Looking in the mirror

A therapy day. I had been reluctant to go today. I questioned myself for the root of that feeling. Simply I didn’t want to feel exposed again. I have been busy, I have been plodding along and stopping to open up my heart and soul and pick apart the painful bits seemed too scary. Too overwhelming. Why not stick a band aid over the wound and ignore it a bit longer? 

But I owe my therapist more respect than that, and I committed to working at this. 

As usual I set about my day’s plan in my head, allocating time slots. I successfully managed to complete my tasks and arrived on time for therapy. She has slowly raised my awareness about my tendency towards my obsessive compulsiveness. The way I do things in order. My routines, my planning. I’d never considered it before. But now I find myself becoming more aware, and my husband agreed with the therapist without hesitation which surprised me.

We started off with me highlighting examples of where I’d realised this was in fact an issue, whereby previously I’d never even considered it before. Obsessive people just wash their hands a lot or worry about germs don’t they? But looking over at the way I plan, my daily routines, the way I do things, the need for control, and my inability to respond well to unpredictable changes does show some unexpected obsessive tendencies. 

I made a passing comment about how Christmas is always a nightmare for me because of the mess and lack of order with the kids. I’m always scurrying around with a black bag to collect rubbish and trying to keep presents in a ordally fashion. The kids just want to play and are excited. My husband wants to be laid back and watch the moment. But I’m never truly happy. It’s a period of time I endure. It’s messy chaos with pressure and expectations. I try to keep decorations to an absolute minimum because I find them tacky and suffocating. 

Growing up my parents decorated the house like Santas grotto. It was always bright and tacky. Overwhelming. As a kid I loved it. But my parents were just two bitter drunk people, that dragged us around to see relatives we hated who gave us horrible presents out of a forced sentiment. Christmas Day was always my mother playing the martyr, and dad being waited on. While my sister and I entairtained each other. In retrospect Christmas wasn’t a special time. It was never warm or real. It was suffocating, it was forced politeness, it was drinking, it was self absorbed, it was tradition for the sake of it. By the 12th day, the pine tree was was almost dead, the tinsel was coming off photo frames, lights were dead, candles melted and everyone was fed up with each other. 

I guess I have inadvertently pushed miserable Christmas’s onto my family. But my therapist felt it ran much deeper than that. As my fondest Xmas memory with my husband and kids is when we stayed in a back in KeriKeri (north of the North Island). We had a fantastic time. My therapist offered that perhaps it was because I was out of the house. Perhaps at Christmas I live in the past not the present.

And this started a conversation pertaining to my childhood and some uncomfortable feelings I have around that.

It’s the first time I’ve really spoken so openly and unguarded. 

She listened and then suggested we talk in more detail the following week, concerned at how much I could handle saying in one session after I’ve been struggling with proper down time recently and bad bouts of disassociation.

I left her and drove on to get my hair done. Although I found it difficult to be in the moment and seem cheerful. I just felt drained and the beginnings of a migraine were warning.

It’s been snowing here. It’s bitterly cold, dark, miserable. I’m feeling worn down. 

But I’m glad I talked to the therapist. I offloaded. I feel that she’s giving me good insight about myself and gradually not only am I learning more about myself but I’m wanting to learn more. Like looking in a mirror for the first time after surgery, I am both curious and terrified. But better to look in the mirror then catch your reflection off guard.

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