My TalkSpace therapist has suggested, in other words, that I may be too attached to my main therapist. He is on vacation this month and I have been distraught at not seeing him. Literally, in tears, a mess, depressed, unwilling to get out of bed on the weekends. In my defiance and I suppose as a way of punishing myself for feeling this way, I say, “fine. If I cannot see him then I won’t live. I won’t get out of bed. I won’t do anything until I get to see him again.” Who does this hurt? Not my therapist. It hurts me. But that’s just what I’m used to doing: hurting myself and punishing myself.
Why would I feel the need to punish myself just because I cannot see my therapist? Maybe it’s the defiance. That if he won’t let me see him then I won’t do anything. I don’t know if this makes sense to another rational being but it makes sense to me. Perhaps I feel like I am already being punished by not getting to see him, so that I need to continue that punishment further.
By the way, he did reach out to me, after five emails, two text messages and three voicemail messages later, on Monday during business hours, and I am seeing him this week. So, I do feel relieved. He is on vacation but in town and I desperately feel the need to see him. I know I have a very strong attachment to him, and also that I depend on him to be there for me every week so that no matter what emotional turmoil the week may bring, I always have him as my balance and equilibrium. He is my zen. He is my safest of safe places and I can cry and smile and do whatever I need to do in order to be fully me. He accepts all of me, non-judgmentally. There is no other person like him in this world. No other person has the sort of connection with me as he does. No one can replace him.
I know it will feel nice to see him. It’s two days away but that couldn’t be soon enough. I know I should probably apologize for all of the messages I left him to schedule this meeting but somehow I just know he is okay with it. He can handle it. He can handle anything when it comes to me. And yes, I do believe that I am special, when it comes to him. I am special to him and he is special to me and we have a very special relationship. The relationship is complex and I have gone in and out of various levels of dependency on him. I have been angry, upset, sad, mourning, in grief, happy, okay, content, suicidal and everything in between. My therapist has seen it all, has dealt with it all, has helped me through it all. For eight years. How could I not be attached to him? I won’t always be so needy, but I realize at the moment, it’s just where I’m at. I need him and that’s it.
Other people, to soothe me, have said, “you don’t need him.” “You are strong enough on your own.” “You can manage.” But the thing is I don’t feel as if I can manage without him and feelings are like facts sometimes. Feelings are very real and they are not unimportant. They carry great weight in the decisions that I make. I make most decisions based on feelings rather than facts. If I feel good about something, then I can do it. If I don’t feel good, then I know it’s not a good idea. My therapist always validates my feelings.
I used to be so hurt from the pain of my former abuse that all I could manage to say in a session is “I hurt” over and over again. I couldn’t put any other words to it. And my therapist, he would just sit there with me and listen, and make eye contact, and just never go away. He has always been there for me. Other times when I wasn’t able to utter a single word, I would motion for a pen and paper and I would write “I hurt” on the paper. Other times I needed to do sand tray therapy, creating a scene of the bad wolf eating the helpless baby chickens, to express my feelings because I was mute, unable to talk. It’s just that, he has always been there for me. I cannot imagine a time in my life without him. I cannot imagine ever parting from him, although I know there will be a time that I won’t need him so much. I don’t know. I just know that I need him now.
Have I made my point? Did I feel the need to justify my thoughts and actions? I suppose I did. I don’t like being told that I’m wrong, and if someone suggests for me to do something differently, like attach myself to someone in my personal life rather than to my therapist, I feel as if they are telling me that I am bad, that I am doing something bad and wrong, and that feels awful. I need to take things at my own pace and not be led to think that I am bad, because that is where my mind goes a lot of the time. I am not bad. I am just a swan with a broken wing, and that wing is mending, and before long, I will be able to take flight with the rest of the flock.