Only One You

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My session with T on Thursday was deliciously beautiful. I always value being with her, but sometimes it just works – it’s always hard to explain why, but I leave feeling in awe of the beauty of our hour together.

I started our session with a big rant. I am feeling very overexposed at the moment. Work is stressful because I’m starting something new, which means meeting a whole new team of people and getting used to new buildings etc. It’s definitely the right move for me career wise, but I said to T, during a very tearful emergency phone call with her on Wednesday, that it almost feels like it’s the workplace for the person I want to be – not the person I actually am right now. My colleagues are all young, pretty, bubbly and fun and I felt very isolated when I visited, just because I don’t feel like that all the time. Sometimes I do, but not always… so I feel like maybe I’m going to have to fake it until I make it, but that involves faking it and I hate the energy I have to put in to maintaining a persona. Also, part of being in a relationship and having friends and family is that I’m wanted quite a lot – which of course is great, and I feel awful for even feeling this way, but sometimes I just want some time alone. To hibernate. On. My. Own.

My long rant ended with me saying to T, I just want to be on my own. I hid into my knees and Rabbit, then, a bit overwhelmed, and T asked me what was happening, why was I vanishing? I just feel overexposed, I said, I feel naked. T came to sit next to me and the small, naked part of me cuddled in to her.

It’s okay to need time to yourself, she said. There’s a difference between being selfish and ‘self-full’… there isn’t anything wrong with taking time to be selfish occasionally. I cuddled closer in to her, and asked her if she thought I was a bad person for needing time away from boyfriend, family etc. I don’t think you’re a bad person, T smiled, quite the opposite, in fact.

T told me on the phone the day before (when I rang, in tears, so overwhelmed and overexposed that I was desperate to self harm) that she had bought some books, and knew I would like them. She got up from our cuddle to get them, and read them to me one after the other.

The first book was called ‘Beautiful Oops’. It’s a book about messes and spills, and how they can always be fixed, and turned into something unexpectedly beautiful. I thought of you when I read this book, because you believe your mistakes are so awful – you never believe your mistakes can be fixed,” T said, into the top of my head.

The second book was called ‘Only One You’. There is a video of it here: https://youtu.be/DbqkNSkqQPs It is a beautifully illustrated book with lots of colourful fish (which Little liked!), and some really beautiful messages interlinked with the story of a child fish learning life lessons from his parents. I am finding some of her words about she’d chosen this book hard to recall, as they were so warm and loving I know I switched out a bit… but take my word for it, she was gorgeous. The whole book is life lessons, like remembering to look at the beauty in the clouds, resting every day, mistakes being okay you just circle back, moving around obstacles etc…. she told me that she knew I don’t do all these things (like rest!!) and so she wanted to read the book to me. The love in that one gesture, of choosing a book to read that encapsulates all she is teaching me about how to live a happy, safe, productive fulfilling life… I adore it. I adore her.

I stayed cuddled against her heartbeat for the rest of the session… at one point I must have said how much I loved her heartbeat, because she said that I always say that! It feels like hibernating, I said. Maybe it is for you, she said, like a space without time. She’s right, of course. I feel almost weightless, in her arms with her heartbeat against me.

As the session came to its end, we started to talk briefly about my holiday next week. I’m away for a week, which means that there is no session with T… please don’t forget me, please be here when I come back, Little pleaded. Yes, T replied, really really. No matter what! I laughed at her teasing tone, because I am so predictable in needing to hear the answer a few times before it sinks in… but I felt warmed that she responds in the way Little needs to hear.

As I went to leave, we hugged. There’s something I need to tell you, she said, and I began to panic, covering my face… There really is only one you, she said, pulling me back towards her and uncovering my face. I laughed, relaxed into her hug again, and told her that that’s why holidays were hard – because there really is only one her, too.

I’ll be here, she said, into my hair. And I know she will.

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8 responses »

  1. I love reading about you and your therapist’s relationship. It’s so warm and safe and sweet. Glad you have that. Have a good holiday 🙂

  2. “There’s a difference between being selfish and ‘self-full’…” I wish I’d said that to some of my patients, an idea I tried to convey differently. Much as the affirmations from T feel good, I imagine you are dealing with what is underneath the insecurity. Therein (and in your efforts to stretch yourself at work) I suspect you will discover that your desire for those affirmations from the outside are replaced by those on the inside. All the best.

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