Revoked.

Last night pretty much went almost as bad as it could.

As predicted, my text privileges have been revoked. And the rage that stirs up in me is completely overwhelming. Like… I literally felt like I was going to implode with sheer rage.

Somehow, me wanting to talk about how it feels to me when Sienna isn’t available to me, and find a way through that pain to a place of peace on the matter, turned into an issue about texting. How the fuck did we get there?

Like I told Sienna last night ( spitting mad, bytheway) “ Well, taking texting away from me doesn’t stop the chance of you not being there for me properly or you distancing from me because you did that on Monday IN the fucking session! The issue isn’t text, the issue is my history and my wounds and YOUR process of withdrawing from me near holiday time or whenever your tired.”

It feels like I can’t win. I begin to bring my emotions into session to be dealt with instead of using email or text to deal with it from afar, which is a huge step forward for me, and it results in me losing a precious resource. It makes me feel like it will never be safe to really be truthful about how I feel.

I get it, texting is a shit form of communication. Texting is also a shit way of trying to connect to my therapist. Texting sometimes doesn’t work very well. And texting brings the risk that I reach my therapist at a time she can’t really reply properly and that often brings me pain. And text impacts both of us, because she doesn’t like the feeling of hurting me or me feeling rejected because she isn’t there. And texting also makes her feel like it sometimes interrupts her down-time or something..

I GET IT!! Texting is awful.

I don’t like it much either. Yet I am terrified to let it go. Terrified.

Because as rudimentary a tool it is, sometimes it is better than nothing. Just knowing that I can get some brief input from her if needed, contains me most of the time. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Texting has long been a thorn in the side of my therapist and any therapist I’ve had. They don’t like it, and with good reason. Yet I hold them hostage with it, I defend my right/need to use it. I rigidly grip it and won’t let it go. I will leave therapy before I let go of texting.

I don’t know why it’s SO important, I mean I know why it’s important to me, but I don’t know why I so fiercely hang onto it.

Because the reality is, lately, I haven’t needed texting. I don’t actually use it very much.

I have looked backed at how often I’ve reached out in text. And apart from last week, the time before that was Friday the 9th of June.

Before that, the dates are

Fri 2nd June – following on from a CSA dream on the 31st May

31st May- Horrific CSA dream and subsequent dissociation.

Monday 3rd– 8th May – a few texts swapped between us.

Friday 26th-28th April – few supportive texts exchanged.

20th April- CSA nightmare and young parts write to Sienna.

1st April-5th – Keira aged 6 sends Sienna pictures  she’s drawn; fears about the impending break. Supportive texts back and forth over those days.

23rd March- Amelia send a drawing.

21st March- CSA dream need support.

Monday 6th March

Friday 27th Feb

15th Feb – nightmares

 

So yeah, you get the idea, the texting is somewhat regular but not 24/7. They come in fits and starts. And usually the main reason I reach out is after some pretty horrific CSA dreams. It seems I need support after those dreams and sometimes in the days after, I’ll have young parts come out who have something to say, they upset about the nightmares and they just need a lot of reassurance and support.

Looking at the regularity of the texting, it is more regular than I’d like, but it’s certainly not as bad or as regular as Sienna would like to believe it is.

I don’t text every-time I stub my toe or feel a little bit sad. I am getting much better at holding things for myself, especially over the past couple of months. But when I wake up from a horrifically detailed CSA dream, then I want to reach out to her. I want to tell someone about them now. And the idea that I can’t send a text to tell someone, is excruciatingly intolerable. The idea of having to sit with that all by myself, to stuff it all back in and have no one to tell, just like when I was little invokes so much emotional pain and grief within me that I can barely breathe.

I have very regular CSA dreams and I don’t contact her after every single one, but sometimes some affect me really badly and that’s when I want her help.

It feels really cruel to tell me that she won’t be there for that. Unbearably cruel. And I can’t imagine how bad it’s going to feel to be so alone and triggered and re-experiencing the nightmares and have literally no one to go to. It’s not exactly the type of thing you can tell a lay person is it?

And anyway, it’s her I want in those times.

I can’t bear this, guys. I can’t hold the level of pain this abandonment evokes in me.

I feel like she’s totally abandoning me. I feel like my history of being emotionally and physically abandoned is being replayed. That she is choosing to allow me to suffer.

The grief I feel is gigantic. The loss and the feeling that I am too much is drowning me; That my feelings are so big and overwhelming to people, that they need to put space in to save themselves from it, from me.

And it leaves me with a huge dilemma of how do I ever take any of my feelings to her ever again, because anytime I do it results in the loss of something. I feel like I get punished.

How do I trust Sienna after this?

How do I do this level of work with everything it triggers within me, knowing that I have no support outside of the session?

How do I remain open and connected and constantly striving for healthy attachment, with someone I don’t trust. How do I push through my attachment trauma

Ugh, that isn’t what I am trying to say. I can’t get the fucking words out!!

