Life in a Bind – BPD and me

Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and my therapy journey. Listed in Top Ten Resources for BPD in 2016 by goodtherapy.org. I write for welldoing.org under the name Clara Bridges.

All about Jane – Postscript

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All about Jane. That was what I had originally wanted to call my blog, as it seemed to sum up my life for the past year or so. Jane, my ex-therapist – despite an absence of many months, she still feels like the mainstay of my life. How can that be possible when all the time we had together was fifteen one-hour therapy sessions, spread over a few months? Yet I started to grieve her from the very first day, when she completed a sentence I was struggling with, with a word that perfectly captured what I was reaching for. I knew our therapy was time-limited, and I still remember the contradictory aftermath of that first session vividly. Self-harming to distract from and give expression to the pain I was feeling at the thought of losing her, eventually. And an intense, burning desire to fill up my whole body, every inch of it, with pain, at the frustration of not being able to feel enough.

I wanted my post on losing Jane to stand alone. I wanted the grief to stand alone. But I also had a nagging need to write a postscript. Because I feel such guilt and shame at writing and sharing how I feel about that loss. I feel guilty for my grief. I feel condemned.

Jane is still alive, and I barely knew her (though I felt she knew me intimately). I don’t feel entitled to my grief. I feel I have no right to that emotion. I feel that it must be a slight on the grief of those who have lost enduring and long-standing loves to death.

I have lost in that way, as well, but Jane’s is the only loss that I have allowed myself to feel since my aunt died when I was ten. In two years of therapy, I haven’t dared to broach the subject of death. It’s entirely possible that unfelt grief of losses since, have become transferred onto and wrapped up into, how I feel about Jane. It’s just a theory, because I haven’t dared to explore it. Or maybe it’s just an excuse, to alleviate the guilt, and to justify the pain. I do  wonder why I was so adamant that I would allow myself to feel Jane’s loss, and not close myself off from it. Perhaps there is a degree of emotional safety in grieving when you know that you do not necessarily have to accept finality as part of the loss.

Some time on, and the possibility of resuming therapy with Jane, privately rather than through a free service, is now available. The possibility, but not yet the reality, as there is no space for me, yet. My life has become a series of markers in the sand  – a list of ‘not yets’ and ‘contact me again’, in two months or three, or after Easter. Now it’s after Easter. Now I’m waiting for another reply. I’m waiting to lay down another marker, preparing to live a little longer without the air I feel I need to breathe. I’m waiting to put down anchor. I’m waiting to come home.

In the meantime, my grief feels stolen – stolen from those who have more right to feel this way. And so I had to write a postscript, to say sorry, in case I stole from you.

 

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8 thoughts on “All about Jane – Postscript

  1. Grief is what it is, I think, and anybody who feels robbed as a result of your “lesser” grief probably feels this as a result of their grief… a valid response, maybe, but certainly not justified.

    Incidentally, I don’t think your grief is lesser. But that’s not important – the important bit is where you can say to yourself, “my grief is not lesser.”

    When the secondary emotions are recognised, that’s when the core starts to feel its healing thing. Which, as you’re probably far too aware, isn’t particularly pretty either… but is far better than the alternative.

    Good luck x

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    • Thank you Katy 🙂 It’s comments like yours that help me to try and rationalise and win over my minimisation of my feelings, and try and accept that the way I feel, is the way I feel, and is valid, and should not be compared with the way someone else feels. Thank you for the ‘good luck’ 🙂 x

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  5. I may have just stumbled on the reason why I maintain detachment with my own Therapist – avoidance of being hurt!

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    • I can understand that – the pain is awful 😦 I am so often petrified of the idea that eventually I will ‘lose’ my therapist, either because I ‘recover’ sufficiently, or because she retires. And I know that it will be even more horrendously painful than losing Jane was, and the idea kills me. I regularly feel tied up in knots because I know my feelings will never be reciprocated in their intensity, and it will always be a very one-sided relationship. But I know that this is all part of the process, and I have to go through it to get to the other side. I find it absolutely impossible to conceive how I could ever get to the end of therapy and NOT be devastated by loss – but at the same time I know that when I get to ‘the end’ the idea is that by that stage, it won’t feel the same as it would feel to lose her now….fear of that loss definitely leads to quite a lot of push-pull on my part, which causes further pain….sorry, I don’t want to discourage you from this path, but just to let you know that if you start to feel this way at some point, you are not alone… x

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      • I think the reality is that we will eventually face that loss no matter how we approach it, but as you say, maybe by then we will be dealing with it a lot better 😉

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