I am a many layered entity.
There have been many times throughout this journey to healing where I have thought I have reached my center, only to be surprised to discover more layers of complexities underneath.
Diligently, I have peeled back layer after layer. Gruelingly, grudgingly, and guardedly, at times. Happily, laughingly, and interestedly, at others.
The fact, however, remains: finding the center is hard to do…
When trauma happens during childhood, it follows a person throughout her entire life. Who knew, for example, that my need to please wasn’t just who I am…but is related to the way I tried so hard to earn my mother’s love? Or that I have such a desire for control because it is the very thing my chaotic childhood lacked?
At this moment in time, the topics I struggle with the most are insecurity, trust, and abandonment.
I met with my therapist on Friday, and I told her the story of my mother’s latest drama, my reaction, and how, despite knowing that it shouldn’t matter, I felt upset that she did not wish me a happy anniversary.
Let’s throw aside the fact that my mother does not know anything about the state of my marriage. Let’s throw aside the fact that I shouldn’t care if she remembers the holiday or not. The evening of my anniversary, I found myself analyzing Facebook, noting that she did not like or comment on my photo (this is, typically, the only way she ever really acknowledges me–publicly). She did, however, wish a cousin happy birthday and another couple happy anniversary.
I told my therapist that I know I shouldn’t feel upset. Yet, I still did. And I felt frustrated by that. She said, “Of course you did. It is frustrating. Your mom was mad at you, so she punished you by not recognizing your anniversary. Just like she always has.”
…She was right.
For some reason, this last appointment unsettled me. I felt better afterwards…I needed to see my therapist and vent off a lot of things to her–and I did. But, I also felt myself readily admitting some of my greater fears…some of the things I really haven’t dared to say out loud.
Do I resent my life? Being 30, with two kids, and a not-so-happy marriage? Can my kids feel that? Am I a BAD mom?
Moreover, insecurity leeched inside of me yesterday. I have worked hard to analyze less. To let relationships happen and trust them.
Last fall, though, I had a friendship end. One that I trusted. One that I enjoyed. The friend in question did not like that I called out homophobia. When I tell the story, people will respond with, “Well, you’re better off. She must not have been a TRUE friend, anyway. You don’t need to be surrounded with people like that.”
And, they are right.
One thing wounded me deeply though. Apart from losing a relationship, which is utterly hard for me, this friend told others that she had decided not to be friends with me after “spending too much time together.”
It goes back to the insecurity. The idea that the real me is tainted. Not what anyone would ever want to be around. Annoying. Dramatic. Not good enough.
If you spend time really getting to know me, you will see the truth. I am unlovable.
That leads to abandonment–after all, why would they want to stay around me after I have allowed my true self to be seen?
And then, fractured trust.
Me–questioning all of it. My worth. My value. ME.
Lately, I have been spending a lot of time with a new friend. A woman who I look up to, admire, and truly enjoy spending time with. I talk to her a lot. She has started to fill a lot of my holes. It has given me the courage to fill the others.
I trust her. I feel like she is getting to know the real me.
I am around her a lot. I’ve worked hard to not over analyze or over question. I read body language and cues, and try to communicate like a normal adult.
But, this weekend, the irrational insecurity and fear reared its thorny head. I started to imagine that I have been around too much. That I was becoming annoying. That I wasn’t seeing the hints. That I was clinging. That I was like a hungry child, following the crumbs and eating the whole pie. Famished for a real relationship. So hungry, that I don’t realize the people around me have had their fill.
I need people. People make me feel better. They just do. Relationships are integral to my healing–real, vulnerable, and honest relationships.
…Something that I fear and want, so much.
Yet, I also want, so badly, to not need anyone. To simply be enough for myself.
I wish that, when I feel overwhelmed, I could pray, asking my higher power to take it all for me.
But, I haven’t been able to.
People though…people help. This friend, she helps.
People though? People can leave. They can hurt.
Learning to trust that they won’t….learning to trust that something isn’t about me or isn’t my fault….that is so very hard.
The fear wedges its way between my head and heart. It sits in my throat and grows bigger and bigger. I hate myself for the pressure it puts on others. For the need I have to say something and apologize. For the fact that saying something and apologizing exposes the insecurity, leaving it out in the open for all to see.
That insecurity has lost me more friends than anything else.
There are more layers. There is more work.
The journey is never done.