I’m not a good friend.
I don’t know how to be.
Sometimes I see acquaintances smiling at me, uncertain.
Like I’m a simpleton, or a fragile egg.
“Do you even want to be here?” “Are we an inconvenience?”
No, that’s not it.
It’s just that I’m just pretty certain you don’t like me.
And I don’t want to waste your time.
Years ago, during a short lived stint of therapy I learnt about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Basically, you look at a problem and ask yourself if you can deal with it right here right now. If the answer is yes then you use the CBT process to work through the stages of addressing the problem. Sounds great right?
Sure does. Except if the answer is no, I can’t do anything about this right now, CBT allows you put the problem aside to come back to later.
Well, I heard this and woohoo! This information was like the voice of God. Not only did I not have to chew over every piece of crap that was worrying me, I could actively send it away.
The key to CBT though is to come back.
Aaaaahhhh, but not for me. I put shit aside, I pushed it down, I looked the other way. CBT said I could.
I stopped looking at my anxiety. I stopped looking at my unhappiness.
I swung from one extreme to the other. I went from fixating on every little thing to almost ceasing to exist on an emotional level.
And for someone who struggles with emotional regulation and had experienced a lifetime of abuses, this left me in a very dangerous spot.
Now I was relying on others to tell me if things were bad. Some of those people were not trustworthy, others ill-equipped.
I had handed my life over to other people to decide what was good for me.
I was desperate for help, and it seemed my every action and inaction cried out for it.
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!!