I’ve had a lot of tears lately. Too many for my liking, although I think my therapist is secretly thrilled. Or maybe not so secretly since she has told me several times when I cry that she’s so glad I’m crying since I haven’t for so long. I was telling my T yesterday that I feel like I’m messed up and have a part missing, because there should be a bottom to the well of tears, but someone just left it out. T said that I just haven’t reached the bottom yet. Will I ever?
I’ve been allowing myself to be more open with T about what I’m feeling and thinking. I used to hesitate to share a thought if it wasn’t “pretty,” but I’ve eventually come to learn that she can take it. It won’t hurt her (at least I hope it doesn’t) if I say something about myself that’s not nice. But that’s a tough line to tread, because if she cares about me, then I would think that it wouldn’t be easy for her to hear me say bad things about myself.
I felt more connected to T in my last session than I have in a long time…maybe ever. And it was even more meaningful because the connection and the honesty didn’t scare me like it normally does. I was talking about something that happened this past weekend, and I had only paused for a bit to collect my thoughts, but T started saying “This may not be the best time for this, but…” It was obvious that this was really bothering her, because I don’t think we have ever switched subjects so quickly. She went on to say that she wanted to apologize for the way she acted two sessions ago, and I just gave her a blank look. I don’t remember much from that session, because I was dissociated, but she said that she was harsh to the part of me that wants to deny what my father did and that she wasn’t understanding enough. She explained that she was frustrated about him coming up here, but she was frustrated because she cares for me.
She seemed passionate in the way she was talking, and it was in that moment that I started to feel that deeper connection to her. She went on to say that she kept thinking about all that she’d said and kept trying to justify why it was the right thing to do, but that she couldn’t come to terms with it. At this point, I started to feel guilty that anything having to do with me occupied her mind. Although another part of me was thrilled she was thinking about us. So she went on to apologize, and I told her that I didn’t even remember what she was talking about, and an apology wasn’t necessary. But she said it was. She said that she thinks that people haven’t apologized to me throughout my life, even when they do very bad things. She said this so fervently that it struck me: she’s right. And I felt a wave of emotion hit me, because her single apology meant more than maybe anything I’d ever heard. It signified so much. It meant that she thought about me, she cared about me, and she cared enough that it bothered her that something she said may have been harsh or even harmful. It mattered to her whether she understood me or not, and it mattered to her that I understood that she was trying to understand me – all the parts of me.
And maybe the most pivotal thing about all of this is that I was actually able to tell her, “That meant a lot. Thank you.” It’s an acknowledgement of our connection and what the relationship means to me, and that’s something I’ve never openly acknowledged.