Monday, September 23, 2013


Two days ago, I got an email from my nutritionist saying that as she returns from her maternity leave, she will be discontinuing individual counseling sessions.

From the couch, my boyfriend saw me furrow my brow.  He inquired.  I burst into tears.

I don't even really want to talk about it, is how much I hate this news, so this is kind of a placeholder of a post.  I feel hurt and angry and a little bit convinced that I can talk her into changing her mind, making an exception.  I feel afraid.  I like the woman I've checked in with this summer okay, but it's not the right fit for a long-term working relationship.  She's not thoughtful enough; she's not interested in the specific experience of fatness.  (Also, she palpably does not find me charming in the way my own nutritionist finds [found?] me charming, which always makes me just a little bit of a performing monkey, crashing my cymbal for approval, trying to make my audience like me.)  I am afraid of my own internal negotiations without solid guidance, the way I can drift, the way I can vacillate.  The speed with which I can lose touch with common sense about food, with the goal I just had a minute ago, with which I can change track.

I have been waiting for her to come back since she left in May with white knuckles and she is not coming back.  I've been seeing her for about seven years, and she doesn't even want to have a final session.  (I thought about this for a solid day and a half, then sent an email requesting a final session, which kind of feels both totally undignified and also like a request that couldn't be turned down, but you know, we're in uncharted territory here, because I would also have thought that it would have gone without saying that one was necessary.)

It feels like she doesn't care what happens to me.

And it just feels childish, to have this kind of a collapse about this thing.  The intensity of my reaction is maybe unanticipated?  I had never given any thought to what my reaction here would be, because this is not a possibility I had considered, but I somehow doubt I would have said "weeping, collapse," had I been speculating.  And yet, "weeping, collapse" is exactly what happened.  I could not work this weekend.  I declined to answer text messages from friends about plans.  I just kind of sank.

I don't know what I will do without her.  I don't have a plan.

Here's what I'm noting: my unobstructed and prolonged grief; my nervous dread; my passive-aggressive inclination to make her sorry (I canceled the appointment I'd had on Wednesday with the woman I've seen this summer, mostly because it's too expensive to just go and cry in front of someone I'm not comfortable with when I can wait literally an hour and cry to my therapist instead, but also I think because it felt like the only avenue available to demonstrate pain); that I am still keeping a food journal in the usual way after a moment of "why bother?" but am also experiencing heightened anxiety about what I eat.

I just feel blindsided?  And/or abandoned?  And/or pissed at being dumped by email?  Everything about this is one hundred per cent terrible.


Beth@WeightMaven said...

It's a seven year relationship and you were dumped! No matter that she may have had reasons that made sense to her (new baby, different priorities, other stressful things going on at home), your reaction seems totally understandable to me.

My suggestion is to grieve the loss, then find someone who fits you.

Em said...

Thanks, Beth.

She totally does have good reasons—she's not stepping down from her practice, just scaling it back to management & group work, and with a new baby, I can definitely see how this decision could become necessary. Problematically, I'd recently been updated (not by her) that she'd be back and just not taking new patients. It just still really hurts. It's hard to think about swallowing the idea of not doing a final session and still using her practice, but also hard to think about not seeing her ever again.

I'm still in a spot where I'm trying to bargain, but, you know, stages of grief & whatnot. I'm not sure where I'll go from here, but it'll have to be somewhere.

Anna said...

I don't care for how this was handled at all. She does owe you a final appointment and that should go without saying. It's an intense and intimate relationship that makes a lot of sense to mourn and honor.

Em said...

I agree, Anna, though much belatedly. I'm trying to figure out how/if I can express that feeling in the final session we are going to have without leaving things unpleasant. I just wish I'd had a little warning, a little time to process in-session.