I made it. I saw Therapist today. To say I was shitting it is putting it in the most polite terms possible. I fully expected to walk in, be read the riot act and kicked back out on my arse. Perhaps not surprisingly, that didn't happen. She was kind, understanding, empathetic and non-judgemental. In short, she did her job, and she did it well.
It was not an easy session, and I knew it wouldn't be. Boundaries had to be reset, which is a conversation that is guaranteed to reduce me to a dribbling heap at the best of times, never mind when I've spent the last 6 weeks thinking I've massively overstepped the line. Contact between sessions is strictly to do with arrangement of appointments. If I decide to cancel again, she will take me at my word regardless of whether or not she thinks it's the best thing to do, and I have to be prepared to accept that if I do cancel, chances are I'll lose my space, because I'm not her only client. We are not, and cannot, be friends (that's the one that hurts the most. That's the one that turns me into a four year old asking to play with the big kids and being told where to go). If I see her around town, we can say hello, but that's it. We will not have any conversation outside the therapy room. It sounds harsh when I lay it out like this, but I know this is how it has to be. Let me rephrase - I understand at a very basic level that this is how it has to be, but I cannot accept it emotionally. Not yet. When she says all of the above, I hear what she's saying, but I don't really hear it, not properly. I hear the words, but I internalise it in a completely different way. She's aware of this, we talked about it - I hear fuck off and cop onto yourself, I want nothing to do with you. I hear massive rejection, and feel intensely ashamed and pathetic for so desperately wanting something that I know I can never have. But, that's not what she's saying. She's happy to keep working with me, if she wasn't, she'd tell me. She didn't tell me she had no space to teach me a lesson, it was because she had no space. She knew how I'd react to that, she wanted to be able to prove it to me, but that's not allowed. Do I believe her? I'm trying, I really am. I suspect we will have to have this conversation multiple times before it even begins to sink in.
It's frustrating as hell. Every single thing about how I've behaved in relation to my mental health this last few weeks has been textbook. We knew this was coming. We knew for weeks before I cancelled that it was likely to happen. Yet even though I knew what it was, even though I knew how it would pan out, I had to go and do it anyway. I genuinely felt it was the right thing to do, that I was in control. I was so completely not in control, Bitchface was. It was the classic borderline all or nothing - I can't see her on my terms, so I won't see her at all. I was severely tempted to do the same with the drugs (I didn't). She knows 110% why I did it, and it was no great surprise to her. Chances are it will happen again the next time we're faced with a break. It's all part of borderline. It's part of testing boundaries, testing myself, wanting to see how far I can push before she cracks, or more likely, I do. It's self sabotage and it will only ever end badly.
We talked about the possibility that I may always need to take medication and attend therapy. I don't want this. I don't want any of it. I don't want to be so horribly predictable, in such a self destructive way. I don't want to want to hurt myself when I get overwhelmed. I don't want to have to persuade myself every single day to take drugs that I don't want to take. I don't want to feel like I can't trust my thought processes, that something I feel to be so right is in fact the exact opposite of what I should be doing. How can I ever learn to tell the difference? I don't want to obsess so completely about Therapist, to have this constant, ever present need for her. I don't want all of this to take up so much of my time and my headspace.
But, the alternative? Sticking my head in the sand and hoping it will go away? Non runner. Worse, incredibly damaging. I have a disorder, which despite my very best efforts to date, I can neither accept nor control sometimes. That's exhausting.
So where am I at this evening? Flat. So very flat. I'm also relieved and incredibly grateful that I still have a therapist, but I'm really struggling to cope with the well of emotion that today brought up. I'm struggling not to be overwhelmed by it all, by the relentless uphill march that is managing borderline. Mostly I'm struggling to believe that this is really me. And that's where the work is.
Labels: acceptance, attachment, bitchface, borderline personality disorder, disordered thinking, empathy, inner child, support, therapist, transference