Can I hold my feelings in a warm embrace?
Turns out it is actually still incredibly painful to exist in the space where I have opened my heart to Anna, and she has not replied.
And she will not reply. I always knew she wouldn’t. I do respect that. I respect that there will be a good reason for her to have made this decision. Maybe she made the decision back in May last year not to respond ever again to any subsequent messages from past clients. Maybe she had to make the decision this week, on the spot, to not allow me to open the door on things again. Maybe she knew right away as soon as she saw the text or maybe she is still deliberating on it… maybe she talked to her own therapist about it. Maybe it hurts too much for her to be reminded that she is no longer practicing. Maybe she is worried I wont be able to hold the boundary if she replies. Maybe she changed her number or blocked me and never got the message. Whatever the reason for the silence, all I can do is hold in my heart the knowledge and sense that she loved and cared for me. She helped me in ways that try as I did, I could never quite put into words. She was the mother I needed and never had until she gave me a taste of it. Then I lost her. Now my work is to heal that wound.
There was a moment where the waiting was like pure agony and I reached out to Mark via email.
Mark, I sent Anna a text, and I’m now in this vulnerable ‘what have I done?’ space where I’m questioning myself massively and wondering what she must be thinking of me. I know she won’t reply. I knew she wouldn’t reply when I sent it and I thought all parts of me were okay with knowing that I would send the message and not get a reply. But I guess I’m now feeling into a younger part of me that is definitely not okay with it and it hurts like hell.
I was just so aware of the anniversary. Like she’d died all over again. I intended on journaling to try to lean into the pain in my chest and tease it out a bit but as the words came out, I found myself writing to her and then I just sent it. I haven’t been in touch with her since our final goodbye. What was I thinking!? I mean, the message was very adult… it was mainly just thanking her and letting her know that she still matters to me… giving her a sort of update. Now I feel like I massively misjudged the situation and I’ve taken something that felt solid and neatly closed off and I’ve ripped it open again and made things messy.
I got caught up reading old session notes and it felt just as alive and powerful as it was back then. It’s as if my connection to Anna was a living, breathing animal that was being nurtured between us… a living tether. When she left and the connection was severed, I let it ache and wail for a few months and then I bundled up my half of the tether and shoved it into a box inside me and left it there in this timeless space. It doesn’t know that the earth has made an entire journey around the sun since I last saw her. It doesn’t know that life has changed beyond recognition. It feels like it was only last week that I walked out of her office, down the stairs and out onto the street, got in my car and drove away from her. For. The. Last. Time. Ever. It’s been a whole year for her, but for me it’s just been 365 days of thinking of her, keeping our connection alive but dormant inside that box. Sending her a text felt as natural as it did a year ago but for her to receive a message from me out of the blue could easily have felt unwelcome and intrusive and brought a whole world of stress and unwanted worry.
I just miss her so much and I think I started to keep this grief locked away for fear of it bleeding into everything again… I can’t let it thrash and cry out like it did in the beginning. But I need to let it breathe and I don’t want to do that alone. It’s feeling quite raw, this wound, and I just wanted to reach out and tell you that I’m hurting and I hope (if it’s accessible to me on Friday) that I’m able to let it speak and feel into our connection, Mark. I so need that.
I realised today, that in those early months after Anna leaving, mixed in with the grief and loss was this enormous fear that I would never find someone that I could do this deep work with, that I’d be on my own with it forever. I am so grateful that’s not the case.
Dear Lucy, I hope you are holding your feelings in a warm embrace and I will see you tomorrow. Kindest regards, Mark.
And that’s enough… that’s all I need to keep me from going out of my mind. I will see him tomorrow, and I know that he too will hold my feelings in a warm embrace.
This is hard hard work.