Therapy has been a strange experience recently.
A good kind of strange, I think, but still unsettling. This feeling mostly revolves around the burgeoning attachment I seem to have for the therapist…my therapist.
It has been a very slow burn for us. After all that happened with a previous therapist, I was beyond hesitant to build a new therapeutic relationship. I went into this one guarded, scared, and pessimistic as hell. I held my hopes at a fairly low level to (try to) decrease the repercussions from the abandonment/betrayal that I saw as inevitable.
But relationships are always shifting. And slowly, over a period of just over nine months, we have gotten to know each other. We’ve had our fair share of rupture and repair and, from those experiences, we have gained a certain amount of trust in each other. She has repeatedly proven herself committed, interested, and (most importantly) capable. I often find myself annoyed by her ability to meet my needs, either before I even know what they are, or directly after I express them.
I don’t know why that annoys me. Probably because it is so utterly unfamiliar. And, as a human being, I fear the unknown.
We had an incredibly powerful and productive three hours last week. As I previously mentioned, I’ve been working through a memory that I knew was somehow linked to River and my eating disorder. It started out as random pieces that seemed unrelated. But the more we talked about the pieces, the more they began to connect. I was able to match sensory memory with emotional memory and form a complete “visceral” memory. It is remarkably short and extremely painful, but I know it’s important. I haven’t quite figured out how yet. And neither of us have been able to connect it too strongly with the eating behaviors, but I think we’re getting there.
After the third session of working through this particular topic (among other things – always trying to create balance after all) I told her that I felt afraid and hesitant about moving forward in treatment. I explained that something about the recent shift in our relationship (likely brought on by our intense work around the nightmare) is causing me to feel both threatened BY the relationship and as though the relationship itself is threatened or in some type of jeopardy.
She told me that my feelings made a lot of sense and reiterated that any movement towards intimacy, regardless of the nature of the relationship, is bound to trigger immense fear and provoke a sense of danger.
To be honest, I feel a little frustrated with myself about this.
Someone recently commented on my post by writing, “I love your therapist!” I know they were likely expressing approval and excitement for how she’s been responding to me and I appreciated the sentiment. Beyond that, when I read this comment my immediate response was “I love her, too!”
That caught me off-guard.
When did this happen? When did I slip past the point of no return? And how the hell do I get out of here before I get my heart broken?