Thursday, February 4, 2016

I'm pretty sure she didn't mean to say it, and almost sure she didn't mean for it to come out the way it did. It certainly caught me off guard, to say the least, and boy did it hurt. 'No we will never have a session in a restaurant, no we will never be friends, and no I will never hug you'. It was that last one, she will never hug me. It was like she slammed the door in my face.

We spent most of the session talking about her leaving, I mean going away for 2 weeks. It has stirred up a lot of very familiar thoughts and feelings for me. The conversation would take off into different areas of what all this was doing to me. I told her I felt Li's presence this week. Much like the feeling I get when I feel my dad's presence, and he died 7 years ago. It's like a sense of them. It occurs for different reasons with my dad. It always happens when I scoop someone maple walnut ice cream. It has a very strong and distinct smell, and it was my dad's favorite. I told Celia I didn't know what was triggering my 'sense' of Li this week and she said maybe it's her going away that is 'stirring up crap'. That makes sense.

We talked more about what it feels like for me 'week to week'.  And in telling her of the longing, and the ache, I told her that when Li would go away most or many of my texts to her were simply 'Are you still there', and she would respond 'yes'.  So that got Celia and I to talking about texts.  I told her I don't want to, I don't want to need it, although it has crossed my mind.  She said as long as we continue to discuss it and not just simply have a text happen without a potentially deeper conversation, in person, about it, then she thinks it would be helpful.

So this texting conversation, and me talking about my concerns/worries/fears around it lead to her statement 'No, we will never have a session in a restaurant....'.  It stopped me dead.  Other than the conversation we had last week about hugs, in which I never asked her for a hug, we just discussed what hugging with Li meant to me.  But I didn't mention it all yesterday.  And when we were discussing it last week, never did she say that she didn't do hugs.

I shut down.  The air in the room changed.  Wow.  The conversation had been going pretty well.  It's always hard for me to start but once I did I was able to say stuff. Things that had been running thru my head all week.  She obviously knew something happened.

It took me a bit.  I was crawling into my self.  The internal struggle, to talk vs not to talk was in high gear.  It was also close to the end of my session.  How was I gonna feel the rest of the week if I left without saying anything?  I finally worked up the courage to tell her.  Her hug-related comment thru me.  I wasn't prepared for it, but there it was.  Rejection.

After that I'm not totally sure I could write verbatim what she said.  It was like I was still in a fog and my ears were blocked.  I do know she said she was sorry, a couple of times.  And I know she didn't say one of these fake sorry's , like 'I'm sorry you feel that way....'. It was an honest to goodness 'I take ownership for that blunder'.

She did tell me why she doesn't do hugs, and I sort of her reasoning.  Although she also said she would offer a hug at termination, and if I experienced a death.  Which the more I had it run through my head last night the more I question her logic, but that's a whole other discussion.

That's enough for now, but strangely I feel ok right now.  I didn't lose too much sleep about it last night, nor did I dream or have a nightmare about it.  Maybe progress?  Maybe just the spring like day today, which always makes an ice cream shoppe owner feel good.


  1. Seems very reasonable. A buddy of mine got a hug from his therapist and felt very weird about it afterwards, like a boundary had been crossed.

    I think playing it safe is smart--not a rejection of you as a person, but simply clear rules and boundaries the therapist has constructed.

    Most of us have been raised with very unclear, very confusing boundaries set by parents/siblings/friends/ourselves.

    As I've gotten older and better at defining those things, I've seen how amazing it can be to deal with someone who keeps those things very clear cut.

    Especially someone in a therapeutic kind of role

    She's not going to give you what your anxiety and wounds need to flourish, which may disturb you at first, but should ultimately pay far more dividends down the line.

    You wanting and needing that kind of connection at all costs will be much more easily explored when you are not all tangled up in a confusing faux friendship like what had been created with other therapists.

    Imo, as always.

  2. Interesting what you say about giving me something that would fuel the flame of my anxiety. That sort of makes sense. I don't think I like it very much, but I do fear it makes sense. Thanks