“There is a good chance that somewhere in your life, there is a champion. She will be an older student. A teacher you have never had. The secretary. Someone else’s mother. But that person will have a car, and she will make time for you, and she won’t judge or ask questions. Finding her might be hard; you might never have spoken to her before. If you’re lucky, she’ll find you. Trust her when she does, even if no one else has ever stood up for you.”
I knew it. I went into therapy last night thinking I had no idea what I was going to talk about, and no idea how it would end other than maybe some light conversation. I drug my feet, though I’m now to the point where no amount of feet dragging will get me to miss it. I knew I was going to admit I’ve been lying to myself about how numb I am and how I don’t feel anything, or that I live in my body as me vs. an observer. That was all I had.
Then I went in and boom. One of the most shocking and revealing sessions I’ve ever had.
I did reveal that truth, that was I have been prideful and not willing to go deep. I say I will and I think on things and write, but I didn’t admit to myself how numb I really live until recently. My homework last week was to go through childhood pictures and look in the mirror, in my own eyes, and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
I had a medical scare this week where I was sent to the ER for a massively heavy period. We talked on that a bit, how my body is overall very healthy but it likes to grow weird shit in weird places. She thought that sounded like my immune system was not keeping up and being depressed weakens your immune system overall. Interesting.
Then we got a little deeper and now I am blown away. I asked her how to feel things from my childhood or my past, really feel them and sort it out, because I admit I’m numb and I thought I was doing so well but I don’t actually feel things. When I think about the past I think things happened and I watched but it wasn’t happening TO ME.
She said, “Tell me what your favorite outfit was or your favorite pair of shoes when you were little?” I couldn’t answer. I have absolutely no memory of any of that. Everything I did remember, like my favorite stuffed animal, was all stuff I had at my grandparent’s house. I admitted I wouldn’t take my yellow bear stuffed animal home to my mother’s, I left it at my grandparents. She asked me why and I told her I guess I didn’t feel safe with things I loved at home.
I ask her if people were supposed to remember details like that, favorite dresses and clothes. Who bought them for me, etc. She responded, “Absolutely. You were a girl, those things were part of making you, you. How did you figure out your style or what what you prefer and what color was your favorite? Who bought you things you love?” I couldn’t answer.
Legitimately have no memories like that at all. I can remember going into Payless Shoestore with my mom, at some young age, because I needed new tennis shoes for school and I had to buy “Pony” brand and I hated them, but I knew it was all we could afford so I said nothing. I can see the white shoes and remember thinking “they sorta look like the name brands…” That is my only real memory of anything like that. I have no idea how I got my clothes or toys or anything, especially anything that I loved.
I laughed nervously because I was just shocked. I told her as such. She told me that she was so sad for me right now, more than I was for myself. She said, “I bet it wouldn’t have occurred to you to even know you should have a favorite dress, would it?” I said “No!!!!”
She asked me how do you think you got your clothes, or your shoes, or your toys? How did they come into your life? What did you feel when you woke up in the morning? In your bedroom? When you went to sleep at night? I couldn’t tell her. I have no idea.
Then when I told her my main fear is raising my daughter to have the same life and she asked, what is your experience like for your daughter? I smiled. Now I know I’m not 100%, raising her like I was raised! I don’t buy a thing for her unless she is there and approves. My kid likes foxes, so she wears her costume everywhere. She is fine.
She said if you can’t remember your favorite pair of shoes or where you got your favorite dress, what else do you think you have suppressed? Then it hit me. It could be a whole shit storm and I have no idea. No wonder I feel like a woman inside of a suit of armor or cloaked and weighed down.
She said you weren’t allowed to feel and you were clearly protecting yourself, and probably depressed from a long time ago. I basically only remember my grandparent’s houses because I was allowed to exist as me then I shut it off when I had to go back to wherever my mother lived at the time.
I’m supposed to write out memories and really dig into remembering details. She wanted me to start by thinking about my ex-husband and how much control I had over my life or what I didn’t have control of, and really get into the details of things and how I felt. That’s my homework.
To let the sadness come and the fear, because though it will feel like never-ending waves and that it will never end, it will. Emotions won’t kill me. The other side of processing them will be beautiful. I can believe that.
I told her quite clearly that I don’t care what the scale says one day or today. I am just tired of carrying this weight because it is a visual representation of emotions I do not deal with properly. I’m carrying this and lumbering along and I feel like I’m stuck in a fat suit. I’m not talking about cellulite or what size my clothes are, I just feel weighed down and slow and I know it’s emotional vs. physical. She had no doubt that when I start dealing with emotions and really living, I won’t have any issues with my weight.
I’m terrified and yet, I can’t wait to get started.