I didn’t want to read anymore. He asked if he could keep reading and I nodded my head okay.

T says it’s important that I had to stop talking right when I got to the point of talking about being left and unwanted. That, he says, definitely means something.

Then we got to some of the parts that I sent to T, but didn’t post on my blog. One of the parts was where I told him this:

I don’t know how to tell you that I am afraid that you don’t believe me. I don’t know how to tell you that I feel as though I am too much for you. I don’t know how to tell you how important it is to me that we figure this out before it’s too late. I don’t know how to tell you that even when I tell you that I don’t need you, I really do. I don’t know how to tell you how much I need to know that you are still there and that you will always be there…well…until, whenever. 

T’s comment after reading this hit deep. He told me that of course he believes me. That he’s always believed me and that if anyone said that I was lying he would have to punch them–like, totally take them out. Part of me smiled because I don’t imagine T even having an angry side but part of me just felt safe and knew at that moment that T would do whatever he could to try to help me.

He also told me that he stays because he wants to. Because I help him make his life better. I help him learn and to do his job better. He stays because he says I’m worth staying for.

We talked about a lot of other things that were in the letter but I’m not ready to post about them all yet. Some of it because I’m still processing and some because I don’t remember, because once I had to stop reading I basically just sat there and cried like a big baby.

But, it feels like there was a lot of forward movement that came from the letter. Progress in some ways. And as long as T believes me then I think we’ll figure it out eventually.

7 thoughts on “progress?

  1. I’m glad you sent the letter, and I’m amazed that you were able to read any of it to him in session! I hate when Bea reads even a sentence or two of my writing out loud. It makes me feel sort of squirmy and icky and embarrassed. That’s a weird description, I guess, but it’s a hard feeling to describe. All of this feels like big progress; it’s huge that you were able to share this and talk about it.

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    • I’m with you on the squirmy and icky feelings. I’m totally brave via e-mail. But in person? Not so much. Thankfully T never, ever makes it weird!!

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      • It’s so much easier to write than speak. Recently I tried using a text to speech function to write the parent input for my daughter’s IEP, and I found even for something that is relatively easy, the words just come so much easier when I am writing them rather than speaking them. I think it has something to do with the way our brains have been wired due to trauma.

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