It’s Wednesday again. I have so much trouble getting started in the session that I wrote out what was bothering me beforehand and then I read it in there. Of course, first I was late, and then we talked about Thanksgiving and stuff and I was feeling the time sliding by and sliding by and finally she got out the buzzers, and I grabbed my notebook, and, well, I avoided the buzzers this week. This is what I wrote:
“A few weeks ago, you suggested that when I feel vulnerable, I function at a child’s leve.. I am not sure if I have that right. It may not be what you said or even what you meant but that is what I perceived. This was in reference to my question, “Do you like me?” You said that is a question a child would ask and you kind of asked if I agreed. I don’t know if I do agree. I have worked all my life guessing at what normal people think. If I cut the bullshit and decide that I am normal, then I’d have to say that adults would ask that question if they had the need and the balls.
“Can’t you tell?” Well, I can see how that can be frustrating if a part of what you do is to make folks feel safe, comfortable, believed, validated, cared about, accepted, liked. But I am actually not worried at all about you being frustrated about that. You said your self-esteem is strong enough. I suppose you wouldn’t last long in your job if you get depressed or angry every time some damaged client didn’t get something however clear you make it. You know my history with Nancy and Karen and that alone is probably cause enough to not trust my perceptions about this question, but there is so much more to it.
I could go on for half an hour about how little positive and how much negative there was growing up. And how hearing affirmations and encouragement , positive stuff from Pastor Mark and Nancy blew me away. But there is more to it than that. I feel guilty when I think someone likes me, when I want to be liked, for hoping. If someone, anyone is nice to me or complements me, it is because they do not know me. I must have given them a false impression. That is why it is so important in here. I expect to be considered repulsive.
There is a part of me that knows that even the worst thing that I did, when I seduced my brother and had sex with him, even that wasn’t my fault entirely, and does not make me a disgusting person, undeserving of being liked. I can trot out the arguments:
1. My brother was 2 months shy of four years older than me, he should have said “no.”
2. I was begun, sexualized, way early, and used by this brother a number of times and by the other many times, it was normal.
3. My brain wasn’t all there yet and I had no way of knowing what the long-term effects would be, and for this reason, I should have been protected from making such a choice.
And on and on.
But there is another part of me that says: “Look at that! You wanted it all along. You never told. You hid the evidence. You kept it secret. You accepted bribes and payment. And you initiated it that one time.”
No matter that there were maybe a hundred times. Maybe hundreds of times.
I did not over-power with strength or age to make it happen. Didn’t have to. But there was no betrayal.
Whatever. Does it even matter? When someone is kind or nice to me, I say to myself that they wouldn’t be if they knew.
If I function at a child-level when I feel vulnerable was my reaction/response to Nancy/Karen Unreasonable.”
End of what I wrote and read. Then we talked about it. She said that I was a pretty harsh judge, jury, and executioner. Or something like that. We talked a lot of not being protected, and not being safe. She asked me if I wanted and answer for the question or if it was hypothetical. I said yes. She did answer, we talked about how I might have acted differently in that situation, had I not had the experiences I had, but that the letter was not anything wrong. She said she would have written it the next day and not months later, but months later it was still bothering me. She said it was not whiny “you hurt my feelings.” It was, this is what you did and was feedback.
She tried to drive it home that I was not to blame. I told her that I know that, but I don’t know that. I kept her longer than I should have, especially since I was the one who was late.
I don’t know why I have to beat myself up with this old stuff. I got a call from work while I was there, there is no work today, and they said I could stay home. So I have the day off. I went to Moms and after a while I went in to talk to her. We were talking about the family, and it came around to my brother’s step kids. I know that their father is in prison for what he did with his other kids. This came up because we were talking about dogs being seized and how Jamie was taking care of his father’s dogs and a couple got loose, and they came and took them all, about 40 pit bulls on chains. I said that the girls, also show symptoms of having had that happen — multiple bad choices in guys, problems with drugs, neglect of their own children. I said I wouldn’t be surprised if their father had done stuff to them. Then I said I just hope my brother hadn’t.
Mom said she did not think so. I asked why. She said because he is a father figure now. I said “so?” I said stepfather/step daughter is like the most common. We talked about what happened to her. We talked about making bad choices, Kathy chose that husband, and then Bob. Her mother chose her father, and then John. She said that it happens all the time. That everyone has a story and most just don’t talk about it. I tried to talk about John, but I couldn’t. We got onto the topic of Christie Ford and roundly abused her for throwing victims under the bus for personal gain. And got onto the much safer topic of politics.
Other folks worry about fighting about politics during the Holidays. Well, folks that don’t have buried family secrets that can come up and make everyone really, really uncomfortable. Politics? That’s easy, and kind of boring.