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” We need to talk.”


*********** Trigger Warning. This blog post talks about therapy ruptures and termination. If this is triggering for you, think about whether you should keep reading.********************************************************

My session last night was intensely awful.

When I walked in and said hello and I hear her tone as she greeted me, I knew immediately something was up. And that was followed with an immediate “ I think we need to have a big talk.”


My hypervigilance went into overdrive. Waiting for the death knell of a termination speech.

And what she said next had all the hallmarks and excuses therapists generally spout when they’re dumping you.

I am not in a position right now to write exactly what was said. I am still processing it all for myself and I’m feeling awful.

But the bottom line is that she is contacting my local mental health team to speak with a psychiatrist about the work we are doing and try to get me a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) that I can contact in times of distress.

I laughed and told her good luck. I’ve been there several times and I KNOW she’s going to be laughed off the phone by mental health when she calls and asks. But hey, it’s her time to waste, let her get on with it.

She said a lot about how she’s been feeling this week or lately, I can’t remember. But her feelings were flagging up that’s there’s a big problem needing addressed. Her reactions to my texts coming in this week were pretty severe and she didn’t even read the rest of them after she’d replied to the initial one. (Yeah, that didn’t hurt much…)

She said she felt like we weren’t progressing. She acknowledged there has been some progress but in other ways very little and it’s been 3 years.

I denied that and said that wasn’t a fair assessment. I’ve actually progressed tons! And I reminded her that she herself and her supervisor said last year that we’d done way more work and progress in 2 and a half years than most clients don’t get to until year 5-7. And that we needed to slow things right down, for both our sakes. I told Sienna, you always said this was very long-term work.

She seemed to retract a bit and agreed those things had been said.

I talked about the impact the rupture had on me last year, she disappeared on me for 6 weeks on a burnout. I mean she didn’t fully disappear, she gave me the odd update to let me know where she was at, what was happening re supervision etc. But essentially, to my child and teen parts… she fucked off with no notice.

She looked at me like I was mad. Said that is NOT how it happened. We agreed that I would take a break, which therapists need sometimes….. blah blah”

I corrected her.

“Sienna, you put the phone down on my mid session and then took 6 week off. I did not agree to anything. You took the time off.”

She seems to think I’ve twisted it all in my mind to fit my abandonment lens. But that is utter bullshit because I have ALL the texts, all the calls recorded, all the emails, and all the sessions recorded and also blogged. It is not my memory that is skewed on this. Although I can see why that might suit her to think that.

She fucked up hugely last year. She is embarrassed that she did what she did to me and she has re-written it in her mind.

The first half hour was horrific. I cried. I teetered on falling into that annihilation blackout place and tried so hard not to because it was important to talk and to find out what was happening, what was the bottom line here. Am I being terminated?

Sienna said no. We are still working together but we need to work differently, and I need help that isn’t her outside of sessions.

I said it was really unfair to say that I am not coping outside of sessions or that she can’t cope with my texts. That past two weeks have been a blip in over 7 months of me holding onto a lot by myself. That I have worked really hard and that there hasn’t been any texts. She nodded in agreeance.

But said that her capacity has vastly diminished outside of sessions. I asked her why? She said she didn’t know, perhaps just eventual wear and tear?

She said that we were not terminating, it wasn’t that. It’s just that things needed to be changed a bit. And she needed to have an honest conversation with me about what was going on.

The fact that it wasn’t a termination speech was enough to keep me out of the annihilation blackout.

The last half hour actually was positive in a lot of ways. I mean, hot, worried tears blinded me the whole way. But I spoke about what’s been going on for me, and I showed her my charts I’d drawn.

She LOVED them. I think Sienna really responds to flow charts and bullet points. I moved and went to sit beside her to read them out to her and to explain things. She said I’d worked SO hard on them and was so pleased I’d done them and that it really helped her understand a lot. She hugged me a lot and rubbed my shoulders in an affectionate proud way.

She asked if she could keep them because they were so helpful. I said “yes of course, I don’t need them I already know this stuff, it’s you that needs them.”

