Gratitude

I want to use this post to express my gratitude to my T. In an indirect way, of course. Quite indirect, actually. My last session just left me with profound feelings of thankfulness toward her.

The greatest thing about my therapist is that she doesn’t shy away from me, even though I always expect her to. She knows I expect this, so it makes it more meaningful for both of us when I can share something scary or sad with her and she doesn’t turn and run away but stays with me as I try to work through everything. She lets me know that I don’t have to take care of her and her feelings, because nothing bad will happen if I don’t. Yet, she’s completely accepting as to why it feels so necessary for me to take care of her, and even though she’ll gently challenge me whenever I attempt to care for her, she doesn’t force me to stop if I’m not ready.

I got to my session this week right on time, but she was standing in the waiting room, looking out the window, so I assumed that maybe I was later than I thought and that’s why she was out there. I apologized for being late, but she told me that I was right on time and then asked if I spend a lot of energy trying to take care of her. It wasn’t an order to stop, rather a suggestion that I consider whether or not it would feel safe enough to allow her to take care of herself. I’ve been trying to take care of her for 2+ years, and she’s never been angry with me for it or resentful that I haven’t been able to take that risk of not constantly monitoring her feelings for fear of something bad happening. She is accepting of my reasoning for why I take care of her and fully understands why it feels necessary.

She didn’t shy away from me when I told her that a child’s voice in my head answered a question she asked, and she didn’t run when I told her what the child said. She helped her get out of our dark childhood bedroom and out to a safe place, away from danger and invisible to the world. She offered to stand by her and help carry her burden and promised to never knowingly do anything that would hurt her. And she accepts that that girl is a part of me, separated off for very good reasons.

She’s giving and assures me that she wouldn’t do anything or offer me certain things if she didn’t genuinely want to do them. She told me in our last session that I never have to let her in if I don’t want to. So, despite everything she’s done for me, it’s okay with her if I still try to keep her at arms length.

So, I guess in lieu of being able to really express my gratitude to her, sharing here about how wonderful she has been to me the past 2+ years will have to suffice.

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8 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. I think you should print this out and put it in a card for her… she’d love it. It’s a very special tribute to a woman who’s been very special in your life! Even if you popped it in the mail to her, so you didn’t need to be present when she read it…. or hand it to her on your way out… (that’s what I did!) 😉

    1. How brave of you to actually show your T something like this…I think, at this point in time, I’d prefer tearing off my own arm and beating myself with it instead of opening up that much to her. 🙂 But I may toy with coming up with something more eloquent to give her at some point..

  2. This is so lovely – I agree with purple about the card, she would love it. It’s so powerful when all of our parts can be respected, responded to and loved on their terms by someone with healing intentions.

  3. Kashley,
    I’m going to add to the (quite lovely!) chorus and say I think it would be wonderful to give this to your T. BUT, if that’s too much right now, remember its an amazing accomplishment to realize that you are holding these feelings and not fleeing. I often found dealing with “good” feelings to be much harder. There was nowhere to put them and they scared the living daylights out of me. So thank you for writing this here and daring to be that vulnerable. You’ll be able to say it to her someday. 🙂

    AG

    1. Thanks! Yeah, the good feelings are often too “icky” to tolerate and even kick up a lot more shame. But I get to capture little moments of goodness in the milliseconds before I nose dive into self-hatred for having those experiences. 🙂

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