Preface to say, I’m going to start using this place to write out some of my musings regarding therapy. It helps me to write it out. Some things I’ll share beyond here. Others I won’t.
Second Preface, this entry isn’t about my boyfriend. The first little bit is just to communicate how I got from point A to point B.
So…I started back to therapy. I’m honestly not sure I ever had any intention of trying THAT again…but I met someone who makes me feel so loved…so cherished…so accepted…so…safe. And I want to be the best version of me so that I can come even close to deserving everything he’s brought into my life.
It’s funny. It’s one of the very few people who has ALWAYS made me feel deserving, even at my worst moments…also gave me the courage to face my past so I could be better…I guess that old adage, “If you can’t love me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best” works the opposite way, too.
“If you never stop loving me even at my worst, then I will face fire…or even therapy…because you deserve my best.”
ANYWAY, because of all of this, I started on the road back to therapy. And…so far…I like the one I found.
She calls me on my shit and tells me to stop being a paranoid doormat.
I call her on her shit when she tells me there’s no such thing as crazy, only misunderstood…and I tell her I hope Dahmer’s snacks agreed.
I need that in therapy. The ability to be real….and someone who will say, “Look, bitch…” when I’m being ridiculous.
But today she was getting onto me because I allow fear of being wrong to put me in some shitty personal places.
Today was mostly about my daughter…how I’ve allowed an environment where my hands feel bondage style tied when it comes to parenting her. Because…no matter what I do…it’s wrong…and certain people will basically tell her it’s ok to not listen to me. No one can parent a child like that…ABSOLUTELY no one can parent a teenager like that. So why have I allowed it? Because…what if I’m wrong? What if I’m wrong in how I parent? What if I’m wrong in how I feel about their judgment? What if I’m wrong…and I’m the problem…and I ruin everything?
But what she’s trying to get me to see is that my judgment is rarely wrong. Dude…my gut instincts saved me in the midst of some serious shit in life…it helped protect me…it helped keep me safe when those who “loved me” did not. But…after years of gaslighting…I was taught not to trust my gut.
You’re hurting me and I feel like this isn’t ok… “You’re just being sensitive.”
I’m anxious and scared because this doesn’t feel right. “Oh stop it. You’re always so dramatic.”
You’re going into rages that scare me. “Stop acting like everything is about you.”
You’re making me feel TERRIBLE about myself and unsafe. “How can you say this to me?! We’re like family!!” (To be fair…those weren’t wrong…the people who pull the, “You’re hurting me! We’re like family!!” really were treating me like some of my relations…lol)
I stopped even letting my gut keep me safe.
Here’s the thing I’m realizing. By doing that…by letting EVERYONE stay, no matter what my gut said, I was now the one taking away my own safety.
It doesn’t matter how many safe and truly loving people are around you…if you allow people who are unsafe to stay, then those people become all you can see.
As I’m writing this…I’m envisioning the Titanic. You’re on a sinking ship. You’re surrounded by people who love you. But that ship is still going to sink. You are still going to be unsafe…and probably won’t even see their love as you sink, because…I mean…YOU’RE SINKING!
I’ve been on the Titanic for a very, very long time and I wasn’t even trying to get off.
I allowed myself to stay on a sinking ship…feeling like I was steerage class with no access to lifeboats…because…the ones who loved me and would have moved heaven and earth to get me on a lifeboat were drowned out by the elite who made sure I knew that I’d only be hurting them if I tried to save myself.
Seems a bit dramatic, right? Lol But how else do you describe when you won’t remove yourself from something harming you because you don’t want to hurt someone who doesn’t care if you live? What else do you call it when you surround yourself with such LOUD danger that you can’t hear those trying to keep you safe?
I call it, “Come on, Sheri! WTF! You’re smarter than that!!”
Is it always that dramatic? No. Let’s say I’m surrounded by 20 people. 3 love me. 7 dislike me. 10 probably don’t think one way or the other about me. The 7 that dislike me…that I allow to continue to stay in my space…drown out the love of 3. While this is bad enough…for those who have suffered serious trauma at the hands of those who were supposed to keep us safe…those other 10? Those other 10 would be a blip on the radar of someone with healthy boundaries and self preservation skills. We are SUPPOSED to be, at least partially, surrounded by more people who are…ambivalent than those who love us. It’s what adds even more beauty to the love of the ones who choose us every day. But…again…for a trauma survivor…its very difficult to draw a line between those who we’re just background noise for…and those who actively set off our alarms. So…now we’re at a 17 to 3 ratio of who safe vs nonsafe people. The odds aren’t good that we can hear the love of the 3 over the gut wrenching sirens of the others. But…we’ve been trained…to know that we’re dramatic…we’re stupid…we’re sensitive…and we are responsible for not hurting those other 17 people by being wrong about them. So we let them stay.
And we continue to sink.
I don’t want to sink anymore. That is NOT the best version of me. That is NOT going to help me gain “intimacy tolerance” as I’ve been given a goal to build. Lol I will continue to feel unsafe, even when dragged kicking and screaming onto a lifeboat by the 3 who love me.
So I’m changing the narrative. (Sounds official and therapy like, right?)
Changes will be made. The 7 have to go. Even if they’re good people (which most people are), just as not everyone has to love me…I don’t have to allow them access to my life when they make me feel unsafe, for WHATEVER reason. So…the 7 go. From there we see if the 3 can be heard over the 10. If not, the 10 go. So I am only surrounded by love (not blind acceptance…big difference…I see love in the acts of calling me out when I’m being a dumbbitch. Lol But for my growth, not to tear me down.)
Again…it may seem extreme. And I TRULY hope that I don’t accidentally misjudge and hurt someone. But…if I’m ever going to be able to believe the loving sounds of, “It’s ok. You’re safe now.” I have to be able to hear them first.
I didn’t cause my trauma. I didn’t choose it. Who would? But it’s up to me to learn how to build back the life I should have had without it. I am a baby in this way. You don’t leave a baby alone with 100 people and expect them to just recognize safety. They build up to that. And so will I.
And, for the first time in my life, my heart and mind and emotions are enough in sync that I actually believe I can have that future.