Thursday therapy: My dad

I felt too cruddy after therapy yesterday to write about it. It is almost like I’m actually better off if I don’t have therapy at all. I was in a bad mood all day, but tolerably bad. Having worked at home all morning, I knew my grey mood was most likely linked to not seeing anyone.

I arrived at my session not really sure of what I would talk about. I was in that quiet, zombie numb state and felt stubborn about remaining so. This was probably compounded by J forgetting she was meant to see me. I wasn’t angry with her, but I guess it made me start off defensive.

I told her I didn’t really have anything to say. She said she thought this was OK, and that we don’t have to dig for something every time. But then there was silence. I hated that, it made me retreat even further because if we are not talking, I feel so isolated.

I speak about my isolation often with her. My inability to communicate what’s going on for me. She said, “Laura you’ve got to let me in. If you don’t tell me what’s happening for you, you’ll be left over there on your own with everything. You don’t have to be alone here.”

Her reaching out made me feel really emotional and anxious. As soon as I feel that welling up I get stressed and start dissociating, I am so scared of letting myself be upset. I told her I feel like everything is too tangled, complex and confusing. My head is this jumble of anxious thoughts and I’m tired of trying to unpick it all. I said I just want to get drunk and not care for a while.

Her response was to say she understands why I want to blot everything out. But we have to find a way to make things more manageable. Her empathy made me feel so very sad and lost, I actually cried a bit.

Somehow we ended up talking about my relationship with my parents and this made me cry more. I couldn’t keep the emotion back when I told her how distant my dad is and how his relationship with my brother, my abuser, makes me feel so rejected. My experience, my pain, my truth are rejected. I told her I feel as though I’ve lost him, and that made me feel deeply sad.

J kept trying different questions to get me to think about this differently, to figure out how I could relate to my dad again. But I pushed back on all of them. Ultimately, I know nothing will work, because I know my dad so well. He’s not approachable, he’s not open minded, he wont respond well to me taking him out of his comfort zone. He will assume I’m attacking him and he will lash out. Last time I attempted this, he couldn’t cope, and buried himself further in his denial. This again, felt like another rejection. I tried to kill myself the next day.

I am resigned now to only ever having a superficial relationship with him. Because I love him very much, I can’t live my life without him. He was that super, cuddly, fun man who fiercely protected me when I was growing up. From everything except his own son.

J asked me what I think I need from him. I said I need him to acknowledge how bad it was, that my brother was wrong and that my pain now is real. She asked why I haven’t asked him for that, I said because I know he doesn’t believe it. He believes it wasn’t that bad, that I am being spiteful and pathetic letting it get to me now after all these years.

It was devastating to say that out loud. To say that my truth is so very different from his, and the two will never be reconciled. So I have lost him. I’ve lost everything I thought he was to me and everything I had hoped for from him.

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