Basically, I don’t know how to remain connected and attached to Sienna and do this intensely triggering work, in just 6 sessions per month.

There’s two triggers that happen in therapy for me. Firstly the historical trauma stuff that I first came to therapy to deal with. Talking about that stuff naturally brings up intensely painful feelings and memories and trauma doesn’t just fit neatly in a little  one hour therapy- window box. It seeps into every aspect of my life.. that’s why trauma is so devastating. It leaks into everything and incapacitates me to the point that I stop living fully. It can’t just be opened and put away at will – I wish!

The act of telling, the act of having my history witnessed, the act of me being seen is triggering and terrifying and it impacts the rest of my week.

The attachment stuff we work on is the biggest most overwhelming aspect of therapy that triggers me so badly. It’s the one thing that puts my entire system into overdrive, and full on fight or flight mode. It’s the one thing that really drives the chaotic and undesirable tantrums and problematic behaviours.

I have to push through all of that in order to stay connected and not shut down. I feel like I am being asked to do this really painful thing (stay connected, stay attached, stay emotionally open, stay emotionally vulnerable) when every system in my body is perceiving huge threat over that and its natural way to shut-down the danger is to close off, detach, get away from this thing of fear; the relationship.

And texting has been instrumental in helping me to build trust and stay open and not run away. It has allowed me to see that Sienna is still there, that she’s not the danger. That she is safe. And she hasn’t ran away. And when she attends to me and gives me the attention and soothing that I need when I am panicking about being open and connected and vulnerable, it allows me to rewire my brain and settle my somatic trauma responses. It’s like each time she helps me during those moments, it helps build another little bit of learning, another little bit of synapse grown in my brain which will help me learn that attachment isn’t a threat.

And sometimes texting doesn’t work. But when it does, it’s priceless. And now it’s being taken away from me.

It’s like I’m being told that my trauma isn’t important enough to merit that support. That no one cares that for me, being in therapy IS traumatic, that I am in the middle of severe trauma responses that last days and days that are caused just from the act of being in relationship.

No one cares. I am supposed to tolerate that on my own. If I was an army veteran with PTSD trauma responses and I was in a hypervigilant flashback for days, crouched in a corner of my living-room, sweating, ready to fight the enemy to the death, thinking I was still in some war-torn hell-hole….. who would leave me like that? Who would ignore that?

If simple reaching out, a simple text would bring that army veteran out of it within minutes instead of leaving him languishing in terror for days, a week even, wouldn’t someone do that? Wouldn’t someone allow that text if it helps?

Yet because my trauma is attachment and my war-torn hell-hole is the terror of feeling attached to someone who could hurt me or leave me, and my hyper-vigilance makes me freeze, not fight or crouch in a corner… I don’t deserve the help, or the intervention.

I might write up my session, but it was so bad that I’m not sure I have it in me right now to even listen back. All I want to do is retreat from everyone and everything. I want to shut this shit-show called therapy down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Revoked.

  1. Individual medley says:

    I’m so sorry. I don’t think anything I can say will make this any better but I want you to know that you are not alone. My T took texting away from me earlier this year; the pain inside and the shame I felt that she felt it necessary to do that were intolerable, and then came the anger because punishment always seems to come when we are at our most vulnerable. All I can say is that the raw hurt of the open wound does lessen over time, but I still haven’t regained all my trust in her. I feel so much grief and anger on your behalf for what you are going through. So sorry. Xxx

  2. VeraDouglas says:

    That kind of sucks! Maybe you are right she is somehow resenting you for “breaking” boundaries when you didn’t. This seems like a weird form of punishment at this point in time?

    • Sirena says:

      It’s all transference from her side. We had a check in today which enlightened me a bit because she was able to work out her tranference responses to me.

  3. Cd says:

    My T took away all outside communication and I shut down (she was fairly new). I’ve never had texting with my main T, but I can email. Is in email an option?? No outside contact us just not acceptable for someone with attachment issues (my T’s words). I can’t believe after the last conversation I read that she’d do that. Something from her supervision?

  4. behindapaintedsmile30 says:

    I’m sorry that it has escalated to this point because it really didn’t need to. I got the impression that Sienna had taken on board what you said in your phone call but maybe not. I hope that it’s only temporary and that the break gives Sienna space to work on those issues. It’s her stuff and you were simply asking for help in a session as you said.
    I totally get the panic and powerlessness you feel around the abandonment and history repeating itself. Sending love x

    • Sirena says:

      Thank you. They are her issues and her transference, this hasn’t been about anything ‘ve done wrong, that’s for sure. I have more to write to put it all in contecxt, but I’m still recovering from last night’s horrendous session and just need a bit of space from it.

