Eat Pray Everything.

It’s the biggest cliche ever written, but Eat Pray Love changed my life.

It was never a book I considered reading.  I avoided it for months, despite Oprah’s urging that I should read read read!
But then, it was made into a movie and I figured at some point I probably would stumble across the film, and I’d be damned if I hadn’t read the book first.

I’d been married for long time by the time I picked it up.  I was unhappy, desperately lonely and living a loveless lie.

So I found this book, with no expectation.  I read in the bath, night after night, and by the time I’d finished Pray my heart had been split wide open.

I wanted to be seen.  I wanted to by seen by my God.  And I wanted to be loved and to be happy.  I wanted to be embraced and welcomed.

I felt cracked in two, with no one to turn to.  My husband had long ago turned his back on me.  I was a hole to be fucked and a body to be blamed.

I had no safe space.

So this book asked me the question I needed to ask my entire adult life.

“What do you want?”

“I want to be happy.”

“Can you be happy continuing to do what you’ve been doing?  Can you be happy here?”

I cried.  I cried a lot.  Anguish poured out of me.

“No.”

And for the first time in endless attempts to leave, I felt supported entirely.

I’d leave.  And I’d be ok.

I’ve not picked that book up since I read the last page 8 years ago.  I’ve not needed to.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not cured or less neurotic.  I’m not even sure I’m any better at relationships than I was before I read it.
But I am free.  Freer.

I don’t think you know how I feel.

Sometimes self harm looks like suicide.

Typically we cut and there’s blood and making yourself bleed means you want to die.  Right?

Then it’s very small leap to make to think that instead of just self harming, you really do want to end your life.

I remember, not long after my eldest child was born, sitting in the bath as he screamed in the next room.  I remember my husband treating me with disdain as I asked him to help me with the baby.

“He’s your kid” he said.  “You wanted him”
I remember feeling confused.  Wasn’t he the same man who openly wept as he held his tiny child for the first time only weeks before?

Entirely hopeless, my mind buzzed as I broke open the disposable razor.  I hated the sensation of the sharp edge against the thin skin of my wrist.  I hated the sting.
But the red blood signified something.  It offered something tangible.
“This how I feel!”  Help me.

And in the other room the baby still cried, and somehow that lonely noise pulled me out of myself.

He was alone too.  And whatever I was doing there in the bath, in my despair, placed him at risk.

What if I did kill myself.  What if I died and he grew up to blame himself?

That was not a burden I could put on him.  I was hopeless and floundering, but I couldn’t abandon my helpless child.

The blood didn’t mean I wanted to die.  It meant I needed help.

It would be a long time coming.

 

I’m a middle aged schizoid

I’ve started therapy.  Not for the first time either.

The first was with my ex-husband.  Marriage counselling they called it.  I like to refer to it as “that time I sat in a room and poured every drop of pain out of my aching heart to a complete stranger. Oh and also the counselor”  This lasted approximately 10 sessions and resulted in several guilt driven shopping sprees courtesy of my ex husband’s credit card.
I got a lotta pairs of boots.

The second was counselling on my own.  Maybe I could fix me while still being in a broken relationship.  That’s do-able right?   We tackled CBT and how I needed to be more vulnerable with my husband.  Oh yeah and also while we’re talking about doing insane stuff, why not stick your head right in the lion’s mouth!!

The third time was more marriage counselling, but this time with a different husband.  A better husband.   I was scared by now as I started to suspect that the problem really was me.  In fact I knew it was and I was terrified my husband was going to throw me under the bus big time.
He didn’t.  Instead he held my hand.

This time, I’m hoping to prevent my own self -immolation.  There just seems to be very little space in my head.  No space for activities.  It’s mostly a buzzing of worry and anxiety and an endless attempt to be a good person.

My therapist (lets call him Hippy RF) says I have problems with emotional regulation.
And that’s the truth.  Also I will kill that son of a bitch and burn his house down!!