Waiting for you to take back what you offered. Waiting for you to take back what you said. Waiting for me to fuck up, to push back too hard, to snap at you to a point you are going to leave. Because you’re right – the closer you get to that part of me, the more I get defensive – like a cornered animal, really. It was Anna Freud who said “the intensity of the defence is equal to the intensity of the damage“. She was on to something.
I do still observe your office and our time together. I’m more comfortable here than anywhere else (except at home, with my husband, but it’s different, because we don’t explore these things and my issues are with the nurturing parent-child relationship), and yet whenever you find something new or get close to somewhere we haven’t been before I react instinctively and revert back to being so incredibly aware of you and your reactions so I can hang my own on them regardless of how I actually feel. (Honeymoon destination) opened me up. I relaxed there, and a lot came flooding in, and I’m having trouble shutting it out again. But also, I don’t really want to shut it out, it needs to be explored, and I feel this desire to honor that which has been ignored for so long.
I still don’t believe what you said last week, that holding me is a possibility. I have so many mixed emotions about that and since you gave voice to this longing I’ve had and never talked about and never would have brought up I’ve done what I normally do – I’ve researched it, I’ve catalogued my emotions, and I’ve built a plan of how to not get the offer taken away from me.
But I’m so scared the first words out of your mouth when I see you again are going to be ‘I shouldn’t have offered that,’ or ‘I’ve changed my mind, because you’ve done xyz.’
And this has really thrown into light all the uncertainty of my childhood. Not knowing if I can trust my adults. Not believing that the offer (whether it was a vacation, or ice cream, or a lock on my God damn fucking bedroom door), would ever lead to the event happening. And never knowing why there was no follow through. And always blaming myself.
I want what I think you offered (it’s so intagible, I don’t believe it is real). I want to be held, and cry, and I have done so much reading and the evidence of benefits are overwhelming. But I feel like I’m not allowed to have it, not allowed to ask for it, not deserving of it, and definitely not allowed to even consider vocalizing a need for it.
So if I heard you right last week, yes I want to work towards that, but there is so much underneath that. So much.
Everytime I think we’ve gotten through ‘the work’, more work appears. We got through the initial stages, I trust you more than anybody else now. We got through the craziness of what was my real life with the wedding and immediate needs of dealing with my family. We have gotten through my period of depression and wanting to quit. We have started to deal with everything this relationship and the attachment brings up. And each time I’ve thought ‘this is hard’ and each time I’ve been like ‘it will get easier’. But I don’t think it does. Because now with all of that out of the way, with the tip of the iceberg dealt with, there is all of the mess inside left. There’s that cornered, lonely, broken, child that lives inside me. And she wants you and this but doesn’t. And she is protected pretty well by all the defence mechanisms that have done their best to keep me a functional and competent adult (and the more I get into this the more I marvel at them). But now they’re fighting you. And I don’t want that. So I’m conflicted and confused.
I’ve cried more since our last session than I think I have in the last year. And it’s not necessarily bad tears – I’m just leaking. I’m leaking tears because they’ve been held in for so mother fucking long, and you’ve now caught a glimpse of what’s left to deal with. I’ve let you at least see the cornered child and what she needs (although I won’t vocalize it and can’t vocalize it – you managed to get there for me).
And I want what we talked about… (well, what you talked about and I immediately didn’t believe and then had to re-check later) but there is such a mess that exists in all of that. To the point where I don’t even know if this letter makes sense.
Being cared for is hard, A.