anger in absence

Yesterday was week 3 of no T. That’s 21 days and 6 missed sessions. For those of you who aren’t stuck in attachment/abandonment hell, it’s a fucking eternity.

It was 3 weeks ago today, right about this exact time, that I got a call from T telling me that he wasn’t well enough to be working. He did tell me he might come back before he had to go off again later in the summer for surgery, but I’m pretty sure that little fact bounced right off the armor that instantly shrouded my body.

In the first few days, I wanted to quit so badly that I decided I was not allowed to make any decisions for 2 weeks. There was a pain I was containing until it felt safe enough to let it out. That stupid voice in my head was constantly whispering ‘I told you, I TOLD YOU this was going to happen eventually‘. It felt like the bottom had fallen out of my fucking world. I cried, I isolated and I tried to put on a brave face. I didn’t reach out to T. I didn’t reach out to his colleague. I didn’t really talk about it with anyone. Instead, I opened a new journal and started writing.

Something felt so sickeningly familiar with his unexpected departure. I remember at one point thinking that whenever our needs collided T’s would always come first. That this was it, all it would ever be. I was, and would always be, less important to him than he was to me. It would always be that way. Forever and ever.

I hated it. I hated every minute of it. Him being away was uncomfortable, painful really. Some days it felt almost impossible to contain what was happening. I didn’t want to be going through this. I didn’t want to feel like this needy, pathetic person who felt like they needed another person to survive.

I felt angry. I felt completely devastated.

I wrote furiously. I raged–about how much I fucking hated T, how I never wanted to see him again, how unfair it was that he was gone and how I would never, ever get to the point where I would feel left by someone again.

12 days into his absence, T called. I didn’t answer. It took me hours to finally listen to his voicemail–he asked how I was and told me he was feeling better and that he would like to meet again (if I felt up to it). He said he would still have to go away again in a little while, but we would have until that time to talk if I wanted. He asked me to call him back. I hate the phone, so I waited another day.

It felt like I should have been happy that T wanted to meet again, but I wasn’t. Part of of me wanted to tell him ‘no thanks‘ because it felt like a giant shitty situation with too many unknowns. Part of me wanted to see him again just so I could tell him to fuck off. I decided to give it a bit of space before answering. Before deciding, really. I thought of calling back countless times, but I didn’t know what to say. Instead, I sat in a strange in between place of trying to figure out what I needed and how I was going to get it. I decided I would text, so 14 days into his absence, I sent my first communication to him since he’d been gone–‘maybe I will call later, okay?‘ T responded–‘that’s great. Can I suggest calling on Monday (day 19), as that would work better for me?

5 more days?? I didn’t even know how to answer his text without sounding like a petulant child. So, I didn’t. I had to let it sit there without a response–there but not there, you know. Many times, I thought I should have just left it. I should have just said nothing, not responded to him and left it. I felt angry again.

I wanted to jump out of my skin.

There was an empty space left by T’s absence. It felt like he didn’t even care. He must have known how hard it was, so why did it feel like he was playing stupid games with me. Was he coming back or wasn’t he? I felt like I didn’t know anything.

I tried to tell myself that I didn’t care either and that I didn’t need T anymore. I wanted to believe that he wasn’t important enough to care about. He doesn’t need me and I don’t need him. I’d almost convinced myself that I could live with the emptiness again. I’d done it before and I would be able to survive it again. If there is one thing I knew how to do, it’s survive.

I hated him.

I missed him.

I never wanted to see him again.

The underlying need to self-destruct felt closer than it had in a very long time. There were moments when I would have rather dragged a razor across my skin, then reach out to tell anyone how horrible it felt. I thought it would be so much easier to not be here at all. I wanted to disappear. I wanted to become small and quiet. Survival was overriding everything. I only needed to survive by diminishing and containing so that we could avoid detection. So that we could avoid conflict. At all cost, we had to avoid conflict.

Day 19. I didn’t call.

Day 20. Nothing.

Day 21. I sent T one of my usual texts ‘Dr. T?‘ He wrote back ‘how are you?‘ I answered ‘I’m fine‘ followed by ‘are you really coming back?‘ He told me he’d like to talk about everything in person and that he planned to be in the office next Wednesday if I was interested (Day 28). ‘sure, whatever. what’s another week anyways?‘ was my smart-ass, immature reply. T didn’t answer so I got angry and fired off a text that was not one of my finest. I told him that I fucking hated him, that there was a lot of shit going on inside, that it was going to take for-fucking-ever for me to be okay with the fact that he left the way that he did and that maybe he should reconsider whether or not he was really feeling up for meeting with me again. I was showing him my defiance and I was convinced he would finally fight back.

His response? ‘we could meet Wednesday at 4‘. I felt pissed by the calmness and directness of it all. Part of me wanted him to get mad right back at me and for him to say ‘well, fuck you too‘.

But he didn’t.

I’ve realized I still have such a very hard time understanding how T is the way that he is sometimes. He isn’t going to retaliate. He was the way he’s always been. Understanding. Accepting. Knowing.

6 more days.

I can last 6 more days, right??

10 thoughts on “anger in absence

  1. I’m glad that T has been in touch. I also think that directing the anger towards T instead of inwards is progress. It’s totally the right place for all of that anger. You have had the rug pulled out from under you and the bit of stability you do have has been disturbed. I understand the need for a reaction and for T to argue back. You’re probably expecting to have your anger minimised and to be shamed.
    You have coped well with something you shouldn’t have to. I hope that the meeting/session goes okay. Let us know how it goes. xx

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    • Thanks lovely. While I’ve always felt angry when T was away, we’ve never really touched on it in detail and I’ve never, ever told him I hated him. This last time has just been a bit too much for me because it struck a nerve really deep inside.
      I’ll definitely keep you posted on how Wednesday goes.
      Hope all is going okay with you….xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Kerry, I know just what you’er going through — my T had an accident and ended up being suddenly gone for 3 months (it didn’t seem like it would be that long, but then it was) and I felt all the same things — angry, left behind, afraid, wanting her to fight back, prove that she cared. it’s so, so hard. I echo the comment above about the anger towards T as a good thing — at least its not turned inward.. you *can* last 6 more days.. and I hope you’ll let him explain the whole situation when you see him. hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks SG. The anger actually feels very foreign to me and really scary. I’ve never been that person who outwardly expresses my anger–especially not at T–so it’s brand new and I’m not quite sure what to do with it at the moment.
      You’re right though, 6 days really isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things. I’m sure I’ll make it.
      Hope things are well with you….xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You have opened up and trusted…then abandoned, at least the child feels that way, or the soul hurt so early on. The beauty is that he doesn’t need you, so that you can unload the past to work towards the future. Everything is working how it should work.
    The beauty is, that you pay him for what you need, and when you don’t need him, you dump him. That power lies with you, which also allows you to learn to open up and trust. You know somewhere inside this isn’t something he has control over, but the raging doesn’t. Coddle her, love her, let her know you won’t abandon her. Others always will for one reason or another, often without it having anything to do with you.
    You don’t appreciate now, but I see you you strong, honest as with the above post, and going on independently with such strength. You have it in you though it may not feel like it.
    You have needs as human do, but that doesn’t make you pathetic. He gets the wounded child lashing out. That too is progress in my book. You are doing great. You are a special person.

    Liked by 1 person

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