At A Loss

I’ve done so much writing and talking and thinking about this therapeutic rupture since last week. I’ve written ten pages in my hard copy journal, several blog posts, tweets, and personal conversations. I’ve talked my wife’s ear off about virtually every thought and feeling that’s come to my mind.

But I still feel at a complete loss about what to do come tomorrow afternoon when I see my therapist again.

Wife and I tried doing a little role play to practice for the opening of session, but I couldn’t get into it. I’m so paralyzed by the fear that my therapist is going to terminate me or somehow radically change the rules that it’s hard to envision any conversation until I know what’s happening in that aspect. Could be nothing, could be everything.

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No More Email

I had session yesterday. My therapist was not thrilled with my email. She told me she is now moving the boundary so that I am no longer allowed to email her at all, and if I email her again, she’ll block my email address.

I mean, whatever. I honestly felt a sense of relief when she said that; now it’s abundantly clear: my email privileges have been revoked. I can’t even email for a schedule change.

She thinks she was crystal clear on email boundaries. She’d told me she doesn’t engage via email around anything but logistics. To me, that meant she wouldn’t write back unless it was an administrative thing like scheduling or payment.

But I emailed her on Tuesday.

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I feel like I’m drowning in grief. It took me a while to figure out that’s what I was feeling. I realized sometime last evening that my emotions are frighteningly similar to when Zooey terminated my treatment. It wasn’t until this morning that I realized that’s because I am feeling a tremendous sense of loss.

No, my therapist hasn’t terminated. Yet. But I’m very concerned that she will end my therapy. If she doesn’t outright end it, she may pull any and all out of session contact, which would be very hard for me. And even if nothing else changes, she’s already taken email contact away.

And although I think things will ultimately be better with email off the table, there’s no denying that this is a loss. I do have to grieve the loss of that interaction. I have to grieve the fact that I will never, ever see her name pop up in my inbox again. And I have to deal with the fact that sudden rescheduling changes are now going to be much more complicated and difficult to navigate since we’ll be playing phone tag. Regardless of what happens next, our relationship will never be the same as it was two days ago.

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The thing I remember most about my last session with my therapist is her statement that I had violated her by sending my last email. Although I came into the session wanting to talk about this stuff, and willing to discuss the way I’ve been pushing the edges of the boundaries, I also apparently did not want to talk about it in the way she wanted me to do so, which caused us to lock horns and get into a massive power struggle for half the session.

She imagined I was trying to place all of my emotions onto her. She said I expected her to do all the work and I was seemingly unwilling to reflect on my own behavior. Which is absurd because if there’s anything I am consistent at doing, it’s self-reflection. She didn’t even mention the email until probably 20 minutes into session, at which point she said,

“I feel like you did to me what was done to you. You got angry with me so you violated me, you violated my boundaries.”

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[No Subject]

I want to kill myself. I will go to work until 8pm and put these feelings away into a neat container while I imagine the ways I could stop this agony once I am done. Has their ever been a worse human being than me? No. I never again want to be looked at the way you looked at me today. Too much truth in that. I should not be alive. I wasn’t meant to be alive. Someone should know. 

But you won’t read this anyway… 

no one will ever know and maybe I’ll survive this, or maybe it will be the suicide note that pushed the boundaries too far while I was pushed too far. Look at me, pushing pushing pushing. 

Oh! It won’t matter anyway. Hahahahahaha.

Standing on the edge the edge the edge

Please just let me jump 

Either way, nothing will ever be the same again. 
*this is what I just emailed to my therapist after a rough session. I’m not supposed to email her about anything but logistics…

Privacy vs. Secrecy

Over the last several months, I’ve begun to understand the difference between being private and keeping secrets. I think I imagined they were the same thing. As someone who grew up in a world filled with dark, terrible secrets, I have been hesitant in adulthood to hide my truth. I figured I’d spent enough time concealing my own reality, and doing a lot of damage in that process, to never need to hold back again.

And I still think that’s true. My story is mine to tell, in whatever way I please.

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I realized I left my last post on a bit of a cliffhanger. I didn’t intend to do that, but my life took off like a shot right after I started working. I forgot how exhausting it is to be on your feet all day!

But I did sign the contract and I absolutely love my job. My direct supervisor is amazing. She reminds me a lot of my second clinical instructor, someone I really enjoyed working with. She’s incredibly smart and our personalities fit well together. My clinic director is a classic football-loving athletic guy who seems great, too. I haven’t had the chance to interact with him as much yet. Honestly, everyone at my clinic is super chill and friendly, even (most of) the patients.

I’ve also had the chance to attend a couple of events with the company – a social event and a professional development event. I was able to meet the CEO and many other senior staffers. The whole company has a “family” vibe to it, something I know they work very hard to achieve. I felt welcomed by each person I met and was thrilled when people recognized me at the second event and remembered me!

Extra fun: my supervisor took on a new student this past Monday and that student is a current student at my alma mater! SO COOL! It’s great to have a student working with her because I’m a new grad, so there’s a lot left to learn. Having a student gives me a chance to learn alongside her as well as help to teach, which always reinforces learning.

I just love it. I keep saying that if I could have designed the perfect job for myself upon graduation, it would literally be this job. I know things may not always be quite this ideal (relocations and other changes happen fairly regularly across the company as it continues to grow) but for now, it’s wonderful.


Tomorrow is my first day of work!

Well, technically it’s just human resources “onboarding” for two hours, but I get to sign my contract and becoming an employed adult again! Wednesday will be my first full work shift, following by another clinician-specific training on Thursday. Then Friday I’m completely ready to be an official employee. I’ll be working part-time until I take the board exam next month, which gives me some time to transition back into working. It’s been several months since I was in an orthopedic clinic, so I’m feeling a little rusty. I’m sure I’ll pick it up again quickly, but I’m still kinda nervous.

I spoke with both of my nieces (and my nephew) via FaceTime this evening, since they also start school tomorrow. My older niece seemed indifferent at best and terrified at worst about starting 3rd grade. The younger kiddo was mostly just totally stoked about starting Kindergarten and told us about how she’ll be riding the #4 Giraffe bus. It felt good to talk to them. They bring such joy into my world.

My sister also announced that she’s returning to college soon. She didn’t get to complete her Bachelor’s (she got pregnant senior year), so I would be thrilled to see her achieve that goal. She said she was inspired by my decision to go back to school to change careers, which felt nice to hear.

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