So, er, holy crap! Therapy was flipping awesome last night!
I’m shocked because I wasn’t set up for it. I blew a tyre on my way to our session – cue a whole load of eyelash batting at the kwikfit bloke to like, hurry the hell up! So I was bang on 7.30pm without any time to actually breathe before I knocked on the door. I was also pretty much prepared to hate the space again and to feel uncertain and unhappy. I was ready to shield Little again, and to leave feeling like I had been secretive and unhelpful. I was armed with barriers to keep the scary stuff out; I wasn’t expecting to hurdle over them and break down some pretty big, more long-standing fortress walls.
But then, I should learn not to underestimate my T.
I found my brave pants from somewhere and so the first thing I did was ask to change seating. I can’t explain how uncomfortable I was in our original places. I sat on the couch, and asked T to sit on the armchair that touches the opposite end of the couch. I felt bad – clearly I’m the only person with these issues! So she had to move the clock. But, sunk into that couch, hiding behind a pillow, with T sat with me rather than watching me, I felt safe again. T said something about me asking for what I needed – which is true, I guess. Anything to mean I can keep close to T.
This session’s headline, if you can put therapy into such boxes, was ‘not being good enough’. My head is filled with thoughts that I am never, ever good enough at anything, except the sexual acts that my abusers taught me. It seems to me to be a real sick irony that, in all the things I have tried to do since those days, I’ve not been very good. I work really hard – I try to spin a lot of plates. Problem is, I don’t always keep them all spinning. A few years ago, I used to watch them as they fall and smash to the ground. As I’ve grown older, and therapy has helped me find balance and only manage what I can manage, I’ve started setting them down gently rather than witnessing carnage. My difficulty then, though, is that I can never be perfect. Making compromises, and sometimes sacrifices, means I cannot paint the picture perfect image I wish.
My degree is ‘only’ a 2:1. I’ve let go of animals I’ve loved with all my heart, because I can’t manage it all. I don’t have as many friends as I would like – when I moved to escape my past, I left them behind. I use food unhealthily, so I’m not as skinny as I’d like. My reasons for why I am not perfect go on, and on, and on and I am incredibly skilled at beating myself up. Love in my life is always conditional – my parents love me when I’m good. I’m just never good enough to reach unconditional love.
And then I get to wondering, the only things I’m good at are the abusive things they taught me! What a pitiful life! Why am I trying to escape the truth, that I was only ever meant to be a whore? No wonder I’m never very good at anything else – I’m trying to change my destiny. I am nothing except inherently bad, and fundamentally flawed.
T is the person I hold the most faith in in the world. If she told me the sky was orange, I would have to check outside before I questioned her. My hero worship of this woman will get old eventually, but right now I am obsessed with her, because just maybe, she can save me. What she says, goes, and so when she says she does not believe I’m bad, a sort of internal explosion happens. I have so many blueprints that prove she always tells me the truth – and yet, how can that possibly be true? How can this amazing woman, who knows so many dirty things about me, how can she believe I’m not bad? When I asked her, she told me she thinks I have great courage. Seriously? Courage.
I’m not going to lie and say wow! I suddenly believe I’m good enough! That is going to take months, years and a complete reprocessing of my core beliefs. But T managed to show me, through some personal examples and because I already have complete faith in her, that maybe, just maybe, my beliefs are wrong.
So that was the one wonderful thing. The second wonderful thing was a side effect. As we were talking, and I was telling her some of the reasons why I believed I was bad, Little was slipping back in a much darker time. I don’t really understand too much about ‘where I go’ when I’m switching… It’s like the thought process or the memory grows like a weed over everything else in my mind, subduing it and eventually making it impossible to be anything other than completely, inexplicably in that moment from Before. And when I’m switching, I feel very far away from everything in the room I’m present in. T feels far away, the chair doesn’t feel real, the sounds are muted. I don’t like feeling so distant… So I just asked T to sit on the sofa with me (and then held my breath in case she told me I’m a disgrace). She said the sentence she always says when we’re at this point – ‘what do you need right now?’ – and I asked to hold her hand. And we did.
And I can confirm, she’s real, she’s warm, she’s alive.
And she doesn’t think I’m bad.