I’m Waiting

A,

I’m waiting. 

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. 

– PD

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14 thoughts on “I’m Waiting

  1. This is so full of emotion and I immediately related to all of them. Living life feeling trapped in a corner is so lonely and confusing. Nothing is consistent and it always feels like you are forever failing because of all the inconsistencies. You can’t make sense of them so they must be our fault! Isn’t it amazing and fascinating that we can be SO broken and hurt and have so much longing hiding inside of us and still move through our life as adults completely able and competent? As I begin to unravel and get through the tips of my icebergs, I wonder how in the world did/do I function???!?!

    Being willing to explore is hard. Being vulnerable and honest is even harder. Being willing and able to be cared for is the most excruciating task I have ever tried to take on and I’m only in the practice stages in my therapist’s office. Allowing it out in the real world? It seems insurmountable. But, it’s what we’re walking towards. One step at a time.

    I totally understand all of your waffling feelings and expectations for A to take back her offer. That’s part of what we are learning to break fee from maybe? I don’t know. You were wise to ask for a second session with her. I hope it worked out and it gave you both more time to explore and help you through this.

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  2. I think you should share it with her. She probably knows or at least guesses much of what you’ve said in the letter already, but saying it to her (or letting her read it or whatever feels doable for you) and having her know that you see it for yourself and are able to acknowledge and then start to express those needs around receiving therapeutic touch is a very very important step. This is a huge thing you’re doing. Stay brave.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I second what someone else has said PD, I definitely; think you should give this letter to A, In any relationship, open and honest communication is a big key, A needs to know where you are right now, so that she can have a place to start from.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I usually write down bullet points and read them out loud to her. I don’t know if this helps. Maybe trying doing this? Keep the sentences that you feel are most important to you. I don’t know if it is a good idea. Works for me!

      Speaking of writing, I also have been writing letters to her expressing my needs and I plan to give them to her on our last sessions ever. 😅 where I won’t have to face her ever after that! 😝

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This letter does make sense. Do you plan to give it to her? I think you did such a wonderful job explaining how you feel and everything that’s going on for you. A will take good care of that scared child.

    Liked by 1 person

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