14 days to go.
Therapy breaks are the worst.
Actually, I am doing pretty fine on this break. I don’t feel much yearning to be there. I don’t miss Sienna much at all. There’s a sense of things feeling a tiny bit “blah.” But it’s nothing like the agony I used to feel about breaks.
I am able to hold onto the fact the Sienna is still alive and safe (mostly). I still hold space for her within me, I know she’s okay and I’m okay and we are connected still.
I can’t believe I am even saying that, because it’s a skill I never used to have and couldn’t imagine how I’d ever get to this point. I’m still not sure how I did get to this point, there isn’t a step by step manual. I guess it’s just been time and repeated experience of her going away and really coming back. And enough nurturing and repeated positive messages that finally found a place to reside within me.
Before going away, Sienna promised to check in by email a couple of time through the break. She offered. I was surprised by her offer. But I doubted she’d remember.
I’ve got to admit it was in the back of my mind as this small niggling concern that it was just another thing she pledged to do but forgot about, and that it would create a mini meltdown from me about her forgetting.
When Sienna promises something or at least, when she says she’s going to do something, and then forgets she said that or changes a plan – cos she’s soooo forgetful at times, even though there’s no malice, or ill-intent behind it….. I get very upset.
The child parts hear everything and when she says she will do something, they take it as gospel that that thing will happen. And when it doesn’t… they meltdown.
It’s something I need to remember to speak to her about because it’s happened a few times.
So, yeah, I’ve been doubting Sienna would remember that she said she’d check in with me over the holidays, especially since she’s on faraway holiday. Part of me doesn’t care about hearing from her, I don’t need it and I’m doing fine.
But a small part of me still hoped to hear from her.
And today I got an email.
A one liner. Desperately disappointing.
I wasn’t expecting her to write war and peace, but FFS…. her one line was depressingly dull.
” Checking in. All here’s well, hope things are with you too.”
My heart sank. It wasn’t what I wanted. We hadn’t talked about what her check in would be, or what I’d like. We should have, on reflection.
Do I sound like a desperately spoiled brat? I feel like one.
What I would have liked was ” Hi Sirena, writing from sunny __________. Have been to *tourist destination X” and had a lovely trip. Hope you are well, not long until I’m back and we can meet on the 16th. Thinking of you. ”
The thing is… to explain to those who don’t understand (though many who read this blog and have similar issues to me will.) Any communication with my therapist is activating. I literally have a hyper-vigilant response to any email or text she sends, regardless if it’s good bad or ugly.
Even a lovely warm communication activates my fight flight or freeze responses. Communication costs me dearly. It’s a risk I’m willing to take most of the time because the rewards of a warm communication that help me feel safe and wanted and connected are just too tempting.
What I am learning though is that getting that feeling through electronic communication is extremely difficult. And actually, maybe the benefit doesn’t outweigh the risk.
Because too many times, the email or text doesn’t help me. And all I’m left with is anger and confusion and suspicion and an over-wrought sympathetic nervous system that is working overtime. And I find it very hard to calm down from that.
After Sienna’s email, I felt my heart sink. Disappointment setting in. A bit of anger at her crappy one lined attempt at what? Connection? It wasn’t connecting at all so what’s the point?
How could she not know that those words are no where near enough to help with connection or reassurance?
And worse than that…. my response only serves to make me feel bad about myself. I feel like a selfish brat for not being grateful that she took time to email. That she cared enough to make the effort during her time off, to think of me and to want to try to help me.
So today, I went from feeling fine, settled, calm and okay. To reading her email and feeling disappointed, hurt, angry, suspicious, frustrated, spoiled, ungrateful and generally pissed off.
That isn’t good is it?
I had a huge body response to her email. All the energy just drained out of my body, I felt nauseous and dizzy and shaky. It felt like when you get low blood sugar.
I couldn’t even stand long enough to make my lunch, my husband had to do it. Now I have been unwell with a Fibromyalgia flare anyway so I’m sure that reaction was in part to do with that. But before I read Sienna’s email I’d been feeling alright. But I think my body just can’t cope with strong emotions right now because it’s already so weak from the Fibro/Lupus flare.
I am not sure why I had such a huge body reaction. My body’s reaction was actually far bigger than any emotions I was feeling.
Part of me thinks I should just email her and say that I’m okay and ask her not to email again. I just get too activated and the pay off doesn’t seem worth it.
But I also feel scared to ask for that in case next week I’d be glad to hear from her. And the little parts really want a connecting email. And the hope that the next one will be warmer is so great that cancelling right now would mean they lose hope and that in itself could send me into a spiral.
It’s all so bloody complicated isn’t it?
How a simple email with good intentions could be so laden with danger for me.
I’m trying to keep myself on an even keel. But I can feel this hangover from feeling so disappointed.
And I leave you with a picture of little me having a raging meltdown! hahahaha.