Friday, May 6, 2011

If I knew then what I know now, it wouldn't have mattered

Looking back on my ten plus years of therapy, I realize how much time I have wasted bashing myself for not seeing or knowing something sooner. I often hear myself complain to my therapist, "That's so obvious and I knew something was going on. Why did it take me so long to figure this out?" Normally she patiently listens to my self ridicule, waiting for the right time to let me know that everything happens for a reason and we learn when we are ready. Recently, we have begun a much more invasive way of processing, which I had initiated.

After having a near-nuclear meltdown in January, I have become fed-up with pussy-footing around my issues. So after completing an outpatient program I spoke with my therapist about being more direct with each other and calling me out when I was trying to skirt an issue or deflect. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I find myself being questioned about my outlook and having my thought process challenged. It's wonderful to end a session and feel like some really hard work has been done. And once again the thought of "why didn't I know to do this before" plagues me.

The truth is, if I had done this before it would have been futile. I wouldn't have listened; I would have spent a lot of time resenting my therapist and resenting the whole process. I needed to come to this conclusion for myself and ask for help. It's a hard conclusion to come to, but once it happens a whole world opens up.

The realization that all the crap I have gone through is neither good nor bad is a hard one. It's true. Nothing is really good or bad, per se, it just is. IT IS WHAT IT IS. How I used to cringe when I heard that phrase. Now I take it at face value. And the only reason I can do that sincerely is because I have gone through a lot and have taken the time to get lost in all steps of the process: grieving, anger, despair, denial, blaming myself, blaming the world, and giving up. Truthfully, the process of healing from any traumatic life event (be it "little-t" or "big-T" trauma) is a very selfish one. It is one thing to be selfish, it is another to realize you're being selfish. I think the first step of deciding to heal (and it is a decision-based process) is realizing you are being a selfish bitch. Step two is saying "and that's ok. It is what it is."

What happens from here? I'm not sure, but I'll be sure to keep writing about it.

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