Having read the charts we both wondered whether her negative transference around our work and me let’s face it, I am the work, was in part her picking up my anger and hurt and continued detachment, because I’ve certainly felt like not going to sessions and not engaging and her feelings were mirroring mine. That’s a real possibility as we are quite attuned with one another usually.

Her reading those charts, it felt like a weight lifted off us both. Like, she suddenly understood that a lot had been going on for me, that the some of the reasons for the way she’s been feeling this week have been mirroring my unexpressed feelings and not necessarily her own true reactions. She suddenly felt a lot more empathic and open to me.

She gave me lots of hugs before I left. And reassured me as per my charts that we are not terminating and that she’ll be there on Monday, always.

When I got home I felt exhausted. Much calmer than I would have expected give the horrible things that were said at the beginning of the session. Just knowing it wasn’t leading to termination was enough to keep me regulated.

It was a weird feeling though, I felt shell-shocked and deeply hurt by some of the things said. Yet, there was safety, because I wasn’t getting terminated and that’s all that matters to me.

The session was truly horrific for me. All the things I’d written in my trigger chart were pretty much said in session. And she acknowledged when she saw it that I must be really near the annihilation blackout place then after what she’d said!

The fact that when I got home I was fairly calm and wasn’t chewing down on diazepam like they were smarties is a testament to my own growing resilience and growth. So fuck anyone including Sienna who says I haven’t progressed much in 3 years.

I know for a fact I have done amazingly well. My growth and progress is not going to be dictated to by anyone else’s timeline or opinion.

Today I’ve woken up and even though I feel psychologically okay, my body feels like something catastrophic has happened to it. There’s a sick, heavy ball of angst sitting right in my solar plexus.

It’s the body’s knowledge that something horrendous just happened, yet my mind is clear and fairly calm. It’s like I’ve been in a car crash but there’s no visual evidence of it. It’s a really horrible feeling. My body just feels wrung out. Battered and devastated.

Sienna is not terminating me.

But that doesn’t mean I am not terminating her.

I hate to write that. But I have huge concerns about her ability to a) do long term trauma work

  1. B) Hold me adequately and more importantly
  2. C) Hold herself through this work.

It seems there’s something about me that she reacts pretty strongly to me at times. And that doesn’t feel very nice for me.

It also seems to me that there’s been a major rupture every single year we’ve worked together, and it always comes from her. Her reactions to the work. Her lack of capacity, her burnout etc etc.

I mean there’s been lots of little ruptures along the way caused by me, but I’m the fucking client, I am supposed to be the chaotic one. I have to ask if this is normal, for my therapist to be the one causing the fucking big ruptures????

I am scared to ask her these questions, because once again I am terrified I push the issue and it results in termination.

I also have to take into account the impact this is having on my husband both financially and more especially, emotionally.

He hates seeing me in such a state. He gets protective anger about how upset I get at the things Sienna does. And he questions how any of this is good for me and if perhaps it’s time to start living without therapy?

I am asking myself the same thing. Can I manage without therapy? Have I come as far as I can? Should I be spending the money on things that make me happy and healthy? Massage, reiki, yoga, my own education and fledgling business?

Yet I am so hopelessly attached to Sienna that the idea of terminating is heart-breaking.

I know that isn’t healthy- hence the need for therapy. But that’s where I am at. Maybe that’s just me, maybe I’ll always form fierce attachments to those I love.

I am an artist, we love passionately and deeply, we are emotional.

But I’ve been wondering today what like would be like without therapy. What about taking a break for a year? See how things go? I like the idea of not feeling this horrific and terrified all the time about someone leaving.

I like the idea of just living and breathing in deep and not having these troubles.

I am aware my issues would still be with me. They would be on hold until such times I decided to return to therapy. But maybe they’re at a cope-able level where I could hold it for myself better?

The only thing in life that triggers me this severely is Sienna, therapy…. So, take that out the equation and maybe I’d do okay?

I don’t know.

But I’d miss Sienna so much. I don’t want to leave her. And I’m scared to leave her because what if I want to go back and she’s not there?

