In the brief course of my therapy to date (4 sessions) a few things have come to light. Or rather, I have acknowledged a few things, some we have discussed, and some I have discerned based on said discussions. As I am learning though, my ability to self-analyze is only part of the process. Overcoming those things, and figuring out a way to cope with them in a productive manner is the crux really.
The first came at session #2. I had P with me due to a lack of a sitter. As ever, he was charming and talkative and active. At one point he got frustrated because he couldn't get behind my chair no matter how much he tried to force himself through the space available. I said to him, "Well, stop trying to go places you don't fit," or something to that effect. This stopped the conversation as my therapist said, "now that's interesting, what you just said." Yup, it was. She dropped it, but it got me thinking.
I have spent much of my life not belonging. Feeling separate, different, awkward. But it has never stopped me from trying, even when I was fighting the flow at the same time. I am a chameleon. I can, as necessary, blend in. But it doesn't last long because I DON'T belong. I AM socially awkward. I AM different. But what's behind this? WHY do I try so hard to fit in and not fit in all at the same time? I seek approval. I seek validation. Use your powers of deduction to figure out where that may have started...story as old as time. But because of the public nature of my blog (that's what I get for going public) I will not be specifying.
This led, in the next session, to a discussion of why I spiral down when things go awry in my life. Why they are triggers. FAILURE. I'm not scared, on my own, of failure. Without failure there is no growth. It goes back to the first part, the approval seeking. And when I fail, it's not me I'm letting down (I apparently couldn't care less about myself), it's that I am failing...you guessed it...my family.
My biological family, and my chosen family. I end up with this feeling that I have not fulfilled my potential. That I am letting people down. The thing is, I should be worried about whether I am letting MYSELF down. Yes, others should be a concern, but not the focus. I can't be strong until I TAKE CARE OF ME. Which I don't do. Not really. Not truly. Those failures knock me on my ass and make me feel ashamed of yet one more thing I cannot do right, of one more thing I gave up on, of one more thing to prove I could do better but don't. I AM A LETDOWN. At least, that's my perception every time something falls through.
I'm not sure I'm getting this out right. It doesn't feel like I'm explaining it the way I feel it. As though it is getting stuck in my chest, that brick wall coming up between my heart and my "mouth."
I shut down when overwhelmed. I want to sleep. To eat ice cream all day. When faced with a mountain of work, I see an insurmountable mountain range.
I need to fix things. People. Not me, oh, no. Everyone/thing else. I am beginning to think I don't even really know who I am. That I am still searching. I am also learning that this therapy thing is really hard work. Yes, work. Essentially, I have to figure out the why, allow myself to let it out, allow myself to fall. Because at the end, at the bottom of that fall is ME. And a life I can cope with. But it's scary as shit. Denial is so much easier. Hiding is so much easier. Can I just stick my head in the sand, wave a magic wand, and be better? Please?