For the first time since I started therapy a year ago, I cried in session. Usually, my tears are saved for the car. But, this time I couldn’t help it. I cried for 15 minutes with my new therapist trying to get out of me what I was feeling as I cried. I’ve been meaning to write about this since it happened on Wednesday, but I have been so vulnerable since the session that I just knew I couldn’t write about it without crying. I have a big cup of coffee and think I am ready for this now…..here it goes.
My therapist and I got to talking about family because I told her that I refused to go see my siblings this weekend as they cleaned out my parents’ house. I told her how I don’t have a relationship with any of them (besides my one sister) and that they all hate me and no longer talk to me. I also told her how I told my sister that if she doesn’t get better and something happens to her, I would most likely do something to myself. Then, she asked me, “besides your one sister, do you have any other long-term friends that you can talk with?” I shook my head and answered, “No. My sister is my only long-term friend.” She asked me why. I told her all about how my best friend of 7 years no longer talk due to things that happened this year. How there have been attempts to restore friendship, but all efforts failed. I told her how my other friend of 4 years left me bawling in an airport and hasn’t talked to me since. As I told the stories of these two friends, she sat there and nodded. Then, she said, “well, grief turns a person into something they could never be otherwise. We often don’t remember it, but when we hear of what we did we think ‘what? I did what?'” I nodded and said, “Isn’t that the truth!” My therapist then proceeded to tell me the reason as to why she thought these friends left me. She was trying to make sense of it all. I stared at her as she spoke because what she was saying was true. Then, she said, “Honestly, you were looking for a mother. You expected from these two friends things a mother would do for their child. You were looking for nurturing, comfort, and support. They aren’t your mother. I can see how they would sit back and say, ‘whoa…this is too much. I can’t deal with this’ and then leave you.” It is here when I started choking back tears. She asks me if this is true. I say, “I suppose it is. I mean I don’t have a mother. I lost her at 15. Where else would I get the things mothers give to their children? I have been missing that since 15.” I let out a little laugh as I choke back more tears. She asked me why I laughed. I shook my head and looked down as I said, “I’m choking back tears and don’t want to cry.” She nodded and said, “I can see on your face that you are tearing up. Just let it out. You need to cry. I have tissues.” I nodded and let the first tears fall. She asked some questions about how I felt. It was here where I went into a rampage about missing my mom. About how I can’t help looking for motherly feelings from people because I haven’t had those in 11 years. How I am jealous of my siblings because they had 20+ years with her and I only had 15. How I don’t remember her. I can’t see her face or hear her voice anymore. No memories are there. At this point I am bawling into a tissue. I look at my therapist and she looks deeply saddened. She took a moment to compose herself and said, “Have you ever wrote your mother a letter?” I nodded but said, “That doesn’t work because I think ‘what’s the point. It’s not like she can actually read it.” She asked about how the previous ’empty chair’ techniques went with my old therapist. I told her, ‘not well. I always said I didn’t know what I would say to her and it’s true. I don’t know what I would say to her.” She told me all about how it’s not all about what you say. The empty chair is about your feelings as well. She also said, “It seems as if you just want to get to know your mother. At 15, mothers are still just a mother. They don’t become a person with feelings until one is in their 20’s. You want to get to know the person she was.” I keep crying and ask her, “What is my solution to fixing this friend thing?” She sat back and said, “You know, it’s no wonder you are depressed and anxious and can’t sleep. You live an incredibly lonely life. You only have one true friend and that friend is your sister. That’s not the way a person should have to live a life. No one should live like that. Especially someone going through what you are. I can see why you are this depressed.” I nodded and wiped away more tears. Then she said, “I think you put up walls to prevent people from coming into your life.” I nodded and said, “I do….I know I do.” “Why is that?” “Because I am afraid of them leaving me. It hurts when people die or leave me and I have already lost so much.” She nodded, “You have lost a lot for a person your age.” She told me to think about all of this as I move and start meeting new people I can become friends with. I nod and get up as she led me to the door. We said our goodbyes and I left with incredibly red eyes…and also cried the whole way home.
As painful as this therapy session was, I needed it. I need to get out this pain and stop carrying it around with me.