I had class from 10-4 today. During my break, I checked my phone to see that I had a missed call and subsequent voicemail from the therapist. I panicked as a thousand things went through my mind:
Is she moving my sessions? Is she canceling my sessions? Is she moving or canceling one session? Will she reschedule it? Is she going to be out of the office unexpectedly? Is she going to be out of the office indefinitely?! Has she decided that she doesn’t want to do three sessions a week? Did she change her mind about everything and now she doesn’t want to see me at all? Is she sick? Is she dying? Did she already die and now someone is calling me from her phone to tell me that???
Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with me?! First of all, why did I assume death? And secondly, I hardly think someone would notify me that quickly if she did die. But I hope someone would notify me…Anyway. The point is, my brain immediately went to the worst-case scenarios. Before I could even finish unlocking my phone to LISTEN to the damn voicemail, I was assuming that she was calling to give me some terrible news.
She wasn’t. She just wanted to know if I could do an earlier session time tomorrow. But I can’t, so I called her back and I told her as much. I added that if the time we agreed on didn’t work, she could call again and we could try to figure something else out. But then I felt really stupid for saying that because it makes me seem so needy. We JUST changed sessions to three times a week. What would be the big deal if we only had two this week? That’s what the plan had been 24 hours ago anyway.
She called back (again, while I was in class) and said that she was able to figure something out so the time we’d originally agreed on would work after all. Well, okay. That’s good, right?
Sure. But I still feel like shit. And I’m still panicking. Because if it’s not this phone call then it will be another call or another voicemail or another conversation at another time. I know it. And I’m just waiting for it to all come crashing down. I’m waiting for her to realize that this is all so much more than she bargained for.
She said to me once that perhaps the issue is not that I am “too much”, but that the individuals helping me were not enough. She said that people tend to stop being “needy” when their needs are actually met. I suppose her argument is that if someone hears you screaming for help and then actually HELPS you, you can finally stop screaming for help.
But what is enough? How can I know what that is? And what if she’s wrong? What if there is not a finite amount of time or space or support that will be able to contain all of this chaos and intensity? What if I add this time and ask her to sit with all of this shit for an entire extra hour per week and it is still not enough?
What will I do then? Or perhaps more importantly: what will she do then?