You can come back now
OK, I’ve officially had enough of BN being gone. I’ve got 10 days left to go (so 25 down, you would think that, at least, would feel like an accomplishment) and it stretches before me as an impassable eternity (no hyperbole there, nope! 🙂 ). The last seven or eight months we’ve been doing so much work around shame, and I did not realize just how important it has been to be able to go see BN and be in a safe place where I could, however painfully and hesitatingly, speak about the shame I was feeling. It provided a regular pressure ‘bleed off” so that things did not hit critical mass.
Things are much calmer and more stable these days in that the crises we have been dealing with have settled down, although there are still related issues now and again. But five weeks is a long time. Things happen, some of which I wouldn’t have expected to trigger shame, but have. I had something happen that was incredibly affirming for me. I was asked to participate in an event which made it clear that my insight was seen as valuable and has lead to some opportunities to collaborate with professionals that I hold in high regard. And while it has been really exciting and enjoyable, I am also amazed that there is a reaction of shame. It can feel like acknowledging that other people see me as valuable is a wrong thing to do. Typing the phrase “other people see me as valuable” felt like doing something wrong.
I really do appreciate readers telling me that they find reading here valuable and that it has impacted their lives. I find it really satisfying to know that I am able to help other people heal, so when I read comments or emails thanking me, it is such an encouragement to me to continue writing. And I find it really flattering that so many of you have suggested that I write a book. I want to write a book, I have been intending to start working on a book for a long time (BN suggested I write a book about five years ago when I was bugging him about writing a book. 🙂 ) But I seem to be frozen and unable to start which brings up a tremendous amount of shame (“what’s wrong with me? Am I too cowardly to risk failure? Am I just undisciplined and lazy? What if I write a book and it becomes obvious I’ve been faking it all along and now everyone will realize I have noting worthwhile to say? What if I’ve already said it all on my blog?” There you go, a small sample of my inner critic. Nice, isn’t she? 🙂 )
Last but not least, in what now looks like really idiotic timing (but at the time it had a very now or never quality; my courage had screwed up to the sticking point and I was afraid if I did not act, the opportunity would not come again), I called my aunt, my father’s sister, to ask her about what she told my mother about when my brother had passed away. Didn’t find out anything earth shattering (I hope to post on it later when I’ve had a chance to process it with BN) but hearing her voice took me way back. It was also obvious that the conversation wasn’t really going to go anywhere. In subsequently discussing it with my sister, she thought that I am looking for validation from an adult who was there during the abuse, but I’m just not going to get it. I think she has a point. But that kicked up a bit of a swirly mess (some of it revolving around the fact that I can still doubt the veracity of my recovered memories. Which, when I am objective, seems ridiculous by the way.) I think there’s some pain there that I am just respectfully containing until I have a chance to talk to BN.
But underneath all of this intellectual analysis (who me? use my intellect as a defense against my emotions? Why what in the world can you be talking about? 🙂 ) is just this young, small feeling of “you’ve been gone long enough and I’m scared and sad and I need you and I don’t care what you’re doing, get back here NOW!” I think I have metaphorically dropped onto my diapered butt and am sitting in the middle of the floor just bawling, beyond all logic. I want BN and I want him now. So what if he has to cut his vacation short? And I really am trying to take all of the wonderful advice I dispensed so freely to the rest of you, but my self-compassion is faltering. I HATE how much I need him and that his absence affects me so much. Even though I know that seen in context my need makes perfect sense, it feels shameful and demanding and immature and JUST TOO MUCH. I broke down and sent a text to BN yesterday and he answered several hours later, and I stared at the screen and realized it wasn’t really doing it. Which means I really should call him because I think I need to “experience” him (hear his voice and be able to take in that no, he does not actually hate me. For some reason, the longer he is away, while I know I can trust the relationship is intact, he morphs in my head and likes me less and less as time goes by and the relationship I value so much is seen as more and more of a burden to him. I also hate being this irrational. But the feelings are there.) I feel like a greedy, gaping maw of suck. And then I feel ashamed for feeling that way because we’ve worked through all this and just how exceedingly tedious will it be to hear all of this from me. Again. For the umpteeth time. How far into our first session back will BN be thinking “now why did I get on that flight home?” And I have moments of hating him because I need him and I hate needing him. While at the same time hoping he’s having a great time. AUGH. And last, but so sickingly familiar, that realization that this is IT. All it will ever be. I am less important to him then he is to me, forever and ever amen. The zombie feeling, doesn’t matter how many times you think its dead and buried and at peace, it can suddenly burst out of the ground and eat your brains.
Last but not least, my wonderful, supportive husband has pretty much ran out of patience. Reasonably so, I might add. I am working a lot of overtime at work so he is doing most of the housework, grocery shopping and cooking added to which he he has been listening to me talking about missing my therapist for over four weeks. As wonderful as he is, which is very, he is also human. I understand, but it is deepening my feelings of shame around the fact that I am feeling all this and kicking in my “it’s time to be Suzy Sunshine” instinct which means I feel silenced and unheard. And let’s not get me going on how triggering that is (“Please don’t, this post is long enough!”). So, I am speaking here, to people who understand, so that I can connect and feel heard. Because I think I read somewhere recently that reaching out for support when you are missing your therapist is a good way to cope. 😀
UPDATE: I called, he called back. I missed his call (stupid ringer was off, and someone had come in to talk to me). He called again. He was wonderful and made it clear he really understood and was glad I called. Just hearing his voice, especially the warmth and care in it, just slows my whole system down in the most wonderful way. And when I made a crack about only nine more days, I’d try to make it when we were ending, he stopped and reassured me that it really was ok to call anytime. God, I love that man. BEST. THERAPIST. EVER. Thanks for all the encouragement and support, my readers are all also the best! 😀
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