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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Holding onto Anger

This week in group I was sort of ambushed about my eating problems. I denied there’s anything going on. Just not ready to talk about that in group yet and I wasn’t prepared for the group leader to hint at it.

Today in my individual session we talked about what could be fuelling the eating disorder. There are feelings brought up by MBT that I just don’t know how to handle. Anger, shame and guilt.

The plan now is to talk through these and maybe learn to manage them in other ways. We talked about my fear of my own anger, how I feel like I’m just like my dad when I’m angry and how that makes me hate myself.

Another big issue I have with anger is getting stuck with it after. If I could express it properly and then move on it wouldn’t be half so unbearable. Perhaps if I could express my anger more effectively/in a way more aligned with my values, it’d be more cathartic/productive and I’d feel more able to move on from it.

My therapist hinted that if I continue to lose weight, the therapy could be deemed as doing more harm than good. She didn’t mean this as a threat but it sort of feels like one. She said “I can’t just watch you getting thinner and thinner and not do anything about it” and gestured to my body. She even asked at one point if I want to be referred to am ED specialist, but I don’t know if she meant it.

Painful times

I haven’t updated as much lately because I’m finding things tough and to examine them seems even tougher.

I continue to restrict my food and to lose weight.

Group was hard this week, I had a disagreement with someone because they were making assumptions about people who aren’t parents. I desperately would like to have children at some point and felt very excluded by the way they were talking so I said so. This openness is new territory for me and I feel vulnerable and uncertain as a result.

Other things in my life aren’t going smoothly. I’m hitting bumps in every road just when I feel like I have very little resilience. I just feel like packing everything in and saying fuck you to the world right now.

Having said that, I’m still going to volunteering this afternoon and plan to see my occupational therapist tomorrow. I feel like I’ve stalled on looking for new volunteering work so I don’t have much to bring to the session and that worries me. She’s very supportive though so I’m hoping something good will come from our meeting anyway.

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.