So, I’m going to be graduating my group therapy in a couple weeks, which basically means that I have reached a point where I have worked through enough of my process that I can function in the world without the containment of the therapy group (aka I’m healed… mostly…). This weekend was my final therapy intensive and, boy, was it intense!! It feels like in order to graduate, the universe needs to administer a final exam to see if I pass.
Over the nearly two years I have been in group therapy (and nearly four years in individual therapy), I have tackled some pretty heavy topics: abuse, neglect, bullying, conditional parental love, death of the absent father, and sexuality, just to name a few. One major issue that has plagued me is seeking affection from the unavailable man. That stuck around the longest. Seeking love where it was unavailable has pretty much been my M.O. for my entire life. I’m still working it out, but in the past year (minus a few months), I’ve been pretty good at putting myself first (or at least stopping myself early in the chase stages). I have never felt more powerful or in control of my own life. Every day is brimming with excitement and opportunity. I have said “fuck it” to “chasing” after a mate. My theme song of the weekend was “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler. Either a man meets me or I’m not interested. I’ve had this conversation with many people and the common opinion is that I’m searching for a unicorn, and guess what, I am.
Then comes my final exam…
The unavailable male met me – BIG TIME!
World shattered. What the hell do I do with that??!!! Now I’m forced to be exposed and vulnerable. It was all well and good to challenge a man to meet me when I knew he wouldn’t, but now that he has, it’s like I have to make that challenge while naked. It hurts. It’s scary. It’s terrifying. It’s overwhelming. It’s my final test.
This whole self-healing thing is a shit ton of work. Just when you think you’re good, you catch a right hook to the jaw and are knocked over again. The sign of healing is how hard you let the blow land and how well you recover. This weekend I took a serious blow. It feels like it totally exploded my insides to smithereens. What do you do when what you’ve been asking for finally appears? When a person calls your bluff and says all in, do you take the bet? Do you risk it all? Trust that you still have an ace in your back pocket and even if you lose, you win because no one is ever going to have the power to take all you’ve got again? Can you take the hit? You know how to lean into the punch now, but will you be able to get back up if this punch lands? Sorry about the mixed metaphors, but my brain has erupted into chaos.
I’m not even sure why I’m writing this anymore, except to let it all out. At the heart of the matter, I’m being called to sit back and continue to trust the universe, even when my heart is on the line and I’m having a really hard time with that. It’s all well and good when I’m in my therapy group, surrounded by people I love, but after, when I’m sitting with myself in my apartment alone, I can hear all the voices in my head panicking, screaming “Mayday, Mayday” over and over again. I keep trying to figure out what is going to happen next. I try to plan ways to keep myself protected, when the real horror of it all is that if I want to be met, wholly and truly, I need to stand naked (emotionally, but let’s not fully rule out the possibility of physically at some point) just as firmly as ever. I need to listen to what I need and speak it clearly. I need to trust that anything worth keeping will hear me and honour those needs. I also need to be ready to do the same.
There is no easy way to pass this final test (I don’t know why I assumed there would be as if anything else during this process had been a happy fun-time cakewalk). I’m sitting in it. I’m breathing through it. I’m letting it pulse through me. I’m crying when I need to. I’m speaking when I need to. And I’m writing so that others can bear witness to my exposure. It would be easier to actually be naked bleeding on the computer screen. Fuck, therapy sucks!!!