Baby steps, my darling, just baby steps.
I’m on my feet i’m learning to walk, i’m learning to trust this clumsy pair of legs that wobble, and stumble, and i fall, i fall way too much, but baby steps my darling, baby steps, i’ll say it to everybody else, I’ll say “give yourself time” hoping i’ll listen, hoping i’ll forgive myself.
I’ll spend my life learning how to live. that’s the point isn’t it? that’s what we all do. learn to live.
I said it with a smile on my face, stifling the fear, because it sounds like an awfully long time, A lifetime to live.
I entered that room with no expectations, ‘a therapists office’ been to all kind of therapy in my life, but none for my mind, none to unwind thought strings I’ve spent 25 years unravelling and sorting through, i honestly don’t expect anything, i know i’m not going to emerge in ten weeks healed, i know that, so really what do i want? To sit down and talk about the things i can’t say to my family, do i want to sit in there and say i hurt myself and i can’t seem to find the motivation of the belief to stop? do i just want a room where i can say anything and know it will never leave.
What do i want?
She asked me that a lot over the next ten weeks. What do i want? What do i feel?
I don’t know. I’ll say, i don’t want anything from her, i’m not gonna be healed, nobody can heal me i’m not even broken, nobody breaks, we’re too fluid, the ocean doesn’t part nor can we, even with giant continents of hurt solid in our ocean, we still thread between in rivers and water, never broken, never apart, always, horribly frustratingly whole.
So what do i want? To not die? well she’s not gonna be able to stop that if my mind clicks one day. nobody will stop that if i decide.
To understand? Well don’t i already? My foundations are poorly made, i learnt destruction holds hands with love before I learnt my first words. I understand. Of course I understand, I sit there and say i forgive myself, of course i’m like this, nobody lives through that and doesn’t get a little twisted.
I can’t understand it all except why do i hurt myself? I never understand that, if i did i could solve it, i could stop it, i could unwind that certain kink, and charge forward like i always do, because i know how to survive, i say that too, I know how to survive.
Maybe I assume too much as i sit there, sometimes talking away 50 minutes.
She tells me much later that i’m insightful, that the way i see the world is fascinating, she even says she’ll miss me.
How can the person that sat there, and heard me say for 50 minutes straight that i hate myself, that i hate everything, that i feel nothing, that all i want to do is rip off my skin and end. God. all i want is the end. And i know i won’t find it here, in this little room, with the uncomfortable chairs.
She asked me if I go out much, if i have friends, i laugh and say none in this area, but i try and go out, it’s a lie, if it’s up to me I’d never leave the house and its getting worse.
She picked me apart, and the moment “I hate myself” is out, i’m fragile, everything stings, i hate that i hate, and that i hate the hate, i can’t stop this hate, i should be angry, but the only person i’m angry at is me and it shows, it shows all over me now, new scars popping up on my blank skin, i promised never to scar, but i broke that promise. I’m breaking promises all the time these days.
After That session i make an effort, i try and try and try, i unravel myself, i unravel, and everything is more tender, i pretend it’s helping, i pretend, but i’m raw, and there’s nobody there, because words aren’t enough and i’m lonely i want to cry, my family hurt and they hurt, and they don’t even know it, they don’t know they’re tearing me apart, and my ocean is getting smaller the rivers are drying, people don’t break, but i think they dry up, or they crumble, the desert was an ocean once, i read that somewhere.
I know the more she drags out of me, the more i know of myself, my “i knew this all already” was a lie, i’d just spent a long time burying it, and now every wound is raw, i explode at times, when my dad is being petty, i boil and explode and shout til i cry, why am i crying this much? I ask myself that a lot.
my mind is struggling with it all, its shutting down, hiding, i avoided her sessions for three weeks straight, cause I’m scared i’m scared of how much i hate who i am, it shouldn’t be coming out this way. It shouldn’t. i should be healing. WHY IS HEALING SO PAINFUL? why am i so raw.
My best friend is there, i lean on her more than she ever knows, i lean and i lean but i’m afraid to topple. I just needed to sit there with someone and cry, but the tears never come around people, they come in the dark car when my mum is getting fish and chips, they come when i’m staring out of the window. they come and then i never speak of them.
We only have a few sessions left i tell myself, i want her to think i’m stronger, but the only thing I’ve learnt is that i’m trying to fix everybody else, even though i don’t see them as broken, the only thing i’m doing is taking myself out of the equation, i’m withdrawing more, even as she suggests I show more of myself to people. I’m scared. I’m so scared they’ll see what I hate.
The last session i sat there feeling surreal, it comes out badly: “Is this what i am.” she frowns cause I’ve never be this inarticulate, “I mean is this down to my past? Or down to my brain?” she has no answer, cause of course, we don’t know. I swallow, and take notes of all the long term therapy I can apply for. I take notes but i know i may never ask again.
I learnt a lot, from having no expectations, i got more than i ever wanted, i don’t know if it’s maybe what i needed, she said to wait a couple of months to let it settle. but within a few days my life explodes, and the panic attack that follows is in front of my mum, and it rips me apart, maybe i’m the land, and the ocean in me is drowning me, maybe I’ve been drowning all along, and we don’t break we drown, and i can’t breathe. So i withdraw from the people able to hurt me, and I play nice with people who tell me they like the way i see the world, cause maybe the way i see the world is beautiful but i am not the world i see. and i lean on my best friend, cause she sees what i’m too afraid to admit.
But baby steps darling, baby steps.
I tell myself softly, waiting for the worst to pass, because i went to therapy and it was hard, and it hurt, and i’m not healed, but i never expected to be.
What i learnt is what i am, the burden i carry and the potential i have for great beauty, what i learnt is my fear. what i learnt is that i’ll spend a life time learning to live, and maybe that’s ok, and yes, maybe i’m a little fragile at the moment, but….I’ve never let myself be fragile before, but maybe i’m letting myself drown, or maybe I’m drying up, maybe i’ll be a desert, desolate of all interesting life.
Maybe, Maybe there was nothing in me anyway.
I dismantled my defences and lost them along the way, now in an attempt o fix it, i’m more closed than ever, but there are these spots of light and i imagine that’s what the desert feels as she peers up at the stars at night, there are spots of light i’ll never reach but my, they’re so beautiful