*knock knock knock*
"Let me in."
"Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin!"
"Then I'll huff
And I'll puff
And I'll blow your house in."
In session two weeks ago, I shared a rather large chunk of very personal material that I'd written. I am not sure that I am ready right now to share it outside of session. It was hard enough there. The reaction she gave was exactly what I needed. The topic is such a sensitive one that it's really hard for her to say anything around it that won't leave me feeling hurt, attacked, defensive, wounded, angry, or furious with her. And likewise, convinced that she hates me and feels about me all the things I knew that my mom felt about me where my weight was concerned. Somehow, though her comments were minimal as she read the first day (it took all of one session and part of the next for her to get through it-it's an epic like I haven't written in a very long time), they were perfect for what I needed to hear, and for what I *could* hear, without going to any of the awful places that my head likes to take me when some issues are discussed. As she put it, "We hit the perfect sweet spot."
In spite of the contents of the email (it had originally been intended as a short email, at one point which I entirely intended to delete, or at least never show her, but got too long, and too full of stuff for me to be able to let her see it outside of my presence) and how notoriously difficult they are for me to push through, a topic I have managed 20 minutes at best with a 5-10 minute average, she read about for over an hour of combined time, and we then talked about quite a bit more. This is pretty unheard of.
After the first day of her reading, and things going so well, I went home and felt so good. I felt freed; euphoric. I'm not sure why sharing what I did, and having her response be what it was hit me as it did, but it did. I felt.... I didn't even know... just really, really good. But I also felt really panicky, anxious, and a myriad of other similar things. I didn't know why I was feeling those ways, but it kept making me want to cry. I was expressing that to Jen in session on Thursday (we'd been able to have 3 sessions that week, thank goodness) and I kept clutching at the space just above my heart, but centered over the windpipe. I felt like I couldn't breathe from the emotions, but it didn't feel like a lump in my throat either.
She started talking, and she made the comment, "I think this is the furthest you've ever let me in. And for the longest amount of time, too."
That was it. That was all the feelings that were going on and I started crying. It feels uncomfortable and scary, even though I know that therapeutically this is a really good and big thing. It feels like too much for me. I am caught in a place of wanting her back out and wanting her to stay. I am confused by my reactions because I never feel like I can get close enough to anyone, and somehow through the sharing of what I did, and opening myself in such a vulnerable way, with her having behaved as accepting of me as she did, it opened something up. I had written that it seemed as if two of the many bombs on the path to my internal places had been deactivated. I'm not sure how that happened exactly. And if you knew my internal world, you'd know that two land mines is really not much, comparatively, but that it happened at all is pretty fucking amazing.
It's leaving other stuff in it's wake, on top of the confusion, mainly separation anxiety issues with Jen, and feeling more dependent and wanting and needing than ever. Yeah, I didn't know that was possible either. I feel bad for her and I really hope the fears and confusions and anxieties I hold around this fall into check soon, because it is really hard to feel like a walking tightrope. My nerves are shot and my muscles are sore from the tension. I am struggling with feeling invaded, like she did this to me, even though I know that it wouldn't have happened if I had not allowed for it. It is just so foreign a sensation that I really don't know what to do with myself. But, she wrote in an email to my comment about feeling like she sneaked in, "BTW, while you feel I have snuck in, I can't actually do that. I can SEE in, but can only get closer when you allow me in. You know, like a vampire :)"
She is the furthest I have ever let anyone in. I'm still not sure quite exactly how it happened. I know it's a build up of things over time, and the deepening of the relationship, but it feels so "all of a sudden" that it's hard to really wrap my head around it. K is in a fair amount, but it's not quite the same having never met her. It doesn't discount what we have, but it's a lot easier for me to let someone in when there is no real actual threat to myself, be it actual or perceived. Sara is the closest I've ever let a face-to-face friend in. Recent events with her have shown me that while I thought I had friendships before in my day to day life (vs online), I am now realizing that what I've had are more akin to glorified acquaintances than actual friends. This friends shit is hard, and sometimes for the birds, and I want to throw up my arms and walk away sometimes. The fact that I haven't done that is pretty amazing, too.
While all of the goodness of those sessions are still there, along with the resultant fears and anxieties and needineess, I am also feeling annoyed with Jen about something she said during this time. Jen made a comment that I had to have let Lisa in pretty far. I told her no, I hadn't. I know I hadn't. I know what this feels like with K. I know what this feels like with Jen. I know what this feels like with Sara, who while in pretty far, barely has the tip of her big toe in, compared to Jen's whole toe. And that's just into the entrance! Not even all the way in. Like, we're talking skin surface.. and still for me, that's a lot. I know that Lisa was never that far. Jen said, "You must have let her in pretty far, you invited her into your home." Uh, what!? I fail to see how the two are connected.
