Feeling lost and needing connection

I unintentionally opened up a very delicate and painful topic with only fifteen minutes to go. I didn’t know the time because we’ve agreed for the clocks to be turned away from me so Anna can hold and manage the time frame. I was prone to clock watching which would make me censor myself.

I told Anna that after weeks and weeks of not feeling overly emotional about anything, I cried a lot yesterday afternoon because it suddenly dawned on me on a deeper level that I care so much for her and she’s not mine… that I don’t know her outside these sessions, that I can’t just speak to her whenever I want, that she’s ‘just my therapist’… yes I’ve felt this before (and I felt it with my previous therapist) but this was different. It was a terrifying grief. I’m guessing it was a younger part that has only recently come into my consciousness. I know this is a familiar part of the process of healing from attachment wounds and I have read so much on this issue, but yesterday it hit me like a bolt of lightening and floored me.

I flippantly brought it up as I’d actually forgotten all about it (another reason I think it was a younger part of me that felt it… the ‘apparently coping adult’ in the room was quite happy talking about other stuff) so I mentioned it and then it couldn’t be properly explored and had to be packed away for another time. Anna started talking about how it’s a really important topic and perhaps when these things come up I could make a note of it and bring it up in session. I was getting more and more annoyed and said, ‘that’s what I’m doing! I’m bringing it up now. Why is this pissing me off so much?’ That’s when Anna let me know we only had fifteen to go. I said, ‘oh so what you mean is I should have brought this up at the start of the session and she said, ‘no, because what we’ve spent the past 40 minutes talking about was really important, but perhaps we could continue talking about this on Tuesday.’ She suggested I was pissed off because one of my perfectionism triggers is when I feel like I haven’t made the best use of the session. I think it also bothered me because earlier in the session I’d brought something up that she’d done that hurt me nearly two years ago. Things were feeling shakey inside. I don’t feel like she fully acknowledged either topic. Maybe she didn’t understand how much they meant to me…

I don’t know exactly what I’m feeling right now but it’s not anger… it’s also not grief or longing. I feel panicky and anxious and triggered. I feel like I want to self harm. I will work hard to not hurt myself but there’s a big draw to a well worn ‘coping strategy’ that I know will stop this ache. I need the connection with Anna to help me process the old relational traumas. I need her to help me co-regulate… and to reassure me that we’re okay.

I don’t know what the right thing to do is. Do I text and ask her for a phone call to get the reassurance that we’re fine and she’s not annoyed with me? What if she can’t give me a call? What if we’re not fine? What if she doesn’t reply? Do I hold it together and wait the 3 days until our next session and practice resilience? She’s always congratulated me for asking for a call and getting my needs met rather than torturing myself til we next see each other but maybe she would expect me to hold this by myself…? I’m so confused and mixed up and wish this session hadn’t happened.

13 thoughts on “Feeling lost and needing connection

  1. It’s hard when things get mixed up and you cannot decide what is a priority. Or these things pop up out of nowhere. The fact that you raised something so vulnerable shows how important it is.
    Reaching out seems like a better option than harming yourself, but it’s hard to tolerate the anxiety when waiting for a reply too. I understand the need for reassurance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes this is the internal battle! I’m feeling a bit calmer now that I’ve posted this here and on Instagram. I feel supported by people who understand. I’m not going to harm myself, I just need to focus on telling her what reaction I had when I see her next. Thank you 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. slantgirl

    oh lucy, so often you post things from your therapy and they resonate so deeply with me! your Anna sounds so much like my J, the same issues come up for us both (dude, i could have written the first half of the post on parenting after trauma!) and I have so so so been here in therapy. I don’t know if it feels like the right thing to do to reach out or not — though I am fully confident that if she has lauded you before for getting your needs met, then she will be there, and all is already fine between you. but i know this pain, this exact pain — it’s such a big part of what’s been hard for me in therapy! i have spent so many years now skating around it, addressing it full on i can’t wait to hear more, btw, and what she has to say — my T has not been the best about knowing what to do with this pain, or maybe i have been not as honest as I could have been about how much it has hurt. that said, and only very recently, i feel like the pain is abating a little bit and there are moments when i feel relief that i only know her in this one way, in this one place. Love to you – it’s so hard!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, this was a great comment to read this morning. Whhhyyyy does it have to hurt so much!? I’m through the wanting to hurt myself phase, I didn’t and I now won’t. I got through it and it’s the day after now. Not tomorrow but the next day I’ll be seeing her again so I think I can wait without texting for a call. It’s encouraging to hear that not only do you relate but also you feel the pain awaiting a bit. Thank you for sharing that. I don’t understand what goes on inside me when this shit happens. I’ve felt so connected to her recently and like the relationship has been perfect. She’s been attuned and caring and I’ve felt great with her and not worried between sessions that she’s gonna leave me and NOW…. now all the fear is back and the doubt and the ‘maybe she’s not right for me’ and I hate this feeling so much I’m sick to my stomach that it’s back. I’m trying to use logic to persuade myself that if I felt like she cared for me 5 days ago, she isn’t suddenly gonna stop yesterday. I just need to try to *feel* that! Thanks again for commending. It helps 💕

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I think attuning actually brings up the depths of the other losses and lacks and so it can bring up not only anger but rage as well as incredible feelings of insecurity. I can only deeply empathise with what you are going through. I hope you either found a way to call or to self soothe. Its tough work hitting the deep attachment wounds very very very painful. Lots of love to you ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, I was gentle with myself last night and today things feel more hopeful. I’ve written another post going in more detail into why the session was hard yesterday. I have processed it a bit more and believe the care was there I was just finding it hard to feel it. You’re right about attuning bringing up the pain of old losses. It hurts so much. Thank you for your comment.

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