old (2008), Uncategorized

whoa! this is what "normal" feels like?

So I go to therapy ready to talk about all the relationship-py type stuff (both friendship-wise and other-wise) swirling around in my head, and I get through about five minutes of it before my therapist starts laughing at me. [Just to be clear, “laughing at me” isn’t on the list of reactions I prefer from her.] After her giggle fit, she said, None of that is dysfunctional or proof that you’re screwed up. You’re experiencing what normal people experience. Huh. On the one hand, awesome! On the other hand, you mean angst and confusion is part of the normal and expected human experience? Fuck.

Anyhow, I texted Slavegirl announcing my Officially Normal Status (which is precarious, but what the heck? might as well flaunt it while I’ve got it…) and she sent me back what has to be the best text message I’ve received since the last time she sent me a profound uplifting text message (which is often):

The best thing is that you no longer seem to crave that kind of dysfunction. In fact, you’re actively avoiding it. I think that’s the best thing. It’s also the hardest thing.

And, you know, my therapist and talked about this, too, so it was nice getting feedback from Slavegirl. It’s weird, how when I first went into therapy, what a different person I was. And in case I’d forgotten, my therapist today not only read me some of her notes from September and October, she also played back audio from those early sessions. Beyond being overly critical of how my voice sounds on tape — yeah, ’cause THAT’s the object of this exercise — it was fascinating. It’s easy for me — since, well, I’m still, uh, ME, meaning I haven’t been abducted by aliens or changed bodies — to miss the growth I’ve made, to minimize the healthy things I’m able to do now that were literally impossible six months ago, to ignore the positive changes I make every single day now.

The weird thing is that I can’t really figure out how I’ve done this. My therapist pointed out that plenty of people hit rock bottom, and given my childhood she would have expected me to stay in the abusive and dysfunctional relationship I was in when we first met. What made this all happen? she asked. I guess I could say it’s been the program (and it has) or that I didn’t have any other options anymore (I didn’t), but in discussing it with her, it occurred to me that the one thing that showed me there was hope and love in the world and I deserved better was my burgeoning friendship with Slavegirl. Last June, she did things for me that no one had ever done before — and they admittedly weren’t Herculean — and her friendship and kindness planted a seed in me that grew into a belief and hope that things could be different if I let people help me. And so I sought help, and look where I am now?

So if I’m on an even keel today, and if I come across as a healthier person, and if I am more present in my life and the lives of others… well, it’s because she opened my eyes to a different sort of world, one in which people do kind things for others, one not filled with drama and dysfunction, one where I can — and should — be accepted exactly as I am. No, she didn’t do all the work I’ve had to do the past few months, but I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have been sitting in my therapist’s office today, being laughed at, if not for her. Namaste.


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