Last week I posted the link to the ‘twitter story’ containing the daily tweets from the first half of my summer therapy break; I talked about why I started to tweet about the break, and how it had helped.
The (long!) summer therapy break is now over, and this is the link to the twitter story from the second half of that break:
In my most recent ‘Memory Monday’ post, I mentioned the fact that the final third of the therapy break was much more difficult than the first two-thirds. I think there are a number of reasons for that. The first is sheer duration – I managed to stay feeling connected to my therapist for almost the entirety of the initial four weeks, with hardly any internal conflict or negative thoughts about her. This was very different to how things had been in the past, and it was a long time to be able to maintain both a peaceful ‘internal world’ and this close alliance (even at a distance), with my therapist. I think the reasons for that ability are all encapsulated in the series of posts I wrote in July and August, on my ‘new experience of mother‘. Having succeeded to ‘hold on’ to my therapist and also to the sense of harmony between my ‘inner parts‘ for four weeks, there simply came a point where it was just ‘a bit too much’. It was too much of a strain, and the cracks started to show. And once they had appeared, it became difficult to contain their spread and to limit their effect.
A second factor that had an impact was that my therapist went abroad for the final third of the therapy break, to visit friends. Somehow I found that much harder to deal with; both because of the greater physical distance between us and the sense of ‘being left behind’, but also because the sense of exclusion I feel when I cannot be a part of her life, is heightened in some ways when it comes to friendships. As described in my post on ‘Being excluded from your therapist’s life‘, I think this is because were I anyone other than a therapy client, a friendship with her is something that would be an option (whereas I am not and could never be, a family member), and the ‘cruelty’ of that option being outside the boundary of what is permissible, is something I feel particularly keenly. Keenly enough, that it started to chip away at my sense of connection with my therapist, and to allow feelings of resentment (about a whole range of issues, including the break and the impossibility of friendship) to creep in.
Finally, a major trigger towards the very end of the break resulted in a big ‘regression’ to how I used to feel in almost all previous therapy breaks. I temporarily, but fairly comprehensively, lost the ability to retain a sense of being kept in mind, of being cared for, and of being connected to my therapist. In ‘A new experience of mother – Part 5‘, I spoke about the interplay between the relationship between the different parts of me, and the relationship between me and my therapist. Those two relationships affect each other, and the complete breakdown in my own sense of who I was (and accompanying feelings of dissociation/depersonalisation), also led to a sense that my therapist was ‘a stranger’, that I didn’t know who she was, and that I was cut off from her. When the heightened agitation of this state did eventually die down, the ‘self’ that was left in the driving seat was an angry, rebellious and destructive persona, rather than the new growing, nurturing persona, who had steered me through the first four weeks of the break.
As indicated at the end of the twitter story, my return to therapy was (predictably) tough – and a story for another day! But I’ve had two sessions since resuming, and the good news is that they were very different to each other and last night I felt more peaceful inside than I have done for many days. A great deal changed in the twenty four hours from the end of session one to the end of session two, and that in itself is indicative of progress, and of how things have developed in the last few months. As my therapist said in that second session, we are in a different place to where we were a few months ago; and when I look back, I can see that everything that’s happened over the last six and a bit weeks, is testament to that.
Thank you so much to everyone who supported me in a whole range of different ways during the therapy break – it was important to me, and comforting to know that you were following my journey 🙂