I haven’t written in a while. The truth is that everything feels broken in therapy right now.
I have no clue.
We’d been ebbing and flowing in a natural pattern of rupture and repair, coming out all the stronger for it with each pass. Our bond has always been sturdy, but it felt like something special was happening; I was letting go of something. Fear, perhaps?
Regardless, something has shifted.
I don’t know what it is. I can’t point to a specific moment or even series of moments. There was no gradual decline or pulling back. I remember her telling me last Monday that she was worried if we didn’t dig deeper into the patterns we were recreating in that space, we’d grow further and further apart.
I knew she was right. I agreed with her. And that is not what I wanted. So later that evening I broke my arbitrary rule that I could no longer call her after sessions and did just that. I called and left a simple voicemail asking her to return me call when she was available. When she called back, we spoke for about ten minutes and had a nice conversation.
The first thing she said was, “You called!” with joy in her voice. I said, “Yeah. I decided today would be the day I’d stop being punitive about this and just make the call. It was an experiment.”
“And how does it feel?”
I smiled, “It feels really nice.”
Yet, somehow, in the time since then, we’ve done exactly what she warned me against. We could not be further from each other (which is all the more painful when we’re literally sitting across the room from each other three times a week).
It was like a switch was flicked that completely shut me down and shut her out. I can’t explain it. I don’t think I even understand what is going on or where it is coming from. Apparently part of my feels very frightened and mistrustful of her. In session earlier today, we were trying to have a conversation about what has been happening and I blurted out,
“I just don’t trust you!”
She quietly said, “I know. I know you don’t. And I think of how awful that must feel? I feel it, too, being here with you – the absolute danger that you feel in this space – the feeling that is keeping you so tightly bound and keeping me so far away from you. And I can understand why you’re doing that; you’ve been hurt so profoundly, and sometimes in the most subtle of ways. I sense that I am a lot like your mother to you lately – someone who did hurt you and who was not interested in what you had to say. But I am…I want to know what you’re thinking and feeling about this and I’m here. So I know this is awful and painful right now, but I wonder if there isn’t something good that can come from this? I think we’re in uncharted territory here and that makes it all the more scary…but maybe if we stick it out, it will be really helpful to see what’s on the other side.”
I just sat there. Then I said, “You don’t understand!”
I didn’t respond. It was time to go anyway.