My therapist called me back this morning a few minutes after I arrived at my internship. I (obviously) could not pick up the phone. She left a voicemail saying that she was unable to return my call last night, but that if I wanted to call and speak before our session later, I could do that.
Since I had my internship until 2pm, that was not possible. But I can text and email from the clinic, so I shot off a quick email and asked her if we could add some time to today’s session. She emailed me back a little later and said that she didn’t have any extra availability today, but she does have time open after my Monday session, so perhaps we could do a double session then, if needed. She added that we could talk about this more in session.
I wish I could say I’m reacting to all of this in a mature, self-loving way.
Nope. Not at all.
I’m not angry with my therapist because I totally get that she won’t always be available to me and I’ve never asked for longer sessions before, so I don’t even know what I was expecting from that question. But the mind-reel is running and filled with all sorts of negative things.
Since this is the first time she hasn’t returned my call the same day, I’m wondering if she is somehow testing me.
Maybe she wants me to practice sitting alone with my shit instead of calling her. Maybe she wants me to practice feeling whatever emotions come up when she’s not available within a few hours. Maybe she figured there was only one day between sessions so I should be fine. Maybe she just wanted to see what the hell would happen if she didn’t call me back.
Most likely, she had dinner plans or whatever and was literally not available. But that doesn’t matter to my traumatized brain. All I can think is that this means something! What that “something” might be is not totally clear, but whatever. I’m going to stress out about it anyway.
I don’t even know what to say to her today. My instinct is to say, “Oh it’s fine that you couldn’t call and we couldn’t have more time today” but that’s just not true. It’s not fine. It’s not okay that I had to hold onto all of that awfulness by myself and that she wasn’t there. It’s not her fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not anyone’s fault because sometimes the world just works like this. Sometimes we have a need and we can’t figure out how to get it filled. Sometimes we’re left alone in this shit.
And I feel so alone. I opened up this space inside myself that is ugly and horrible and scary. I didn’t mean to, but I did and so maybe it was meant to be opened. Perhaps it is meant to be seen right now, despite my insistence that this is a really bad time. Because let’s face it, it will never be a good time. I will never find a time that works well for me because I am too terrified. So it’s just happening on its own, seemingly independent of me or my needs.
I shared (part of) that with her, which was kind of nice actually. But the moment I walked out, I become acutely aware of how much this is MY trauma and MY baggage. No matter how much I talk about it and open up to share and process whatever went down in the past three decades, when all is said and done, I am entirely alone in it. It’s mine and mine only.
I am the only person who will always have to hold and carry this.
And that is just not okay. It is not fine.