I was rightfully excited for today. It was as good for my body and soul as I expected it to be. Today's first activity was therapy. Today started out like most days, with me not really wanting to get out of bed. Therapy is as liberating as it is exhausting. But I went and it was amazing. I'm seriously going deep down into myself and reaching my core issues and traumas. Jessy agrees that I'm really close to being "all better."
I talked about the usual suspects. Discussed how my mom was acting weird and I called her out on it. She's been passive aggressive because she knows I'm becoming better friends with Derek. Once I confronted her she stopped being a bitch and started communicating. She's upset with my brothers and me. She says she and my father were able to be responsible and handle their stuff she doesn't know why we're struggling and so afraid of the world.
I figured it out in therapy. Anxiety, anger, stress, whatever, if it isn't dealt with it just gets displaced. My dad kept it moving because he unleashed all his stress and self loathing on the first shmuck who crossed his path. He let poison seep out of his mouth whenever he was angry. "What are you? Stupid?" "If you can't do it right then don't do it at all!" Guess what, life is stressful and hard especially for a controlling perfectionist, so he was an asshole most of the time. Since Danny got diagnosed with cancer and I almost died my dad has really changed. Probably because I told him we were all fucked up because of him and that he needed to take accountability for the damage he caused. I don't play with my dad. I love him so much but I don't hold my tongue when I think he's out of line. I'm the only one who can stand up to him no matter what because I know my dad loves me more than he loves himself.
My mom coped through self loathing. She ate, self deprecated, and was pretty much invisible most of my childhood. It makes me so sad because before I turned 10 I just remember my mom as this shadow who was really soft and comforting but had as little voice as we did. My dad would displace his anger onto my mom (or anyone) and my mom would displace the stress on us and over eat. Unresolved feelings don't go away, they turn into nail biting, agoraphobia, introversion, eating disorders, over eating, cutting, OCD, bullying, etc. All that shit is the unhealthy expression of unresolved feelings. It's incredible how those things stay with you.
Derek and I are extreme opposites from very similar situations. He was raised by his grandparents instead of his mom and dad. I was adopted by my aunt and uncle (the ones I refer to as mom and dad) because my biological parents are severely mentally ill.
Derek's grandparents gave him as much love and acceptance and encouragement as people can give. Derek grew up with a sense of self worth and unfortunately sometimes acts like the world should revolve around him. He grew up knowing he was lovable and he was important and smart and funny and etc. People have to prove themselves to be part of his life because of his self esteem and he's been hurt by people who should never have hurt him. Derek trusts very few people. The problem with that is by keeping everyone so far away no one gets to knew him. It seems safe but lonely.
I on the other hand grew up in a household full of emotional abuse and unhappiness. My parents rarely told me they loved me out of habit of just not saying it I guess. Occasionally I'd get it from my mom but it wasn't until I told my dad I loved him when I was 15 that I heard the confirmation of "you too." My mom ruined my self esteem because she hated herself. My mom sucked growing up, both my parents did. If it wasn't for my brothers I wouldn't have been as functional as I was. I grew up with bullies for parents. I was lucky that instead of being bullies my brothers protected me and parented me the way they wish our parents had parented them. I slept with one of my brothers every night, even Rudy until I started 1st grade. Danny used to sing me to sleep, Jr would hold me close and cuddle me and when he knew everyone else was asleep, he'd whisper he loved me. I knew love because of my sweet dysfunctional brothers. Growing up being adopted I was felt rejected by one set of parents and the set that I had demanded perfection and I knew I was never going to be perfect. I was so desperate to feel loved I tried my best to be their perfect little girl. Trying to measure up to perfection just makes you notice how imperfect you are.
Growing up I always felt like I needed to prove myself to have people love me. "If they just gave me a chance," I remember thinking, "I could prove that I'm lovable." I was also taught to treat people the way I wanted to be treated so I was accepting and welcoming and trusting of everyone because that's how I wanted people to treat me. It's why I got hurt so often. I used to be so naive and gullible. I believed people were inherently good because my parents believed the world was a sinful and evil place.
Maybe that's why Derek and I worked. I proved myself above and beyond and he learned to trust me more than most people in his life... but when he was finally able to trust me and show me the same love and respect I always showed him I was resentful because it took years. I believed in my heart that he didn't really love me. That he only loved me because I did everything he wanted. He loved "perfect Tania" but if I got sick or I got fat and old he would leave because he would realize I wasn't good enough. So when he finally trusted me I was angry because I didn't believe it was real. I was just so fucked up.
My friendship with Derek has been helpful because we've come from similar situations which were executed completely differently. He never allows me to be a martyr and I remind him he's not the only person in the universe. We challenge each other intellectually and aren't afraid to look like complete morons in front of one another. It's so hard for him to trust. Even my friendship. He refuses to make plans further than a few days in the future because he jokes, "We're probably not going to be friends by then." I'm at an arms length. If he only believed how much I get it now... But we're each on our own journey... *
After therapy it was off to see the puppies (sooo cuuuuutttteee!!!) and then to get my body waxed. You wouldn't think a brazilian would be part of a relaxing spa day but there's something cleansing about the pain. Plus it always makes me feel really sexy, not that anyone will see it, but it's a serious confidence boost.
I finished my afternoon off with the most relaxing 90 minute massage. My massage therapist is a cool dude. It's really uncomfortable to have someone touch your body in such an intimate way. I'm always all rigid until like 2 seconds then my body turns into a puddle of relaxation... Or so I thought. At one point my massage therapist had my head in his hands and said, "Relax."
"I thought I was relaxed..." I responded.
"Oh," giggles, "relax more?"
I laugh, "You're going to have to walk me through this."
"Fraud would say you had a traumatic childhood," laughs.
"... Seriously? You can tell that by just holding my head?"
He laughed nervously, "I didn't mean to offend you. Fraud said something like, people who were unable to relax had traumatic childhoods where they didn't trust their surroundings or maybe their parents." There was a second of silence as I let this new information sink into my head.
"I'm not offended. It's just accurate. I've never been able to relax. 'Calm down, chill, relax' everyone always says that to me. Thus the massage."
"I'm sorry... You're in the right place to relax though. Imagine your head is just floating in the air. Let yourself float in my hands but imagine my hands aren't there, I'm not here. You are in a relaxing safe place. There are no patients here, no phone calls, no bills, no papers, no worries. It's just you, allowing yourself to float in relaxation, taking this time for yourself because you are allowed to take a break, right? You care about everyone else as a nurse. This is your time to care for yourself."
I love when I get a day which comes full circle and everything makes sense and I get little signs that I'm on the right track.
*Derek isn't always selfish, just as I'm not always selfless. I can be a selfish bitch if I don't check myself. Just exaggerating the differences to make a point.