Chaos and Sleep

Lately I have been fairly confident that I was feeling better about therapy ending soon.  I felt that I’ve created some distance between my t and I.  Many times I have actually ‘felt’  that distance in room where we meet.  I have worked hard at trying not to think about her or my sessions in between times.  I’ve told myself that I probably don’t even need therapy anyway.  Who said I needed it in the first place?  It wasn’t my idea it was the doctors.

For the first time, that I can remember anyway, I had to cancel an appointment with my t.  She has always been the one to cancel appointments for various reasons.  It always throws me for a loop when she has to cancel, particularly if she does it the day of my appointment, usually because of sickness.  Even though it’s no fault of her own when this happens it still throws my internal state into a tailspin.

I have to travel a fair distance to the city where my t is and I have always done it no matter how the weather is or how tired I am after a day of work.  Yesterday was the exception.   We have had an unusually cold and snowy, windy winter and between Monday and Tuesday, almost three feet of snow fell in the region where I live.  It didn’t snow in the city where my t is. The highways were closed overnight and for most of the morning.  A few people who knew I was going to the city (not the reason why) strongly suggested I stay home, that the roads and visibility were crap.

And so the war was on within myself.  First I’d convince myself I could do it, I’ve done this many times before, I only have so many appointments left, I’ve already missed an appointment a couple of weeks ago when my t needed a week off.

Then, it would be too much of a risk, what if the wind picked up, what about all the crazy drivers out there, I would be driving back in the dark and visibility would suck, the roads are snow packed and icy, the media was still issuing warnings.  On and on it went, back and forth, it was driving me bonkers.

Finally when my sensible side was ‘out’ I made the phone call to cancel before my risk taking side became dominate.  When I phoned I was fully expecting the answering machine to pick up but no, my t picked up the phone.  For some reason it really threw me off.  I wanted to speak to the machine not the human.  I cancelled and she made the comment that the weather must really be bad for me to cancel because she knows I always come, thick or thin.  We have talked about this briefly in previous sessions but never addressed the reason why.

As soon as I hung up the phone all ‘hell’ broke loose within me. If I thought my t cancelling a session was bad, this was way, way worse.  I kept looking out the window to see what was happening with the weather – maybe it wasn’t all that bad.  I was phoning people who I knew had been (trapped) out the way I wanted to go.  I was constantly listening to what the radio was saying – travel strongly not recommended.  I kept thinking that I was wasting an appointment (apparently all of a sudden they have become like gold to me). I kept second guessing my decision.

I wasn’t coping at all and I couldn’t stop the back and forth that was going on within me.  I was (and still am) confused by what was happening to me.

At the end of my work day I felt exhausted and the turmoil was still in full swing so I did the only thing I knew how to escape. Sleep.

Well all these thoughts that I wrote about in the first paragraph should have clued me in – that maybe all is not as it seems.  But I must be good at ignoring the obvious and pushing it all to one side.

I’m troubled by my response to me cancelling the appointment. The strength of my reaction was totally unexpected.  I’m not sure what to make of it but I do know one thing it totally sucked and makes me feel needier then I ever realized. Crap.

Tomorrow is my pdoc appointment.  I wonder if I will have to cancel that as well.  The wind has increased in force and is creating a ground blizzard.  Yeesh…

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21 Responses to Chaos and Sleep

  1. We are so alike! I travelled several weeks in a row in bad weather, simply because I feared I would regret canceling. I definitely don’t think I will, now that you’ve shared your experience. It is such a tough situation, though. Have you decided what you will do when therapy is over?

    • lostinamaze says:

      The strength of my reaction to cancelling was quite unexpected. I wonder if part of it is because it is ending soon. I’m not yet sure what I will do after therapy. I do have a couple of ideas that I haven’t given to much thought to yet. I think my mind has been too preoccupied with the ending

  2. I had to cancel once because of the snow too, and it was awful. I felt as miserable as anything (though it was a joint decision between the two of us, and we did reschedule for another day). Still – it shows that the relationship matters to you.

    It is SO hard to end, and even harder to stay connected for that ending and I totally understand if that is too painful and the need to disconnect is stronger, but I would say that it is probably healthier to stay connected. That way you aren’t repressing the feelings you have for T, or the pain and grief you feel at it ending, and you have a chance to express those before you finish. It’s a tough choice though, and at your stage of the process I’d totally understand if that felt impossible.

    love to you,

    • lostinamaze says:

      I just had a conversation with my pdoc about what you said and he said basically the same thing you have 🙂 He strongly suggested that this would be a good opportunity to work on how I feel about her disappearing from my life even though it would be very hard for me to do.

      It is a tough choice. Either way I chose to do it there will be pain involved 😦

  3. Ellen says:

    Now that I have a therapist that I like, I understand your feelings a lot more Maze. I miss seeing my T if I have to miss a week, and I miss 1 week a month to save money. And the weather seems like such an arbitrary obstacle when we need something so badly. I’m sorry you had to go through this. Maybe you do need therapy, but for external reasons (like the weather in this case?) it can’t continue with this person.

