I’m Still Here

There’s so many ways in which that statement is true. I am still here, actively doing the work to heal, to build up my strengths, to care myself for my vulnerable wounded parts. I’m still here, despite dark days and nights when being alive wasn’t at all compelling.

And I’m still here, on WordPress.

I haven’t posted nearly as regularly this past year as I used to. I think it’s probably because I have gradually cultivated more support in real life. I’ve built some friendships that allow me a level of intimacy and authenticity that I never used to have. I have a therapy group, finally, that talks about deep and important and difficult stuff. I also spend significantly less time feeling desperate than I used to, and in those earlier desperate days, I often turned to my blog, the kind people who left comments, and other people’s blogs to find some understanding and companionship.

Since I need it less, I was thinking of giving up the blog. It comes up for renewal for me each year in March, and in January I thought, well, when it comes up this year, I will let it go. I won’t pay for a seventh (!!) year. I’ll thank my readers, wish them well, and remember the blog as a chapter in my life that was valuable, but has ended.

And then, I didn’t do that.

Today I went into my WP account, and instead of cancelling it, I paid up for another year. I can’t even explain exactly why I did that. At some level, I suppose I realized that I am not quite done after all.

There are some big things that still lie before me, and maybe I’m feeling, only semi-consciously, that the blog will continue to serve me as a place that I can write about and work through my emotions. It’s served me well that way in the past.

I mean, really, even with kind friends, I feel hesitant to talk about some things. Who is going to understand that I am deeply attached to E and at the same time am incredibly frustrated with her. I long for her and dislike her–sometimes I hate her and love her. It’s been quite rocky over the past month. Who even understands that, except others who are grappling with complex attachment issues in their own therapy?

And I am about to start working with a new therapist next week (that will be number 12, since the woman leading my art therapy group is number 11). Charo, I’ll call her (I had a good friend named Charo in grad school). I got her name from Lisa, who leads that art therapy group. I had asked her for someone who does EMDR after getting triggered, again, about my relationship with E.

Anyway, I had my complimentary short consultation with Charo earlier this week. It turns out that she did offer EMDR, but she has switched to using brainspotting instead, because she feels it fits her style better and she’s seen it be very effective for clients. Okay, I’m willing to try it. I liked her. She was warm and engaged and seemed very knowledgeable. She didn’t seem surprised or thrown off by anything I said.

The only concern I had was that she told me she has a chronic disease that flares up periodically and makes her unable, sometimes at the last minute, to hold scheduled sessions. I mean, I completely understand that this is out of her control, and she needs and deserves to put her health above everything. I just wonder how it will play out if I feel like I really need her.

On the other hand, I am hoping that I won’t really need her. I hope that I will be able to benefit from the therapy and appreciate her support without being desperate for her in the way I have sometimes felt about E.

Another thing: the pace of my life is shifting again. For a year, it’s been quite slow. In our county in this state, we have been in strict to medium-strict lockdown since this time last March. To say that time slowed down is an understatement. That was hard for a long time. I wasn’t really sad about not having work after June 30, but I also wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I started to feel better when I threw myself whole-heartedly into paper crafting at the end of summer or early in the fall. I’ve been loving that.

But now I have two work contracts again, and I actually need to have a schedule and have to get things done. Also, my family and I are fully vaccinated, and bit by bit our family and friends are getting vaccinated too, so perhaps we’ll start to be more social again. I welcome this, but frankly, I am also not sure I want everything to go back the way it was. It’s okay with me if life stays a bit slower than it used to be, especially if I can still maybe go on a hike or go to the beach or see a good friend.

That means I will be dealing with a new therapy and new therapist, work again, change in pace and routines… and most importantly, I really feel that things with E and me are headed in a hard direction. Some days, like today, I feel close to screaming at her, “Why are you talking like this to me? It’s not helping!”

So, I am still here, and will be for at least another year, writing out my heart and my healing. Thanks for reading, and special thanks to those who take the time to comment. It’s immensely validating and means so much.

16 comments

    • Thank you, little fairy! I have appreciated you and your support for a long time.

      (Btw, I check back at your site periodically to see if you have any update–haven’t heard what’s going on since you filed for divorce. I know you may not feel like writing about it all, which is understandable and fine. Just know I’m thinking about you, and I’m sure other readers are as well.)

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  1. Oh I am so glad you didn’t shut down shop! When that time does come though, is it an option to just downgrade to a free account again? I don’t pay anything for my account. But maybe stepping up into a paid account is a one-way street is it? I don’t know enough about WP.
    Glad you’re at a place you felt you could toy with the idea though! That an amazing thing to be able to say, and I totally get what you mean about people here ‘getting it’ in such a unique way. I can honestly say, if I didn’t have this place, there would be no where else I could find people who really understand the therapy stuff. I probably didn’t, until I was in the thick of it myself! I’m also glad lockdown life suited you to some degree. I’m sure after a year’s break it’ll be easier to modify things for you when life is back to normal. And good luck with your new therapist! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, I could go with a free account I suppose. Too late now!

      I waffle so much lately. Sometimes I feel strong and solid and ready to think about things other than my own psychological state. Other times I feel trapped in my own mind and wonder if I’ll spend the rest of my life this way. Of course the reality is someplace in between, but I still wish that the strength and solidity were my daily, predictable reality.

      Some things I hate about lockdown. It’s been very lonely. But I definitely do appreciate being less busy. I hope I will learn from this to leave space in my days.

      Thanks for reading, commenting, and being so kind and compassionate!