What if in the interim she decided she likes her life without me in it? What if she decides not to do trauma work?

I’m terrified of that. Yet I also can see that if that’s how she feels then it’s better not to work with a therapist like that anyway. I get it.

I’m scared to have this conversation with her.

You know, we work so amazingly together at times. She’s the best therapist I’ve ever had.

But there’s no doubt we rupture big. There’s some really shit elements to our relationship and I’m not sure how normal or healthy these dynamics are.

I find myself really wanting stability. I want to feel that she is robust enough to take what I throw at her and that just hasn’t been the case lately. And that isn’t good enough.

I can’t see how we can continue long-term with her rupturing and the question of her capacity to hold me through this regularly rears its head.

It makes me scared for our future.

I know she loves me and is deeply committed to me. But that isn’t enough. Is she continuing on because she really wants to, because her deep commitment to me makes her struggle through when really, it might be best I leave and that she doesn’t do trauma work?

Or is her negative reactions/countertransference to me, about herself and things she needs to work on in her own therapy and/or a re-enactment of something else rather than her not being the right therapist?

Those are very hard painful questions for both of us I’d imagine. And it’s a conversation I am avoiding because I’m scared of the answer.

I feel really sad and scared about what’s to come.

In part, I really want to take maybe a years break. But I wonder my need for that is about self-care or feeling like I need to protectively withdraw myself and my needs away in order to look after Sienna’s needs and to ensure she stays with me and doesn’t terminate?

Doesn’t this echo my past and my patterns of attachment?

A big part is my feeling that Sienna could do with a year long break from me. And I know that isn’t my job, to look after her needs. Yet I feel the impulse to do so. To create space and distance. To stop the pain for myself, to try and prevent eventual abandonment by detaching from my own needs.

It’s so sad. I am sad that child me had to do that and I am sad that even now, child me has that impulse.

So that’s where I’m at right now.

Continue reading

Fear & Fury



Last Monday’s session was immediately shit.

And it stayed shit for the entire hour – with the exception of one moment when Sienna threw a teddy at me and I retaliated by throwing a huge pillow back at her! It raised a smile from me for about 25 seconds.

As a follow on from my text the week before about holding my scalpel for me, Sienna asked if I’d self-harmed. I told her no. That was a lie, but I just didn’t feel like sharing anything with her anymore.

I was obstructive the entire session. I barely spoke and refused any of Sienna’s suggestions of doing art or anything else. She wanted to explain why she thought it be better that I dispose of them but I wouldn’t let her.

I told her “ It doesn’t matter why, you didn’t want to and that’s your right. I don’t want to talk about this.”

She told me it was from a place of caring and I told her “ no it wasn’t”.

She mentioned about self-responsibility that she thought I was ready to be challenged and that I could dispose of the razors myself.

I got angry and told her that I’ve always had SO much responsibility all my life. I don’t need a lesson in self-responsibility. I am super responsible most of the time. But I’ve never asked her to take razors off me before, so when I ask for help, it means I need it.

She conceded a little. That maybe it was just the way the text was worded or maybe she didn’t make the right decision.

The truth is, in hindsight, I was asking her to take the responsibility off of me but not for the reason she thinks. I wasn’t trying to make her responsible for my safety. I wanted to experience her attention and care and willingness to look after me. It was a symptom of not feeling seen or heard for a very long time. It was a teen upping the ante to see if Sienna would notice her and show her physical demonstrations of being seen and being cared about. It was a communication that all is not well. It was the teen asking to feel the safety of Sienna’s parental boundary.

I was so angry and hurt.

I think I did try to tell her a little bit how I’ve been feeling. I don’t know. Now that I’m trying to write about it I can’t remember much about the session.

The teen did say “ I HATE this room. I hate therapy. I hate you.” ( from behind a pillow.)

But towards the end I got really upset and I think I was saying I can’t cope or something, but I do remember Sienna saying that I’m so much more capable now and she was directing me back to my family for support and omg that felt so abandoning. Fuck her.

