I could not possibly imagine that the move to the new office would have been so painful. I had no idea. I think it hit me a couple of days into the week, after two sessions. On the first day, I was genuinely excited to see the new office and I loved it.
I have used the mental image of myself in my therapist’s office as a life-saver. When things get rough, my mind goes there. I didn’t know this was happening until it couldn’t happen any more. I mean, I knew that I was thinking about seeing my therapist as something I could look forward to, something that might and would save me, but I didn’t know that the specific image of the two of us in that office was what was doing the saving.
We think in images. Maybe I do. When the image changed there was no life-saving. I kept on sinking. I kept on drowning.
This is part of what I was talking about in my previous post when I discussed the physicality of the therapist-patient relationship.
My analyst points out to me all the time things that are peculiar to me, or to people who are like me in some significant ways, so maybe the physicality of the therapist-patient relationship does not apply, or apply equally, to everyone. Maybe I’m like a child who needs props — a reassuring and reliable environment. I know I like repetition. I have always known this.
Thinking of myself with my therapist in the new office was so unfamiliar, so un-reassuring, so un-lifesaving that I didn’t bother going.
I discovered in me, I think, a child who hangs on to rooms, carpets, dolls, blankets, sheets, curtains, colors, shapes, because that’s all there is to her world.
This is a child who plummets into unfettered, unprocessed terror quite easily. Sometimes I want this child dead.