Talking to A punched a hole in the emotional wall I had put up. I knew it would, as soon as I heard her voice.
She asked me how I felt the wedding went, and I told her “everyone had a good time and I’ve had lots of compliments, it seemed seamless.” And she immediately said “okay, so I asked you about how you felt about it and you told me how other people feel.”
And I got kind of choked up and said “I don’t know how I feel. I remember moments, but it was like I was living in black and white and everyone else was in colour.” And it feels so far away. I just reread all the posts I wrote while I was here and don’t really recollect much of the time I spent. I never realize how disconnected and far away I am when I’m back here.
Here’s the thing about this trip. Nobody really did anything big. My mom and dad for the majority of it were incredibly supportive. Even when I had a meltdown on my Mom last Tuesday. My brother and I managed to get through our differences. My brother and my husband managed to navigate through theirs. So nobody did anything that was like “red alert” and yet my body was on high alert the wholetime.
A said “I am going to say something that is going to frustrate you. I think it’s a good thing that nothing big happened and you still feel this way. Because it allows us to turn inwards and look at where these feelings are coming from instead of focusing on a current external event.” She was right, that DID frustrate me. It means I have to do the work that scares me the most.
We talked about a lot, with me resisting her most of the way. She talked about our relationship and her care for me… and how that care terrifies me. I told her that when I cancelled I wanted her to reach out and hold that space for me and I wanted her to rescue me – even though I know that’s not her job – and she told me that that instinct makes sense and what’s more is that she’s proud of me for recognizing that.
We talked about how in our own little circle, in our immediate family, only the 5 year old has this ability to ask for what she needs – and she does so without hesitation and so blatantly. And I look at her and I look at myself and think about how I was taught so differently. Nobody directly asks for anything they need in my life.
“Do you ever think I will be able to do that? Do I have an internal compass? Or is it broken?”
“It isn’t broken. You just can’t hear it because of the noise.”
We also talked about how when I anticipated my brothers meltdown coming I got so anxious I was nauseous – and the meltdown never even came to fruition. I found out he and my SIL had a fight and he was driving to my parents and it was like the whole house braced themselves for war… I don’t think A had ever seen a more blatant example of the codependent relationships in my family.
Connection and legitimate care terrify me, and I change the subject every time.
I fly back tomorrow and see A Thursday, and I don’t want to. She doesn’t feel safe – that positive connection doesn’t feel safe… which is when I know I am at my most disconnected.
I apologized to her for moving backwards and she said “not necessary PD. I want to be on this journey with you, and I will meet you where you are. Ten steps back or ten steps forward, I’m here.”
At least I know I’m not a robot with all these feelings that have popped up. But I worry she’s going to need a lot of patience for the next month or so. And I worry she’ll leave me.