There are certain aspects of what I've got that I really, really dislike, even more than I dislike the overall picture. The biggest, and most confusing? The very strange and one sided relationship I have with Therapist. I've talked about this before, here and with her, plenty of times and no doubt I will again. I know why I feel so reliant on her, why I'm sometimes overwhelmed by a need to contact her, or in some way (usually a sneaky look on facebook) check that she hasn't vanished off the face of the earth entirely. I know all of this. But I cannot stand it. I really mean that. It leaves me feeling needy, clingy, sometimes lost, sometimes angry, sometimes desperate and always massively guilty if I have a bit of a snoop, because I have no right to any contact with her outside of sessions. I also know why this is. For therapy to be effective, these boundaries have to be maintained. She has to be a blank slate to be able to facilitate whatever it is I bring, whatever I need her to be at any particular point in time - mother, father, sister, friend, husband. But sometimes that feels too hard.
There are times when I'd love to be able to just chat about what's going on for her. It feels wrong to take so much of someone, and give nothing back. There are times during the week between sessions when I desperately want to be able to just pick up the phone and say hello, and have her tell me that it's ok to feel how I'm feeling. I get it. I understand it, at least from a logical point of view. She's been a huge and phenomenally consistent source of empathy and support over the years, someone who has never judged me, and never will, no matter what I throw at her or how hard I push. She has always validated whatever is going on for me, something I'm only just starting to learn to do for myself through DBT. But it just doesn't make sense, not at an emotional level. I'm not sure I'm explaining this very well. The biggest problem I currently face in therapy is the two extreme opposing forces that are going on - I want to be well. I want to learn to manage whatever it is I've got as well as I can, and reduce the impact it has on my life as much as possible. But, when I reach that stage, I'll no longer need Therapist, and quite frankly even the thought of that makes me feel sick. I can't imagine a future where I don't have any contact with her. Maybe that's all part of what I've got, maybe it's a symptom, a sign that I'm not as well as I could be. Or, maybe it's self sabotage. If I keep holding back, maybe not try as hard as I could, then I'll keep needing support. How do I know which it is? Symptom or sabotage?
|I'm firmly stuck in the middle|
For now at least, I continue to need her support. We'll have a long break (by my standards) over the summer, which will be a big test of how I'm doing. I hope that I can surprise myself. I hope that by the end of that break, I can at least start to see that I can be ok for myself, by myself, and that maybe, at some point in the future, it will be ok for me to let go of her because I will be enough.
Labels: attachment, borderline personality disorder, DBT, empathy, support, therapist