This post will be a sequel to the one from yesterday which you can read here. The Daily Post challenge Cliffhanger inspired this post and its prequel. I hope that you enjoy the continuation of my story.
“Calm down, Anna Rose. You can’t drive when you are so upset.” Faintly, I heard my mother’s voice in the distance. Hot tears rolled down my face as I clenched my jaw tightly. Veering sharply to the left, my car speed out of the parking lot, as far away from the gray building as possible.
“I cannot believe her. Never, ever again!” Repeating my refusal to return, I rapidly came to a stop, hands trembling on the wheel.
“Don’t make a vow that you cannot keep.” My mother cautioned. Her words clicked with the logical part of my brain, but my emotions were too strong to heed her warning.
“She told me that harming myself in front of someone else is the same as physically abusing them,” I chocked on my words. “Self-harm does hurt those around me, yes, but it is not the same as physical abuse. According to her, I am emotionally abusing people.”
The silence on the phone raised my anger. Did my mother agree with my therapist? If so, could I return home? Guilt mixed with my fury as I hastily bid my mother goodbye and snapped the phone shut. Fixing my eyes on the road, I turned up the radio and tried to hum along with the music. Thoughts about the recent conversation continued to haunt me throughout the day, however. What was I supposed to think or do? My therapist’s assertions and refusal to cave in her theory despite my reasoning and tears felt like a punch in the stomach. How could I simply move on and return back to her?
For the past semester, therapy sessions have been less than ideal. After running about campus chatting with friends and engaging in new activities, I would end up in her office not knowing what to say. Mind blank, I sat staring at her as she gazed back questioningly. As I stammered out answers to dull questions and glanced frequently at the clock, she furrowed her brow in worry.
“Maybe you should be coming here more often,” she theorized. Blinking in confusion, I listed all of the reasons that I was doing better. However, her only glimpse of me was a young woman seated on a green couch, swinging her leg and gazing at the floor.
The lack of communication between us not only confused her but me as well. What was happening? In the past, tears poured down my face as I told her my deepest secrets and fears. She used to be the only person who fully understand how my brain worked. And now, nothing she did or said seemed right while everything out of my mouth made her scold or challenge me.
Looking back, there were several issues that bothered me in our sessions. First of all, her lack of knowledge about eating disorders caused triggering remarks at times. Her food judgments confused me while her insistence that I eat made me feel like a caged animal. Secondly, she refused to diagnosis me with OCD. After reading about the disease and thinking back to comments made by others, I realized how my intrusive thoughts were a characteristic of OCD. However, her explanation was that I did not have the anxiety component of OCD which makes no sense because I have struggled with anxiety for years. Although I do not need another label, understanding my intrusive thoughts as OCD would help to deal with them. Her denial of this problem caused my trust to waver.
So, when she adamantly stated that self-harm equaled emotional abuse which is the same as physically abusing others, I could not take anymore. Some line deep inside of me was crossed over. Despite our close relationship and all of her help, our therapy sessions could not continue. For at least now, I will not – perhaps even cannot – return to her.
For the past month, anger continued to boil inside of me. I could not speak her name without crying bitterly. Slowly, that fury has mixed with deep sorrow. I lost a woman who I deeply respected, admired, and enjoyed. However, pity for her or sadness at being gone are not good reasons to return. As difficult as it is, I need to take a step away from her.
Two day ago, she called about rescheduling. In my fear of saying “No,” I stammered out that I would contact her after looking at my schedule. Just hearing her voice set me off again into a tizzy of emotions. Once again, this proved to me that I am unready to see her currently.
So, I am in a strange barren land without any therapist at the moment. Part of me feels fine and ready to continue on with life anew. Do I really need a counselor now that I am doing better? However, my family has seen the extreme swings of my emotions lately. Logically speaking, I am unready to be without a therapist. Fear of searching for another person and hopelessness about it helping me must be pushed aside. For the sake of my family, if for no other reason, I must start seeing someone again.
My past therapist will always have a special place in my life. Perhaps we will meet again someday. However, right now I must go my own way. Anger and hurt remain, but I hope that someday I will be reconciled with this period of time.