I left the session sobbing. I went to the toilet to dry my eyes and collect myself. And I just felt so overwhelmed and misunderstood and that swarming feeling I get sometimes of being so alone and so much space just drowning me. But the teen was also in full throttle too and I just thought;

“ why the fuck am I doing this? If I am alone and supposed to cope by myself then why the fuck am I coming here every week and paying to be triggered, only to be sent back out into the world to cope alone – like I’ve always done? This is madness.”

I returned to Sienna’s office and asked for my blanket back. She seemed surprised but got my blanket out of her filing cabinet. She handed me it and put her hand on my head in a soothing sympathetic way. I told her I wasn’t coming back.

All she said was “ It’s going to be okay. I’ll be here on Monday.”

I couldn’t believe she could see how upset I was and just let me go an entire week alone.

Shit session from start to finish.

When I got home, I fired off another text explaining why I wanted to leave. Why I didn’t see the point in therapy anymore. I told her I am not coping as well as she seems to think and a lot of my “coping” is because of the fear of her leaving. I asked her not to respond angrily.

Everything felt so huge and terrible. I knew I’d dropped into that very dissociated place of annihilation but I wasn’t able to get out of it and so I took a diazepam and went to bed. I was absolutely shattered and fell asleep immediately.

She replied the next morning.

“ I am not angry. But I am not going to do this by text. Whoever is texting needs to come to session.”

I was awake already, still feeling that annihilated place so acutely. Rebellious teen had gone and needy small child was there.

“ Sienna I need help. Can you speak with me?”

I felt desperate. I needed to hear her voice for a few minutes.

Sienna replied “ I cannot speak at the moment (on a train) and in meetings most of today. Reach out to family today. Ground yourself. Get yourself outside for an hour before it gets too hot. If you need immediate help phone for a GP appointment. You will be okay. You need to move to being yourself into the present.”

She may as well having slapped my face hard.

It felt like she totally side-stepped any responsibility for me. No, it didn’t feel like that, that IS what she just did. Her message told me that she was not going to make herself available to me even for 5 minutes. She wasn’t going to find time for me.

If I was able to bring myself into the present, wouldn’t I have done that???? My need was not for a dr or my family or anything else. I needed her. My upset and dissociation was about therapy stuff.

I just needed to hear from her and get some reassurance that we are okay. My pain could so easily have been helped by a few kind and reassuring words, a moment of her time and show of willingness to be there for me. But no, apparently that was too much for Sienna this week.

Needy child text back “ I need you.” (and a whole lot of crying emojis)

Part of me remembered that therapy is done in session and if needed by telephone but not texting. So I asked;

“Can I come back in for another session?”

I knew I’d fucked up my session the previous day by refusing to talk but now, magically, I was ready to spill about everything. I needed to see her.

She wrote back eventually in late afternoon “ I can do a check in on Friday, but I’m not around until next Monday.”

“This is Tuesday” I thought. “6 days of agony is too much. I can’t believe she would leave me this long. She would never have done that in the past and now everything is changes and I can’t bear it.”

It felt completely uncaring. I just couldn’t believe that she didn’t have 5 minutes somewhere to connect with me. This was about choice. She was choosing to NOT be there for me. She was choosing not to help me.

I was instantly incensed! Utterly furious. How dare she leave me like this!!

Something snapped. Suddenly I had nothing to lose. I realised – I am alone. I am my own responsibility and Sienna’s not there anymore. There “relationship” is a sham, a fake construct of care and I’d had my fill of it all.

I fired off a text to her “ Just forget it, I can’t do this anymore. It’s no longer sustainable, I won’t be back. I’ll arrange to get my stuff picked up from you at a time that suit you. Thanks for your minimum effort.”

Yep. Bitchy. But I didn’t care.

Sienna replied “ I’ll be there as usual on Monday. We agreed before that texting is not a suitable pace to discuss this so if you feel able, please come on Monday.”

FUCK OFF SIENNA!!! I am not coming Monday or ever again. She doesn’t care.

I was so past losing my shit that I couldn’t even keep my vitriol in.

