Catching Up – Part I

onelovelyblogawardWell, I’m finally getting around to going back through the three awards this blog has received and will go through the processes for each of them.  I’m an awful person for not doing this a LOT sooner – I’m so sorry!  Considering this may be a marathon post, including a bit of an update on stuff going on, I may break it up over the next few days.

First of all, I’m reeling with my T’s confession last session – after the first meeting in a month due to the holidays – that she’s tired and getting older and that she’ll be retiring in the next year.  I reached out to all of the wonderful people on Psych Cafe about it who helped me try to make sense of all of this.  I had been, and still am, wrestling with whether or not I have it in me to stick it out for the rest of the time she’ll be working, just because I’m so afraid of the pain, and it’s hard to see the point.  My first instinct was to run in the opposite direction.  In some ways, I did that in the middle of the session, because when she first started talking about retirement, I completely numbed out, put up that wall, and kept things on the surface.  T probably thought I was mad.  Honestly, she looked defeated to me.  I don’t know why…I don’t know what’s happened, but she looked tired and defeated, and so I felt like it was my duty to not add anything to that.  And I feel like that should be my duty going forward: that I should stop now and make sure I’m not preventing her from retiring whenever she wants to.

Truthfully, I may actually be mad at her, which would be a first.  I’ve always had such endless patience and tolerance for her, just because I’ve been so appreciative that she’s still here and listening to me.  The reason I am mad (maybe) is partially because of the timing.  A couple of sessions before we had our month-long break starting in December, I shared details of the abuse with her – horrible details that kick up endless amounts of shame – and I was terrified that she’d be so disgusted with me that she couldn’t even look at me.  In those last two sessions, I kept asking her if she was disgusted, and she said no.  Fast forward a month to our first session back…We had been talking for only a few minutes before she brought up her retirement.  She told me that she’d seen her month away as a “break” in her contract with me, especially because of what I’d shared with her before the break, and because I’d been worried about her hating me or being disgusted with me and then she just left for a month.  The thing is…I could tolerate that, and I did.  But now with talk about termination, I am left wondering if that month allowed her to realize that she actually is disgusted and can’t stand to work with me anymore.

This may be unrealistic, but that little voice inside me, that gut reaction, is telling me that maybe there’s at least a kernel of truth in that.  And what if there is? She’d told me two or three months ago that she had no plans for retirement and that she didn’t want to kick me out, and as someone else pointed out to me, that may have been true at the time.  But I’ve just started to come to trust what she says and take things, with her, at face value.  And this shattered that.  Trusting her when she said that she didn’t want me out was the first time I’ve really chosen not to over-analyze what she says and just accept it, and that’s just not going to happen again.  It’s not her fault, though.  I’m just messed up like this, and I’m starting to think that I always will be.

All of that being said, I’m going to try to face her on Thursday, despite the shame I’m feeling about everything, including the grief I’m already feeling over this inevitable loss.  I have no idea how it’s going to go, and I have no idea what I’m going to say.  What I do know is that I will be crying…So I’ll need to make sure I have my waterproof mascara on hand that day.

On that note, let’s get on to something happier.  I have three awards to acknowledge, but I’m going to start with the one given to me first, which is a horribly long time ago.  Bourbon is the wonderful person who nominated me for this award, One Lovely Blog, and I feel awful for not doing this sooner.  Thank you, Bourbon, for this incredible honor…This was my first award, and you were/are so gracious in acknowledging this blog back when it was just a little fledgling and I had no idea what I was doing (wait…that shouldn’t be in past tense.. :)).

The Rules:

1) Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2) Share seven things about yourself.

3) Nominate ten blogs you admire.

7 things about myself:

  • I’ve ridden horses my entire life, and actually won a World Championship at the APHA World Champion Show in 2003
  • In high school, I was the Vice President of the FFA.  Yeah..that was an interesting point in my life
  • Friends is my all-time favorite show.  My favorite character is Phoebe. 🙂
  • I hate math and typically don’t like numbers, but my job is actually as a Financial Aid Counselor at a unviersity, and I actually kind of like it
  • I’m a leftie
  • I love to go on long drives
  • I like almost any type of music and am a sucker for anything with a beautiful melody and good bass

Ten blogs I admire:

Living While Healing – An inspiring blog about healing from Complex PTSD and all that comes with it

Tales of a Boundary Ninja – Just an awesome blog that gives hope to me and many others that healing is possible

Tales of a Crazy Psychology Major – I was one of these until recently…This is one of the first blogs I started reading

Getting Closer – A friend from the forum I mentioned above.  I’m always amazed at how brave she is in facing everything head on

Defying PTSD – Not to mention that I love the song “Defying Gravity” and think of it every time I see the name of her blog, I also resonate with many of her words

Tesseract – One of the most inspiring blogs – simply because I hope I could be even a tenth as brave as she is in dealing with everything she’s facing.

BuckWheatsRisk – Yet another survivor of abuse..She posts about many things including narcissism and how it hurts others, which greatly resonates with me

lost inamaze – Although she hasn’t posted in a while, this another one of the blogs that I started reading when I first joined here and has always been a source of inspiration for me and many others

Chewing Taffy – Another friend from the forum.  She’s a beautiful writer and person..

