Whenever I’m faced with a particularly difficulty thought or feeling, I tend to deflect by shifting my focus to my eating disorder.

Today I was struggling with connecting to my therapist. I wanted it so badly, but it seems to happen with such ease lately that I get overwhelmed. It’s scary. So although I felt a tremendous pull towards her, I held myself at arm’s length. I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted to talk about with her, but I found myself veering further and further off course.

I had been thinking a lot about her upcoming vacation.

I’d also been thinking about how much I will miss her and how I wish she would let me hug her before the break. But I know she will say no and I can’t bear that kind of rejection.

So I say nothing and I just sit and think of how much I physically yearn for her.

Which morphs into thoughts about how fat, worthless, and horrible I am.

So then I’m sitting there obsessing over food and body size, rather than dealing with the pain of longing and grief.

I guess I’m still feeling my feelings on some level, but I’m also kinda not. I want to beat this ED voice. I want to figure out how to regulate myself around food. I want to feel worthy for something other than the ability to deprive myself of basic needs.

But that feels far too close to the stuff that hurts so much it feels like dying.

So I talk about food and obsess about weight.

And the little girl who desperately needs a cuddle gets stuffed further and further into the darkness.

10 thoughts on “Deflecting

  1. Blooming Lily says:

    Why do therapists have to take breaks? I hate it.
    I know the reason I hate it is therapeutic material in of itself, but I still hate it.
    I’m also sending love and warmth to the girl who needs a cuddle. She more than deserves it. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. lexydragonfly says:

    I don’t know if this will help at all… my therapist goes to lots of trainings so she can be at the forefront of eating disorder and trauma treatment. Plus she is getting her PhD. This means she takes a week off here, a week off there, two weeks periodically, etc. At first it was super hard but after a few times I discovered I could survive. I always have a bit of anxiety when she tells me but then when the week is going by, I find that the time passes and I manage somehow. If I’m having a particularly difficult time I call and unload on her voicemail, lol. Sometimes I would dump everything in a blog post then print it out and read it to her when she came back.

    The first time is always the worst so I feel for what you are going through. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andi says:

      I know my therapist is in some sort of continuing education program but I think it might be off in summer. I know I’ll survive, I just don’t want to lol. Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. La Quemada says:

    I am very jealous these days of PD, whose therapist holds her and comforts her. I told E, with great embarrassment, that I comfort myself imagining my head rest on her knee, with her stroking my hair. A HUGE wall went up when I told her that, on her side I mean. She started talking too fast and threw in all kind of shit about how she doesn’t even need to take that to her ethics board because she knows what they would say. Seriously?!? It felt like a slap in the face.

    I try to keep the communication lines open, but I do feel a distance since then (about two months ago). We haven’t talked about it since, but I think about it a lot. I feel like I shocked her, or at least pushed one of her buttons.

    I just thought of this in the context of your physical yearning for your therapist. That yearning, it seems to me, is normal. It’s probably normal any time that human beings share intimate details of their lives, but all the more so when we didn’t have enough of that safe physical comfort as children. The problem is not with our yearning.

    I feel that both E and your therapist could relax a bit about this yearning. Ideally, they could just say yes, like PD’s therapist did. But even if that doesn’t work for them, they could be gentle and warm and loving and validate that perfectly understandable need we have.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cat's Meow says:

      The yearning for connection is not only natural, but it’s actually healthy. Or so my therapist says. She can’t always satisfy those yearnings for connection, but as she says, my wanting to connect and love and feel loved is so much better than having that part of me cut off.

      I am so sorry that E put up a barrier between the two of you when you shared how you comfort yourself. I don’t know if you have heard anything about object relations, but you are describing using your internalized object of E to help comfort yourself. It’s something that children who are raised in “good enough” families learn to do when they are young and it is a part of building a healthy and resilient self. I just want to support that not only were you doing nothing wrong by doing thins, you were actually doing a lot that was very right.

      Liked by 2 people

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