Dealing with an imperfect goodbye

I didn’t say goodbye to my one-on-one MBT therapist properly in our last session, because I knew I’d be seeing her a couple of weeks later at my care plan assessment meeting. I did cry lots and I did get angry over feeling abandoned and I did say thank you for all the help she’s given me. (She said “you’re very welcome”.)

During the care plan assessment meeting that followed, I was so aware that it was the last time I’d ever see her. I was distracted, hung on her every word and kept staring at her though there were several other people in the room. She didn’t say that much at the meeting and I was disappointed.

At the end of the meeting they all left in one go and I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to her. I don’t know how to deal with that. I wish I had the chance to say goodbye properly. I feel so heartbroken.

Why am I focusing on what the last moment with her was like rather than the entirety of our relationship? Why should that moment have so much importance simply because of it’s chronological place? It was not the most important moment of our therapeutic relationship, surely.

What will I remember of her? Her sense of humour. Her words echo in my mind “but you were just a child” – that’s an invaluable gift she’s given me, her voice saying those words when I blame myself for my past.

Her listing good qualities she sees in me – kind, clever, funny. Her disagreeing when I feel disgusting and saying she doesn’t see that at all. Her belief in me, “you CAN do it”, “I think you’re more capable than you realise”, and “I think you’re very articulate”.

I’m scared of forgetting what it was like, what she was like, what have I learnt? What of the relationship can I carry with me? I can’t put it into words that I can come back and reread. I can’t think of anything. It’s not tangible.

I don’t have the answer. I’m not dealing well with it being a goodbye at all, let alone an imperfect one. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences in the comments or on twitter.

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13 thoughts on “Dealing with an imperfect goodbye

  1. It is very sad leaving someone for what is (or may be) the last time. I don’t know how to deal with it very well either. I think feeling sadness and grief about it openly can be helpful.
    How long had you seen this therapist? What were some of the best things about her?

    • Hello, thanks for commenting.
      I’ve been seeing her for about 20 months. I liked her down to earth-ness, her honesty, her oddness, her humour.
      I definitely feel like I’m grieving. I can’t stop obsessing over not saying goodbye properly. I’m really upset about it.
      Have you had a similar experience?

      • I have not with a therapist. I did with a girlfriend although of course that is a different kind of relationship. It was very painful!
        I did leave two therapists before, but that was more due to disagreements about how to work together and a lack of fit. I eventually found someone better.

  2. Is there any way you can write her a goodbye and thank you letter? Would that help? X

  3. I think it is important to give yourself the time to grieve the loss of a very important relationship in your life. They say the things we build with our T are the things we take away from therapy and put them into action in our own personal relationships, be it friends, family or lovers.
    I think it might be too soon to see the full value of your time together. I have also heard the MBT Therapists say that therapy continues to have an effect on us months after we finish. Have you thought of sending her a handwritten card to say thank you?

  4. PS I can’t believe 20 mths have passed since you first started 😉

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