when a 7-year-old analysis breaks down

It seems I was able to speak directly about my analysis only during its first years, and even then, not so much.

It’s been the hardest thing I have ever done.

It’s been the only thing I have ever done that has healed (to some extent: I’m still very much a work in progress) structural damage and given me the capacity to live.

I didn’t know how to live.

I didn’t want to live.

Three days before my birthday, my analyst changed everything. This is a difficult story to tell. This is a story I want to tell. This is a story I don’t know how to tell.

I worry, even behind this wall of anonymity, about protecting my analyst, who is a very serious, very committed, very able professional.

I worry about being judged — my being judged; her being judged; our being judged. Outside clarity is such an easy delusion. Everything is black and white, from the outside. Things are so complex and rich and evolving on the inside. I hate the quick judgments I have received when I’ve told that my therapy is going poorly. I hate that people’s experience of therapy is so shallow that they can easily say, “Oh you have to change therapist,” without even hearing the second sentence of the story.

But then people do do that, don’t they? They protect you. They see harm and, since they love you, they say, “Run!”

I haven’t run. I have stuck it out through this terrible crisis like a pro. She has too. I give her credit for it. But now I see the end coming. The unraveling. The insoluble impasse.

It’s killing me more than the thought of leaving her is killing me. She’s hurting me. She beating me. She’s floundering.

When I tell her she’s floundering she flounders. Alternates between anger and resentment at the accusation and moments of clarity, admission, honesty, courage.

She has decided (this is part of the change) that she will be unflinchingly honest with me. Someone told me a couple of days ago that honesty without compassion is cruelty.

My wonderful, loving analyst has turned into a cruel analyst.

It’s hard to have been loved so damn much for 7 years and now be the object of cruelty. It’s stunning. It’s disbelief. It’s trauma.

She’s floundering. She’s fucking up. If she can’t find herself again, and stop being furious at me, I’ll have to go.