Love, Hate and Suicide
By G. Collerone
September 8, 2015
There are times when I like my therapist. When she is supportive and understanding, it’s easy to like her. Sometimes the like turns to love because she means so much to me. It is at these times when I value our relationship the most.
My therapist is very dear to me but then, like tonight, she will say something that makes me hate her. Mostly, this is around her not wanting me to kill myself. I feel trapped by this and so the love I feel turns to hate. It is not a quick thing to happen. I don’t have oscillating feelings toward my therapist. It is only when I am suicidal and she wants me to live that I really hate her.
It wasn’t always this way. I never really knew how she felt about me till we were four years into our relationship. I call it a relationship for lack of a better word. In 2005, I was severely depressed and snapped. I wanted to die very badly and was planning on ending my life sometime that November. It was one of the lowest points in my life.
When I finally confided in her what I was planning, which was not easy to do, she got really upset. I couldn’t bear to see her that upset. In fact, no one till that point in my life ever was upset with me for being suicidal. Her fear of losing me made her cry and I just could not tolerate it. I still cannot tolerate it. It messes with my head. That’s when the love-hate began. It is just the kind that people have with each other.
I told her I hated her tonight and she welcomed it. She said that I could hate her till eternity if it meant keeping me alive. But I don’t like hating someone that I really care for. It hurts me. It causes me mental anguish that drives me crazy. I can’t stay hateful for long. I’m not that type of person. And I do love her more than I hate her. She brings me joy and a little bit of hope every time we talk. I need these things or I will attempt to take my life.
I feel trapped by her love. To her, I can do no wrong. I am not a bad person in her eyes. I told her to read a blog entry that I wrote. I write horribly dark, depressing things. But this piece of work is really troubling me. It’s extremely profound in darkness and depression. I want her to read it with a professional’s eye. I want her opinion from her psychologist’s mind, not her love for me.
Yes, she loves me, too. It makes me uncomfortable at times. And it also makes me kind of feel unsafe. Because if I love her back and she loves me, that just opens a can of worms I don’t want to open. I don’t want to get hurt again by a therapist. I have been hurt 10 times by former therapists and she would be the last straw. I know that if we break up, it will kill me. After 14 years together, it would be extremely hard to start over with someone new.
My suicidality has always been a gatekeeper. She feels that I should have more sessions because I am suicidal. More is sometimes not better. But she wants to know what is happening in my life all the time.
My psychiatrist I have known for more than 20 years. I feel closer to her than I do my therapist because of our longstanding relationship. I sometimes think of my psychiatrist as a mother figure in my life. She is proud of me and my accomplishments, even though I never went to med school as we hoped. That is another story for another day.
My psychiatrist is the best. She really gets me, sometimes better than my therapist. I don’t know if she loves me. I know she cares deeply about me. We have been through some tough times together. She is my rock. I know I do love her, but in a way a son loves his mother.
My therapist and I love each other as people do. We truly care for one another. I guess the same can be said about my psychiatrist, though we have never discussed our feelings for one another. She is strictly professional in this regard, not to say my goofy therapist isn’t. There are boundaries.
I respect both of my treaters. I don’t think I have ever hated my psychiatrist. The only time that I might have was when she had me admitted to the hospital a few years ago after I sent her a dark email and she couldn’t get in touch with me. I knew it was out of concern for my safety but that doesn’t mean I had to like it.
My therapist has never had me admitted to the hospital or made me go to the E.R. My psychiatrist knows that I will usually take myself to the E.R. when I am in a dark place. My therapist will just tack on another session. My psychiatrist would do the same when I am at my worst points. Sometimes, I would see my psychiatrist weekly rather than every two weeks because she was concerned about my safety.
Both of these professionals know me pretty well. I have known them a long time and I am grateful they include me in their treatment plan rather than saying this is how it is going to be. That doesn’t work for me and they know it. I have to be in control of my treatment in order for it to work. And if this helps save a life, then so be it.
- Collerone is the author of “Midnight Demon: My Suicidal Career With Mental Illness and Cauda Equina Syndrome.”