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.


My therapist asked me…

If I was there to “dump my shit”, because I said that I wanted to leave the session feeling better than when I came in.

I replied that I want to be able to cope better, and isn’t that why I’m there? To which she said yes.

I keep going over the first thing she said. It felt like an accusation.

Individual MBT Week 23

Just had an awful session with my individual therapist. I felt like she was annoyed with me or just thought I was stupid. I know I’m probably being paranoid. I felt very uncomfortable being in the room with her.

I tried to talk about how things have been for the last week. I feel like we made no progress. I got angry because I was desperate that I’d be able to cope better after this session and I feel shit and the memories will continue to bombard me. I feel like I’m left to continue trying to cope on my own and how much longer can I put up with feeling this way, having all these memories attacking me and feeling horrible about being near people?

I said sorry for getting annoyed at the end and she said it’s ok and that she didn’t take it personally. She said I’ve done well to stay out of hospital the last couple of weekends and that I did well to go to group.

Individual Week 22 and Group Week 23

I’ve been having a really rough time. I still am, to be honest.

Something came up in group last week, some people were talking about experiences they’ve had that brought up memories for me.

I talked to my individual therapist about something I’ve never talked about before. I was left feeling panicked, disgusting and like nothing would ever be right again.

I found it hard to get home, my social worker talked me through getting a taxi and called again once I was safely in my house. I had another frantic phonecall on Friday with my occupational therapist. I was convinced that the police were coming round to arrest me because of what I told my therapist. I feel like I’m in trouble but they say I’m not.

I stayed in all weekend. I am afraid of people looking at me and knowing. I feel that they’ll see what I’m really like. Disgusting.

I had a painful meeting with my occupational therapist yesterday. It seemed unbearable for her to look at me. I felt horrible.

I had group this morning and I was unable to talk. Getting the bus there was a massive challenge. My occupational therapist had told me to take it one step at a time so I did. It felt horrible being on the bus with other people. I feel contaminated.

The group leader tried to persuade me to speak but I felt so awful having everyone look at me. My anxiety was high, I wanted to leave but I was too scared. Too anxious to leave and too anxious to stay in the room. Trapped. I stayed for the whole session. She returned to me at the end. She asked people what they thought of my silence. I wanted the ground to swallow me up. How much does she know? How much can they tell from looking at me?

CPA and MBT Group Week 22

I am so exhausted and emotional. This morning I had MBT group and my CPA and I am just completely wiped out. I don’t even remember any of it. My mind is trying to ruminate over the CPA and it can’t cause I can’t remember it well enough, it just keeps going over the same few details over and over.

Sorry I don’t have more to say. Just going to rest and try to take care of myself for the rest of the day.

MBT Week 21

A few things happened this week:
– I wondered if I am projecting my lack of respect for my dad’s authority onto the male group leader. It’s a hugely cliché idea, I know, but perhaps it became a cliché for a reason.
– I found out my dad might have cancer, and we won’t know for sure until December, when he has his biopsy.
– I had a rambly individual therapy session in which I admitted I feel I have made myself vulnerable by telling my therapist things I have never spoken about with anyone before, and that I’m sort of waiting to see if anything bad happens. I guess this an important part of learning to trust someone.
– It’s also an important reminder to me that therapy does not have to be revelations and breakthroughs all the time. Sometimes it will feel like I’m not making progress, and those moments are probably just as vital as when I’m spilling my guts.
– My social worker and I went over the plan for my CPA meeting, which will happen on Tuesday morning before the next group session. Basically I’m dreading it. Me, in a room with the four people involved in my treatment, them all talking about me? This is a recipe for embarrassment and awkwardness.

Individual MBT Week 20

I’ve definitely got that post-therapy been-through-the-mangle feeling. I am tired and feel emotionally bruised.

I wasn’t great at self care this morning, found it hard to drag myself out of bed so I didn’t shower or eat, just threw clothes on and got on an overcrowded, anxiety provoking bus.

I’m having something to eat now, and a quiet sit down to reflect before I have to attend my volunteering job this afternoon.

We talked today about my feelings of self hatred and I shared my experiences of my mother taking me to the hospital all the time and giving me medications. As a child I idealised my mother as being perfect, even though she failed to protect me.

I did have some medical problems as a child, but now I’m wondering:
– How much of it was caused by my psychological reaction to the abuse* I was experiencing?
– How much of it was my mother desperately seeking a cause for my symptoms in me instead of admitting the way things were at home or standing up to my dad?

I was underweight and very short for my age so they measured and weighed me regularly. I didn’t eat properly as a child and my mum used to put it down to me being a fussy eater, but I think I was distressed and therefore didn’t eat. My mother fed me (prescribed) laxatives. I now suffer with IBS and I wonder if this is why.

I was a bed wetter, I even wet myself at school sometimes and this was another reason for hospital visits. At school I was often scolded by teachers and shamed for this. Turns out I am prone to kidney and bladder infections, but I think some amount of the bed wetting was probably caused by fear and bladder infections could have been because of inappropriate sexual contact.

I had a brain scan when I was 6 or 7 because they suspected epilepsy. I realise now that the ‘blackouts’ they thought I was having weren’t blackouts at all, it just tells me that I had already started using dissociation, even at the age of 5 or 6, to distance myself from my painful reality.

I didn’t even know I was unhappy. I didn’t even have the ability to be unhappy because I had been reduced to a creature of survival. I ask my therapist now, is there enough left to grow a human being from this?

I also feel sad and angry that no one recognised that this child was being abused. I was terrified of everyone and I think how could I have had so much hospital contact and no one recognised some really tell tale indicators. I think “why didn’t anyone help me?”.

I am still struggling with feelings of self blame and disgust with myself. I’m alone all this coming weekend and I’m worried about how I’ll cope.

*Abuse: I still find it really hard to use this word, as though the definition will always be “something a bit worse than whatever happened to me”. This is part of me minimising what happened to me so I am attempting to own this word and use it (from now on?) without apology.