I spoke with a friend today, we were discussing the current lockdown situation and she expressed her frustration at not being able to go to therapy right now and that there was no realistic time frame for when things would go back to normal, if ever.
In that moment I realised that I couldn’t remember what M looked like. I mean I knew her hair colour and could intellectually explain how to drive to her office, yet her face was a blur and emotionally it was as though she had never actually been in my life.
For someone who supposedly feels so deeply, I’m painfully good at forgetting people. It’s been less than 12 months since my Dad died. It’s simultaneously like he is still alive somewhere or he never even existed in the first place. I think I grieved for around a day after he died and then it was over. Nothing. His ashes still sitting in a drawer.
Like my friend, I live in a rural community, so to see M I travel an hour and a half and cross state lines to get into the city. Due to the current Covid situation, the two states have shut their borders and as a result I can’t get across. I can’t help my elderly mother move into her retirement home, I can’t see my GP or oncologist and I can’t see M. I can technically apply for exemptions for these things but I’d have to quarantine for two weeks after returning home each time and it’s just not viable.
Zoom isn’t possible where I live and I was supposed to have a phone consultation with M last week but I don’t have enough mobile service to get calls and I’d forgotten to tell M to ring the landline so I sat by the lounge room window at the allotted time hoping the phone would miraculously get enough service to tell her to try the other number, but all I got was a missed call notification. I emailed, but she saw it too late. In 6 years, aside from when I was in hospital this was the first session I’d ever missed.
There are 7 people in this house right now anyway and zero privacy, so other than attempting to maintain a brief connection for attachment purposes, there’s really no point in even bothering.
I think when the gravity of this initially hit me, I realised I quite realistically may not actually be able to go back to see M in person for the remainder of the year. At that point I think I mentally withdrew from therapy. Like some sort of defensive amnesia, M had become a part of history in that moment, a vague whisper of a memory now mostly lost from my mind, just like my dead father.
I survived on my own for a long time before I met M. They say people come into your life for a reason or a season. I think with M it was both, she showed me people could be good and kind. She showed me consistency and care, she taught me what a secure attachment felt like. But maybe the season for change has come.
Subconsciously I think I know that when it really comes down to it I can only really rely on myself, my selves. There are too many variables with other people, but we’ve got ourselves until death do us part. There’s no grief, no sense of loss, the emotional light switch flicked off and 6 years of building trust and connection suddenly disappeared like yesterday’s dream.
Maybe it’s something that can be recaptured one day, maybe it’s gone forever.
A baby bird sometimes needs to be pushed from the nest by it’s mother in order to fly. Covid has come and pushed me from my comfortable nest and now I can only spread my wings and have faith that I won’t fall.