      Liked by 1 person

      • So you get 24 hours to change your mind or anything?!
        I’ve never read your blog and thought you waffle! I eat what you’re saying about loneliness. Loneliness is a heavy burden, and for me, this place, as well as therapy, help alleviate that momentarily.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I get it, Sage. I’m just going to say that therapy became so much easier when I found a therapist who kept herself out of my story. What I mean by that is that my former therapist had lots of her own reactions to what I said and shared the negative ones with me. She told me once that I was like a tiddler clinging to her. She offered up availability then took it away. She acted like my mother and then took it away. She didn’t want to do things at my pace. She got insulted when I balked at her next steps. And she manipulated my emotions. (Not saying this is what E dies at all). I actually went to another therapist to talk about this therapist. Then I found a therapist who mer me where I was, maintained really strict boundaries, and was more invested in my healing than in her feelings in my sessions. Sometimes the familiar therapist that I cling to is not the person who can assist me in finding my healing power within myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is very helpful to read. I often feel really mad at E. Then I think, no, she’s professional and I’m the crazy one. I am projecting stuff onto her. But maybe I’m not. Or maybe I am but maybe it’s also true that she is inconsistent in her response to me, also true that she has trouble not being defensive when I’m upset with her, and most of all, she offered incredible availability and then took it away in a moment in a harsh way that she later admitted was impulsive and not even planned.

      And yet I cling, or at least my young parts cling.

      I really want to change this. Let’s see if Charo can help me. I’m not going to give up!

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      • About 6 years ago, I changed to this therapist. I can pretty much say that for the last year and a half to 2 years, we have talked about my present day life about 90% of the time. I have flashbacks infrequently, and nightmares infrequently. Present day life circumstances cause me much anxiety and depression, bit it’s not past stuff. I could not do this healing until I got a therapist who totally removed herself from my therapy. She told me that it was me who would eventually heal myself and that she was just shining a light sometimes. Oher therapists seemed sure that they were healers. But I healed myself and you will heal yourself, with the right therapist guiding you. My therapist actually helped lots with progressive exposure therapy and cognitive processing therapy. Once I changed my thoughts around things, I healed well and quickly.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I aheb taken a lot personally from your blog, and would have missed you, so I am glad you are staying. I will be here, like others, cheering you on, and being there for you as needed x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you’re still here. I haven’t commented much on your blogs but they mean so much to me, our stories are really similar in some ways and it does me so much good to hear little snippets of yours. I wish I could find a group like that. I’m also slowly transitioning away from my t, just needing her a lot less, weighing the balance of what works and what doesn’t. So I just love to hear your tales. Also, amazing that you’re vaccinated! I hope the next few months bring more proximity ❤️

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    • Thanks for commenting, and for saying you can relate to my story. I’d love to hear more about the distancing from your T. Do you end up longing for her even if you don’t really need the therapy? I think that’s some of what is going on for me.

      My family and I got vaccinated early (late Jan, then late Feb for the second one) because of my son with disabilities. In our state, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers were bumped up to Phase 1 because of the particularly bad outcomes for people with those disabilities who caught COVID. Because things were just starting out, there was a lot of confusion, but we did figure out finally how to sign up, and my husband, son and I got the vaccine. It’s definitely a relief, though not much really changes in our day-to-day life until enough other people are fully vaccinated too. And even when they are, I find some (like my sister, darn it) still feel nervous socializing again… This year has been hard on everyone! I am so impatient to be with people again, especially without a mask. I long to hug my other son and his girlfriend, to see my sisters, to see my mom… Soon, I hope.

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      • I’m so glad you were at the front of the line! where I live, things are slow, maybe I’ll be get the first in June, and then it’s a 4 month wait for the booster.

        With my T – yes that’s it, I am mostly done with the therapy but I am still working through my attachment to her. A lot of shit has gone down in the last 18 months, partly because of the pandemic and partly just because of stuff in my life and stuff and hers, but I think what’s become really evident to me is that the parameters of what she is able to offer, not because of the therapeutic relationship because of who she is, doesn’t necessarily mesh with what might be best for me. Still because of this experience of going through all of this deep trauma work with her, and doing a load of attachment work with her, I am still really connected to her in a way that needs working through. What feels really nice now is that I have the latitude, for the first time to start to let the attachment stuff come up, and just sit with it. For instance a lot is coming up for me now because I broke my leg really badly a couple weeks ago and I’m recovering from surgery. I’ve been mostly pretty OK, but when I took my cast off yesterday the extent of the damage became really evident as well as the length of the recovery process. my mood plummeted. A year ago, I would’ve desperately needed to reach out to her for comfort and a peptalk. Yesterday, I kind of considered reaching out, I even drafted a little email, but in the end I didn’t send it. Part of that is because I’ve internalized the goodness of her and knew what her response would be, I could lean into that. But part of it is because I know that a response from her would activate some thing that I kind of wanna leave quiet, and also it wouldn’t quite meet the need because there is a way that she never will. And I have the resilience and the tools now to look to other people for that kind of support, even when it’s my attachment system that’s being pinged. I’m still not ready to give her up or walk away, but I can see now that there will be a future where I will. I hope that all makes sense!

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  5. So, so glad you are still here. I’ve saved many of your posts over the years and still come back to them at times. My favorite – 25 reasons not to trust your therapist – made J go “oh no” when I told her about it and we had a good laugh over how scary accurate it was. I think that you are such a strong, sturdy, stable force in blogworld, a voice of reason. While the rest of us drown ourselves in shame, you are always writing about better ways to talk to ourselves and address the feelings that we have. I know it’s been a struggle for you to do, but you are fabulous. I hope you’ll stick around for awhile, but also understand why you may venture to other supports.

    Like

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