  5. Confessions of Scar says:

    Hi, Sirena. I just wanted to give a few thoughts I had when reading this post. First, you should know many therapists revoke texting contact between sessions. Therapists have really busy lives. They literally sit in a tiny office with patients crying, insulting them, or listening to patient’s bitch. When they get home, they finally get to do whatever the hell they want. I imagine this means sleeping and recovering from the day. Perhaps they have a family. When you send a text to Sienna, you are interrupting her day. Don’t take that negatively, it is just simply the truth. If it’s after she is working, she has returned to that mindset of a therapist again. In an article I read, therapists tend to have a certain mindset in office and then turn it off when they get home. They can’t always be a therapist. Therapists work all the time, they cannot always be the savior of the day. Texting should be last resort. The purpose of waiting between sessions is so you can process whatever is going on and you can also try and to recover from what’s bothering you. If she let you text her as much as she wants, you would eventually come to the mindset of texting her every time something minor happens. Every patient she has needs her. Imagine if they all texted her. She would never have a break. Also, by letting frequent contact by phone call, email, or text, that is encouraging the wrong type of attachment towards a therapist. Some people can become addicted. You want her as a mom and that can be seen as unhealthy. One of the goals of therapy is to become independent which means you can deal with hard times. She needs space. She’s only revoking texts because it’s most likely healthy for your relationship with her. I assure you, she isn’t trying to treat you wrong, but there’s a lot of things that have to be restricted and regulated in therapy. I hope you start feeling better.

    • Sirena says:

      I am perfectly aware how busy my therapist is. And I also know that she isn’t always in “therapist mode” and sometimes that’s where the miss-attunements happen. We have spoken about this at great length and weighed up the pros and cons and we felt that mostly it works and when it doesn’t, we both (mostly me though) have to accept the consequences of that.
      Sienna is responsible for her own boundaries and is perfectly capable of protecting them. That isn’t my responsibility. So, if I send her a text at the end of her day or at a time she is not being “therapist” like on days off or whatever… then it is her responsibility whether she A) picks up her messages and B) Answers me. Or C) ignores it until a time she’s better placed to answer me. – I will not do that for her, it’s up to her to protect herself.
      Our contract around texting isn’t that it’s a last resort. Obviously I don’t abuse it. It’s over-simplistic and a bit insulting for you to suggest that just because she allows it that I will eventually come to the mindset of texting her everyday every time something minor happens. That has never happened, and won’t happen because I don’t have a dependent personality, I’m actually very independent.
      My outside contact is about attachment not over-dependency.
      There is no such thing as “wrong type of attachment”. Everyone’s attachment style is different and has different behaviours and needs and it’s about managing and attending to them and building a safe and eventually secure attachment to the therapist. In attachment work and limited reparenting; which is what we are doing, outside contact is actually extremely important and highly necessary. A lot of this work is estimated to take about as much time as it does to bring up a real child. It’s very deep, complex work.
      Not every therapist can do it and not every client is capable of it. Becoming addicted to it is highly unlikely. And even if it did happen, that is just a sign that something isn’t working for the client or the client’s needs aren’t being met in a way that works for them. Becoming addicted is okay too, it’s just another thing to work on. But addiction isn’t in my personality.
      Wanting her or seeing her as my mum isn’t unhealthy at all. In fact, it is perfectly normal and healthy in the context of trauma. Sienna knows I see her in that way and knows she’s more than just a therapist for me and she accepts that role.
      Finally, I work extremely hard in therapy. I am very independent. One of the aims of my therapy and attachment process is to seek help, seek comfort and soothing and the healthy aim for anyone’s therapy is to become “ Inter-dependent”. That means that yes, you can reply on yourself and have good emotional resilience and a degree of independence but also that you can reach out to others for needs you can’t fulfil for yourself.
      There isn’t a fit-all formula for therapy. Therapy and the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship are decided and agreed upon by both the client and the therapist. And the way each client/therapist works is as varied and individualised as the people involved.

      • Confessions of Scar says:

        I’m sorry you feel insulted. I honestly think that if Sienna ignored your text, you would take that as if she doesn’t care. It’s not really a good situation because either way, it does hurt. She sees the situation from a clinical standpoint, which is both unfamiliar from you and me. As I have stated, these are just my thoughts.

      • Sirena says:

        Yes i would take it as that. I hate if when I feel ignored. But that’s the work. Therapy isn’t about avoiding my triggers or but working with them when they arise and helping me find better ways to deal with things.

      • Confessions of Scar says:

        Also, I am slightly insulted by your reply asif it was a big, “Fuck you for responding with those thoughts.” I hope it isn’t that way.

      • Sirena says:

        Nope it wasn’t a fuck you. I welcome everyone’s thoughts as long as they are respectful.

  6. manyofus1980 says:

    I am so sorry she revoked the texting but I think I read this morning she said she’d allow it now again? that is good for your system, I am happy for you because I know how important it is to the relationship and the opening up or closing down of feelings. xx

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