I struggle with the therapeutic relationship more than words can say. Today something happened at the end of my therapy session which triggered all my attachment-trauma related pain. I cannot even begin to explain it because it sounds so menial that words will not justify the impact it had on me. In short, it let to feelings of deep sadness, shame, and jealousy, and the perception that I was in some way being dismissed and rejected by her.
Despite having been in a relatively upbeat mood beforehand, I spiralled into a state of such high distress that I actually scared myself. I was so dysregulated that I was unable to be effective in accessing skills I otherwise would have. I knew I needed to ice dive but I also felt like I legitimately could not move. I was literally hyperventilating and weeping from the moment I got home until I collapsed into sleep after my system had totally exhausted itself, almost two hours later.
Throughout this time I had been calling and texting my therapist a commentary of what was going on for me, practically begging her for help. The texts came thick and fast; the desperation mounting almost to the point of threat, like how I ‘used to be’. I was convinced that she wasn’t answering me on purpose – that she was setting me up or testing me in some way – and my anger and urges off the back of this were off the charts for intensity.
I don’t know how I didn’t give in. I was absolutely desperate for her to see just how much pain I was in – or how much pain she was ‘causing me’ to experience. (Although the fact that I was paralysed to the sofa may have had something to do with the lack of behavioural consequences.) I had wrapped myself up in blankets to weigh me down and hold me in an attempt to self-soothe, and there was no way I was leaving my cocoon in that state.
Finally, hours later I received a very kind message from my therapist. She had been back to back in sessions and supervision which was why she hadn’t picked up my messages or calls or been able to get back to me earlier. The entire time I was convinced that she was ignoring me with thoughts of a scarily false reality taking over my brain, she had simply just been very busy.
This failure to mentalise happens to me so often, and yet I never seem to learn. I don’t know what to do about my developmental trauma which is at the crux of it. When it lies dormant, it is as though it doesn’t even exist. But as soon as it is triggered, it becomes the end of the world for me and I go from 0 to 100 in an instant.
I have been in so much pain today, and in ways, it has all been over nothing but an illusion. I have been bound by my past experiences and the hold that my past pain still has on me.
Having BPD hurts so much that words fail to even hint at the extent of the pain we experience. And having BPD but being in active recovery with near 100% symptomatic reduction hurts on a whole other level; because I cannot simply cut myself to release the pain I experience, I actually have to feel it all.
I really need to heal from my past and do this trauma work, so that I am no longer stuck in this limbo state between symptomatic reduction and true recovery.