We talked about it a little more either that day, or the next session, I don't recall which. I expressed my disagreement, and she said, well it's fine that we disagree, you don't have to agree with me. I know that, but this isn't like we're disagreeing on whether watermelons or asparagus is the better tasting food, she is arguing with me about what I know to be true about how far I have let someone in. Discovering more recently just how much more of an actual friendship I have with Sara, and then a few weeks ago, going through the realization of how very far I'd let Jen in, I *know* that I never let Lisa in this far. But because I let Lisa into my home, I must have let her in pretty far? Huh?
I am annoyed with what I see as Jen's smug insistence that she has to be correct. I am angry that she thinks she has the right to tell me how I did or didn't feel, or how close I did or didn't get, with another individual, when I know for a fact, based on how close I do feel to Jen and Sara and K, that Lisa didn't even ever get the door open to my internal world. Hell, K, long distance, is in farther than Lisa ever got.
I keep thinking about her reasoning being that I let her into my house. And I am thinking, wondering, if for her, in her life that means something. I am wondering if it means something for most people that it doesn't mean for me. I think that she must see it as a sanctuary of sorts, an extension of her personal being, that in her mind, inviting someone in equates letting them into your personal space as well.
That's not the case for me. Home isn't a sanctuary, it's just some place you go at the end of the day when all other options are gone. I don't think I've ever viewed my home as a sanctuary, or something private. Maybe it's because I've never owned a home? Maybe it's because I've been poor for so long, and living in a government subsidized home situation, that I don't feel this way? This isn't my space. I can't even decorate as I would want to, or keep my furniture where I want, because of all the rules on the lease. I know that at any time someone could come walking into my home. My house is not a fortress against the outside world. I don't wear it like an armor or a layer of protection.
All I have is me, my body, for that. And it's also made me realize, that as much Jen gets my weight issues, she also really doesn't still. It goes along with why I am so large. She knows it's a defensive maneuver against so much, but I think she must have missed that it's also a way to keep others from getting in, and from getting close. In the land of 3D, it's the rare person that wants to get to know someone of my size in spite of the weight. It keeps me protected. It fights my battles for me in terms of pushing people away before they get to know me. As much as I resent that on one hand, on the other hand, it's emotional protection from getting hurt. Really hurt, not just the general hurt that I feel from the rejection that people won't bother to get to know me just because of how my body looks. No one can get inside and really hurt me.
Letting someone into my home... big deal. That just means nothing to me. I didn't realize that it did mean something to others. I'm really not sure why it does. I never had that growing up. I don't recall feeling that way when I rented. It wasn't mine. It was my space to live in, but it wasn't mine. Not solely. People could still come traipsing in from the rental agency. I know that they are supposed to give 24 hours notice, and I know that can't always happen. I have always lived with an awareness that my dwelling is not a defense against the outside world. The only thing I can prevent people from coming into, is my own personal self.
The only thing my dwelling offers is physical protection from the forces of nature... beyond that... it doesn't mean anything to me. If this place were to go up in flames, after my kids and cat, the only thing I'd want to save would be photos of my children, the stuffed animals and blankets I've received in the last few years from people so important to me, and my laptop if there was time... but the laptop solely as an afterthought. It's not like I can't get another lap top at some point, but I do have stuff written on it of which I don't have copies. (Makes mental note to burn stuff to disc.)
So... her point befuddles me, and irritates me. And it angers me that she seems to think she has any say or any right to tell me what is "actually true" about a relationship that I had, that she was never a part of, and at a time when she didn't even know me when I was having that relationship. She doesn't get to disagree about how far I did or did not let Lisa in. She's not me, and she doesn't know what it felt like with Lisa vs K, Sara, or Jen herself. I dated Kay off and on for a little over 2 years. Had her in my home plenty, too. I let her in even less far than Lisa, even though I knew Kay longer. I've let my mom and brothers into my home. I've let the maintenance guy into my home. My front door is not an entrance into my inner personal space. Even my bedroom door is not an entrance into my inner personal space. And allowing either of those things does not reflect in the slightest, how far I've let a person into the inner personal space of who I am as I've recently found happening with Jen.