Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Growing up no one ever cared if I lived or died...

All night last night, and all morning today , I struggled with the idea of seeing the therapist today.  For over three weeks I’ve really kept her in the bucket – and I was afraid one of two things would happen when we met:
1.  The 5 year old would cry because she missed her so much and she got to see her and talk to her
2.  The angry teenager would be so defensive about the flying nun and DBT tactics that we would both end up angry and I would end up hurting myself out of frustration.

Early this afternoon my friend LG reminded me that the therapist does care, if she didn’t she would have just let me walk out and not communicate to me she was still “here” and still wanted to help me and work with me. LG told me it would probably not serve me well to go in defensive and unwilling to budge and continue to begrudge the therapist for her changes. Then she stuck the song: Meet in the Middle in my head as an annoying, yet friendly reminder....
It helps me to have things in writing, so LG followed up our conversation with a text message: She cares and she is trying to help you, not control you.”
 I was sitting in the car in the parking lot of the therapist’s office when I received another text from my friend: “open mind, deep breaths… compromise”.
I texted back that I was sitting in the parking lot, and she responded, “Are you going in?”
I replied, “I hope so.”

A few minutes later I was sitting on the bench outside the therapist’s office, when I received yet another text: “She cares…next week we might hate her, but today, we meet in the middle.”

Both the 5 year old and the angry teenager stayed at bay…and I think for this week, dear therapist and I were able to meet in the middle….I accepted that she did what she needed to do, based on my erratic, suicidal and self-destructive behavior. She heard me when I told her that her putting on a flying nun suit actually made me more self-destructive. I told her that now any DBT talk is like eating a bowl of onions for me and I will not be controlled. She told me she didn’t know what else to do because it was either do what she did or put me in the hospital.

And I told her that I understand…she did what she did because she does care about me. And I realize she is human, that she will make mistakes and do things that at the time she thinks are in my best interest…like, try to keep me alive. I thought about all the times in the past 3 ½ years when she has gone to bat for me because she cares, the times she’s dropped everything to take a frantic tearful phone call for me, met with me at the last minute, dropped off a darn rock because I was sick and afraid, begged me to stay alive, stayed steady when I’ve tried to push her over the edge...

And that voice that has always said, “Grace, no one will care about you. Not the *real* you. The real you is bad and shameful. She doesn’t care. It’s her job to say she accepts you.”
That voice faded to the background today….and was replaced by the voice that said, “DT does care about you. She has proven to you time and time again that she accepts you and she cares. And unlike the man-whore and the host body she did what she thought was best to ensure you stayed alive. SHE CARES! If she didn’t care she wouldn’t be here now.”

That’s a really hard concept for me to grasp. I am so stubborn and independent. No one has ever ‘cared’ about me like that. And I don’t think she’ll try to make me eat that bowl of onions…and I do think she will accept me and all of my “feelings” and “emotions” and it’s okay to have them and to tell her about them…but it’s not always okay to act on them.  Which, of course, I am still 'learning'. 

I don’t know why that’s such a hard notion for me to accept. No one ever cared if I lived or died…but dear therapist does. And she was willing to meet me in the middle….


  1. Reading this makes me happy :)
    I am so glad you went and I am so glad it went well!!!

  2. I care, too. I see so much value in your gentle spirit. I'm glad to hear you are "meeting in the middle", and that you know others can care for you... but the one person who really needs to care about you is you. When you care, your life will change.

  3. Lynn, yes, I think so too...

    Zan, Thanks!!!! ME TOO!

    Shen, Thank you for carring. I do *care* about myself and I do know that I have many many qualities that are good. Obviously, since I continue to go down this path - and spend the time, money and effort to do so - I do think I'm worth it. I don't think ALL parts of me believe that right now - but someday....
    I also believe that some of the anger and self-destructive bx isn't really *abnormal* considering my past.