    Hope you’re doing better today.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I live in a rural area and unfortunately I have to travel to the city in order to see a therapist. My pdoc is also in the same city as my therapist. There isn’t many resources where I live. I love living in a rural area but it certainly can be a problem when trying to access help – of any type.

      I’m doing better now but this experience knocked me out of my denial of how I actually feel about ending therapy. I think that will be a good thing in the end.

      • Ellen says:

        Yeah, I think it’s a good thing. Definitely definitely bring up how you feel about ending therapy in your sessions. It is the main thing I know about you Maze, how you feel about that, and yet your therapist doesn’t know it. She can help you work through those feelings to some extent. They will change when you work on them in therapy. That’s what I’ve found. If you feel angry with the T, tell her about that also. She can handle it. take care

  4. Just Be Real says:

    Oh my gosh dear one you are so like me when it comes to decisions. A month ago I had to cancel my t. session (first time in 2 1/2 years) twice in a row. The first time when I had a severe muscle spasm and could not move, but I was determined that I would go to t. in such pain an agony. But I finally gave in and my body won. I could not tell you the guilt I felt. Like I was missing something. Finally convincing myself, there is always next week. Well, next week came around and the day of my t. I woke up with a severe soar throat. I cannot tell you how mad I was!!!! Again, I said I was going. How could I possibly miss two times in a row. Well I did. I put my t. before me, especially at this time, as I did not want to spread what I was catching, which later turned out I had to miss a couple of days of work. But, oh I hear you when we miss something that we have relied on and need for our own benefit.

    Here always listening to you dear one.

    • lostinamaze says:

      Through this incident I’ve realized that I would risk life and limb for my therapy session. Does the relationship mean that much to me? Yikes!

      I think it’s interesting that we would feel so frustrated and mad in having to miss therapy through no fault of our own.

  5. Harriet says:

    What a tough decision, I’m sorry you had to cancel. I sometimes have the same ambivalence about missing an appointment. Did she offer to reschedule?

    • lostinamaze says:

      No she didn’t offer any rescheduling. She phoned me the next day with some time sensitive information and through our conversation I found out that she was going to be away for most of the week. Having said that she hasn’t rescheduled too often when she has cancelled. I think she has a fairly full client load.

  6. One long journey says:

    I am sorry this was so tough for you, but it sounds like you made the right decision given the circumstances. This break/ending is incredibly hard. It’s hard to let go of that connection and attachment. Thinking of you.


    • lostinamaze says:

      The ending is harder then I would have ever imagined. Me, the tough independent person. Not so much after all it seems. It may have been the right decision (still second guessing it) but it turned out to be harder then I thought it would be.

  7. shutterbug0 says:

    Boy do I understand what you were going through!! Sometimes those 50 minutes are what really grounds you for the week, I don’t know what I’ll do when my sessions are over. It really makes me understand abandonment issues and the lack of love I was given growing up, that shit can really fuck a person up! Isn’t it amazing how we react to therapy and what we do when faced with it’s absence! I try not to think of the other clients my t sees, but I wonder if they deal with her absence in the same way you or I do. If it’s worth anything, you’re not alone.

    • lostinamaze says:

      I have also wondered if my t’s other clients have this same issue and how she deals with it with them. I am finding the abandonment issues some of the hardest stuff to face. It really does screw me up. Thanks for understanding. It’s worth a lot.

  8. Inbetweenplace says:

    Hi Lost!

    My therapist is emigrating at the end of this month and it is breaking my heart. I have held a deeply entrenched belief that I am imposing on someone by expressing my feelings, especially when they relate to loss and grief or they don’t make the other person smile. Trying to supress my upset at losing my t has been impossible as it has brought into my awareness the huge abandonment issues I endured as a child. My t encourages me to tell her how I am feeling – she wants to know – which is a mystery to me each time she says this. I wish she would be a total bitch…..
    I have read a number of your posts and have learnt much about myself through your insight. Although I feel like the bottom of my world has dropped out with her leaving, parts of me know that each time, even if its only tentatively, I let go and share my pain I am being true to me and enabling myself to receive care/attention/love to the other parts that have craved this from childhood. It’s not easy.
    I guess by posting I wanted to reach out to you because in my own way I can relate to your pain. And my thoughts and heart go out to you. x

    • lostinamaze says:

      I’m sorry that your therapist is leaving, it is very hard to go through this. I also don’t like imposing on anyone either and tend to go with the flow. I am finding out that I can’t do this anymore in regards to therapy ending. I think it’s great that your t encourages you to talk about how you’re feeling, my t and I really haven’t discussed this at all. Maybe she thinks I’m doing OK with it. I’m far from doing OK with this situation.

      Thank you, it really does help to know I’m not alone. I just wish we didn’t have to go through this pain.

  9. Hi I went through a painful termination of therapy too. It does get easier eventually, Can I ask why you are terminating? I only just found this blog tonight so I haven’t seen why.

    • lostinamaze says:

      It is my therapist who is terminating with me. She says that I need to take a break from therapy to realize that I can do this on my own. To put into practice the things I have learned from therapy. Also the agency she works for is moving more towards the short term therapy idea. I guess I’ve reached my limit (two years). I’m really hoping it gets easier with time because it’s more painful than I thought it would be..

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