I have been absent. I am going through incredibly hard therapy stuff and life is also kicking me. There is good stuff but as ever the more difficult stuff is the stuff that feels more potent…emotionally and intellectually challenging course, not having any money, having to work on top of a full time degree to afford things like electricity and rent rather than haircuts and new glasses, not really having a social life because I have no energy for interaction other than with those closest to me thanks to all the above demands, moving house AGAIN because I was semi-forced to… It is not all woe is me by any means, there is a lot of joy and love in my life but it is very, very hard. And running along side that, interwoven with all of it, is therapy. Therapy is one long mindfuck, an excruciating but occasionally beautiful journey into the depths of abandonment, loss, anger and sadness. If you’re in ‘proper’ therapy, you’ll get it. Like, psychodynamic attachment stuff with transference and all the other bollocks. Not to demean people who don’t have attachment and trauma issues but christ, is it bad. Attachment is the foundation for EVERYTHING. For life. And I am knocking down terrible foundations and laying new ones and believe me, that ain’t no picnic. It is the hardest thing I have ever, ever done and it just keeps on getting harder.
I have been through several breakthroughs recently, each one more painful than the last. It feels like it cannot get anymore painful..and then it does. It is truly unbelievable in those times, it literally takes my breath away with the force of all this unprocessed, raw pain. I am getting some of my needs met but I am not getting others met and putting me in touch with any of them is difficult, but when you are faced with ones that nobody can ever meet, the ones that probably only you yourself can get closest to…it is unimaginable loss. It feels unimaginable because of the pain of it but it is not unimaginable, of course. It happened. It exists, it is just cut off, split off because it was so traumatic that I couldn’t bear it. And that is why it feels unbearable now, and why sometimes I really cannot bear it now, because I couldn’t bear it then.
And yet…I can feel integration happening. Very, very slowly; cautiously, tiptoeing around. Like it might not be real. Because how do you know if it is real, if you’ve never been integrated? If all you have been is slightly bodged together parts, some of which you can’t even recognise because they are so small and so hidden?
Tonight I had the weirdest experience. It comes off the back of some very, very intense work with my therapist which follows a rupture in therapy that was so painful that I ended up dissociating so badly in the room that I thought she was going to squash me with her foot, because I was so small and insignificant (I literally felt that, for people who haven’t ever experienced it and think I might be exaggerating. That’s trauma for you). It has been bad for a long time, if I think about it, really since the summer break last year when I felt so abandoned. And it hasn’t been the same since. But most of it happened around January and it was BAD. It has just started getting on track, sort of. Again, small, slow steps, backwards and forwards and sideways; oh, so much sideways. :) I really didn’t feel heard or acknowledged with something and I had to try and make her hear it. And I wanted something from her. What happened was that she did mostly hear me and I did feel pretty much, mostly validated and accepted and heard. But I didn’t get the something. And that brought about one of the strangest experiences of my life.
I felt so safe but also angry. I felt pissed off that she still hadn’t heard me but then confused because she had. Then there was the gratitude, which felt immense; that after months of not being heard, she managed to hear enough for it to make a difference. And it all came back to confusion. It was like a very fast game of ping pong, going from anxiety at not being heard to feeling like I had so then feeling angry because I didn’t get what I asked for followed by that gratitude, so big that I felt tearful and like I was swelling up with love. Love. I have never used that word in regards to her before, really, because I never felt it. I wanted it from her, but I didn’t feel it towards her. I really never understood why I would (don’t get me wrong, I had all the intense feelings and whatnot but not LOVE). Now I do. I feel like…just like, I love her. As a person, as a human being. (Vomworthy but true – and if you get the quote, you are awesome.)
But anyway, as usual it is taking me approximately for fucking ever to get to the actual point. So what I am feeling now, what I have been through tonight, is literally the five stages of grief. In one night. I have gone through some of the most intense loss and I have had a massive breakthrough in connecting her behaviour to my mum’s and how that is repeating a behaviour, how even if she can validate me MOSTLY she is still not seeing this other part of me, and because it is the bit that is the most painful, the bit that needs to be seen the most, I fucking hate her for it, for repeating the cycle, for making it happen again. She is validating its existence but she can’t SEE it, she doesn’t get it. But for some reason I feel ok with it. (Now. I have obviously spent hours raging, because you can’t do the whole cycle without a mega fuckton of anger). I am still angry with her, actually. I really am. I am angry that she can’t see it, but you know what? She can’t. She just can’t, for whatever reason. And I still love her. And I don’t know why. And instead of ping pong, it is just a ball, lying there. Maybe not completely enmeshed, the anger and the hate and the love and the gratitude, they are still very distinct, but instead of I HATE YOU! I LOVE YOU! AAAAAAAAAARGH! It is just more like, christ alive, I fucking love you and hate you all at once and you are infurating but awesome and you’re just so human. You are just a person sitting in a chair, like I am.
And there is no way that this is IT, that I am done with therapy, because I feel like there is so much more to work through and with stuff like this, you can be fine and then have something else hit you, like yesterday when I just felt confused and then ok and then today all the rage got me. I couldn’t get to the depression, though, without the denial and the bargaining and the rage, and that’s why she is so infuriating. Because her failure is helping me heal. Fucking therapy. And it’s still not ok, don’t get me wrong. It’s not ok at all. Just because I am feeling sort of ok with it doesn’t make it all fine and dandy. It is shit. It is unequivocally shit. But it will always be shit. It will always be shit because it was shit and nothing can change it. And that’s where the acceptance comes in. She can’t make it better. She can’t make it go away. And it is painful but to sound like a really annoying cliche, it is what it is. That is how it is, and how it will always be. I am never going to get what I needed, and that’s SHIT. How can it not be? But it can be bearable. I can make it bearable. I can bear it. (FYI, I have NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER TO INFINITY AND BEYOND thought that before. This is a new thing, this is the breakthrough. And I am sure at some point tomorrow I will go dude, WTF, only she can save you, but for now this is it.)
I know that I am slowly healing because I had a moment of stillness a few weeks ago, and a very small moment of knowing what it would feel like not to need her anymore (when she “becomes defunct”, in her words). And I have that again tonight. I feel calm and still. I don’t feel happy, or sad. But I’m not cut off either. I can’t explain it but it has only happened to me twice, I think, possibly three times. So tiny, tiny steps. But this feels forward, and it is terrifying. Because it is into something unknown, and ultimately, away from her. And that’s how I know I’m not ready yet, because that still feels BAD and WRONG and like I want to run back to her and say, “Please, don’t leave me!” That’s what happens, though, with children. No wonder it feels strange. I am growing up as a child inside an adult, and all the rules are weird.
This song mirrors that somewhat. It came on the radio this morning and I started bopping along to it, because it is a boppy song. I was also completely enraptured with it, it’s one of those songs that is so beautiful but not in a sad way. It is soothing but also has a great beat and this lovely melody that runs right through it, repeating over and over. It reminds me of therapy and of her, and how sometimes it really does feel like you’re dissolving. And the fricking cover of the album!
Feeling flooded with emotions, slowly, penetrating through the cracks, reaching far away bits that were long forgotten. Nourishment. It also reminds me of anastomosis, which again reminded me of therapy, of the process. I thought of it as emotional anastomosis (anastomosis being the reconnection of two previously diverted structures). There are more than two structures, but in some ways there aren’t. There is adult and child, and although ‘child’ is split into lots of different types, it is about bringing them together. It made a lot of sense to me, anyway.
She makes the sound, the sound the sea makes, to calm me down. Beautiful.