I text her back “ No, I don’t feel able. I don’t like text either. But you are not making space for me and I’m not being triggered in sessions or be told to deal with it on my own anymore, If I’m on my own with it, then why bother coming to therapy to be deliberately triggered and hurt by you? Utter insanity.

We literally have no relationship, it’s a huge painful joke. I don’t need it. I’m fucking done with you, with therapy, with everything.

You can leave me alone now, oh wait, you were already doing that.

I don’t want to hear from you anymore which suits you fine – I get it! I am not your child and therefore completely worthless and I’m just your job and a huge burden. I don’t need you adding to my trauma and the utter hell I’m going through.

If I’m this alone then I may as well get used to it and not use a fucking therapist to pretend otherwise.”


Yeah… not my proudest moment. But at the time, I wanted nothing more than to get away from her. I didn’t want her to reply. I wanted to bin therapy and never look back.

I then added to my text – “ Oh and my Dr has retired, so I also have no dr now either. I officially have no one, fuck you all.”

She did NOT reply.

I hate her.

I love her and I hate her in equal measure.

I really lost my shit. I really did.

Strangely, after I sent all of that, I felt peace. I felt a huge weight lift. I had exploded. I let 7 months of pain out. I felt better. I burned bridges in spectacular style and I felt really relieved.

I went to the beach that night and I felt so happy and so relaxed.

The rest of my week has been pretty good. It took me until Friday to properly calm down. But if I didn’t think about it too much I was okay. But the minute I started remembering, I felt the rage and the determination to not return to therapy.

And today is Monday. I am supposed to go tonight.

The small attach parts want to go. They need to see Sienna.

But my teen parts are absolutely refusing to go. Both from fear of consequences and painful discussions and more triggering and just still feeing utterly done with therapy. They are still furious that Sienna has taken such a step back from us.

Adult me knows I am supposed to go. That this is the work. But the teens fear and fury is so much stronger than any other part of me.

Teen me says this;

“ If I go, then she’s won. She knows she never needs to make the effort with us because we’ll always turn up like a poor, abused, puppy, desperate for love.

If I go to session, she will feel smug and powerful. I can’t bear it. She needs to see how much I’m hurting and affected by all of this. And how else do I show her but just not turn up? I’ve tried telling her and she isn’t hearing me and she doesn’t even care. So maybe just ghosting the session will make her notice me? Maybe she’ll take me seriously.

And anyway, what’s the point of therapy? She doesn’t fucking care about us. We really are on our own so why get triggered intentionally only to have it restated firmly that actually yeah you really are alone.”

God, I have no idea what to do. Do I just give up on therapy? Maybe enough is enough.

I am sick of people telling me how well I’m doing. Why can no one see what’s behind the “doing great” façade?

I am not one person. My adult self is doing great. She has grown exponentially. But it was in response to the trauma of Sienna’s burnout last year. I needed that adult to take over.

But that doesn’t mean that all the other need and vulnerability isn’t still there. It’s just gone into hiding so that the adult and the good girl can turn up to therapy. It’s a coping mechanism that is hiding the level of need in order to keep my therapist and in order to not die of the pain I feel.

I don’t want to go tonight. But I don’t want to not go either. I don’t know what to do.














Hi everyone,

I’ve had lots of emails asking for the password for my last post. There is a new password for that particular posting as it’s very private for a few reasons. I have only given the password to people who are long-time readers AND frequent commenters on my blog or people whom I “know” from communicating several times via email and/or whom I can verify as being who they say they are. I need to know who is reading certain posts to the best of my knowledge.

I thought I had put a note on the last post to explain this but it seems I didn’t do it right! In future I’ll make it clearer if the password has been changed for certain posts. Please don’t ever feel afraid to ask for the password for the rest of my blog posts, everyone is welcome. But also try not to be offended or hurt if I decline to give you the password for certain posts as really it’s only about me knowing the people who want to gain access.

I thank you all for reading along and for your interest and support. There will be other posts coming which will either have the normal password or be public. I still want to share my journey with those who want come along with me.

This is about me feeling as safe as possible with what I share and no reflection on anyone else or about making anyone feel left out. It’s purely for my own comfort.