Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Eighteen: Recapitulation

I need to write here again, if for no other reason than that after three months essay writing-free I'm beginning to lose my grip on my grasp of the English language.  I'm perhaps three quarters of the way through the mega-reading list I set myself for next term, and I find when I'm annotating texts that there are words I need which were familiar once and now escape me completely.  Not so great if you happen to be doing an English literature degree.

There is still another month to go before I return to York.  As the weeks wear on I realise more and more that I need to cherish the time I have at university.  It is really very little.  Being that bit older than the other students on my course, with friends who graduated last year and are struggling to find their feet in a job-market that is smaller and more competitive than ever, I know just how lucky I am to have this opportunity. 

I don't feel particularly lucky at the moment though.  My reading distracts me, as does my boyfriend, as does the oblivion-seeking sex, drinking and occasional drug use I turn to when I'm really itching to hurt myself.  Apart from one cigarette burn inflicted in Poland I have been self-harm free for months now.  Tomorrow it will be 90 days since I last made myself sick.  I am a healthy 60kg for my 67 inch height, and I try to remember that I have made peace with my body.  But it was always a very tentative peace, and right now it feels particularly fragile.

Diary entry, 3rd August 2011 (I was still in Poland):

It just keeps getting better.  After a call from Dr S of York Psychotherapy Services, in which I was informed that my therapy at the Tavistock would cease to be funded in October, I found out from A (my therapist) that even this may be in question.  There is something of a row developing between the Finance Department of the Tavistock and York, who are apparently refusing to pay for any of the psychotherapy I have been having at the Tavistock since I moved from London. (I have since been told that the reason they are giving for this is that the Tavistock have prevented me from engaging with their local services - the only problem with this argument being that said local services proved on several occasions to be unwilling to engage with ME).  I don't know quite how this will affect me, but it does mean that money-wise my therapy with A is even more in the shit than before, and it is unlikely that the Tavistock will themselves finance any extension to the October deadline.  I did feel a glimmer of hope when A (I called her from Poland when I received the news, and we had a brief conversation over the phone) hinted at our previous discussion about paying (her?) privately.  But only a glimmer.  I'm sure A will think of a dozen different reasons before I see her again at the end of August as to why this arrangement would be unworkable.

As I understand, A is still fighting to build a case as to why my therapy with her needs to continue.  I have been invited to a meeting in York on Thursday with Dr S (consultant psychiatrist/psychotherapist) and a therapist to discuss whether the group therapy or individual therapy they may be able to offer me would be suitable.  Talking to these people is not at the top of my wish-list at the moment, to say the least.  I envisage throwing things - if not objects, then hard words.  It's childish.  But I am not inclined to give them any more of my time.  There are a number of reasons why I do not think it will be beneficial for me to either enter group therapy (again) or establish a new, short-term psychotherapeutic relationship.  Experience has taught me however that my opinion falls on deaf ears - if anything, it will be seen as further evidence that I am refusing to co-operate, possibly as a result of an unhealthy dependency on my therapist in London.  My boyfriend wants me to go to the meeting, and has said he will accompany me. I still haven't made my mind up.

This brings me to the question of what WILL happen if my therapy at the Tavistock is terminated at the end of October.  A has tried to discuss this with me in our sessions.  She says we need to talk about our options.   I am,in effect, stonewalling her - it's just to painful.  I cannot see any "workable" options being made available to me - rather, in anticipating the conversation I see my last hope, of her agreeing to see me privately (at a cost I would be able, if only just, to afford) being crushed.  Again, M (boyfriend) says I need to have a frank conversation with her.  Not knowing is draining me.  I don't know how much longer I can go on in this state without resorting to the ways of coping I swore (sort of) to forsake once and for all at the beginning of the summer.

I dread Sundays, because they signify two full days until Wednesday, when I have my session.  I dread Mondays and Tuesdays proportionately more.  A keeps apologising to me for what is going on.  It doesn't help.  I have a lot of rage inside of me - rage I do not want to direct at her, but which seems to be blocked whenever I aim for more appropriate channels.  I cannot help but feel that I am just not being heard.  I have come so far, and I refuse to give up something which has helped me so greatly -something that has given me my life back and which I believe needs to continue to fully restore me to health - without a fight.  But there seems to be nothing to take on but smoke and mirrors - the thin veils of bureaucracy.

If there were a God I could believe in, I would ask him to help me through this.  For the lack of one I must try to believe in myself, and my strength - which has surprised me before and may surprise me again.

                                                           Street art, Wrocław Poland.

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