This morning I’m feeling lonely and unhappy. I find myself wishing I had friendships like the relationship I have with my therapist. Not only am I beginning to allow vulnerability in that relationship, I can/ we can have fun. I am missing her this morning so I am trying to apply skills she has taught me. I am asking myself, “What does ‘little Laura’ want?” And the answer I hear back is, “I want someone to talk to; I want someone to play with.” It is a little hard for me to hear because I have resisted listening for so long, especially when “her” feelings of unhappiness are without definable cause. If there is no cause, I can’t fix them.
But I’ve told my therapist before that not every problem needs to be fixed. Sometimes you just want someone there to listen, relate, and empathize. But then that can also be frustrating because I find myself wanting someone to take it, the problem, away.
I read a post this morning, I think, somewhere about stopping and listening and being without trying to do all of the stuff any of us does to quiet what our souls are telling us. When I do that I am hearing an unhappy, lonely, little girl.
I have to go to work tonight. Sometimes it requires so much effort to interact and give and radiate and do, for the customer, just the thought exhausts me. I don’t know how or if I can do all of what needs to be done for good customer service and still reserve my energy for myself. It’s why I like to sleep. Being with people, a lot of people, depletes me. And I guess I kinda feel like this morning my reserves aren’t quite replenished after working yesterday and I have to face going back to work later this afternoon.
In session with my therapist last week I related something I did the week before. I bought a couple of packets of stickers. They are of the World Cup teams. I bought them on a whim. I’m not a sports fan in general so it was kinda a pointless purchase. This was new to me because in the past I would have beaten myself over such a silly and purposeless purchase. This time I didn’t. I was even able to laugh at myself, “Why the hell did I buy these?” I giggled, even though I could hear the little girl inside of me exclaim, “Oooo! Stickers!”
This incident lead to a discussion of how I talk myself out of feelings; what I should and shouldn’t want, need or feel. I realized this week that I do this not only with negative feelings but with positive feelings. For a long time I have operated as if knowing the whys, hows, and wherefores of what I was feeling, I could change it, as if it needed changed. I have done this with trying to reason myself out of my frequently painful and fearful relationships in my immediate family. I shouldn’t feel scared. I shouldn’t feel hurt. I believed that it is unfair to my family for feeling the way I do but in the end it does not change the way I feel. I’ve been more forgiving of myself in allowing myself to feel these “negative” emotions. But I haven’t before applied it to positive feelings.
Yesterday, I realized that knowing the whys and wherefores of how and why I feel a certain way does not stop me from feeling the way I feel, nor should it necessarily. I applied this to what I have labeled as transference feelings I have toward my therapist. I enjoy her as a person, her humor, her empathy, the few significant glimpses I’ve gotten into her “real life,” and strongly wish we were friends. Our personalities work so well together. And yet I also recognize that what makes my relationship with her so different is the support, the rawness, the empathy, I do not and have not gotten anywhere else. With her I am the most comfortable I have ever been with simply being me, the hurt, the whole, the funny, the strong. I feel appreciated…and I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and regret because I know eventually this relationship will end. It scares me and leaves me desperately sad sometimes. But anyway, back to my point, in the past I have tried to talk myself out of these feelings because “they aren’t real.” As transference feelings “they aren’t real.” But I am realizing now, who says they aren’t real? They are real because I feel them. And yet I resist being hurt, as I feel I will inevitably be, and so I deny myself an essential part of the relationship. I tell myself consciously and unconsciously, “Don’t drop anchor here. Don’t get too comfortable.” “You can’t feel this way. You shouldn’t feel this way.” But I do.