It’s so silly, isn’t it, how someone can come to mean so much to you? Someone who was never even meant to be so important. How much will therapy really help, if it will end in destroying the only safe relationship and safe place you’ve ever known?
Sometimes things are better- I can almost do without therapy/my psychologist, sometimes life is okay on the outside. But most times, the mere thought of leaving tears me apart inside because I cannot imagine a life without this safe haven. Most times I just shake my head fervently as if maybe it wouldn’t happen if I don’t think about it.
And times like now? Times where she isn’t just a safe place or a trusted therapist but the only lighthouse in an endless storm, the tiny whisper of hope when everything is falling apart. Everything hits me so much more- the next patient she’s seeing after my appointment, the girl she’s weighing in the clinic, the friend who has the same psychologist, even the random girl on Instagram who mentions she’s in the same hospital for an eating disorder. My heart stops. Because the realization hits that she is just a doctor and she see so many patients and I’m just another one of them. My heart stops because she makes me feel safe and understood, like it’s possible to recover even though I’m so far gone- but she says the same things to everyone.
My friend, who also sees her, posted this on Instagram- ‘today my psychologist told me I deserve better than self-destruction‘. It felt like I got kicked in the gut. My psychologist told her that (well, technically we do have the same psychologist but you get me). I can picture the way she would say it, the way she leans forwards and sympathizes and is always so sincere. It felt like I got a kick in the gut, to realize that my psychologist cares about her other patients as much, or maybe even more than she cares about me.
Of course she cares about all her patients (she’s an amazing psychologist, all her patients love her. she’s also a senior psychologist and specializes in eating disorders) and of course it’s just a therapeutic relationship and of course therapy is going to have to end. But these are facts I don’t want to think about, facts I simply cannot face. And it’s silly because at the end of the day she is just a doctor. But right now she is also everything and she is also the one who has saved me in all my darkest times, she is the first one whom I’ve told many things I thought I would never be able to talk about, the only person other than my grandparents who I’ve ever truly felt 100% safe and secure with, the only person who has made me feel good enough and loved and genuinely understood. She has always been so important, but she has come to mean more and more to me over the past 4 years.
But what if I don’t matter to her? What if I’m just a hopeless case? She has so many patients, seen so many sick girls, what makes me different than any of them?
So these things happen, and my heart stops, and then the tornado hits me. You’re not good enough, you’re stupid for believing you were important enough and cared for. You’re not as sick as any of her other patients, she has probably had many patients with dangerously low weights and real disorders. She doesn’t even like you that much, you don’t matter, did you really think she could pull you out of this mess? Did you really think you deserve to try to recover just because of what she says? She doesn’t care about you, you’re not special- you’re nothing.
The whirlwind of thoughts hit me and I want to collapse into myself, a ball of self-destruction and self-hatred. I’m selfish. I want her in my life as a therapist or friend or mentor (I look up to her so much as an aspiring psychologist) forever, I want her to care about me, I want to stay secure and feel safe. I want to matter. I’m selfish, and I’m scared. I’m scared because I continually trust her with everything and I continually let her inside despite knowing that it’s all just going to tear me apart even more when therapy ends.
I’m so scared because I’m so lost and alone and struggling with all of this and she’s the only one who makes me feel like I’m not alone (heck, she’s the only one who even knows, nobody else has the slightest clue about my ed), the only one who understands and validates and sees all this pain I go through, the only one who makes me feel safe, the only one I trust and the only one who gives me hope for recovery. It’s taken years to slowly break down my walls & defense mechanisms, it’s taken years of talking and crying to get to where we are now. It’s taken all the times I’ve turned to her for help when I’m at my very last rope, all the times I finally broke down and admitted how tired I was, all the times she’s been there at my hospital bed. I’ve opened up about everything in my past, about abuse, about my disorder. I’ve even started opening up about shame, about feeling not sick enough. I want to close up and rebuild walls but it’s gotten to a point where I can’t even try hiding things from her anymore.
I’m scared because those fleeting moments of ‘maybe I’m sick enough to recover‘ and ‘she actually cares about me and believes in me‘ and ‘maybe it’s possible to try to get better‘- those precious little rays of hope that therapy brings, what if they’re all just in my head? It’s hard enough to believe them in the first place, but how can I even consider believing them if they don’t really matter because she probably just says that to everyone?
I’m scared of losing her, and losing everything. I know it’s not going away anytime soon, but right now, I hate to admit it- I need her more than anything. I need her because if I don’t, I will float away with my disorder and sadness and never return. So right now, every other patient she sees is a painful reminder, every other patient is a threat. Is it twisted that I once wanted to be ‘sicker‘ so that she would care more about me? That I wanted to be the sickest and thinnest of all her patients? That I have goal weights for every therapy appointment, that there is no point going if I’m not getting worse? That I still think if I lose more weight she’ll be more worried (and I’ll get to see her more often) and force me to get better and I’ll finally be good enough to get help. That my criteria for recovery is hospitalization?
I just wish it wasn’t all such a mess, I don’t know how to deal with it all, I really don’t.