SparrowInTheSnow – Last, but absolutely not least, I love this blog and its writer for her candidness in sharing day-to-day struggles and triumphs that I relate to so much

Thank you again to Bourbon for the award.  I have two others to get to, so check back in if you’d like to read a bit more of my babbling. 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Catching Up – Part I

  1. Kashley, thanks so much for the award (and for your list of blogs, I didn’t know about some of them.) I also appreciate it because I have yet to follow up on my last award, and not I don’t feel quite so bad. 🙂

    As far as your T goes, I am not trying to worry you, but one thing really stood out for me in everything you said. You are assuming (as we trauma victims tend to do) that your Ts retirement is about YOU. That she’s disgusted or tired of you or can’t stand to work with you anymore. But I am assuming that she has other patients, right? And wouldn’t a lot of them be thinking this also? And no one would be right. Your therapist retiring is about her needs. It hit me when you described that she told you no about retiring recently,. then came back and told she was and how tired and defeated she looked, whether something had happened during the break, such as illness, hers or a loved one, or a failing parent, or …. a thousand other possibilities, that makes it necessary for her to retire in order to meet a primary need for her family. But she cares deeply for you and knows you well enough to know just how sucky the timing is. She knows this is not good for you, but has to make a choice based on all of her priorities, but she may be feeling terrible about that (especially considering what good work you two have done together.) But she’s not going to tell you her reasons as that would be to burden you with her needs and she is staying faithful to her role.

    My therapist retired because she felt a very strong call on her life that she needed to head in another direction than being a clinical therapist. I still don’t know what direction that was, but trusted it was her reason (albeit having to work through a lot of confusion (if she really loved me…) and anger (she knows what I’ve been through, how can she do this now…) and I struggled, very hard, to not make it about me. She was heading back to school to get another master’s. I will give her credit that she told me as soon as she could. I am wondering if your Ts sucky timing is because she felt like it was more important to give you as much notice as she could. If she made this decision, unexpectedly due to circumstances beyond her control, then she told you a the very first opportunity. We forget that our Ts have a life and that they are not immune to shitty things happening.

    All that said, its not your job to worry about her. You need to continue to trust her self-care. But you also need to be honest about all this (as in print this out and hand it to her) so that you can work through these feelings. I am NOT totally sure that you really picked up on anything a few months back aside from your own terror of being left. BN scratches his nose and I can read things into it. We are hypervigilant and always on the look out for the bad thing to happen (getting abused by a parent tends to have that effect on us) so we just lie in wait for the bad thing to happen (as it invariably will since everyone has bad stuff happen in life) and then we spring: “see, I knew it, I knew I was right to be worried.” I really do not think your T lied to you or acted to mislead in any way. NOTHING in her behavior has ever led me to believe that she has lied to you. She’;s an excellent therapist and knows how damaging that would be. So why would she start now?

    I’m sorry, I know I am pushing very hard (I am also acutely aware that I may be dead wrong) and I will have deep respect for however you decide to handle this. I just feel so strongly that working this through is the right thing to do for you. But that’s not really important, its what you decide you need to do to take care of yourself that’s important. I hope you are able to find some peace about this.

    love, AG

    1. Yeah, I’ve wondered if something happened during that break, too. Reading your comment about how it may not be because of me is mildly amusing, because I recognize now that I’d had the same thought, but somehow it got buried underneath all of my hate and self-loathing that kept me thinking it had to be because of me.

      I’ve never (ok, maybe not never..) thought that she meant to mislead me, so it’s really unfair for me to hold her to what she said a few months ago. I mean, for right now I am employed in this job and see myself staying for the foreseeable future, but I may change my mind in 2 months and quit to go climb Mount Everest. We’re always changing our minds, and like you said, things always happen that can change the course of things… It’s not fair for me to hold her to what she said back then.

      I just keep having this urge to do this stupid martyr type thing. To leave for her sake to make sure that I am not burdening her. It seems like that’s the only kind of repayment I can give for everything she’s given me, is to disappear. But I’m also frustrated with myself just reading that, because based on everything she HAS given me and the way she acts around me, part of me realizes that I’m just being dramatic.

      Anyway..phew, sorry AG. I feel like the most stubborn person on the planet right now. You’re too nice to me. 🙂

  2. I can totally understand how your “T’s” retirement would make you feel that way. I would feel it as abandonment. I’m guessing it’s not personal at all, it almost sounds like she is battling some things of her own. It seems she may have acted a little unprofessional with seeming like she was burdened enough, but that could just be my hypersensitivity. Would you be able to ask her flat out what’s going on?
    I hope it works out the very best for you. Sometimes when a door is closed another one is opened. Congrats on the award and thank you very much for mentioning my blog! xo

    1. Yeah, it’s my super-powered hypersensitivity that has thrown me into this big reaction. I’m always terrified of crossing a boundary with her that I’d be scared to ask if there’s something else going on. However, I do also think that she would have shared with me, even if it was vague, if there was anything additional going on other than what she said. Just one more day before I can hopefully get some answers.

      Thanks for commenting! xx

  3. Totally understandable that your knee jerk reaction is to take her retirement personally. I hope on Thursday you can be honest about this so that it doesn’t become a thought that just festers forever more? xx p.s. don’t worry about taking a long time to accept the award and pass it on. Certainly not a priority in life, right?! take care xx

    1. Thanks, Bourbon… I at least know that I’ll talk to her about it some – it’s just hard for me to be an open book and share everything. I’m still always so guarded, even around her. But I’m going to try. Anyway, thanks again, Bourbon. 🙂

  4. Thanks very much Kashley for the award – I’m very flattered. I don’t really do awards on my blog but am always grateful to receive one!

    The retirement situation is very difficult – I would absolutely hate this also. As others have said, this is really not about you, even though it feels like it.

    Take care

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