“I don’t want to terminate.”
“ I know. We are okay. I have a full day today but check in tomorrow around 9am if you want to.”
It was the best I could do. I don’t want to terminate.
But what I haven’t said is that currently I feel the full discomfort of being in relationship with her and I don’t like it. I don’t want to terminate, but I don’t want to go back either. I mean, I know I’ll feel differently soon, but right now I feel so much emotional pain and at so much of a disadvantage in this relationship that I feel trapped, cornered and pressure to run away from it.
I’m struggling so badly right now. Because I don’t know how to feel safe or comfortable within this thing, this weird relationship that I both need and despise.
I want to run. I don’t want to feel this pain, the pain of needing someone, the pain of someone taking such a central and pivotal role in my life. I want to run from having to constantly put my trust in someone, I want to run from staying in a relationship I don’t understand and can’t predict. I want to run from a relationship where the rules seem foreign, where games are out and direct communication is in. Games I can do, direct communication…. Not so much.
I feel like I am a constant open wound. And when Sienna gets it wrong, salt pours into that wound.
I’m sick of being the only one emotionally vulnerable. I’m sick of being the one at a disadvantage all the time. I’m sick of being the one to care so much. I’m sick of being the one who needs and who is reliant. I’m sick of being so needy and vulnerable all the time. I’m sick of all of it.
I don’t want to be like this. I am a grown adult, yet my needs are that of a toddler and sometimes of a baby. I watch myself from afar sometimes and see how pathetic and ridiculous this all is.
I learned that I couldn’t trust my caregivers first time round, and now I’m having to unlearn all of that and try a new way. To allow myself to be vulnerable, to allow myself to be the one that needs, to allow myself to be the one that isn’t in charge, to begin to allow myself to trust that not all caregivers are there to fuck me over. To allow myself to sit back and not be in control; to trust this new caregiver with my wellbeing.
It feels like there’s an element of parent and child. I feel like a powerless child who is immediately at a disadvantage because of their lack of knowledge, lack of worldly experience, lack of development, lack of emotional regulation. And this parent is all powerful because I need them for survival. I have to trust this person not to hurt me.
Despite my neediness, I don’t actually want to be a grown-up toddler. It is so humiliating to not be in control of your emotions. I don’t want to need another person this damn much.
I want to be able to cut and run. I want to let her go on holiday for a fortnight and for it not bring me terror. I want some fucking self-respect, yet I have none. All I can see if how pathetic all of this is, that despite all my attributes as an adult, despite all my capabilities and real knowledge that her going on a holiday isn’t a huge deal, my body is running the show and telling me there’s something to fear, and there’s something to grieve.
And even though I’ve read all the books on trauma and disorganised attachment that I can get my hands on, even though I understand why this is happening and why I feel this way, I can’t get rid of this deep irritation I have for myself for not being less needy.
I feel this deep split between my body and mind and also the fragmented parts for whom this relationship feels dangerous to.
I know I need to stay in therapy, I know it is helping and will keep helping, I know that I literally have no other option but to work through ruptures, because Sienna is really good at her job (even though she fucks up sometimes). I know I won’t find someone else better or someone else who cares as much for me or helps me as much as she does. There’s no way out but through.
I have to stay. And it’s killing me inside.
I just wish it was an equal relationship, one where I wasn’t the one doing all the needing. I wish she wasn’t in charge. I wish she didn’t matter so much to me. I hate that.
I hate that my week has been utterly shit and excruciatingly painful every minute of it and she literally could not care less about that. It barely registered on her radar. I hate that I have been in the gutter over Monday’s session and she’s just got on with her life. I hate that I have been bleeding out and she has remained in full possession of her emotions.
I get this image in my head of her secretly gloating to herself as she watches me struggle, knowing that she has the upper hand, knowing that she can emotionally regulate herself with superiority while she watches me struggling. And that she laughs to herself about how ridiculous I’m being and knows that she doesn’t have to do a single thing, because I’ll always need her before she’ll need me and because of that, she knows I’ll always come slithering back, cap in hand because I need her. She doesn’t need to worry about abandonment or me leaving or ruptures because she is secure in the knowledge that I will be back and even if I don’t come back, it won’t matter to her because she doesn’t need me.
And that makes me so angry. And that image is what makes me want to run.
I don’t even know if I’m explaining all this properly. There’s this feeling I am trying to encapsulate with words. I’m sure there’s a word out there but I can’t think of it.
But it’s a feeling of me being this worthless, powerless thing, and needing this leviathan power who barely registers I’m there.
A friend used the word sadistic. And that word comes close to how I feel right now. That this relationship is like a cat lazily playing with a mouse for its own pleasure.
The power dynamics of this therapeutic relationship are so weighted against the client with disorganised attachment.
The only piece of power I have is to be able to walk away. To choose not stay. It’s the only thing I can wield that has any impact. It sometimes feels like the only way to regain some dignity, to get back some regulation, and to close out the pain.
But the undeniable fact is, I need her help. I can’t leave. So I stay, feeling trapped and unable to breathe from the pain of it all.
I wanted her to reach out to me this week. I wanted to feel like this isn’t some sadistic cat and mouse game. I wanted her to show she cared that I was in pain. I wanted some sign that this matters to her, that it has some sort of impact on her.
I wanted her to close the space that had opened up between us. I wanted her to close it before my mind took all of that space and turned her into the enemy; the sadistic cat playing with the mouse.
Is that wanting rescue? Maybe. I wanted her to make the first move so I didn’t have to. So that I didn’t have to feel like I was going cap in hand to her all the time.
I am so tired. I am so tired of being the one who has to push through discomfort, to deny my own natural (albeit unhealthy) dynamic and impulses to play games (because I naturally think everyone is playing a game with me, so every communication becomes tactical.) or to withdraw from relationships. I am so tired that all the responsibility lies with me. That if I want to keep my attachment figure, if I want her attention, then I have to reach out, over and over and over again. Why do I have to be the one taking all of the risk?
I am just so tired.
I work so hard in therapy. I do take a lot of responsibility for my growth. I do push myself to communicate my needs or to sort things out with her when there’s been a rupture. But sometimes, my God, sometimes I just wish she would help me out! I wish she’d just reach out to me in the times where I am upset enough to not feel able to do the reaching.
I am exhausted with it all. And I am so hurt.
“Check around 9am tomorrow if you want to.”
I do want to. But I want you to want to, Sienna. Does she want to speak to me? Does this week have any impact on her at all? That message doesn’t say anything about what she wants? Doesn’t she have anything to say? It’s like she isn’t even in this relationship. I am essentially in relationship with a brick wall.
Can she not tell me something that sounds remotely like she’s thought about this week? Can she not reveal anything that might allude to it having had an effect at all? Can she not say something that tells me this matters to her?