It finally happened. I got to the end of the break with Therapist, and yes, before I go any further, I kept the appointment. But my god was that hard to do. I found the break so incredibly challenging, but the longer it went on, the better I was able to put her into a box, and get some level of relief from the almost constant desperate need to speak to her. I had almost managed to convince myself that if I decided not to go today, there would be no repercussions. Ha! Wishful thinking in the extreme. I know exactly what would have happened - I'd have either texted to cancel (and been disappointed when she didn't try to persuade me otherwise) or else decided to just not show up and wait for her to contact me to find out where I was. Neither would have been a clever move, and both would have ended with me kicking myself for not going.
But as it happened, Hubby very effectively ruled out both of those options. Back when things were really bad, I've been known to make irrational, short sighted decisions that couldn't possibly end well - I repeatedly decided to stop meds cold turkey, and also repeatedly decided therapy was a waste of my time. It always ended in a crisis. Cold turkey is hellish, and not seeing Therapist invariably ended in a tailspin of epic proportions. So, after my stint in hospital last year, a few decisions were made. The biggest one? If I'm about to make a completely ridiculous decision in relation to my mental health, I've agreed that he can overrule it.
I don't like this, not one little bit. But the problem is, every single time I made one of those rash decisions in the past, it didn't affect just me. It impacted on him, on the kids, on work, on my mental well being - in short, everything, and if it's within my power, I can't let that happen again. So when I tentatively suggested that I might not attend today's session, he let me know that wasn't an option, and of course, he was right.
So, I went. And, just as I (and Therapist) had anticipated, it was excruciating. I don't think I looked at her for more than five minutes in total out of the entire session. I felt so intensely ashamed - of the repeated facebook fails, of freaking out over a mutual acquaintance, of needing her so much - that I literally could barely speak to her. It was all but impossible to articulate all of the above, never mind going into the sense of abandonment and rejection that inevitably accompanies a break. Bpd is such an unbelievable bitch!!! In the end, she had to make a guess as to what was going on, with a caveat - if she guessed wrong, but it was something I felt more comfortable talking about and would therefore ignore all of the above, I had to be honest and tell her she was wrong. Needless to say, she hit the nail on the head first time. I hate being so predictable. She goes to great lengths to try to help me understand that it's not me, it's what I've got. And I do understand it, on one level. I just cannot feel it. She keeps telling me understanding comes first, feelings are slower. I wish to christ they would hurry up because I could literally barely breathe today I felt to uncomfortable. I want to believe that she doesn't judge me. I know she doesn't. I just don't know it.
Anyway, that was that. We touched again on the fact that the work we're doing now is about process, rather than issues, ie, how I perceive the world, how I respond to it, how I read people, how I react in myself. Apparently the better I get, the more challenging this work will be, because I'm ready to look at it now. I guess we're getting to the crux of what my bpd is all about. Progress I think, but a slightly scary prospect.
Labels: abandonment, attachment, borderline personality disorder, boundaries, rejection, shame, therapist, understanding