Tomorrow I’ve got my first session back after the therapy break, and I have no idea how to feel about it. While J has been away, I’ve had a rough time, and the logical place to begin would be to tell her about that. But there’s a big part of me that doesn’t want to. I’ve emailed her with the gist of it, because I don’t anticipate being able to speak much when I see her face to face.
I suppose in part I resent her for abandoning me with all this shit. It’s the same old thing. Rationally, it’s totally OK for her to have time off. Of course it is. And I feel like such an arsehole for resenting it. But as we know, it isn’t the whole of me that resents it.
The problem is, the resentful part is a forceful, stubborn bugger that could make a career out of holding a grudge. While J was away, that part kept stopping me when I wanted to make contact with her. That part kept getting angry, because from her perspective J has made me dependent on her and now she’s gone and left me to cope alone. Viewed that way, it looks like a harsh and callous way to behave. But that part doesn’t believe J’s kindness is genuine, and so wants to prove she isn’t what she makes out.
But I think that’s over simplifying things. Because that thinking then rolls into a desire to push J, to test her, even to punish her. It’s almost like when I’m in that place, I want her to feel how I feel. I want to make her feel that. Maybe it’s because that part of me can’t explain. I don’t even know. I don’t know what the words are. And I don’t have a voice with her when I’m in that state, I can’t connect. Or don’t want to.
I don’t think I want that part to enter into my relationship with J. Because the other parts of me need her so much and value her so greatly. To them, being close to J is a very precious thing. And the angry part threatens that. Despite J saying that all the parts are welcome and nothing will change how she feels about me. I can’t believe that. No human being can say that with certainty.
There is always something we can do to wreck a relationship. And I don’t trust that part of me not to go there.
I love J. I care about her very deeply. And it isn’t just because she indulges me and pays attention. I love the warmth and kindness of her. I love her curiosity and her sense of humour, and I respect her as an intellectual. Of course, I also love how compassionate she is towards me and how willing she is to hear me and be with me in what I’m going through.
I’m scared of doing something to jeopardise that. And maybe I am scared of seeing up close the real anger and resentment that a particular part of me holds. I want to keep my relationship with J free of that. I don’t want her to see that awful side of me. I don’t think I even want to see it myself.
The angry part is hateful. There’s so much hate that I can’t even begin to explain it. There’s hatred towards my parents, my brother, my sister, everyone who let me down when I was small. Most of all there is a molten, burning tar of hatred for myself. It’s sticky and heavy and it eats me up. It consumes me. It coexists with a rage I have to contain. There is no way I can risk letting that out. I can’t see how it wouldn’t destroy everything.
What I’m really grappling with right now is the recognition that I also hate J. That part of me does. I hate her for ‘making’ me feel needy. I hate that she evokes all these powerful attachment feelings in me; beautiful feelings when I’m close and excruciating when that closeness is taken away. And every week without fail, I feel the pain of that attachment comfort being taken from me. I blame her for that suffering. I hate her for choosing to put me through that over and over again.
The adult part of me knows that’s how our relationship has to work. I’m well aware of the fact that my therapy would go nowhere if J didn’t occupy the role of therapist, with all the boundaries and restrictions and distance that requires. And I don’t even know what more she could do or say to change how this feels. She already goes way beyond what I should reasonably expect to try and help me feel secure.
Perhaps there isn’t any way I can feel more stable in my attachment to J. Maybe there is always going to be a part of me that doesn’t trust her. The part that wants to defend against the fear of complete abandonment, of being exposed, vulnerable.
I have to protect against the risk of one day seeing my disgust for myself reflected in the way she looks at me.
Even if those fears subside, there is still one thing I don’t think I could stop being furious with J for. And that is the simple fact that she can’t change anything for me. She can’t make anything better. My sessions don’t make me feel better. More often than not, I feel worse when I see her. But I want to keep going despite that because I need her. So much of the time, therapy just feels like yet another addiction; it hurts but there is something there that I can’t resist returning to time and again.
I realise this has rambled on aimlessly now and my intention was to order my thoughts so I could somehow make my session useful tomorrow. Or at least not cut off and retreat into silence. The little parts of me are so very desperate to see J. They’re excited even. But this angry part is flattening them. Bulldozing right over what they want and filling me with angst about the session.
If I still feel like this in the morning, it’s going to be hard to even make myself walk through the door.