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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The cat is out of the bag

Trigger warnings: ED, weight

So, my eating issues came out in my MBT review last week and they said I should talk to my social worker about it this week, or basically they’d do it for me.

I’d decided by this week that it was terrible that I had said anything at all about it at my review and that I would NOT mention it to my social worker as I feel safer keeping this stuff to myself. My eating disorder has become my whole world at this point and the thought of letting others come blundering into that world is a terrifying one.

Then, at my meeting with my social worker, out of the blue she says “so are we going to talk about the elephant in the room?” and I thought the others had spoken to her but actually she’s noticed my dramatic weight loss herself and it was coincidence that she brought it up herself just after my review. So after I’d consciously decided to keep it to myself as much as possible, I ended up having to have another intrusive conversation about it.

She’s concerned and to be fair to her she’s lovely and desperate not to push me further into my eating disordered behaviour. But that is exactly what is happening. I was on 600 kcals or less a day and since this conversation I feel the need for increased control, to hold onto it with both hands because I feel like them knowing risks taking some control away from me. So now I’m on 500 kcals or less a day and I’ve planned in plenty of exercise over the weekend.

To give you an idea of the extent of it at the moment, I’ve lost over 2.5st (35lbs) in total since MBT began last April and over 1.5st (21lbs) of that is since Christmas. My BMI is 16.5 and my periods have stopped. Basically, I’m anorexic. I couldn’t stop (without help) if I wanted to).

I feel like I’m floating away from the world…

Back in Individual Therapy

It wasn’t as awkward seeing my therapist today as I’d feared it would be. She’s been away for three weeks over Christmas and it has been tough trying to deal with things on my own. I’m so glad she’s back.

I told her about the small overdose I took on Christmas Eve, and about how seeing my family at Christmas was a monumental effort as usual in the category of Acting Like Everything is OK.

What really got us talking was when I brought up what my sister said on the way over to my parents’ house on Christmas Day. Basically, she admitted that our dad used to get very drunk each year on Christmas Eve (he drank a lot the rest of the time too), and that this was upsetting. She even gave the example of the time he started crying and wandered off (I had to go after him) and we were all really worried.

This may not seem like much, so let me explain the significance for me. My family never admit that anything has ever been wrong or difficult except for my behaviour. There is an unspoken agreement that I was the cause of conflict as a child and that other than that things were fine. My sister saying this is an admission that not only were things not always fine, but also that my dad’s drinking was an issue and that his behaviour had a negative effect on us.

This has brought up a lot of confusing thoughts for me. There is a battle going on inside me about who I am and what happened when I was a kid. What feels true is what I’ve been told all my life: that I am bad and worthless and the cause of anything bad that befell me. What I am thinking now though is starting to question those feelings and beliefs of badness. My sister saying the above is the first evidence from someone else in my family that things were not right, and not just because of me. That’s huge.

My therapist said there was a shift today in the way that I spoke about my childhood and my family. I spoke more from a personal perspective and was more emotionally engaged. She was more able to understand what things were like for me growing up. It hurt very much to speak about things that way, but it is reassuring to hear that she feels I am making progress.

Christmas Fear

Well. Hands up who else is finding the Christmas period extremely tiring and stressful? I’m guessing it’s not just me.

In today’s therapy session we talked about my issues with the male group leader, guilt about my childhood experiences and recent problems I’ve been having in my personal life.

I am going to have a review of how the therapy is going in the new year and today I discovered this would be with the male group leader (and my individual therapist). I am really disappointed that it will be with the male group leader, and I said so. I feel like he doesn’t listen.

This lead to a conversation about how my dad never listened to me, etc, etc, I end up feeling like a walking, talking cliché of classic daddy issues. I mean the group leader is nothing like my dad in almost any way but I guess there could be a connection. I’m trying to keep an open mind about it.

I missed group this week because I was intoxicated. That should give you a good idea of how well I’m handling things right now.

Stay alive, my friends.

Self injury and therapy this week

My self injury has got really out of control lately. My social worker has been working with me to come up with ideas of what I can do to avoid hurting myself, and yesterday was the first day in a while when I did not hurt myself.

Group was scary because there was conflict and this always scares me. I was able to say that I was scared.

I talked about struggling with something that had come up in my one to one session and I cried. I saw my one to one today and looking back on it, I think I was avoiding talking further on that subject with her.

Walking on eggshells

I left group this week feeling really angry. I struggle to get a word in edgeways. This is partly because of people interrupting and talking over each other, but it’s also my own issue; I find I need a few seconds of silence before I can speak. I imagine this hesitancy is another one of those gifts from my less than idyllic childhood.

My father’s unpredictable temper probably taught me to walk on eggshells. At times I’d do just the opposite, deliberately pushing him into losing his temper just so it would be over and I wouldn’t have to deal with it hanging over my head, the not knowing what would happen next. There were few ways I could take control over the situation, and escalating it to get it over with was the way I chose.

I’ve been told for years by my family, as a child but also since then, that the conflict in the family was my fault because of this survival strategy. That guilt and the belief that I caused all these problems is a part of my core, and something I am struggling now to put into perspective. My therapist has challenged me on this, but it is an idea of myself that snaps back into place at any opportunity. There are moments when I glimpse alternative points of view. I suppose I just have to build on those.

In my individual session this week I talked with my therapist about my frustrations in trying to get myself heard in the group, and we touched on how I’ve been doing (badly) in the aftermath of talking to her about something I’ve never told anyone before. I’m not quite ready to go into that here.

I also had phonecalls with the crisis line and my social worker this week due to my self injury, which was escalating rapidly beyond my control. I didn’t find the crisis line helpful but the talk with my social worker has helped me feel that there are things I can do in terms of harm minimisation. This means I feel less out of control, though things are tough emotionally right now. I feel a sinking dread and an irritability I can’t shake. It is painful to be around others.

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.