When You Least Expect It

I thought I was doing so much better. No, I AM doing so much better. I’m calmer. If I’m triggered, I catch it, and I care for myself, and it doesn’t last very long. I’m taking risks in individual and couple’s therapy. I’m out in the world again, instead of hiding in my bed. Over the weekend, I told my husband, “I feel like this is the healthiest I’ve been in years, at least five years.”

And then today in therapy, E poked a sharp stick straight into the attachment wound.

She said I’m doing well but not talking like a well person with her in therapy, and she thinks that’s because I am reluctant to stop leaning on her, and we should talk about that. I don’t need to leave right away, she’s not pushing me out, but any good mother raises her kids to leave, right? I’m able to take care of my own needs.

Ironically enough, I had walked into the session thinking, “If I need one thing from today, it’s reassurance that our connection is as strong as ever.” That’s because I had felt distant from her last Wednesday (which by the way, I had TOLD her in a text) and she was gone and unreachable the past four days. But she never asked what I wanted to talk about. She had her own agenda, it seems.

She could see I was upset in session. But the full force of it only hit me afterwards. I am hurt, afraid, and ANGRY. I feel she underestimates the severity of the attachment pain. I feel unseen and uncared for.

“Time’s up! Move along now!”

Of course she didn’t say those words. She said she cares for me and wants me to be whole and healthy and doesn’t want our connection to interfere with that. Because I guess she knows better than I do whether I am relying on her in a healthy way, right?

Even as I’m in the middle of feeling it all, I’m also standing back and observing myself, amazed at how quickly I can be transformed into a fumbling, confused, panic-stricken bundle of nerves.

I want to scream. I want to go silent. I want to quit therapy and not see her anymore. I want to talk to her RIGHT NOW so we can fix things. I want everything to be fine again.

I want to burn myself, but then she’d just say, see, it’s true, you are preventing yourself from being healthy in order to hang onto our relationship. FUCK.



CREDIT: Photo by Ehimetalor Unuabona on Unsplash


  1. Oomph. Talk about a shock to the system! I’d react the same way hearing those words. It sounds almost like tough love on her part, but I would certainly perceive it as a statement of “It’s time to leave, good riddance”. I want desperately to say something to you that’s comforting, but I don’t know if there are words to make that pain better coming from me. I think you’re doing everything you can to hold yourself through being triggered and I believe you’ll speak those truth with her when you see her again. I know the thought of leaving is very scary. It’s one thing to be doing well with the support, another entirely to think of having to manage alone! Hang in there! x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yeah, she’s going to hear about it. She already has been getting texts about it. No way could I hold it for days until I see her again. It’s erupting out of my like lava from an explosive volcano!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, TS. I posted about this precisely because it does really help to know I have my WP friends with me, helping me hold this. You all know how precious the relationship to E is to me, and it’s reassuring to know the pain is seen and understood.

      Liked by 1 person

    • There is no way we will possibly talk about anything else in session, ever, until we have talked this situation to death. Poor E, I’d almost feel sorry for her if I weren’t so mad and hurt and crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Uggh. I am angry for your sake. I don’t know if I can make much sense in this comment because of the anger, but I will try. Even if it was true (which I really don’t buy) that you are reluctant to not be reliant on her, so what? The analogy of a bird or a mom just doesn’t fit. She is your therapist. The two of you work together, it isn’t a parent/child relationship. I feel like the two of you have been pretty clear on your goals and you are definitely making progress towards those goals, but even if you weren’t, so what? She wouldn’t just drop you. Hopefully this was just a poor word choice/approach. This is long term work and she doesn’t get to choose when YOU are done. She can tell you if she is (which sucks), or renegotiate treatment goals, or boundaries if her availability or practice changes etc, but dang, she doesn’t get to make decisions about your needs unilaterally.

    Ok, sorry. Rant over. I am just always so impressed with all the work you are doing and moving towards wholeness and healing. Doing the yoga, and the other therapies shows a huge commitment to relying on yourself and building your resources. I also feel that with all the vulnerability of working with these additional professionals its all the more important that you have a “safe base” or safe person to rely on. I hope E steps up to be that person for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, Q, I know just where you’re at. This is so me too. The intensity of attachment pain is indescribably painful. I can’t imagine my life without my T but I know that, at some point, we will need to part. I’ve been making a book about it giving her the chapters as we progress along. I’m on chapter 7 which is Somewhere in between King Pigeon and a Hangover. Love to you ❤️


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