Termination is something the Terminator does to annoying people who irritate him. Termination, as in terminating therapy, for me sounds as though I am planning my own funeral. Ending therapy sounds better and completing therapy sounds perfectly natural, feels enormously egalitarian and realistically authentic; as though I have achieved a desired goal rather than dying or having a relationship die an untimely, unnatural death. Words have power and meaning and create much feelings and emotions. So we need to choose our words carefully.
Something my first therapist didn’t do. He asked me if I was breast or bottle fed and I thought he was coming on to me so I never went back. My second therapist told me there were people worse off than me and my third therapist literally terminated me, after eight sessions, declaring me cured (?) and I was told in no uncertain terms, Hasta La Vista, Baby. I later heard she had a nervous breakdown and terminated her career as a therapist.
After thirteen years I am separating from my fourth therapist. Although we were not married or living together, I felt merged and enmeshed with her. She lived permanently inside my head and was my constant companion where I would silently talk, argue, resolve, reflect and ponder over many issues, ideas, aims, intentions and problems. I always tried to see the world through her loving/kindness and all-encompassing, all-accepting, child-like, wonder-filled viewpoint where everyday is a brand new experience to be explored, shared and cherished.
I grew up in her room feeling unconditionally loved and accepted. This is where I learned emotional regulation and the importance of long-term relationships with all its ups, downs and vagaries with a substitute mother who gave me the instruments and abilities to leave home and forge my own future, making my own choices based on how I react mindfully to what happens around me. I am now solely in charge of my own destiny. I’m migrating to another country. I’m moving into a new era. It’s not a tragic ending so much as …