The whole point of all of that is to say that I’ve finally, after a session with J today, said to Hell with formality, to Hell with being polite, to Hell with whatever anyone else considers proper. I want what I want and I’m fighting for what I feel I need in my treatment, damn it. So, I wrote this message to J tonight:
Okay, I’ve been thinking about this pretty much off and on all day. I might regret saying what I’m about to say but I’m going to do it anyway.
I know that I said I was going to remain open to what could happen with K and I really, really thought I was. I swear, I thought that I was actually being open and trusting. But, after actually sharing with you today what I haven’t been able to share with her, it made me question whether or not I really was invested in that work. If I had been then I wouldn’t have been putting her in a position to “work blind.” That hasn’t been fair, I know that. But, I genuinely don’t know if my work with K is the healthiest choice for me right now. It has absolutely nothing to do with her. I think she is kind and skilled and she has been really good at trying to help build the trust. She has done so many of the things I thought I needed for security. But there is something missing in the therapeutic relationship. I can’t articulate what the something is but I do know that it is there when I’m working with you. It isn’t something that can be built. It is something that just either is or isn’t.
I know that you believe you aren’t the only one that I can successfully work with and I do appreciate that perspective; maybe that “it” whatever it is might be out there in someone else but I don’t want to have to go back to searching when I’ve already found it. I need to know what could happen if we did work together. And, if I keep going through the motions like I have been, then I’m not honoring myself and what I feel in my heart that I need. You wanted me to show myself more compassion, so that’s what I am doing right now by putting this out there.
If you never did actually add me (or if you did but then took me off), I want on that wait list. I don’t care how long I have to wait. I don’t care if it means I stop working with K (so that you’re not disrupting the work with her when you do have availability). I don’t care if it means going without individual for a while (which I know you would not advise right now, probably the opposite actually).
I know that I’m not an easy client. I know I’m a lot of work and I know that you won’t take a client unless you absolutely know that you can give what is needed. But, I have to try. If you can’t ever work with me or you won’t then I will try to understand and I will do my best with what is available. But, I hope you can understand that this request is me actually, finally fighting for myself.
Lengthy, I know, but I just wanted to be absolutely clear. I don’t want to do anything that disrespects K either. I like K; I think she is a good therapist. It is just that I don’t think she is the therapist for me. Maybe I’m just being weird and idealizing J but I can’t know unless we actually do the work together. I need to know what the “it” is that is there with J but that hasn’t been there with K or with Dr. W. It wasn’t even there with C. With C it was just a wacky co-dependent mess of attachment. With J, I feel attachment, but I also feel a genuine sense of healthy boundaries. It feels like the safe, nurturing, healing environment I’ve been craving this whole time. It feels like what I set out to find when I first set out to find someone safe, after the whole C incident.
I found J initially while I was on that quest and because she didn’t have individual availability, I settled for group. And, I’m so glad that I ended up in the group because it was an amazing experience. The women were incredible. It was so meaningful, having the chance to make those connections. But, it distracted from why I reached out to J in the first place. And, because I was in group with her, I thought it would be okay to look for individual elsewhere. I explored so many options. I saw so many therapists. And none of them had the “it.” I found it with J and now that group is over I don’t have access to it anymore (only when K goes on vacation but I don’t want to spend all of my therapy time wishing she would go away so I could see J again). I’m just done settling. If I am going to be investing in my treatment then I am going to invest where I truly want to invest.
I’m nervous about how J will respond to my message. I’m nervous about what comes next with K because I really did like that we were moving at a quick pace. But, I’m afraid the pace we were moving at wasn’t actually safe. And, K wasn’t assertive enough to push me or to access the other parts of me that would have told her it wasn’t safe. She only got the part of me that was in a hurry to push through and heal, consequences be damned. This is what I was trying to convey to J with the art I shared in my last post. She sees me; all the parts of me feel safe with her. She sees through all my crap, all my protective barriers. She doesn’t let me leave if I am not safe (even when I’m telling her I am safe, she knows when I’m lying). She makes sure we have a plan. She has always done whatever it took to make sure I was okay until the next time she saw me, even when she was just my group therapist. Surely, it isn’t so wrong to feel like I need that in my healing journey.