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Therapy love (long)

Posted by Daisym on February 28, 2006, at 0:43:18

I probably won't be able to get this right. I want to share what happened today but I can't figure out how to take all the intense emotions and compact them into the letters that make words that make sentences. It seems inadequate. I'm sure some great writer could paint the scene so you could feel it with me, but all you have is me. So I'll try.

Therapy has been harder over the past two months than it has ever been. It isn't just the stories that I'm telling, it is how needy I feel and how intense my relationship with my therapist is. I've tried to pull back, I don't want to be rejected. I truly do know what the boundaries are and I don't have any real expectations. Just after the new year my therapist hurt my feelings pretty badly and we've worked hard to repair the rupture. But there has been this wounded spot that I've been hiding, trying to gently heal it myself.

I had a tough time this weekend missing him. Before I left on Thursday, he said "you can call me if you really need me. I won't be around much, but I'll find a way to get back to you." I know he meant that to be reassuring, but I tortured myself with what does "really need me" mean...and where was he? Was he far away? Was he coming back? Silly, really. But very painful. So much so that I called and canceled today's session. I wasn't going to call at all, I wanted to just not show up. (hmmm....did I want him to worry about where I was, like I had worried all weekend?) I'm way too responsible, so I did call. He called back, saying my message was cryptic and he hoped I was OK and hoped I would change my mind and come. To make a long story, longer...I left another message about how hard the weekend was and how I always caved when I heard his voice...and he finally reached me directly and said, "If you don't come today, we'll just have to talk about it tomorrow, won't we?" I said no. I was hoping it would go away by then. He laughed and said, "It doesn't work that way. Please come and talk to me." So I went in.

And it was hard to get it all out. I did exactly what I didn't want to do. I left my pride out in the rain and dumped all the hurt and need out on his carpet. I told him how much I missed him and about how embarrassed I was that my feelings for him were so intense. I told him how I worried about what he said about calling, even as I knew it was meant as reassurance. I told him that I felt like he didn't trust me, because he didn't tell me anything but I was supposed to tell him everything. And I finally told him that I was terrified to be telling him all this because of what happened before. That it wasn't worth risking another rupture in our connection. And I tried so hard not to cry and failed.

He felt really bad. He told me he should have been more careful with his words and should have scheduled a check in call because he knew I'd have a hard time based on our sessions last week. I tried to own it, his intentions were good. And so much of this has to do with how hard things are at home. I wondered if I was unhappy with my marriage because my husband wasn't him or because my husband was a jerk. I answered myself: probably both. My therapist said it sounded to him like I thought my love for him was forbidden...and wrong. I had danced all around that word "love" even though I'd used it before, and here he was saying it like it was totally OK. I told him that I'd tried really hard to make all these feelings go away and yet they wouldn't. He kept saying it was OK, that he never expected them to go away. We talked about why I was so afraid to feel this way, or more accurately, why I was afraid to talk to him about these feelings. He asked if any part of it felt good...wasn't it OK to love someone that you were so close to?

At the end of the session we were both quiet. It was raining hard and there was no other noise in the building. I had tears in my eyes when I said that I still felt like I needed to apologize for loving him.
"Why?" he asked quietly.
"Because you aren't mine to love." And a tear slipped out.
He looked directly in my eyes, waited two beats and said, "I'm here."
And I replied, "That was exactly the right thing to say." He smiled.

He said it in this solid, gentle way that didn't lead me on, it just made it OK to love him. As my therapist. Am I still going to feel lonely and sad that I don't have him in my real life? Sure. But for tonight I'll take this. It feels like that wounded spot is finally healing. And once again I'm allowed that secret smile in my heart.

Thank you for letting me share.




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